Carissa Seligman posted before and after images of her experience with disordered eating, addressing the common misconceptions many people have about the variety of abnormal eating behaviours.
"The girl with the eating disorder isn't always the one who looks 'scary skinny',” the 29-year-old wrote. “In fact, she may not even be the thinnest in the room. But what you see on the outside doesn't always translate to what is going on inside.”
“The minute I saw the photo on the left I said "oh, that was me after my eating disorder." Well that's not true. That's not even kind of true. Yes, this picture was taken AFTER I started eating again... probably the year after... but I was very much IN my eating disorder.”
Carissa says that for around four months she starved herself and when she started eating again she couldn’t stop.
“I felt awful. None of the things that spurred my starvation period had been solved, discovered, or discussed and I began to use food to fill a hole. So not only was I unhappy without really knowing it, BUT I was gaining weight which at the time was my worst nightmare. And I was doing anything I could to lose it again.”
She admits there was no quick fix for her disordered eating.
“The photo on the left was taken in 2005. Up until 2016, I was trying to get back to the weight I was during my 4 month starvation period. 11 YEARS! 11 years of having a terrible relationship with food, my body, and my mind.”
Fortunately that’s now no longer the case, after she learnt to embrace her self worth, got serious about her career and let go of unhealthy habits.
“I stopped drinking and using alcohol as a band aid. I was finally free to find things that brought me joy. I got back to moving, getting stronger, & feeling better. Food became an ally in my life. And now, here I am feeling and looking better than I ever have. AND I'M SO VERY GRATEFUL.”
And her final message for all women is an important one.
“Self love is WORK. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can't. There's no quick fix or simple solution. The inside has to be good before the outside will be anything you can love.”