A letter to my little girl- from your mommy, an eating disorder survivor

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Baby  girl, I wish more than anything that I could protect you from any pressures you may feel to be a certain size or look a certain way. I wish I could be there to cover your ears when you hear other women talk about how dissatisfied they are with their bodies, how they wish they wore a bigger bra size and how they wished their thighs were smaller. I wish I could cover your eyes when you see models in the mall or on TV who are an unobtainable version of thin. I wish I could walk you through the halls of school and whisper in your ear to ignore the boys talking about what a girl’s “perfect body” looks like. I wish I could protect you from the girls who bully and gossip and I pray that you don’t ever stoop down to their level.

As your mother I want you to stay innocent and shelter you from what our society interprets as looking perfect. I don’t want you to feel like to you have to look a certain way to please someone. I don’t want you to feel that your weight defines you. I don’t want you to compare yourself to others and wish you looked more like them. I don’t want you to look in the mirror and find things you wish you could change.

I know you are growing up, and one day you will start to notice these things. I pray that you can rise above what you feel society pressuring you to do and refuse to change the way you look. Your heavenly Father made you to be unique, someone completely different than anyone else in this world. He designed every little detail, right down to the color of your eyes, the way your eyebrows scrunch up when you don’t like something, and your infectious smile. If someone doesn’t love you for who you are, they aren’t worth it. Don’t let it get you down and don’t try to fix things to please them. It’s not worth the energy and you will never be able to please everybody.

It’s your inner beauty that matters and that will define you. When you strive to look perfect it can become to be an obsession. You may try harder and harder to change yourself but will never be satisfied. I don’t want your relationships with people you love the most to fail because you are too focused on making that number on the scale go lower and lower. I don’t want you to feel your self-worth is in the type or size of clothes you wear. There is so much more to life than fixating on these things. I know it’s hard to take advice from your mother and I understand that you have to figure some of these things out on your own. But I don’t want you to fight the battle I fought. It’s grueling, it’s relentless, and it strips you of everything- relationships, energy, love, the simple joys of life. Miss Carli Joanna, you are perfect in every way. You are beautiful. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting the signs of an eating disorder, early intervention is crucial to prevent it from turning into a full-blown eating disorder. This can not only save a life, but can prevent years of struggle with disordered eating. Eating disorders are serious and raising awareness is important to recognize the signs, triggers, causes, and treatment. Visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ for more info.

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