Enough body shaming, enough false hopes, and enough comparisons!

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I’ve come to terms with my body: I will never be skinny.

I was never naturally skinny, the only naturally skinny thing on my body are my boobs. My bones are huge, I’ve had big muscles since I was five years old, and I put on weight eating anything that enters my body, healthy or unhealthy. Over the past five years, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. I’m not skinny anymore, but I’m also not fat. I’m just normal me.

I’ve done it all: exercise and diet, only diet, diet pills, water bloat pills, only exercise, starving, starving and exercise, and eating like a completely normal person.

*Exercise and diet worked the best.
*Only dieting worked aright.
*Diet pills did nothing.
*Water bloat pills/laxatives started to shut my liver down.
*Only exercising lasted three days.
*Starving lead to binging and drove me to mental illness
*Starving and exercising put me in a hospital.
*Eating like a normal person made me gain weight.

I’m tired of fighting my body. It’s a constant battle to fight how it wants to look with the way I want it to look. I could sit here and name hundreds of celebrities that I wish to look like, but I will never look like them. I won’t give up on eating healthy, I won’t give up on exercising, I won’t give up on taking care of my healthy, but I will give up on false hope, false imagine, and false goals.

I’m striving to look like people that I will never be. Telling myself I will look like someone if I eat this or do that is just a lie I keep telling myself to validate my actions. I want to look like the best version of myself, not anyone else. I’m going to stop posting “inspo”, or “fitpiration” of other girls. I could eat the same diet, do the same workouts, but I will never look like them. Everyone’s body is different and we forget that sometimes. We just get upset with ourselves when we don’t reach goals or see the results we hoped for.

I love doing other blogger’s workouts and trying their recipes, but I need to keep telling myself that it’s not going to make me like them. Sure someone else’s healthy smoothie will benefit me, and their workouts will make me stronger, but I still need to be realistic.

I’ve been eating healthy and working out for the past three weeks. I am so proud of how strong I’ve been when it comes to temptation. But I have learned a lot about my body during these past weeks and it’s made me feel a little bit better about the way I see myself. I’m spending a lot of time trying to improve, trying to be the best, and be perfect. What I need to be doing is trying to improve the way I see myself, trying to be the best version of myself and trying to be better than I was yesterday.

Life is going to be miserable if I keep setting unrealistic goals, or not accepting my body, or hating the way I look. When I looked into the mirror today, while trying on swim suits, I made a couple of comments to my friend…”gross look at all that cellulite”, “my hips are so freaking fat”, “I’m so pale”, “my arms are flabby”, “if I could only get rid of this stretch mark”, “look at the back fat on me”, and it continued… When I look in the mirror, or at pictures, I only see a negative image of myself. That negative stuff hides the positive stuff. Would it be horribly conceited to just point out the beautiful things on my body instead of the flaws? Why do I feel so forced to point out the things that disgust me. I should be making comments like “wow, I love my hair today”, “I love my freckles”, or “I look pretty good for losing so much weight.” Why is it so easy to sit here and type it, but as soon as I step in front of the mirror, positivity doesn’t want to come out of my mouth. I could say it to someone else, but never myself. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

I don’t want to live with unhappy thoughts about my body anymore. I think it’s been a struggle for so many years that it’s just second nature to me. I want to break the cycle and stop fat shaming myself. I want to say positive things, and be a more positive person when it comes to appearance.

I am proud of how far I have come over the years and want to continue to be healthier minded. I will never be skinny, I will never be perfect, and I will never look like anyone else. I will be healthy, try to be better than yesterday, and try to look like the best version of myself that I can be.

Never say anything you wouldn’t want to hear your daughter say about herself.

We come in different shapes, different sizes, different colors, different heights, and that’s what makes the world beautiful. Imagine if everything in the world was the same color, if all food tasted the same, or if every tree was the same? What a boring world we’d live in.

It’s time to embrace our own beautiful.

eating-disorder-awareness-ribbon

Comments

  • Paige

    Hi Taralynn, I have been following your blog for the last 3 years and have always loved looking at your recipes, exercises and really just reading everything you post. I know exactly what it’s like to have an eating disorder.. I don’t feel like you can ever fully get rid of anorexia. I battle with it every single day. I want you to know how much you have inspired me though! Even though I am still struggling everyday with my body image which in turn effects my happiness, you have inspired me to blog so that I can also tell my story to those that need to or want to listen. Thank you for that! I also know people probably tell you all of the time how beautiful you truly are inside and out and I know it’s hard to hear those things because I could personally pick out every flaw on myself inside and out, but I have learned to listen to the compliments people give me because I know that they aren’t the ones lying, I am the one lying to myself thinking that those statements are not true and I hope that you are growing stronger like me and are able to do the same thing!

