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A collection of your stories. From one heart to another. To share yours, click here.

 
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Briton collier

My freshman and sophomore years in college were brutal. Almost as soon as I moved into the dorms I developed an eating disorder and over the next two years it claimed more and more of my life. I looked at the beautiful girls around me and felt like such a failure.

People contribute eating disorders to a control issue – you feel out of control so you start throwing up your food or starving yourself or working out for hours every day because it makes you feel in control – and I think that was part of it for me. But even more so, I think I was punishing myself.

I was so mad at myself for not being like the girls around me. For not being as skinny as them or as funny or as carefree. It was like I was trying to get skinny not so I could squeeze into a smaller pair of jeans, but so I could squeeze into a whole different life. I didn’t like who I was...

 
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brooklyn powell

I have always struggled with wanting to be smaller & prettier… beautiful. My senior year in high school, I battled with an eating disorder that was damaging in every way. It took so much away from me. Looking back, this struggle brought me to my greatest strengths, but only because I let my struggle became my story, that I shared with the world in hopes of helping even just one girl. At one point, my eating disorder was my really real side & it was a secret that I was ok with taking to the grave with me. But we grow & change, & our deepest secrets die if we don't keep them locked up inside behind the masks, filters, & edits. I have shared this countless times & I am not ashamed by it. But if I am getting past that & down into the dirty stuff in my life right now… although it doesn’t look the same, I still struggle with body image, beauty, & control...

 
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laura rush
co founder of be bona fide

When I was pregnant with my daughter Haven, I was overjoyed and ecstatic to bring this new life into the world, even with the m̶o̶r̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ all day sickness and body changes. After we found out the gender I began thinking about how I was going to announce it to everyone, I wanted it to be creative and different mainly to see how many "likes" and "comments" I would get on Instagram. The other things on the top of my list were outfits, a beautiful new crib, all the decor for her room and the latest and greatest baby gadgets. I had a perfect image in my head of all the things I wanted for my baby girl and her nursery. There was one big thing that I wasn't bringing into account, we were still in dental school, living off my little graphic design income and student loans, so there wasn't a lot of wiggle room for the $600 stroller and a $1000 crib I was eyeing...

 
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ALAINA GUTIERREZ

Weight // The force with which a body is attracted toward the earth by gravitation

Why does that word define so much of our lives? Why have I wasted so much energy on that one word? Why have I based my self worth on something so insignificant? How much has gravity held me down? Unfortunately, my answer would have to be, “a lot.”

I’ve spent the majority of my life hating the way that I look. I don’t remember exactly when the insecurities first crept in, but I know with certainty they’ve never quite gone away. My entire life, I’ve always been too something. My skin was too pale, my feet were too big, my face was too round, I was always too fat. Now fat, there’s a word I’ve often used to describe myself.

 

KAT L. 

I never had a huge issue with body image. Maybe I thought I could stand to lose “about 5 pounds” but I’m sure we’ve all said that at least once. I believed very strongly that regardless of our circumstances God is always here for us. Sometimes the world fails but God struggles with us.

I went into college with this incredible faith and some wonderful God-loving friends. If God is for me who could stand against me? I immediately jumped into a sorority and ended up reporting hazing my first semester of college. That’s fun. The stress was suddenly so unreal; I was going to class 5 days a week, studying for tests, and attending meetings with the school to give my testimony over and over. All while continuing to be a part of this sisterhood that already seemed to not be fitting quite right...