Love yourself

Savannah - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on May 8, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I have had many struggles in my life; one of my most challenging struggles was overcoming my eating disorder when I started high school. My time in junior high had been especially hard for me. I was that one kid that everyone else made fun of, usually for being overweight. I let all of their taunts and comments get to me and it chipped away at my self respect until the end of 8th grade when it was virtually nonexistent. I assumed that high school would magically make everything better, but I was wrong. Freshmen year was difficult for me; on one hand I was finally around different people that I liked and that liked me as well (that issue, at least, had been solved). On the other hand I was still fighting with an unbelievably negative body image. All of my life, people had old me I was too heavy, that I was fat and worst of all: you’re too pretty to be overweight.

With all of these awful affirmations coming at me from every direction, it’s no wonder that I became quite certain that no one could ever love, or even like me if I wasn’t skinny and perfect. So, I dieted. I would bar myself from sweets and fatty foods and tell myself I didn’t deserve them. I lost 40 pounds in less than a year. Even though I would skip meals, over exercise, and get extreme feelings of guilt whenever I ate anything “bad”, I could not come to terms with the fact that I had an eating disorder. It took some counseling and the passage of time for me to admit that I had a problem. That was when I finally began to pick up the pieces of my shattered self-esteem.

I learned that people wouldn’t love or like me unless I loved myself. I had to be my own best friend. It’s just like what Charlie Brown taught us all: It’s what you think of yourself that matters most. This whole experience taught me that confidence comes from the love and respect you give yourself and your body. This I believe.