    I know you posted this a while ago, but I just wanted to tell you all of that! I wanted you to know what a positive impact you have made on my life.

    Reply to Paige
  • Sandra

    I would like it 1000 times if I could. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for being so authentic.I feel like this is what so many of us need to her and come to terms with. You are beautiful and even though I don’t know u personally, I think u are a wonderful person.

    Reply to Sandra
  • Kate

    I love your blog and have been following you for about a year. Over the past 3 years I’ve gone from being 130 to 170. I’ve tried almost everything you have; diet pills, detoxing, starving, exercise only. It has been such a struggle. I was so thin in high school and ever since college happened I feel like everything about me has doubled. I love doing the exercise videos you have up on here and reading your food blogs. You’re an inspiration, I just don’t know what I’m doing that is so wrong that I can’t lose weight.

    Reply to Kate
  • Kris

    What is so hard for me is that I have been overweight and obese for most of my life, and I am a young person. I truly do not like the person I am. I love your information and love trying out the recipes that you put on here, but some days I think that maybe I will never be the weight I want. I was bullied about my weight in school, since kindergarten! and I have never seen myself as the person other people would think that I truly am. I have no confidence and can’t take a compliment for anything. My biggest fear though, is that I will lose this weight, be healthy and STILL not like who I am. I am afraid of extra skin, stretch marks, etc. I am afraid that I will always hurt like this. I know that this is negative, but I do appreciate your post. It makes me feel better to hear that you won’t be putting anything online that represents what many women may not be, no matter how hard they work. They should be happy with themselves. I always loved your weight loss story and remember when I would lose 3, even up to 5 pounds a week just by eating sugar free and eating 900-1200 calories a day. I was miserable. I also emotionally eat, so that’s half the battle lol. I am very happy to see this post and applaud your honestly 🙂

    Reply to Kris
  • Natascha

    Hey Taralynn,

    I just wanna thank you for talking about the difficulties of finding a balance between overeating and starving. I had it the other way around. First I had such a problem with my body changing in the teenyears so I started to feel guilty for everything I ate. After nearly starving myself to death I finaly found help and got over it. But in the last years all the stress of my first collegeyears and the loss of a child (spontaneus abortion due to what I did to my body before) ended up in overeating, smoking and drinking. Neighter ways are healthy nor worth calling it a life so after all I’ve been through I’ve now moved to Switzerland to start over with a new boyfriend and a new college to finally get a balanced way of life.

    I know it takes a lot to admit what you have done to yourself and I know it takes a lot to start over. So I wish you all the strenght needed to make peace with yourself.

    Hugs, Natascha

    PS: Hope my grammar and writing isn’t that bad.

    Reply to Natascha
  • Emily B

    Hey Taralynn:

    I have read this blog post probably 5 or 6 times since you’ve posted it. Thanks for writing it and being candid — it has really been helpful and encouraging to me as I have struggled with this for pretty much my whole life. I lost a lot of weight in high school — I was overweight, much like your story, and then I got thin and I was happy for a while but never really satisfied and always comparing myself. I am currently in the best shape I’ve ever been. I eat well, I exercise regularly…but sometimes that’s not enough. It’s so easy to body shame myself and feel bad about myself. My husband so often tells me that he wishes I could see what he sees. I’m working on it..and this post is an encouragement to me every single day. So thanks..again. Love your blog and appreciate your heart.

    -Emily

    Reply to Emily B
  • Adela

    Hi girls, pls don’t stress about what to eat, when to eat, skiny or not.. if you want a healthy (skinny) body, you don’t need to count calories and stress about every single meal. Just keep it simple. The whole point is to eat at least 5 healthy meals a day and with that you will boost your metabolism and burn more calories a day. I never stress out about my meals..just try to eat whatever you grand-grandmother would make. Keep it simple and that’s it. 😉 And start working out – you don’t need hours in the gym to have the body you always wanted. I spend only 15 minutes a day and I’m happy with results. Be positive, eat healthy, love your body and workout..that’s it. Love, A.

    http://www.theperfectchapter.com

    Reply to Adela
  • Haylee

    Taralynn, you are a beautiful person, inside and out! You have truly inspired me in so many ways throughout my health & fitness journey. Your recipes were some of the first “healthy recipes” I ever tried. You are the won who helped me believe in myself! I know exactly the feeling you have. Sometimes it’s so hard to pull the positive out instead of the negative. All it is is a habit we need to break! Over time it will become easier. You’re amazing, keep your head up and a smile on your face. You’re not alone in this journey!! Thanks for being you.

