Brave Body 13; Danielle's Story

Danielle Allen
IG Handle: @_dannallen

I grew up as the chubby funny kid
who always had something to say,
and always enjoyed the moment.


In high school it became apparent that
I didn't fit the mold
that society today tells us we have to fit..

In the 6 months that followed this realization,
I had lost my grandmother,
I had lost 40 pounds,
I lost my periods,
and then I started losing my hair.

In 6 months I had gone from full of light and life,
to unrecognizable by everybody that loved me
especially myself.

I was counting out 9 Cheerios a day
and that was my meal.
I was a sad, sickly, sobbing skeleton.

My entire story would take five years to tell,
because I am five years in the making.
In looking back, now 3 years in recovery,
it is so poignantly clear that
my eating disorder took so much from me,
and I let it.

I gave it my happiness,
the energy I had left,
my focus,
my fertility,
and my hair.

I am so lucky to have come this far,
and I know that there are so many people
who were not able to begin their recovery journey
and I remind myself of that every day.
I am here, I am healthy, I am blessed,
and I am stronger because of it.
In truth, it helped form me into the woman I am today,
but there is truly no need for any more people to go through
what I, and so many others like me, have gone through.

If there is one thing I can share to others like me,
and one thing that I know will help,
it's this:

When you are struggling,
go and do something that your body CAN do.

As an EMT and nursing student,
I see people whose bodies have given up on them every day,
and I refuse to take the capable body that I have for granted again. 

Now, because I know what sickness and sadness is,
I embrace the beautiful, healthy, able body that I have.
When you are bruised and broken,
and you find yourself alone and obsessing
that you ate 10 Cheerios instead of 9,
please know that you are built for better things,
and you need to be nourished for the journey.