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Personal story about my experience with body dysmorphia

I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. All I could focus on was everything social media told me I
should hate about myself; the stretch marks, the stomach rolls, the hip dips. My body had
changed a lot since my diagnosis of a hormone condition, and I struggled to accept that. I
wished I could look like the girls I saw online. ‘If I looked like them, I’d be happy’ I thought. I was
desperate to change my body and punished myself for looking the way I did. One of the most
challenging aspects of my struggle with body dysmorphia was the feeling of loneliness that
came with it. I thought it was something I should feel shame for and that nobody would
understand how I felt. It took time and support but eventually I grew more and more accepting of
my body. In the words of Emma Thompson, your body is “your vessel” and “there’s no point in
judging it”. I recognise that there are much more interesting parts about me than the way I look.
Now when I look in the mirror, I am grateful for all the things my body does for me; it allows me
to swim, run, dance. Food isn’t something that we should fear or use to punish our bodies. It is
something we should enjoy. To anyone struggling with body image, I would encourage you to
speak to someone about how you feel, challenge the food rules you have, recognise that your
body is the least interesting part about you and give yourself time to heal.