    Reply to Haylee
  • Noelia

    This post is a bit sad to me. I feel like you’re giving up and that can’t be happening.
    Lok, I’m in a situation that’s simiñar to yours and I keep trying, anything is possible in this life, maybe it’s not the moment, but probably some time soon you’ll change that. We’re changing constantly so whynot your body too? I started a blog yesterday and some of the things I want to post about are these. If I can help you let me know. My name is Noelia and I’m at https://achangeortwo.wordpress.com.
    Love!

    Reply to Noelia
  • Kimber

    I think it works on both sides of the spectrum. I’m 27 years old and have a 5’2″, 105 pound body frame. I am always being told I look tired or sick because of my size. I would binge on so much food in hopes to gain a few pounds so people would stop shaming me for something I now know I have no control over.

    Be healthy, love your body, and screw anyone who thinks they have an opinion that matters when it comes to anything that pertains to you and what makes you happy.

    Reply to Kimber
  • Kristi

    You have a very healthy and tone body! I am envious of you! You motivate and inspire girls on a day to day basis. I am so thankful that I’ve been lucky enough to find your blog and follow you all of these years. I hope you know how great you look right now and even before! You have inspired me to get in shape and be HEALTHY.. not SKINNY. Today I am down 20 pounds and I have been doing it the right way… exercise and eating healthier options, not depriving myself and you know what!? It feels great! I don’t feel deprived at all, I just feel better! Thank you for sharing your life.

    Reply to Kristi
  • Courtney

    Hi – I know the purpose of this blog post was not seeking advice, but I want you to thrive in every way possible. I can relate to so much of what you’ve said and had tried all you mentioned in your list above with similar results in the past. Have you ever considered a high-carb vegan (plant-based) diet? There are so many amazing benefits to this lifestyle and I strongly encourage you to do some research 🙂 there are so many helpful youtube videos – I really enjoy “Annie Jaffrey”, Jess from “dateswithlove”, and “freelee the banana girl” for a start, but there are so many other great testimonials. A “raw til 4” plant based lifestyle has been incredible in maintaining an ideal weight for myself without ever restricting calories or over-exercising, plus an abundance of energy and other health benefits. It’s definitely worth a try 🙂 I wish you the best!

    Reply to Courtney
  • Megan

    Thank you SO much for this post, I need to re-read it daily. I’ve been going through an eating disorder that has manifested itself in different forms for the past 10 years and reminders like this are what is going to hopefully pull me through at some point. I’m wondering if you know of any bloggers who write posts like this regularly, I need this exact post/type of post regularly! I’m not into motivational things normally but your post was so well written it really hit home for me. Thank you!

    Reply to Megan
  • catty

    Hi Taralyn. I’ve been following you since the undressed. I really feel inspired by your recipes, the love you have for life and for your dog. ♥ I’m happy you decided to accept your body. If you want some inspiration check out the anti diet project or thefuckitdiet. I think it’s normal that you put on weight when you eat normally. Your body needs to adapt and increase your methabolism. It could take months! You are a sunshine and you deserve nothing but to be happy. Kisses from a Brazilian in Switzerland.

    Reply to catty
  • goodbyeana

    I am so, so, so excited and happy for you Taralynn! 😀

    I had anorexia starting at age 18. I have tried to recover from it twice over the past seven years. The first time I tried I was 21, and I relapsed pretty badly afterwards because I freaked out over my weight gain and the uncomfortable symptoms of recovery. I didn’t have any knowledge of how recovery was supposed to work, or any support to help me with the emotional side of things.

    Recovery from an eating disorder is extremely difficult. But if you have the right support, it is also empowering! 🙂 I’ve been in recovery for the second time for almost a year now. I know there are a few different schools of thought as to how to best approach recovery, but I have found so much help from the Minnie Maud protocol on Your Eatopia, and the wealth of information Gwyneth Owlyn provides there. The Your Eatopia forums are very supportive and welcoming, so I want to extend an invitation for you to join there if it interests you.

