Brave Body 11; Christie's Story

Christie
IG Handle: @meandmyed.art

Recovering from an Eating Disorder is so hard in itself,
but watching your body change into your greatest fear… nothing can prepare you for that.
I used to believe that I would never have a good relationship with my body,
because my therapists said it was impossible.
I cried every time I stepped on the scale and I felt so far out of control.
Everything within me wanted to turn back to my Eating Disorder;
that was until I discovered the ‘bopo’ (body positive) community on Instagram.

I saw women embracing their bodies of all sizes, shapes and colors.
I saw women supporting other women and just an abundance of love and acceptance.
I decided that I had been living with an internalized thin ideal for too long
and in order for me to accept my body for what it needed to be, I had to change.
I changed what I viewed on a daily basis.
Instead of following fitness models
and girls who were underweight and struggling with their illnesses,
I filled my feed up with women who preached body acceptance and flaunted their curves.

At the same time, I had started an Instagram account to share my art with the world.
I drew what it felt like to live with and recover from an Eating Disorder,
and found it therapeutic to talk about those experiences in public.
I was lucky enough that people started to notice me and like what I was posting.
Before I knew it, I had people coming to me for advice and looking up to me
the same way I looked up to the girls in the ‘bopo’ community.
That was incredibly humbling, but most importantly
it helped me form an identity outside of my Eating Disorder.

I’m now studying to become a Clinical Psychologist.
I have found so much peace in helping people through my art,
and all I want is to build my skills so that I can help them professionally too.
I’m lucky that I already have a Masters in Occupational Therapy,
and so I’m able to use what I’ve learnt with that to translate into my art.
I cannot be more grateful for my experiences.

Although I’ve been through hell and back,
I’ve found my purpose in life,
and my passion to see others live a happy and healthy recovery,
is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
My relationship with my body isn’t perfect,
but I don’t think it ever will be.

What I have learnt is that there is more to life than the size of my clothing,
and what matters is the strength I have within me and how I can use that to change the world.