What was your biggest struggle?
Much like everyone else on this planet, I’ve struggled with a number of things throughout my life. With that said, one of the largest issues I’ve battled with and continue to confront is the fundamental false belief that I am worthless. For the longest time, I was unaware of this deep-seated belief I possessed about myself. Because of that lack of self-awareness, this belief eventually manifested itself in the forms of multiple eating disorders, depression, social anxiety, body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, and suicidal ideation. It was sometime after graduating from college that I decided to learn more about myself and how I operate. After a period of critical self-reflection, I realized the root of many of my issues was this damaging belief I held about myself. Coming to this realization, I decided to embark on a life long journey of self-development. I’ve realized I’ll always possess some sort of insecurity, but understanding where these insecurities come from is the first step in becoming more comfortable in my skin.
Was there ever a time (including currently) where you weren’t happy with the way you looked?
During the latter years of my high school experience, I was extremely fixated on my physical appearance. What started out as an innocent interest in losing weight (not that I needed to) eventually evolved into an unhealthy obsession with obtaining the “perfect body.” It was at that time I ran a semi-famous fitness Tumblr blog, which fueled my obsession with my appearance (read my story about that journey here). At this point in my life, my entire self-worth was based off my appearance. The constant stream of comments I received about my body in addition to the hundreds of thousands of notes on my selfies reaffirmed my obsession. I wanted every part of my body to be smaller, and more “toned.” After four years of fighting against myself, I was able to overcome the toxic thoughts which controlled my mind for so long and began appreciating my body for what it is and does.
What advice would you give to someone going through the same struggles as you did/are going through?
You have to realize that you are more than your physical appearance. You are a valuable being who offers so much to the world. Every one of us possesses a gift we are meant to share during our time on this planet. Discover what that gift it, cultivate it, and share it with the world. Embrace your quirks, live unapologetically, and surround yourself with people of ambition and love. You only have one life to live, and you have the power of craft the reality in which you exist.
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