    I think that your perception of your hips “so freaking fat” could also be combated by the knowledge that you are almost 25 now. At age 25 most females finally reach their full sexual maturity, including the widening of their hips skeletal structure. It’s pretty cool to think about the way our bodies develop in preparation to safely bring children into the world, but sadly these signs of female fertility are not celebrated by the fashion industry and our North American media.

    Another thing about recovery that is challenging, is that the stomach bloats pretty badly for the first months. There’s not much to do about this, except to eat yogurt. 😛 Also, when in recovery, the body tends to gain what we fondly refer to as “Food Baby” in the forums (weight around the midsection), because the body wants to protect our vital organs after the harm we’ve done them with starvation. I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to accept all these changes to my body, but that’s where DBT and CBT are able to help. I’ve been using mindfulness and self-compassion to learn to treat myself more kindly.

    Anyway I love this: “never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t want your daughter to say about herself.” Such a good rule to put things into perspective.

    You are awesome for putting this out there, Taralynn! You have a platform to be able to make a big difference towards other young women’s body acceptance. 🙂

    Reply to goodbyeana
  • Zayle

    I absolutely love this post! I feel like it came at a much needed time. I’ve gained 5 pounds and I’ve been hating myself for it. It has changed my mood completely. I have spent so much of my life obsessing about my weight, instead of concentrating on the other aspects of my life that are great. I don’t want to spend anymore of my life with such a terrible body image, and don’t want that of my future kids. Thank you for always being so open and honest, and reminding us, that we are all human and we all focus too much on minor things.

    Reply to Zayle
  • Ally

    This hit home Taralynn. I’ve been a fat kid all my life, but lost a bit of weight to be considered “normal” My struggle is daily- with rituals such as no dinner when I feel fat,praying I get thin, working out like mad, not going out to meet friends when I feel fat and ugly, feeling horrible for ordering takeout pizza, and then eating only quinoa and vegetable smoothies to cover this guilt. The constant need to complain and compare sometimes takes over my life. Thank you for reminding me that there is more out there in the world.Your words just made my day.I’ve been following your blog from the day I came across undressedskeleton!
    Love from New Delhi, India 🙂

    Reply to Ally
  • Sarah Shea

    Thank you, Tara!
    I love and appreciate the honesty in this post so much. I first found your blog several years ago while using Google to find “thinspo” photos, found the picture of you in the green dress, and followed that to your Tumblr.

    In response to the a previous comment, you said you sometimes wonder why you bother to blog. I just wanted to let you know that your blog, your honestly, and your positive messages helped me confront real issues in my life and helped me become a happier, healthier person.

    Don’t let the negativity get your too far down. You are an amazing person inside and out! As for your struggles with what you see in the mirror, you look fantastic! I know it’s hard to believe that sometimes.

    Thanks again for sharing your struggles with us!

    Xo

    Reply to Sarah Shea
  • Rachel

    I love this post and relate to it 100%. I have a very similar story to you- was overweight, lost a lot of weight and quickly became obsessed with it. Its so hard coming from two extremes and finding a balance. I didn’t even realize I had an eating disorder but now its something I will never forget. I am still struggling to be happy in my skin even though I wish I was thin again. Its an everyday struggle but I love your message of learning to love yourself as a healthy person now and not wanting to be anyone different. I struggle so much with that but I know that acceptance is the only way I will ever be happy. Its a long and hard route towards recovery because despite what people think the hard work comes after weight restoration- its all internal, finding balance, finding happiness, acceptance and health. I wish you the best of luck and know that you are not alone <3

    Reply to Rachel
  • Anna

    You’re so inspirational!! I don’t know why you think you aren’t skinny! You really are. I hate that you think that you aren’t. I know its no use trying to tell you that you’re beautiful and have a great body but you honestly do. I’m so proud of you for posting this. Good luck girlie! You’ve inspired me to do the same.

    I think its time, as a society, we stopped making confidence in women a bad thing. Go ahead, tell yourself you have pretty hair!

    Anna

    Reply to Anna
  • Julia

    This post is really important & exactly what I needed to hear (or read) today. So thank you.

    Reply to Julia
  • Shannen

    I really needed this! I have struggled with not being skinny for years and with eating disorders. I don’t have people in my life that are supportive (my mom wanted to buy me diet pills because she thinks I’m fat). That’s where you come in. You are so inspiring! I’ve followed your blog for about four years now and I reread your story for encouragement. You are beautiful and don’t let anyone to you anything else. Maybe I haven’t lost the 50 lbs I’d like, but at least I’m healthy. So thank you!

