The following is not a story of self acceptance, but rather a story of body dysmorphia and hatred: I don't think there has ever been a time when I did like myself.
When I was little, I focused on personal traits, rather than looks. I was never popular enough, persistent enough, fun enough, smart enough, athletic enough, good enough. I was inadequate. As I grew older, my self-hatred turned toward my body too.
By the time I was 14, I developed full-blown anorexia nervosa. I would look in the mirror and see fat here, fat there, fat everywhere. In fact, I was a bag of bones. I developed keytosis (a fruity aroma on the breath that signifies that your body is breaking down your muscles for food), I grew blue fuzz on my body, my hair fell out in clumps, my blood pressure and heart rate dropped drastically, and my weight plummeted to 85 pounds. Then 5 foot, 6 inches tall, I was emaciated (with a BMI of 13.7). You could practically see my spine through my stomach.
I was admitted to a psychiatric ward in the general hospital for the first time in 2004. In the 2 years that followed, I was in and out 6 more times, each a longer stay than the previous one (and they were lengthy stays of several months at a time). In 2007, I was stable enough to return to high school full-time.
My weight stayed between 120 and 125 pounds, but even this weight was maintained by restricting calories unhealthily and exercising regularly.
In 2008, I graduated and immediately ran off to live in Spain for a year. Perhaps it was the fact that no one knew my past or that I was away from a stressful family life, but in any case I began to eat... And eat A LOT. I ballooned up to 155 pounds. By the end of my stay in Spain, I began restricting again. I was falling into old habits. Starvation got me down to 130lbs.
Then I met my boyfriend and he encouraged me to be healthier. I began exercising and eating more and I gained weight.
Now, I am 144 pounds and I still hate every single pound. I yearn for my skeletal 85 pound frame, or at the very least my 125 pound frame. It seems my body is happy with the weight that I currently weigh. I don't gain any weight and I don't lose any either. I look in magazines and I see the women on this website that weigh 115 pounds and are 5 foot 7, and I yearn to look like them; I yearn to lose the weight I have gained and to be "dainty."
When it comes to me, thin=happy and beautiful. Yet no one else is held to my standards; they can be beautiful without being thin. But not me... I have no idea what to do. Whenever I look at myself, I see a fat ball of lard; I see every pound I've ever gained and I hate it all.