in the eye of the beholder

IMG_0795you have things you don’t like about your body.

i have things i don’t like about my body.

for those of you with an eating disorder or some type of body image issue, your list is probably a little longer than others.

trust me, i’ve physically made a list.

this past weekend was president’s day and my college campus had a four day weekend. what college kid wouldn’t like to go home and enjoy time away and a little home cooked food?

sure, i love that stuff, don’t get me wrong, but this weekend i decided to go home for different reasons.

many of you can connect with me when i say i was having a “bad weekend.”

for those of you who don’t know what that means in the mind of an anorexic: i was having depressed thoughts and it really wasn’t safe for me to be by myself.

now don’t worry about me. that’s not the point of this entry. i just wanted to be surrounded by love and family distractions to take way from my internal struggles. that’s all.

anyways, back on topic again…

i was feeling slightly depressed and dejected about my physical appearance, so i decided to make a physical list of everything i felt was wrong with myself.

this was a rather extensive list and while i will not post everything i wrote, i will say many of my complaints were about physical traits i cannot control, such as the fullness of my face.

at the end of my eight hour bus ride, i arrived to the bus stop and was greeted by my boyfriend.

i put on a smile and pretended that i hadn’t spent the earlier part of my day scrutinizing my physical appearance.

as we began to drive off towards the suburbs, i turned and asked him what he liked best about me.

my right hand held the list i had made earlier and i was very curious as to what he would say. because my list was so extensive, i figured it would take him a couple of minutes to think of just one thing.

he smiled, grabbed my left hand and momentarily glanced at me as he began to describe every trait he enjoyed about me.

i’ll be honest, i almost cried.

not because i can’t take a compliment, but because i didn’t feel worthy of his words.

everything he likes best about me are my own personal insecurities. my “to-fix list” is his “i love this about you list.”

and yes, he even loves my full, round little face.

for the rest of the weekend that conversation got me thinking:

“i see myself through a critical lens. it is fueled by self-hate, destructive thoughts and lies. however, he sees me through love, compassion and friendship.”

honestly, it amazed me that the things i wish could be erased and changed were the very things other people could see as “beauty.”

your thighs that you wish were thinner might be part of someone’s ideal body image.

your arms that aren’t toned enough or are “lacking in muscle mass” might make someone feel safe when they are wrapped up in them.

i’ve learned it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

so now it’s your turn, i challenge you to try and look at yourself through the eyes of a family member or friend.

how do they see you versus how you see yourself.

it might just open your eyes to who you really are

you are beautiful.

you deserve to see yourself for who you really are.

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