    Reply to Shannen
  • Erika Carbajal

    I have read your blog for years, and while I have never commented I feel so inclined after reading this post! I would give you a standing applause if I could see you. You should be so proud of how far you have come. About 8 years ago I struggled with severe Anorexia, I actually came across your blog looking for a heathy inspiration. I am now recovered (or like they say in recovery because you never recover) and your blog continues to inspire me. Fast forward, and I am now finishing my Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. My dream is educate and empower people to focus on healthy and not feel the pressure to starve to achieve an unrealistic ideal; I want to fight eating disorders and the media that enables them. I cannot lie, I still struggle, and this post resonated so much with me! I am only 5’1 and I WISH I had longer, leaner legs, blah blah and I find myself feeling even worse when I look at gorgeous pictures of models that no matter, I will never be. I am so happy that you shared this struggle because I know you are one of the MANY women who feel this way. I have now decided to focus on what I CAN do and be, and that is, I can dance and run long distances and I can cook and I have so many incredible people I can love and who love me, and from your blog, I know (or feel like I know) you have the same, plus so many more wonderful gifts in your life!! Keep your head up and be proud, you inspire millions of people each day and that alone is something to be so incredible proud of!!!

    Reply to Erika Carbajal
  • Barbara

    I wish I would be this strong but I can’t seem to reach the point where I am loving my body. I HATE my body everyday and I am so scared of my wedding day and how I will look like in my dress.

    Reply to Barbara
  • Megan Sforzo

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS!! It is pretty much the story of my life… Thanks for all the inspiring posts, Taralynn! I love reading your blog everyday:)

    Reply to Megan Sforzo
  • Jessica

    Taralynn – I love this post…thank you so much for sharing it with us. You are not the only woman with self image issues – I feel like most people have something they’d like to change about themselves. I myself, too, have to constantly remind myself of the good. It’s so easy to look into the mirror and see negative things that you’d like to change about yourself, but it’s so much harder to look into the mirror and see those traits that you love.

    I love that you are going to stop comparing yourself to others and embrace who you are. You should be proud of yourself for your healthy eating and exercise and truly taking care of your body. It’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. I think that you are absolutely beautiful on the inside and outside <3

    Reply to Jessica
  • A

    Hi, Taralynn. I was far heavier than you at my highest (obese, actually!) and I started to focus on dieting. I lost a lot of weight healthily (100 pounds), but I also became bulimic. I hated myself so much–I can’t explain it. I’m in recovery now but I still feel awful about myself. I’m so sorry to hear that you feel this way but I’m glad you’re being positive and proactive. I wish you all the best. Stay strong. 🙂

    Reply to A
  • Anja

    Hey Tara,

    thank you very much for sharing this thoughts with us. To me you are absolutly gorgeous. So you beeing insecure about the way you look reminds me very much how people tend to see themself so much negative than they truely are. It is sad but I think it is also important to remind ourselfs that we don´t need to look perfect at all for others to find us atractive.

    You go girl!

    Reply to Anja
  • Shannon

    I’m in sales. I work 60+ hours a week and I’m simply exhausted and disgusted with myself all of the time. I try to control what I can in my life: food. That’s the only thing I can control. How do you create a healthy balance when you are just so miserable? Quitting my job isn’t an option and sales requires a lifetime supply of crest white strips and a small waist. I feel…hopeless. Any suggestions? I’ve asked my employer off to work on “me” and I was told that I would have to be replaced if I can’t live up to the basic requirements of the job. Between my marriage, endless bills, a terrible job, poor self image and extreme depression. I’m at a loss of what to do. How are you finding balance?

    Reply to Shannon
  • Madison Larson

    Taralynn,
    Thank you SO much for this post. I’ve been following your blog for about two years now and you’ve always been an inspiration to me, and not just for weight loss either. Reading your posts reminds me that I need to live a happy life regardless of my weight and size. Body image has always been an issue for me and led to eating problems and disorders for years. I stand just barely over five feet and have larger round muscles. I’ve had to face the fact that I’ll never be a size 0 but what’s important is to be healthy and strong, not the number on the scale. Thanks again for all of the amazing posts and I wish you all the best in everything that you do! Don’t let people’s negative comments get you down. You’ve come so far and have inspired so many people! I can’t wait to read about your next adventure!!

    Reply to Madison Larson
  • austyn

    I really needed this today. Thank you for such a wonderful and inspiring post.

