Spotlight on you: Steffi's story

Spotlight on you: Steffi's story


*TRIGGER WARNING: This story discusses disordered eating*
I started trying really hard to work on my body confidence this past year. I’ve suffered from disordered eating since I was 8 (I’m now 38!) and I’m still struggling. I have good days and I have bad days… 

Sometimes I think I feel great and don’t care that I’m not as thin as I used to be and some days I hate myself. BUT, thanks to people like Alex and some others, I’ve realised that I can still enjoy my life despite these things. Knowing that there are others out there going through the same has been a huge boost and I even wore a swimsuit in public last year for the first time in my recovery journey, so that was a HUGE step for me!

Basically, I’m just trying to look at it as ‘one day at a time’ and give myself credit for every tiny bit of progress I make; I know recovery is not linear and it’s never easy, so I’m just trying to accept that and to remind myself that my body is beautiful even if it’s not how I ‘expect’ it to look.
Things that have hindered my body confidence journey are: an abusive ex boyfriend constantly berating me when I was anorexic about how ‘much’ I was eating when I was barely eating (he even bought me a treadmill in the hope that it might help me slim my naturally strong legs down to something skinnier); bullying as a kid - people saying I looked great when I lost ridiculous amounts of weight due to my ED - that’s probably the worst culprit next to my ex; magazines! I stopped buying magazines when I was 28 just because there was so much focus on weight loss that it was really messing with my head.

But people like Alex have helped: people who focus on the more important things but also go into detail about their own experiences. 
 It’s given me a sense of a light (excuse the pun!) at the end of the tunnel. I’ve unfollowed triggering accounts on Instagram and filter the things I follow on social media, which has helped too.  As has taking a step back and focusing on how I really feel and not trying to please people so much, which risks my anxiety skyrocketing.

Light LDN has been a wonderful way to see how clothes I want to wear, but feel too scared to, are actually an option for someone like me who’s still struggling with their ever-changing figure. I love all the products and seeing the diversity of the models has been a HUGE boost to my belief that ‘if they can do it. I can do it too.’ Plus, just as an aside (though it’s not got anything to do with my journey) the colours are lush!
What would I tell myself a few years ago about my body? This is a tricky one. A lot of the time a few years back all I would say to myself would be negative self-talk. I would always stand in front of the mirror and pick myself apart mentally. ‘That’s too fat, that’s too lumpy, that’s not flat’ etc etc. I can’t pretend that I don’t still do that, but it’s definitely better now. If I could go BACK to myself then though, I would 100% say not to listen to abusive people or care what other people have to say about my figure. It has eff all to do with them how I look and I only need to feel good in myself FOR myself.
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