This is Cassidy, and this is her story: “I've had an unhealthy relationship with food for as long as I can remember, but I didn't see it as a real problem until I was in college. I loaded my schedule up with extra workout classes, and I ran 5-7 miles A DAY, sometimes more if I had the energy. I found myself surrounded by people who talked negatively about their bodies, and I joined in because I thought it was normal. I started drinking and partying and learned that I could go out, stuff my face at the end of the night, and throw up because I was "too drunk,” allowing me to eat without actually absorbing any calories. Leaving college was the best thing for me. I was so tired of being miserable, tired of bashing myself, and tired of hating my body. I broke away from toxic relationships, I went to therapy, I stopped starting sentences with things like "I wish I looked..","I wish I had...","I wish I was..." and I started doing things that truly made me happy. There are still so many days I wake up and am disappointed with what I see in the mirror, but I've learned to try to ignore that voice in my head and go on with my day. I've learned to redirect negative body comments with friends or acquaintances to positive ones. I don't think I will ever truly be free of my ED, but every day I'm getting better at managing it and loving the skin I live in.”

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