There's a lot of influences everywhere that tell us how our body's should look and what is healthy and unhealthy. When I was 11 I started feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. Family and friends always would make fun of me for being a bit chubby which led to me thinking I was fat and having very negative thoughts about myself. When i was a bit older this all formed into an eating disorder. I became very distant from my friends and family, obsessively counting calories, exorcising, and planning out meals/recipes. This went on for months and my family became very concerned. I started going to councelling and was diagnosed with Anorexia and body dysmorphia. The counselling didn't help and my weight dropped down to 60kg at 13 years old(not that that matters) but what I'm trying to say is my eating disorder had me knocking on deaths door. I was extremely lucky that i have so many caring people that forcefully put me in hospital as an in-patient where i stayed for 2 months and then continued as an out-patient after i was released from hospital. Slowly my weight came back. Although I did get better from this, this wasn't my first episode. I suffered with an ed for around 3 years afterwards having episodes and thoughts now and then. All of the lying about food and lots of things in relations to eating led me to have very bad relationships with my family and friends and it took a very long time for people to learn how to trust me again. An eating disorder is like a little voice in your head that tells you you need to be smaller or not eating makes you stronger or all sorts of terrible thoughts. I think that it's important to realize that you are not the eating disorder. Although I haven't had an episode with my ed for over a year, i am aware that an eating disorder is not something that just goes away. if you've had an ed you need to be mindful that if you don't eat as much one day, you may start to have those thoughts again. some things that helped me recover were going vegan, forming a healthy relationship with myself, realizing that calories are not the enemy(they are vital, don't count them!), and being ok with the fact that i may not meet everyones standards. does anyone have any other tips for people suffering with eating disorders/stories to share? what are some misconceptions that you think people have about eating disorders? I know that this is a long post, but, I think that it's a very important topic and i hope that it makes some people realize that starving yourself or any crazy diet is never the right option. if you are unhappy with your body feel free to make a change, but make a healthy change! start going on more walks/runs, go swimming with some friends, play a sport, but do all of these things while eating what makes you feel good and the right amount. deciding to dabble in eating disorders can lead you down a deadly path! most importantly, you are beautiful in you're own way and don't let anyone tell you different!