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Day 16 of #selflovebootcamp 💘
#BOYCOTTTHEBEFORE! Today's post is about eliminating the "before ED look." EDs look different on EVERYONE. EDs do NOT discriminate. People of all shapes & sizes suffer from eating disorders. There is a myth in our sociey that a person has to be underweight in order to have an ED & it is further perpetuated by the large amount of "before & after ED" pictures. EDs are full of comparing bodies & weights. There is a stigma around mental health that mental illness doesn't exists unless it can be physically seen. So ED sufferers feel they need to look physically "unhealthy," & "sick enough" to be taken seriously. The truth is you can NOT tell anyone's health from their weight or appearance!!!!!! If someone is in ED recovery, it doesn't matter if they lost, maintained or gained weight. You still cannot tell how their mental health has changed, if it all. We are more than our "before" pictures. We do not need to try to prove to anyone that we had an ED. You know the hell you went through & that's what matters. Take power away from your ED by not giving any more attention to the days it controlled you. Post pictures of your recovery body because darling that's what matters. If your ED body was underweight, that's ok. If your ED body was not, that's ok. What matters is that you are at a weight in recovery where you feel mentally, physically & spiritually content. Everyone's ED weight is different, just like everyone's recovery weight is different. It's just a number. What's significant is our story behind it. Embrace your current body babe, it's beautiful. 🙌🏻

I binged the other night. It was the first time in ages. That familiar feeling of hurriedly grabbing chocolate and pushing it in my mouth, hardly taking time to chew or swallow before grabbing the next piece of food. The chatter in my head loud and unruly, voices both urging me on and simultaneously ripping my character to shreds. •
I probably could have told you I was going to binge hours before it happened, maybe even a day before. I was slipping back into a familiar, awkwardly uncomfortable state of mind, ruled more by my ED than by my compassionate self. •
Ignoring everything I know about how to keep my self safe, to protect my self and to care for my lovely hard working body. I was leaving breakfast until stupidly late in the day, then ignoring hunger quest all afternoon saying I could just wait until dinner time.
Tied up in times of day, judgment over portion sizes, frustration with my hunger signals, consumed with thoughts of food and fear of my body changing. It's no wonder my mind ended up screaming for calorie dense foods, it thought it was being starved again.

The wonderful difference this time was the liberation after. As soon as I left the kitchen, I apologised to my body. I took a deep breath, and smiled. I could see exactly why this had happened, I knew exactly what my body had needed and I already knew there was no judgment, I'd not failed, I wasn't off the wagon, I'd not broken anything, and I didn't have to start afresh the next day. •
Intuitive eating, but more, the body positivity I've been using lately has changed every cell in my body. The fat fear, that is still very real and a daily battle, IS fading, IS further from my mind. Learning to love this body of mine is a daily commitment, but it is so rewarding. •
I won't ever be done. I will ALWAYS be learning. But I will always have you guys. Your love and support means everything to me .. you're helping me to love MY self and I hope I offer something resembling that in return. Because our worth isn't measured by a scale, or a dress size, but who we are as people .. and you're fucking lush ❤

I've stood on this soapbox for years now, so I am beyond thrilled to see this movement and hashtag finding traction.

As we fight to raise awareness for this illness and challenge the misconceptions so many people hold, we must not give into the temptation to seek approval and validation from others-- our friends, our family, our culture. This illness is a complex physical and psychological disease, and as with any disease, it deserves to be respected as any medical condition would. The minute we try to earn what is already our right, we have lost.
You are not obligated to satisfy anybody's morbid curiosity. You do not have to play their game-- the challenge to prove your sickness is real. You do not have to remind your disorder that it was real, either. You do not owe anybody a proof of illness.
You've lived with your struggle long enough to know it is real. It is the series of rules you have been forced to live with, the pull of obligations you cannot explain. It is the lonely days and nights where you chose to stay home where it felt safer. It's the things you can learn to live without, the things you can leave behind. You can come back to the real world. And if you join the rest of us and tell your story honestly, without pandering to an audience, you can help make that aforementioned "real world" a little better. So, let's do this right. Let's stop trying to earn it. Let's insist on our survival being proof enough.

It's worth a shot, yeah?