    Reply to austyn
  • Hilary

    Hi Tara,
    In my opinion, this is the best blog post you have ever written. Your struggle is so relatable! I don’t know why you try to hide behind the “perfect life” persona. It’s ok to be imperfect and I am so happy that you are slowly realizing that. I hope to see more blog posts like this from you in the future. 🙂

    Reply to Hilary
  • Shannon

    Thank you so much for putting yourself out there and being so authentic with your blog. I have been following you for the past couple of years and really enjoy your blog. As a bride to be who has been struggling with slipping back into ED behaviors I know all to well of the feelings you speak of. Your post makes me want to get back on track and keep fighting. Thank you.

    Reply to Shannon
  • Lauren

    Hey
    I’ve been following you since the beginning of the girl in the green dress in a seventeen magazine.
    I just wanted to say you were just as beautiful as a bigger girl as you are now.
    I have loved reading all your posts and I try to read your blog every day.
    I’m so proud of you for getting help.
    XO Lauren

    Reply to Lauren
  • Shannon

    Thank you Taralynn for being such an amazing role model! I don’t know the extent of your eating disorder, but after reading this it makes me aspire to respect and care for my body and kick my eating disorder to the curb. I know how hard sharing this must have been, but I thank you for being so honest and inspirational. Have a wonderful day and stay you.

    Reply to Shannon
  • Danielle

    This is awesome, Taralynn.
    I have been following your blog for several years, and you continue to be a steady source of inspiration.
    As someone who has also struggled with weight and body image issues, reading this is a reminder to continue healthy habits for the mere fact of being healthy, not to achieve a certain weight, size, etc.
    I’m so happy with your progress and “I will be healthy, try to be better than yesterday, and try to look like the best version of myself that I can be” is going to be my new mantra.
    Thank you

    Reply to Danielle
  • Dani

    Hi, It’s the first comment I’m typing in your blog.
    This post would help me a lot. Really.
    Thank you.
    You know what. You are quite popular among girls who are interested in losing weight.
    I’m from South Korea, but live in NC now to study as an exchange student !
    (I saw your post in Charlotte! 🙂
    Anyway, I’ll keep in mind “the best version of myself, not anyone else.”
    That’s really .. awesome.

    Reply to Dani
  • Susie

    YES! So well said Taralynn. I’ve been reading your blog for years now and I am so happy that you put up this post. It infuriates me that our society is so accepting of body shaming. EVERYONE deals with body image issues and it’s equally hurtful and offensive to tell someone they need eat a cheeseburger as it is to say they should lose weight.

    Your post is empowering and real because we all need to learn that we shouldn’t be striving to look like some image that society tells us is ‘perfect’.
    Being healthy and happy is perfect, regardless of how your body looks.

    Keep up the amazing posts and inspiration girl, you’re setting a wonderful example!

    Reply to Susie
  • Liz

    Hi Taralynn–Thank you for bravely sharing your story! I so admire your openess and honesty. I did want to ask, though: Do you realize that some of the ads on your site are things like “How to Lose 20lbs of Belly Fat in One Month” and other tips on eliminating body fat? I’ve been a long time follower and I’ve never commented about it, but I felt like after this post it was a good opportunity. Thanks for all you do!

    Reply to Liz
  • Lindsay

    So frustrating when your password is supposedly incorrect and then it deletes your entire comment!!! ARGH!!

    I think all girls need to read this blog post. We live in such a world where we are constantly under the microscope and any flaws, we’re made to believe that we could be better or do better.

    Thank you for being authentic and true.

    Reply to Lindsay
  • Ariel

    Thank you SO much for this post! I really needed to read it especially today! It made me cry!

    Reply to Ariel
  • Alissa

    Hugs to you, sweet Taralynn <3 <3 I have a similar history, and have had to learn a whole new perspective on approaching eating healthy and exercising–that is, do it because it makes you feel great and alive, and do it to take care of yourself as you would someone you love–not because you need to be skinny to have others' approval or to be liked. Self-love has been the key for me–really wanting to take care of and valuing myself. I am so anti-body shaming, and I am NOT cool with others doing it…it is one thing that I will always speak up about!

    So get on out of this crappy weather, and enjoy your trip, chica!

    Reply to Alissa
  • Brittany Roe

    I honestly can’t explain how helpful it was to read this. I’m 23 years old and I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder since I was in the ninth grade. I’ve gone from throwing up after eating minuscule amounts to starving to exercising and starving and right now I’m in that phase again. My health is deteriorating and it’s terrifying, but reading this put some things in perspective for me. And I want to thank you so much for that! You are so beautiful, inside and out!

