A letter to the girl at the gym…

To the girl in the gym changing rooms making herself sick this morning… I heard the noises, I recognise the signs, and I saw you excessively cleaning 2-3 of your fingers on your right hand. I’ve been there before. On my 18th birthday I looked like a shell of a human being and I still thought I looked fat and ugly.

 

In all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I binged and purged? It really feels like a distant memory to me, and one that I feel needs to remain in the past. I get it, I do. Sometimes you do it if you’ve seen too many adverts, read or seen images magazines (all airbrushed – FYI) with titles such as “best and worst beach bodies” (seriously, you journalists should be ashamed of yourselves), and perhaps seeing a girl in the gym who you “wish you looked like”, or perhaps you’ve just had a stressful day and you use that as a release, because the wave of relief you get afterwards is almost euphoric?

 

The thing is my darling, you are beautiful. Not just on the outside, but I wish to believe that you too are a wonderful person in heart and mind. I think you are, and I think you need to believe this yourself. I wish now I’d stopped and pulled you to one side and told you that everything will be OK, because it can be if you let it. Don’t let the demons take control and fight for yourself in your body and mind. YOU. CAN. DO. IT!

 

One of the best things you can do is be open and talk to people, talk to a close friend if you don’t feel you can talk to a family member. A problem shared is a problem halved. Try not to be so self-critical, because you bet your bottom dollar that the girls/ women who’s bodies you so envy probably criticise themselves too. We all have lumps and bumps, scars and stretch-marks, wonky and wobbly bits, and you know what? That makes us who we are. This body, this vessel that we carry our souls in needs to be treated with kindness and care. There’s only one of you, and you are unique and a hell of a lot stronger than you think you are. Don’t let this disorder dull your shine.

 

Next time I see you, I’ll subtly give you my number, or please do reach out to me on here.

 

In the words of Oprah:

 “Step Away from the Mean Girls…
…and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks.
Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others. 

This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.” 
― Oprah Winfrey

Useful info:

Local:

Portsmouth eating disorder service The Bluebell Rooms Kingston Crescent Surgery 92 Kingston Crescent North End Portsmouth PO2 8AL Tel: 023 9262 7762

Off the Record counselling support and information for young people age 11-25 250 Fratton Road PO1 5HH Tel: 023 9281 5322

National: 

Beat Eating Disorders (Beat) Beat is the leading UK charity for people with eating disorders and their families. Beat provides help lines for adults and young people, online support and a UKwide network of self-help groups to help people beat their eating disorders. B-eat: 084 5634 1414 Website: www.b-eat.co.uk Youthline: 084 5634 7650 TXT: 077 8620 1820

 

 

 

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