#boycottthebefore #eatingdisorderrecovery #neda #nedaweek

Before #NEDAweek wraps up I want to say why I'm boycotting the before. People with eating disorders, no matter how close they are to the other person, no matter how supportive, have the tendency to compare themselves to one another. Everyone's recovery looks different, everyone's trough looks different. Making the "before" a competition to see who was the "sickest" or "smallest" or the "worst off" is so easy to do and is such a toxic string of comparisons. I was orthostatic, osteopenic, and anemic with a heart 15 counts too slow. My hair was falling out, I bruised very easily, my Russell's sign left scarring, and I had trouble getting up without having extreme dizzy spells and collapsing. I was not 80 pounds. I did not have the idealized body or one that is conjured up when you think of an eating disorder. I was not "thinspo" material. Size has no correlation to the severity of an eating disorder and I #boycottthebefore because pictures from the lowest point in my life do not do any justice and do not need to be exploited in the name of recovery. Awareness does not need to be coupled with competition and my intention will never be to invalidate people of any body type fighting the same fight.

a year and many mental breakdowns, friends lost, medication, and ten pounds later and I was finally able to look at myself in the mirror tonight to take this without feeling terrible about what I saw. recovery isn't easy but this has all made me into the person I am today and I'm a stronger because of it 💪🏻💪🏻 #nedawarenessweek #boycottthebefore

#transformationtuesday and #nationaleatingdisorderawarenessweek and I'm here to bring you only the AFTER picture. I've posted many before and after compositions, but looking at the before photo hasn't helped me, or anyone else. "I'm worth more than the 'before' photo." #boycottthebefore

I am so much more than a "before" photo. #boycottthebefore


Friends, family, acquaintances - I am about to get REALLY vulnerable here, and I figure what better way to do so than with a picture of myself parading around the desert in nothing but my chacos?

This month I've been participating in a self love boot camp, and up until now, I haven't posted a single picture, because you know what? Social media is scary! Social media makes me feel really vulnerable, but it's time to let go of those fears, because they just aren't serving me. •
For most of my adult life, I have battled with an eating disorder and a variety of mental health issues which have left me with a horrible self image. My road to recovery has been long and though it is by no means over, it has been the most difficult and most rewarding thing I have ever done. •
#boycottthebefore is a way of saying that on my journey, I've gained so much more than weight - that my recovery has been more than a physical transformation. I've gained strength (physical and mental) and confidence, but most importantly I've gained a relationship with myself that is based on kindness, compassion, and acceptance. I've learned to be grateful for this body that does so much for me every day. This body that breathes, and stretches, and carries me to all of the extraordinary places I want to go. •
So here I am, bare skinned in the desert, radically and unapologetically loving myself and this soft, strong, awesome body of mine! I am no longer hiding from myself, I am taking up all of the space I need. Because I am bold, and I am proud, and it feels really good to look at a picture of my body and not care who sees me naked. •

In honor of #NedaAwarnessWeek, @neda Ambassador and body-positive girl boss, @iskra, joins the #Boycottthebefore movement to help shed light on eating disorders and recovery.
"I myself have felt the pressure to post before and after pics to validate that I too suffered... but that's not right. We do not need to prove that we struggled, we do not need to feel like anyone may have struggled more or less because maybe there before and after photos aren't as "dramatic". It's not even about that, it's always about how far you've come so @boycottthebefore is here to celebrate YOU right now! To celebrate how far you've come and maybe how far you still have to go - there is no perfect recovery & everyones is completely unique." - iskra
Tap the link in bio to learn more about the movement and the powerful women behind it.


I freaking love this quote. I personally relate these words to my #BoycottTheBefore campaign right now. While that campaign was hugely successful and I am proud of that work, I have grown to see different perspectives now. It's vital to see and acknowledge different perspectives because the truth is, it is so easy to get stuck on one truth, and hold onto it so tightly that we end up not seeing other (just as valid) truths. Yes, I still see eating disorder recovery transformation photos (primarily ones that depict a low weight photo beside a current photo) as doing damage. And I still am proud of that work I did for the recovery community. However, I am also seeing now that it is possible to post said photos and make it clear in captions that not all sufferers struggle with extreme weight loss/weight gain. I also see now that triggers are everywhere. Yes, it can feel unfair to be in recovery and be bombarded with triggering photos on social media (especially during #NEDAwarenessWeek). At the same time, if we want to recover, we MUST face our triggers. We MUST confront our demons. And we MUST learn how to separate out the disordered voice from our real voice. None of that is easy. Recovery is so damn hard. But if we are constantly limiting triggers and living in a bubble of safety, we aren't going to learn, grow or recover. We MUST learn that triggers and emotions aren't going to kill us. We MUST learn we can survive these things, and therefore begin to heal and one day thrive again. So yes, I'm 1000% so proud of my work with Boycott The Before. I'm also allowed to hold the contrasting truth of, "That was a campaign to challenge social media trends, as well as challenge the narrative that all eating disorder sufferers are thin. And now I see other perspectives". My favorite thing about DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) is "dialectics"; we can hold two opposing thoughts, at the same time, and both can be true. So no, I'm not backtracking or losing myself or losing my voice when I post transformation photos now. I simply see there are more truths out there. Because we have the right to grow. No apologies. #lexiemanion

