Dear Freshman Juliya,
I want to start off my saying how much you are loved and valued by solely who you are as a person, apart from your external shell. You encapsulate such a kind heart that is far more powerful than any cosmetic feature you hold.
It will take a while to appreciate your body for what it can do and not for what it looks like it can do. However, you will get there with time, self-compassion, and self-work.
It was not long ago when I sat in your seat- in the depths of an eating disorder relapse. I remember convincing myself day-in and day-out that I was just going through a “phase” despite the alarming increase of unhealthy eating and exercise behaviors.
However, the consequences of these behaviors will catch up to you one day. So much so that you will find yourself at 8 AM doctor appointments rather than 8 AM lectures.
I know it may sound scary to walk through recovery, but do not fear letting in people who you trust into your life. There is immeasurable strength through the act of opening yourself up to vulnerability. It will honestly be hard to strip yourself from the security blanket of ED that you’ve held onto for so long.
However, you will realize that the security blanket was only holding you back as you rediscover your identity and faith. Without this “shield,” you may feel naked, but the reward (full recovery) in return yields far greater gifts that allow you to live life in its fullest color and health.
The recovery journey can be a messy and challenging venture. However, I believe that you can and will do it. Where you are right now, is not who you are as a person.
Do not let your eating disorder or circumstances dictate your will or spirit to overcome this tribulation. Stick with it, and celebrate every single small victory. I encourage you to let in the people who unconditionally love you and to put forth the work to recover.
Every step matters- regardless of its size. Keep fighting the good fight. Lastly, remember that your body is an instrument, not an ornament. Bloom where you are planted.
P.S. No Rain, no flowers. There is beauty from ashes in all situations if you allow yourself into that frame of mind.
Learn strategies for body kindness, self-love, and eating disorder support during Love Your Body Week 2021. During the week of February 21-26, twenty-three events will take place virtually, focusing on educating, celebrating and creating a sustainable and supportive campus environment for all body types and experiences. Love Your Body Week offers a wide range of programs including fitness classes, educational programs, art therapy, mindfulness, and more.
All OSU students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate.
Juliya Hsiang, 4th year
Major – Heath Promotion Nutrition Exercise Science (HPNES)