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Alaina  22 • Michigan Mental Health Awareness Self Love • ED Recovery Isaiah 41:10 💌 👻Snapchat: xolaina

Hi loves 👋 Please read VERY carefully. 🚨 Possible TW.
For a moment, I wanted to address something that's been on my mind and it's not something I talk about often.

For the most part, I'm an incredibly happy and outgoing person. Though I am pretty introverted, it does not take much for me to break out of my shell. I'm friendly and love to be around people.

With that being said, depression has always been quite easy for me to hide. First off, I'm okay right now so don't worry, but please pay close attention to those around you. If they seem off or distant, reach out to them. You could make such a difference in their life.

For years I struggled with self harm. I would do things every single day from 12 years old to 16 years old and I don't remember when I truly stopped. I was pulled out of school and started homeschooling after my outpatient program at 15 because public school was too overwhelming and triggering for me.
Along the way, I have had several times where my depression comes out of nowhere and all I could think about was self harm and I would experience suicidal thoughts. The last time these thoughts were bad was June 2016 when I was diagnosed bipolar, so it has been quite a while.

This past Sunday I had a massive breakdown. I couldn't think straight and I was just so...sad. I self harmed for the first time in years. I felt alone and lost.
The day after I still felt confused and "out of it".
On Tuesday I went to a Hillsong Young & Free concert and felt more alive than I have in months. I've been praying even more and being 100% open with God about my struggles. I have chosen not to hold on to my problems and to cry out for help.
I'm doing something about it because I deserve it.

Please, do not go through this alone. Do not let your thoughts consume you.
You are so strong.
You can overcome.
You will overcome.

As you probably noticed, I eat out a couple times a week.
I NEVER thought I would get to the place I am now.
I used to decline every single offer to go out or it would've had to have been planned days in advance.
Now, I do it all the time.
I love trying new restaurants and I love traveling and tasting new cuisines.
I love exploring new coffee shops, breakfast joints, and finding the best sweet potato fries.
It doesn't make me "unhealthy" for eating out.
I'll admit, it does still make me uncomfortable and I can't choose a restaurant if someone tells me to. Sometimes I need a pep talk or a few minutes to breathe and talk it through but I'm proud that I know to use these coping mechanisms.
This, my friends, is called freedom.

On the left I thought I was recovered. That was taken about a year into recovery. I was very much not recovered. I was sucked into the fitness mindset.
I will say this: sometimes I miss looking like the left. I miss being strong and muscular. I do not miss the unhealthy, obsessive mindset I was in. I do not miss getting anxious around food and spending hours on MyFitnessPal. I knew I needed the mental break from the gym, from counting calories, and from the scale.
I allowed myself to cut out physical goals and focus solely on mental, emotional, and spiritual goals.
I stopped exercising altogether for a year to regain my period and to just be.
I feel so much better and have gotten to such an incredible point with myself.

With that being said, I do have goals in mind because I truly feel like I'm in a healthy space again. No, I will not be tracking macros again because that's a dangerous path to go down but I do want to gain my strength back. I miss picking up double my weight and putting it down. I want to feel 100% on my wedding day, which is 11 months away. Honestly, I want to test myself and see how I can continue to find balance in my life. No, this is not a weight loss plan. This is not a journey to kill myself in the gym or to count everything that enters my body.

I love myself now, heavier than I was a year ago. That will be my focus always. To continue loving myself.

I also want to be the best version of myself in all aspects.

I used to dread shopping.
I would worry that nothing would fit and I hated staring at my body in the mirror.
I was scared that the size would be too small and I had plenty of crying sessions in the dressing room.
This happened both at my heaviest and at my lightest.
I was at war with myself.
Now, shopping is one of my favorite things and my only concern is "how am I going to afford this addiction?"

What is food freedom?
To be able to eat what you want without fear of how it will affect you.

What are fear foods?
The fear that types or amounts or food will lead to immediate weight gain.

Food only has as much power over you that you give it.

I was there. I was scared of everything. I remember being scared of salt and chewing gum.
I remember crying on my kitchen floor to my mom because I was so hungry and in so much physical pain.

