I am far from perfect. I don’t always eat enough, or the “right” things. I’m not always kind to myself. I don’t always practice what I preach. But I try. I really do try. And that’s why I’m posting this. So that I can look at the picture of me from tonight and see that even though I’m exhausted and worn-down (and spacing out, lol) from a long week and lack of sleep, I still look a thousand times better than the picture on the left. I was absolutely miserable when I took that photo. No energy, no appetite, no will to do anything except collapse on the couch after class. I had to cut time with friends short because I was just too tired. Nothing was as pretty or felt as good or tasted good. I’m typing this out to remind myself of how awful it was. Because sometimes I forget. And I hate that I forget. I hate that some days, I care more about the fact that my jeans are getting snug than I do about how much more alive I feel now. It’s stupid. It’s proof that even for someone like me who has never had an eating disorder, weight fluctuation can mess with your head big time. I don’t want to blame everything on “society” or the media, but it would be total bullshit for me to say that the feelings I have about my body now aren’t partly influenced by what’s been ingrained in me as I grew up. Did I feel pretty when I was smaller? Sometimes. But mostly I felt sick. And tired. And dizzy. And miserable. Now? I feel like those commercials for allergy medicine where they peel the film off the world and suddenly everything is brighter and clearer. I feel more aware of everything. My creativity has returned where before it was totally dead. I can concentrate on reading a book or listening to people speak. I actually talk to people and have made a few new friends. I feel up to going out and doing things at the end of the day instead of just collapsing in a heap. I feel happy. Truly happy. And that is worth a thousand—no, a million times more than unhealthy, anxiety-induced weight loss.