In a world obsessed with perfection and acceptance, there is no wonder why so many of us question our own beauty. Wherever we turn, we are constantly force fed with various ideas, tips and ways to change our bodies. When did we start accepting this? These perceptions are exactly what drove me into a destructive seven-year battle with Anorexia, Depression, Anxiety and Chronic Low Self Esteem. I am thankful to say that I have recovered from this and I am now motivated daily to empower others to reach happiness within themselves and to show people that it is okay to fall in love with the idea of you.

To me the ability to love oneself is an amazing achievement; something that I believe everybody should be able to say and to believe. It is not vain or selfish to do, in fact it is showing respect for your body and breaks down any insecurities or self-doubt.

‘We don’t shame flowers for being too big or too little, too short or too tall, too pink or too red… we just embrace them for their unique beauty. Why don’t we start doing that with ourselves?’

I used this quote repeatedly throughout my recovery, to remind myself that perfection is simply just an illusion.

How do you recover from Anorexia and depression?

I am aware and appreciate that you cannot snap your fingers and instantly fall in love with yourself; it is a journey that takes time. Change definitely does not happen overnight. Just think back – how long have you been punishing yourself into believing that you are unworthy? You now have to rewrite your thoughts and re train your brain into thinking positively. Time and consistency is truly the best healer, so please stick with it. If I can do it, I honestly believe that anybody can.

I want to share some tips with you that really helped me and excelled my recovery.

Focus on yourself:

comparing yourself with others on social media is detrimental to mental health and simply time wasting. If you ever feel negative about yourself, why not take some time away from social media or un-follow any unhelpful resources? Get back to reality and put your energy into something productive. A key thing to remember is that most of the changes we want to make to our bodies are stimulated by an image of what we may perceive to be the ‘ideal body’, however these images have been severely airbrushed and retouched. So think about it, you are comparing yourself and devaluing your beauty with something that isn’t physically real or possible.

Be your own inspiration:

although it is great to have multiple figures that inspire you daily, it is even more important to become your own inspiration. Make yourself proud, be generous and kind; continue to chase your dreams, whatever they may be. You may not get there immediately but stay positive and I promise you that you will.

Look after your wellbeing:

it is extremely easy to get caught up in the manic responsibilities and stresses of life and this is why it is so essential. Make time for yourself everyday, even if it is for 15 minutes, and devote that time to do something you thoroughly love. This could be anything from meditation, to reading, to walking or baking. Do something that your body wants to do, not because you think you have to. A happy mind will always result in a happy body.

Defend yourself from negativity:

lets just make something clear, you are never going to please everybody, so stop wasting time on people who adversely impact on your confidence and wellbeing. If being around a particular group or individual makes you feel inferior or devalued, then it is time to say goodbye. It can be daunting letting go of a relationship, but what is the point of clinging onto a toxic bond? Surround yourself with people who you can openly confide in, who make you feel good and individuals who motivate and support one another, and who genuinely want to see you succeed. Remember; strong individuals empower one another!

You are beautiful the way you are:

please never forget this because it is the honest truth, I wouldn’t be so determined to change body image perceptions if this wasn’t the case. Begin to wake up every morning with a smile on your face, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful, because you truly are and I promise you, one day you will believe it yourself.

Our bodies are amazing tools, so treat it with respect, show it love and remind it daily of how wonderful it is.

Together let’s change the way we view our bodies.

Article written by Megan Lily Stanford @thehealthlady