Giving up an eating disorder is among the hardest things you can ever do. You will follow a unique, challenging path to your recovery, and sometimes, you will feel like you are on the brink of relapse, especially in the initial stages of healing. It can be helpful to remember that many people have struggled with eating disorders and poor self-image and have overcome them. When you need some inspiration or a reminder of how strong you are, here are some quotes and a list of body positivity influencers to revive your fighting spirit.
Quotes from Former Eating Disorder Patients
As you recover from your eating disorder, you can draw inspiration from Brittany Burgunder, an author and a certified professional coach who struggled with and conquered her eating disorder. Her eating disorder involved restricting, bingeing, purging, laxative abuse, and exercise addiction. She also struggled with anxiety, self-sabotage, perfectionism, low self-esteem, and fear of failure. Here are some of her quotes.
- “Recovery is full of ups and downs. There is no such thing as a linear life. But you can always turn your setbacks into setups to come back stronger.”
- “No two eating disorders are the same. No two individuals are the same. No two paths to recovery are the same. But everyone’s strength to reach recovery is the same.”
- “Recovery is a verb, not a noun. You have to be an active participant to improve continuously.”
- “Eating disorder recovery becomes possible when you keep making the next right decision over and over. With time, these decisions become automatic.”
- “Recovery does not mean putting your life on hold. Recovery means holding on so you can live your best life.”
Callie Bowld, author of What Goes Down: The End of an Eating Disorder, is also a survivor of bulimia who inspires others to recover from eating disorders. Here are some of her quotes about eating disorders and recovery.
- “You are not alone. You are not weak. You are brass and bold and stronger than this disease.”
- “Your life is worth so much more than whatever body part you are so furiously fighting.”
- “Breaking an addiction is never easy, but it can be done. You are stronger than that red-faced demon screaming in the bathroom.”
- “The end of an eating disorder begins with the decision to stop.”
- “You have to make peace with food. You have to learn and program your brain to understand: your body needs food.”
Other Quotes by Notable Personalities
Recovery from an eating disorder is a continuous process. You will need constant motivation to beat the disease. Although some of the originators of the quotes did not have eating disorders, their words will boost your positivity during recovery.
- “I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.” – Laurie Halse Anderson
- “My worst days in recovery are better than the best days in relapse.” – Kate Le Page
- “If we are ready to tear down the walls that confine us, break the cage that imprisons us, we will discover what our wings are for.” – Michael Meegan
- “Get off the scale! I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile. Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life.” – Steve Maraboli
- “In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow
- “Though no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.”– Carl Bard
Body Positivity Influencers
Having a positive body image is critical to recovering from an eating disorder. While social media is to blame for a decline in self-esteem and body confidence, body positivity influencers are using the same platforms to influence people positively. Below is a list of people who learned how to embrace their bodies and live confidently.
1. Megan Jayne Crabbe
One of the pioneers of the body positivity movement is Megan Jayne Crabbe, a well-known advocate of self-love. As a survivor of anorexia, her mission is helping other people love their bodies and develop a healthy relationship with food. She overcame anorexia, embraced a positive body image, and became more robust and happier. In this era of Facetune and Photoshop, Megan champions the acceptance of cellulite and stomach rolls. In her opinion, you do not have to punish your body. You need not skip meals or restrict them. You are free to eat today, tomorrow, and all other days. You can follow Megan Jayne Crabbe on Instagram, tweet her @bodyposipanda, or subscribe to her YouTube channel.
2. Harnaam Kaur
Every time you think about body positivity and embracing body hair, Harnaam Kaur stands out. She suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a medical condition that causes hormone imbalances. Harnaam Kaur has excessive facial hair, which made her endure mockery in childhood. Today, Harnaam proudly wears her beard, and in 2016, she became the first bearded woman to walk the runway at the London Fashion Week. She is an influential advocate for body image, mental health, self-acceptance, and diversity. Watch her talk at a 2018 TEDx event, or subscribe to her YouTube channel. You can also follow her on Instagram or tweet her @harnaamkaur.
3. Winnie Harlow
Winnie Harlow understands discrimination because she was once a bullying victim. She is a famous supermodel who uses her Instagram account to normalize vitiligo, a skin condition that causes uneven skin pigmentation. Her unapologetic posts are a celebration of her unique skin colour. She proudly showcases her entire body and has dramatically impacted the fashion world. She connects with her fans and inspires people around the world through her twitter handle @winnieharlow.
4. Iskra Lawrence
Iskra is a British model and the leading body positivity advocate in the fight against the use of Photoshop. She rejects alterations to her photos and encourages other people to follow her example. She believes that the female body is unclassifiable and refuses to use “plus-size” to describe body size. On her Instagram page, she promotes body acceptance and self-love and opens up about her struggles and how she rose above the scrutiny in the fashion industry. After embracing self-acceptance, Iskra started “The Mirror Challenge,” a Facebook docuseries to help people develop a positive self-image.
5. Jessamyn Stanley
Writer and yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley is a body positivity advocate who champions the liberty to embrace yourself fully. She believes that body positivity is a powerful tool to counter society’s body negativity. In her view, yoga empowers a woman to always remember who she is and to celebrate her beauty and strength. The woman can reach within herself and summon the power which the society willfully and actively tries to deny her. In one of her Instagram posts, Jessamyn says that yoga helps her accept that she cannot be perfect at everything.
6. Tao Porchon-Lynch
At over 100 years, Tao is more than your typical yoga instructor. She holds both records for the oldest ballroom dancer and the oldest yoga instructor. Tao promotes healthy lifestyles to improve longevity, teaches up to eight classes weekly, and leads global programs to influence others to adopt mindfulness and self-love. She uses her Instagram page to promote athleticism, and that age should not deny you an opportunity to follow your passion. Her mantra, make every day the best day of your life.
7. Michelle Elman
This body confidence coach focuses on ways of raising self-esteem. She believes that fear of fat causes body image issues and triggers disordered eating, resulting in broader psychological problems. Therefore, Michelle uses her Instagram account, @scarrednotscared to post facts and messages about fat to educate and inspire others. She aims to help others view their bodies as good enough and live their life.
8. Jess Weiner
This body positivity campaigner is all about changingbe auty standards. She actively participated in creating social change and launching the diverse Barbie that acknowledges and celebrates different sizes, hair colours, shapes, and heights. She believes that self-confidence is gradual, and that self-care involves elimination of negative self-talk and focusing on positive change. She uses her social media presence to empower people to embrace themselves.
9. Kaitlyn Dobrow
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At the age of 18, Kaitlyn Dobrow suffered from bacterial meningitis and lost all four limbs. She did not crumble under the weight of her hardships; neither did she allow the disability to define her. Kaitlyn inspires her YouTube and Instagram followers through makeup tutorials and life updates. She has shown her fans that you can achieve your dreams through hard work and that if you love your body, your life will be more fulfilling and happier.
10. Zach Miko
Zach Miko is a pioneer in body positivity campaigns for men because they, too, suffer from the effects of unrealistic beauty standards. He gained recognition after becoming the first “big-and-tall” model for Target and continues to empower people, especially men, on how physical insecurities lead to eating disorders. Apart from modelling, Zach Miko acts and writes a fashion column for men. He also hosts a podcast, “Big Things,” where he interviews inclusive, diverse, and positive guests who are doing great things in their communities and careers.
Take the First Step to Recovery
Recovery from an eating disorder starts with treatment. Talk to a professional who will help you evaluate your physical and psychological needs. Together you will design a treatment plan to address your specific needs. With therapy and medication where necessary, you will start your recovery, learn to love yourself, and live a happier life.