I participated in Fear Food Friday when I first started my recovery. I used to have Pint Parties with others in the recovery community. I practiced Minnie Maud during the first few months of my recovery. I overcame these fears. The only way that our fears becomes smaller or nonexistent is if we face them head on.

Eat the ice cream, the burger, the pizza, the sandwich, the homemade dinner that your husband or parents made.
Go out to dinner with your friends.
Grab lunch with a coworker.
Order a muffin with your morning coffee.

Do what makes you uncomfortable to become comfortable.

The thing is that loving yourself takes more work than hating yourself.
Sometimes we have to work hard for what we want.
Sometimes it won't be easy.
Many times will you want to give up.
Don't give up.
The feeling of acceptance and love towards yourself makes up for the battle you go through to get there.

Here is your Monday reminder just you can do it. You are strong. You are an overcomer.

I went to the beach today and started out by climbing a huge dune.
When we got to the top, I had to be basic and have my fiancé take my picture (or 20) and afterwards he said "they're kind of dark and you probably will complain about how your legs look" because he knew that my legs are my biggest insecurity. He followed it with saying "I love every picture of you."
The sad part is that he knows that my initial reaction usually is disappointment and when I see a picture of myself that my eyes go directly to my flaws.
This time, he was wrong. I didn't look at this picture and hate my legs. I looked at this picture and saw happiness and freedom in my face.
I'm so happy.

Right after Christmas this is my favorite holiday
Not currently eating this because I'm at the beach but probably going to partake in the holiday festivities later today. Remember to eat your ice cream today!

Who has scrolled through Instagram and compared their body to someone else's?
We've heard it a billion times. POSING and LIGHTING.
Sure, some people look like their pictures all of the time.
....but some look like the left more often than the right.
Y'all picking up what I'm putting down?
With some simple twisting, pulling my shorts up my booty, and breaking my leg I look much taller than I am. (helloooo I'm only 5'3)

I used to compare myself to others. Sometimes I catch myself still doing it but then I remember that pictures only capture the moment and not the entire 24 hour day.

The comparison with anything is unhealthy:
- Your recovery is different
- Your body is different
- Your diet is different
- Your life is different
- Your mind is different

Please remember that you are you for a reason. It's not a comparison game and it's definitely not a competition.

Three years ago:
Cancelling plans, staying home in my room, planning every crumb that entered my mouth, feeling guilty about food, hating my body, lying about eating, making myself sick, not realizing my worth, not attending church because I was ashamed.

Spontaneous trips with my fiancé, not caring about what we do, where we go, or what we'll eat. Driving in one direction until we reach a surprise destination, walking around, and grabbing a latte. Eating out without worrying. Being adventurous. Enjoying the moments. That's living. Realizing my worth. Praising God for strengthening me everyday. Understanding that I was created for a purpose by the One who loves me.

This is the life I was given. I will live it to the fullest.

Stereotypical 22 year olds on a Friday night ➡️ Partying and drinking
Me on a Friday ➡️ Eating ice cream with my fiancé and child (aka our dog)
What else would I be doing on a Friday? ❤

If you're ever in the Lansing area and need ice cream, find the shadiest looking Quality Dairy gas station and buy yourself some Death by Chocolate ice cream 🍫 🍦

What are your reasons for recovery?
I have many but most of them include this guy.
This guy has stood by my side for almost 4 years.
He has seen me at my heaviest and he has seen me at my lightest.
He has seen the ups and he has seen the downs.
This guy is the first one I told about my eating disorder.
He has seen me cry at least 50 times.
He has comforted me, reminded me of my beauty, and encouraged me every day.
He eats ice cream with me when I'm feeling down even though he doesn't like ice cream.
He understands my awkwardness and sense of humor.
He has driven me to the hospital when I told him I needed to go.
He has called me beautiful every day for years.
He reminds me that I do not need to diet when I start to feel worried about my body.
He deals with my moodiness and my drama queen personality 👸🏽
Even after it all, he wants to spend his life with me.
He loves me for me.
I'm recovering to grow old with this guy.
I'm recovering to have children and to start a family with this guy.
I'm recovering because he has showed me that it's possible.

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