An Open Letter to My Body: I Love You, But Sometimes I Still Hate You

Experts estimate that about 8 million people in the U.S. are currently suffering from an eating disorder—and that's not even to mention the long, arduous process of recovery nor the rampant misunderstanding of these issues in our culture. As a nod to Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 26 to March 4), we'll be featuring some of our most thought-provoking content on body image, diet talk, and the stigma and shame that millions of women deal with on a daily basis. Above all else, know that you're not alone—and if you need help and don't know where to begin, reach out to the National Eating Disorders Association hotline at (800) 931-2237.

I was down in Miami for the city's annual Swim Weekend when a familiar feeling crept up, weaving itself along every ounce of my body. I looked at a picture of myself and felt my skin crawl. As a woman on the better end of her eating disorder recovery, I hadn't felt triggered like that in a while.

Swiping through photo after photo, I felt pangs of fear colliding with guilt in this bizarre emotional cocktail I forced myself to swallow. For the rest of the trip, my mind vacillated between feeling uncomfortable in my body and being embarrassed I allowed those thoughts to invade my space. I berated myself for feeling bad. With each passing thought, I sunk deeper and deeper into this shame spiral—not for the way my body looked, but for not loving it anyway.

This post was originally published on August 21, 2017.