I posted this in my story just a few minutes ago but you know what? I think it's time to stop hiding behind the 24 hr disappearance of my most important #edrecovery postings. I used to be so scared to post shit like this but I'm slowly getting better. Maybe I'm just on a Zumba high right now and I'll freak out and delete this in the morning, but for now.. I'm going to post and I'm going to be proud of myself for doing it. Don't forget, you're all goddamn beautiful. #edwarrior #edrecovery #boycottthebefore #beyourself #goofy #nofilter #power #recoveryisworthit #recoveryispossible #recoveryrockstars #beauty #self #everydaymodels #strongnotskinny #fuckthebefore #strength #strongwomen #lifeaftered #dance #Zumba #loveyourself #authentic #realtalk #life #edfamily #mentalhealth #endthestigma #me #beautifulafterED #beautiful

This is me
Me being the dorky person I am
Me loving myself in a society that wants us to pick ourselves apart
I won't do that
I choose to love myself the way I am
And I choose to extend that love to all of you ❤️
Love your Squish. Love your cellulite. Love your stretch marks. But most importantly love YOURSELF as you are.

I know that my IG has traditionally been sharing my baking and cooking, but I want to start creating a feed that reflects who I am. My authentic self. I took this picture this morning and I'm struggling with posting it. I have picked out multiple flaws, nitpicked every detail of my face, and have had no less than 1,000 terrible thoughts about myself as I stared at it on my phone. But I know that it's important to post it. 😐
I speak often about overcoming a struggle by making yourself uncomfortable and this is one of those moments that I have to put myself out there. I'm exhausted with letting my poor #bodyimage impact my day and make me feel weak. I'll no longer allow it. I used to put so much emphasis on my image; my only worth was derived from my appearance (which, ironically, I've always hated). But I am learning to like certain parts of me and learning to embrace all the "flaws" that I see in myself. 🙇🏼‍♀️
I've been doing live feeds a lot recently to help document what #lifeafterEd is like.It's not all easy and I still struggle a lot. But I am feeling more confident in myself and more proud of where I have been and where I am now.  Part of wanting to become a group fitness instructor is my desire to help others feel confident in themselves and not let their brains tell them they are not worth it. YOU are worth it. 💃🏻💪🏼💃🏼💪🏻💃🏽💪🏾💃🏿💪🏿🕺🏽💪🏽🕺🏾💪🏾🕺🏿💪🏿
No matter your struggle, no matter your past: You are important. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are authentically you and that's the most important piece of it all.
#edwarrior #edsurvivor #mentalhealth #endthestigma #weareallmodels #fashion #edrecovery #recoverysisters #edfamily #happy #instajersey #strongnotskinny

The usual #throwbackthursday has the intention of shaming a persons prior self. The left photo I am probably at my lowest weight and in the right is the most recent photo I have of myself. The girl on the left would pick herself apart when she saw this photo. The girl on the right is over the moon with winning her award & understands that her worth is not defined by her appearance. Although neither are any lesser than the other, the girl on the right has learnt a lot more than the left. She appreciates her former self for guiding her to reach where she is now. Finding body positivity has changed everything I believed about myself & I wish for everyone to understand, accept and love their body too!
Choose love💖
#bodypositivity #bodypositive #loveyourself #selflove #selflovebootcamp #chooselove #spreadlove #eliminategirlhate #effyourbodystandards #effyourbeautystandards #boycottthebefore

#SelfLoveBootcamp Day 7: #TBT
I feel like there aren't many candid photos of me because I'm usually the person taking photos or asking for photos to be taken. I found this from an old colleague's birthday party, and while there are a lot of things I badly want to criticise about my appearance here, I like how I look genuinely happy 😊
#selflove #selfcare #slbc #septemberselflovers #selflovebootcampday7 #bopo #happiness #throwbackthursday #boycottthebefore #loveyourself @omgkenzieee

One of the earliest posts I put up on the Hungry Caterpillar blog was about stereotypes--stereotypes about people who have or are recovering from eating disorders. When we subscribe to these stereotypes, it can prevent us from seeing that someone needs help and getting them the treatment they need.

Have you encountered harmful stereotypes about people with anorexia and other eating disorders? Did you ever find yourself stereotyping? How did these impact you or your recovery efforts? Interested to hear your thoughts.

Clickable link in profile.