    Reply to Brittany Roe
  • Kenzie

    thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. timing could not have been more perfect – I’ve been struggling for the past couple days with my own body and my own relationship with food. We share a lot of the same ED struggles, and I love how you lay it all on the table! Seriously, thank you for this. It’s a perfect reminder that not a single one of us is perfect or meant to be anyone but ourselves! We might as well love being the best version of ourselves that we can, and if we’ve messed up a bit, there’s no need to continue messing up and berating ourselves. Best get back up on that horse and trot on, imperfections and all!

    Here’s to beating EDs and supporting each other along the way! Enjoy your vacation. You deserve it.

    Reply to Kenzie
  • Carley @ Optimistic Health

    Amen sister! About four years ago I hit a breaking point and just broke down because subconsciously I was my own worst enemy. It’s taken all those years and daily a reminder that I am so much more than my exterior. I think I can attribute a lot of it to my husband. I will say something about gaining weight or getting fat and he will look at me with this totally confused look and say what are you talking about? For someone who doesn’t own a scale or weigh oneself it’s entirely a mental game and having a second opinion solidifies I’m making lies up in my head about myself.

    Honestly, I’ve come to the terms that I’d rather be HAPPY and HEALTHY than skinny mini. Instead of striving for an image it’s now a drive to live a healthy life so I can be there for my kids and grandkids, etc; I’ve watched all 3 of my grandparents die and it was all from cancer which is largely attributed to lifestyle. That is my driving force everyday.

    Reply to Carley @ Optimistic Health
  • Haley

    I have also been following you for a few years now on tumblr. Your recipes and blog in general has helped me with my own weight loss. I am like you, I hold on to every calorie. I have never been skinny and never will be. I am a victim of body shaming and ended up going to therapy over the depression my body image issues have caused me. I am still trying to lose weight and be healthy, but the main focus is just being happy with myself.
    Love your blog, keep putting out that positive energy! We need it.

    Reply to Haley
  • Stephanie

    Hi Taralynn,

    I just want to let you know that I have been having the same exact thoughts the past several days. I have been extremely hard on myself for the past few years for gaining weight–to the point that I became bulimic. It all started when I felt extreme pressure to lose weight after I gained some when I went through puberty. I lost too much and started to binge and eventually purge. I wish I could go back in time to when I started my first diet. I wish I could tell myself then that it’s okay to be a little bigger, that it’s not worth it to be unnaturally skinny. I wonder what I could have achieved by now had I spent my energy, time, mental power on solving bigger, more important issues than “my body” (as if it were an issue).

    I would love for young girls to spend more time cultivating their minds, their friendships, their passions rather than trying to form the “perfect body,” which doesn’t exist. I hope to spread this message in the future and I’m glad someone with your visibility is spreading this message too.

    Never forget, you are a beautiful spirit!

    Reply to Stephanie
  • Monica

    thank you so much for this. I’ve been following your blog for about 2 years now (wow, i just realized its been that long!) and you’ve really just been such an inspiration and a role model for me. And when i hear that you’re overcoming some of the same problems that I’m facing, it gives me hope that i can break out of this self hating cycle that I’m stuck in. Again, thank you because its posts like this that keep me going <3 🙂

    Reply to Monica
  • Hailey

    Thank you so much for posting this! I am in high school, and I have struggled with this on and off for years now. I found your blog about a year ago, and you helped teach me how to live a healthy life, but I’ve still always thought that it would eventually make me look like a model, which in turn would finally make me happy. Recently (and thanks to this post) I have realized that my body is beautiful when it is strong, not when I can count all of my ribs. I can’t thank you enough, because you truly changed my life!THANK YOU!!! 🙂

    Reply to Hailey
  • Christina

    Hi Taralynn,

    I have been following your blog for seven months now. First, kudos to you for being your authentic self. We honestly need more people like you that just tell it like it is. I absolutely love this piece on body shaming. We are our own worst critic. We need to start an anti-body shaming campaign because it’s needed in our society (I read about what happened in London during its’ Fashion week, Plus-size or Curvy women shaming the models because of their body type). We all need to encourage each other to be confident in our own skin and embrace our curves, stretch marks, dimples, or slender figure. We will honestly be a more accepting society if we as women take this stance. I appreciate you for bringing attention to this and continue to be an ambassador for change.

