Inside the Mind of an Eating Disorder and the Infamous “Thigh-Gap”

Hi Guys, 

I’m actually shaking a bit as I begin to write this. I’m nervous about what I’m about to talk about and post but I can’t get it out of my head, and feel compelled to share a few words with you. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever write more in detail about my eating disorder, but now that it’s out there…and I received tons of messages of others confessing their struggles, I know it has been placed on my heart to do ALL I CAN to help. Even if it just touches one person and helps them get out of a dark place, realize they are not alone, seek help, or see that there is hope. 

If you are reading this right now, you could be struggling with an eating disorder, know someone who does, or just have seen that term, “thigh-gap” and are curious about this post. Basically, there are hundreds of pictures now out on the internet promoting the “thigh-gap” as a desirable thing. If you don’t know what this is-it’s basically when you put both your feet together standing up and your thighs don’t touch from the hips to your knees. *** I want to make this clear before writing more- I want to promote healthy body image and self esteem and I am not saying that HAVING this desirable “thigh gap” is a bad thing. If you have one…it’s beautiful, if you don’t have one, you’re still beautiful! All bodies are beautiful. 

What I want to talk about is how this infamous “thigh-gap” trend can detrimental to a girls mind who is struggling with an eating disorder. It can be dangerous to try to get yourself to look like an image you see in the media. Most images  are edited, photoshopped, corrected in SOME way. Also, standing with your butt pointed backwards knees turned in and toes slightly turned in will ALSO give many women the look of the thigh gap…NOT ALL IMAGES YOU SEE are real, so why are you damaging your body trying to achieve something that is not even true. This shouldn’t be a surprising statement to any of you, I know that most of you know that images now a days are altered, but the problem is when young girls who’s growing bodies are becoming OBSESSED with these images and do damaging things to themselves to try to look like what they see in the image. 

This is how I’ve decided to get my message across. I am going to post some images of myself when I was in a really dark place. I will admit-I am slightly uncomfortable with this, as I have never showed people these photos before except for my very first agency in New York. I cropped most of my face out in these images because I am NOT this girl anymore. The girl in these photos was very sick, she was destroying her body, and not the woman she is today. But my hope in posting these photos is to take you inside MY mind -what was really going through My HEAD as a girl with anorexia. The thoughts may surprise you-and these images are pretty disturbing to me looking back. They are reminders of a very difficult time. 

104photo 2-11

As you can see in these photos, my bones very clearly cut through my skin. In the photo on the left, you can actually see my ribcage in my upper chest. I was not straining my neck although it looks like I am because you can see veins protruding. In the photo on the right, I was 18. It was one of the first shots my agency took of me. It’s alarming to me looking back because clearly I HAD A PROBLEM, but no one in New York told me I was too thin or asked if I was doing ok- (I never believed there was such a thing as too thin). I think I could have been a skeleton. 

When these photos were taken I STILL thought I had too big of a booty. I thought my face was too round, I thought my thighs were too big.. even when I looked like this. And, please note- at this point in my life, I did NOT have a thigh gap. My thighs touched.  But, if I had lost anymore weight at this point to try to ACHIEVE that desirable thigh gap , I may not be around today. So my point is this… NO MATTER what size you are, if you don’t love who you are not for what you look like but WHO you are, you won’t be happy. When I was at this point, I was MISERABLE. I had NO energy to workout, or go out with people and have fun,  all I did was sleep and try to get through the day with as little to eat as possible and trying to make my agents an clients happy.  

One of my dreams is that women would encourage each other more and lift each other up for our individuality instead of critiquing each others bodies or appearances. We are all created differently. 

We are all beautiful.  Love yourself for your valuable and unique qualities. Life is full of too many wonderful things to keep trying to be someone that you weren’t made to be, to struggle to look like an image you see. BE YOU. LOVE YOU. 

Til my next post!

Love,

Lauren

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