Min sygdoms alvorlighed kan ikke aflæses af et billede af, hvordan jeg engang så ud. Brugen af "før og efter" billeder er en kæmpe trigger, der kan fastholde folk i spiseforstyrrelsens greb. Disse billeder misrepræsenterer mennesker med en spiseforstyrrelse, da der ikke er en kropstype, en adfærd, et udseende, der kan definerer så mange psykiske sygdomme. Jeg er defineret af, hvem jeg er, de valg jeg har taget og den kamp jeg kæmper. Ikke et billede, der udelukkende minder mig om, hvad jeg ikke længere har. #boycottthebefore @boycottthebefore

#Boycottthebefore This was last summer at my heaviest I believe I was 203lbs I haven't been able to lose much weight since, but I am beginning to think that this is all I have and I better accept it. No matter what size or shape I am I should love myself because one will love me better than me #selflovebootcamp

Shrinking your self isn't just about what space your physical body takes up. It's being invisible. Going unnoticed.
Well along with the notion that my body needs to be small, I'm also fighting to dismiss feelings that I need to shrink who I am as a person. I am loud. I'm the woman you can hear laughing the other side of the room. I'm the woman wearing the bright orange top and matching lipstick. I'm the person making outrageous jokes and sharing risky opinions.
Big mouth, bold colours, brash personality and no shits given.
I'm taking a bigger role in my own life, filling it to the edges and not apologising for it.

I spent so many years separated from my body. Or at least trying to be. Months in hospital, being moved from a ward for my lungs to a ward for my stomach, it was easy to pick my body apart and blame it for the difficulty I had finding who I am.
Part of my journey through therapy, that in turn started my last restrictive eating phase, was attempting to pull together. It almost makes sense then, that my focus dipped somehow and became ALL about my body. Being healthy, being thin, being active, and in turn being beautiful.
What I'm coming to realise in these months of working to find equilibrium, is that whilst I absolutely need to be connected to by body & do my best to care for it, what makes me me - and in turn 'beautiful' in a meaningful way (rather than the 'pretty' beautiful, described by @themilitantbaker) is so much deeper. My beauty comes from my intelligence, it comes from my spirit, my whit. It comes from a place so deep that I wonder if I had to hit 'rock bottom' in order to find it.
Surface level (pretty) beauty just doesn't interest me in the same way because in finding something so much deeper, I've found a richness and a quality to myself that is vastly more authentic and realistic. It's obtainable because I always possess these things and it's sustainable because I'm always developing these things.
Making those connections are powerful, confidence building and empowering, and I think that just makes whatever this light we hold within us even brighter.

Dear Instagram, could you please stop showing me before and after weight loss photos?
We can only censor our media so much. I only follow positive, recovery focused accounts, but I still see girls that are smaller than me, girls that have better bodies than me in my head, and I feel disappointed in myself.
I look like a before photo, hence why #boycottthebefore is so important. I have jiggly thighs with cellulite, and I don't have abs. I'm at a healthy weight for my body, but that's obviously not good enough. There's still so much weight I could lose without being underweight.
Here's the thing: I was never underweight!!! This felt so, SO invalidating at times. Despite losing my period for six months and never being able to get warm, having difficulty focusing, I wasn't underweight. So I didn't need to gain weight.

Hey babydolls🦄 Today has been particularly rough as I realised that subconsciously I've been reverting back to my old ana behaviours restricting etc. So when it hit me I decided to do something positive about it🖐🏻 Food is not the enemy, It nourishes our body and keeps it healthy. The number on the scales does not determine our self worth🌺 If you're struggling today I hope you see this post & realise that you're much more than your weight. So if you're out & about grab a cake🎂 Or a cookie or whatever the hell you're craving and enjoy it!!! Because you deserve it✨ Sending love to all you precious angels❤️
#recoveryaccount #mentalillnessrecovery #eatingdisorderrecovery #fightingednos #kickinganasbutt #positivity #selflove #eatewell #l4l #aesthetics #alwayssmile #beatingmia #loveandbeloved #instalove #instagood #foodisnottheenemy #boycottthebefore #coffeeandcookies #nourishnotpunish #colourfuldepression #slayingmentalillness #spreadyourwingsandfly

Over the weekend I went out and bought myself a new pair of jeans. I love wearing black jeans and my old ones were getting uncomfortable, so much so that I just felt lousy when I was wearing them. So instead of continually feeling irritated and uncomfortable in them, I just bought the next size up. No big deal! Your worth is not defined by what size clothes you wear.
You are so much more than that. You are perfectly WONDERFULLY beautiful just the way you are.
#effyourbeautystandards #effyourbodystandards #eliminategirlhate #bodypositivity #bodypositive #boycottthebefore #mybadassbody #loveyourselfmore #chooselove #loveyourself #selflove #spreadlove

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