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HEALTH | Body Positivity: To Look Forward One Must Look Back

It is really easy to focus on now, what we are doing right now, what we can be improving, and what we are going to do next. Since founding The Mills Body Positivity Group, I have found myself wanting to only focus on the successes of today, and conveniently forgetting the struggles of yesterday that brought me to where I am today.

One of the art projects done by the members of the Mills Body Positivity Group. (Photo courtesy of Kendall Anderson)
One of the art projects done by the members of the Mills Body Positivity Group. (Photo courtesy of Kendall Anderson)

Just one year ago, I was in the midst of one of the most challenging things I have ever faced in my life: this is my story.

I didn’t believe my doctors when they told me my weight was too low, that my heart was getting tired and beating slower and slower. I didn’t believe them when they said my body was starting to shut down, that I was starting to die. The only thing I believed was the anorexia’s voice in my head telling me I was a bad, ugly failure, and I that needed to keep losing weight.

The tiny part of me that wanted to be healthy, to beat my illness and to recover was constantly overridden by the constant thought that I could never get out, that I would be stuck in an endless cycle of disordered eating for the rest of my life.

I felt like a huge failure, I thought I had no hope of living a normal life, let alone ever being happy. Each day was a struggle, and I felt entirely alone.

However, these thoughts were not me talking, it was my eating disorder. At that point in my life, I had no capacity to see my eating disorder and myself as two separate things.

But with the support of my medical team, I was able to restore my weight, and stabilize my vitals that made me “better.” I was no longer in medical danger, but mentally, I was still struggling. Being healthy physically and mentally are two different things. Recovering mentally is an ongoing process, I am determined to keep things moving forward positively, and have been lucky enough to develop close relationships with several of my high school teachers, I credit them for keeping me on the right track/motivating me to recover.

I am very thankful to be where I am today healthy, happy and attending Mills. I feel this is a wonderful learning institution, with many wonderful and gifted professors, students and staff members.

However, it makes me very sad to see so much focus on dieting, exercising, and weight loss among my peers. Eating disorders are a big problem among college campuses. The primarily female population, high pressure and achievement standards of Mills make students here especially susceptible to eating issues.

I wanted to address this problem in a productive and empowering way, so I thought creating this group would be a positive step in many people’s recovery and promoting a generally healthier campus atmosphere. If I can help or prevent one person from going through what I went through I would be so happy.

The Mills Body Positivity Group meets on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 12:20 p.m. Check out our Facebook group:

Or email for more information.

Read The Campanil‘s feature story on the Mills Body Positivity Group in this week’s issue.