This Isn’t Me

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After a phone call with my mom, I decided to share a struggle that many teens, as well as adults, face on a daily basis. When I was in high school, I never thought I was pretty, tall, skinny, or smart enough. I was never enough for anyone. My mom asked me today if I was eating enough because of a photo I posted. She said I looked too thin. At first, I was upset that she would even ask, but then I remembered who I used to be.

I believed all of my failed relationships were because of the way I looked. All of my friends were thin and gorgeous, and I felt like I could never compare. High school was a rough time for me, and in this time of figuring out who I was, I developed an eating disorder.

It started with my goal to lose weight. This quickly spiraled out of control. While I was losing weight, I was also losing who I was. I changed completely. I started to fish for the next complement, and after a while, losing a few pounds wasn’t enough. I began making a trip to the bathroom after every meal to purge the food I had eaten. Depriving my body of food gave me the sensation of control over my appearance.

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My sister quickly caught on and knew I wasn’t being myself. She tried talking to me about it, but I made excuses and wanted nothing to do with her advice. Then, our mother got involved. When a lady from Long Island tells you to do something, she means business. She provided me with a reality check that was long overdue.

She reminded me that God made me a beautiful, young woman and that searching for temporary praise from others wasn’t a fix for my underlying issues. She helped me address my past so that I could overcome my desire to become someone I wasn’t and accept who I already was. She reminded me that I was only 17 and had my whole life ahead of me.

In my attempts to lose weight, I was exercising too much and not eating nearly enough. I was constantly sick and at an all-time low. I can say without a doubt I will never go back to my old ways. It was never worth it, and it was only a temporary fix. After having Ella, the appearance of my stomach started to bother me. However, this time it was different. I wanted to make a change, but a positive one. I wanted to go about losing weight the right way, the healthy way.

I have since started a flex diet, and I have started working out again. I’ve lost inches in my waist and weight. (See results here.) I’ve honestly never felt this good, even when I was at my skinniest in high school. I have energy and have started to gain muscle.

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Reflecting on my past, I understand my mom’s concern because she was with me in my darkest days. While she knows I am not that same person, it’s her nature to worry about me. I can’t blame her. She was slowly watching me take my life until she put her foot down and wouldn’t allow it to progress any further. She saved me, and she doesn’t want to see me go down that road again.

Over the years, I’ve learned to love myself and the skin I’m in. I can have control over my appearance but in a positive way. My disorder was simply a cover for much deeper issues from my past. I was seeking help in all of the wrong ways. I have since dealt with those issues and its helped shape who I am today. I have confronted my past and allowed my future to be brighter than ever.

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In the United States alone, 20 million woman will develop an eating disorder at some point in their lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, there is help. If talking isn’t working, get other loved ones involved. Talk to them about getting the help of a professional and encourage healthy alternative methods of weight loss. Most importantly, remind them that they are beautiful even when they can’t see it.

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32 comments

  1. Holly Evans says:

    I am extremely proud of the mother, wife and women you are. Life is not perfect and our bodies are not perfect. What we might see as an imperfection might be perfection to others. All I wish for is that my children and grandbabies grow to be happy, healthy and well adjusted. 🙂

  2. Keeley says:

    Thank you for sharing this Faith, what a powerful story. I’m so pleased to hear that you now have made friends with your body and are much happier. Very inspiring!
    Keeley
    Xxx

    • fbarbare says:

      Absolutely, when I read blogs that what I want to see. Real, honest, and raw. We all have struggles It’s how we deal with them that makes us who we are today. 🙂

      xx

  3. Kim Coffin says:

    Thank you for sharing your struggle! I’m glad you were able to overcome it and find a healthy lifestyle in the process. Eating disorders are so real and It’s nice to see someone talking about it!

  4. Amy says:

    You look absolutely stunning in your picture and you should be proud of how far you’ve come. Its now our job to ensure our little one understand and celebrate who they are. Well done xx

  5. Chante says:

    This is such a beautiful post Faith! Thankyou for sharing your struggle, it will help so many others out there that are in the same boat! I’m so glad that you are doing so well now 🙂 xx

    • fbarbare says:

      Thank you, Chante! That is my goal. After I first posted this a lot of people reached out to me from high school that battled the same thing. It’s so great to see others come through this as well.

      xx

  6. Soraya says:

    What a beautiful post – thank you for being so brave to share your story. You have done such an wonderful job getting to where you are now. You look fabulous and it has inspired me to follow you on your path to a healthy lifestyle.

  7. Sammy says:

    What a powerful story and message. So glad to hear you are living a happier and healthier life which is a great inspiration for so many young girls who may be currently suffering in silence.Ps you look fabulous. xx

    • fbarbare says:

      Thanks so much, Sammy. It’s been a crazy journey, but I am grateful for where I’ve come from because it’s given me the push I needed to become a better person.

      xx

  8. Tamsin says:

    Mothers are a blessing, Wonderful that your Mom stepped in and guided you back to safety.

    Glad to hear you’ve adopted a positive approach to a healthy lifestyle!

  9. Trinity says:

    You look absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story, it could motivate and inspire people that are suffering from eating disorders. Be happy, stay healthy!

  10. Majean says:

    This really resonated with me and I am in awe of your courage to regain yourself and live life. Love this and I’m cheering you on across the pond x

  11. Genevieve says:

    I connected with this in a slightly different way – I have a super-fast metabolism, and have always had trouble gaining weight… I grew up being bullied by other girls and grown women (especially people who didn’t even know me – some of the comments about how I kept my weight the same all the time were quite nasty!). My family made sure that I grew up with a love for food, and encouraged me to celebrate being different – but it definitely took me many years before I became comfortable and confident with who I am. I love that your mum stepped in and brought you back from a dark place – keep going!! Sending you love and light 🙂 xx

    • fbarbare says:

      People can be so mean sometimes! We have to remember who we are and not let others bring us down. I definitely have a love for food, but I’ve learned to keep in within reason haha Were all made differently and the sooner we understand that the easier it is to not only be kind to others, but to love ourselves. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

      xx

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