    Reply to Christina
  • Jessiiii

    I could have wrote this! Exactly the point of my life I am now after struggling for years!

    I give you a lot of credit Tara! I went to go find your blog the other day while at work and came across this nasty ass forum of people who were dissecting your life, even down to the plates your food is on using that to find where you now live. It was honestly horrific to read how cruel people are and it’s no wonder why you’ve struggled. I enjoy your blog a lot but I feel for you man! You were so young when you began this blog. Being the subject of others attention while struggling with an eating disorder must have been horrible for you! You should be extremely proud of where you are in life now!

    Reply to Jessiiii
  • Lauren

    It sounds like you have body dysmorphia issues, because you absolutely look skinny to me! (In a good way!) I can definitely relate to what you’re saying though. I have struggled with my weight my entire life, and I was raised on a very unhealthy diet. When I eat like a normal person, I gain weight, and I have fluctuated between a size 14-18 for years. The only time in my life I was ever thin (which was a size 10 at 5’9), I ate very little and had a lot of other unhealthy habits that probably contributed to losing weight. It’s so hard not to get frustrated when you see other people who eat whatever they like, don’t really workout, and never gain weight. I’m not sure why, but I always notice that women who were heavy during their childhood/adolescence (like us), seem to cursed with a lifelong struggle with our weight. We’re not like women who struggle with baby weight, or gaining weight with age. For us, it’s a never ending uphill battle; it’s almost like once you have a certain amount of fat cells, they’re there to stay forever!

    Sorry for such a long rant! It’s just nice to know there’s other people out there with the same struggle!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Amanda

    What a absolutely refreshing and honest post. Thank you for this, I needed this, as I’m sure every other person reading your blog does too! I guess I needed to see it isn’t just me that looks at pictures of myself, body shaming myself, when I should be building myself up.

    “I will never be skinny, I will never be perfect, and I will never look like anyone else. I will be healthy, try to be better than yesterday, and try to look like the best version of myself that I can be.”

    LOVE THIS. Keep on kicking ass, Tara. I’ll keep working on being better than what I was yesterday, too 🙂

    Reply to Amanda
  • Chloe

    Girl, you’re crazy. You look amazing! Not just saying that either, you really must see something different than what’s actually there. Spray tans do miracles for making you feel super attractive if you’re ever feeling fuddy.

    Reply to Chloe
  • Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out

    This is beautiful! It is really hard to be self-loving in such a critical world, but it is so important for each and every one of us to focus on being OUR best, and healthiest, not someone else’s.

    Reply to Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out
  • ashhhroy

    You speak da truth! Lol. Girl, I think you’re gorgeous, yes….but more than that, I think you are a creative genius and I wish I had the talents that YOU do.
    One thing that also helps me is thinking about my body’s capabilities instead of its mere appearance. Like, “Wow, I’m able to do 30 pushups now–that’s strong, that’s me coming a long way from where I used to be!” And that’s quite gratifying. Yay being able-bodied.
    Last, honestly, people don’t remember the way you look as much as the way you make them feel. I think if people prioritized actions as much as looks, imagine how our world would be!

    Oh, and Target’s lighting is AWFUL in their dressing rooms. That’s a fact.

    Reply to ashhhroy
  • Lauren

    I am so happy that you shared this article… I really needed to see this today. I am guilty of the same negative self talk and expectations I have for my body. You are not alone! I think there are so many of us out there who do this every day and need to remind ourselves that we are so much more than our body type!

    Reply to Lauren
  • Cristina @ As Dreams Are Made

    Thank you so much for this post. I really needed to hear this. I have struggled with my weight for the majority of my life. I was able to lose 40lbs, but over the past 2 years I’ve put 10lbs back on. This doesn’t seem like very much in the grand scheme of things, but I’m very petite, so it really makes a difference. I’ve struggled with losing those 10 again and have gotten discouraged more times than I can count. This post reminded me that 1) Nobody is perfect 2) Forgive myself and my body. It’s an amazing machine and I often take it for granted when others would kill to have what I have. Thank you for reminding me of that 🙂

    Reply to Cristina @ As Dreams Are Made
  • Emily

    Taralynn,

    Thank you so much. I have struggled with mentally and verbally beating myself up my entire life. People see me as a nice person, but I always forget to be nice to myself. Not even half of the negative things I tell myself I would tell to another person in 100 years! I ran my first marathon in October and am training for another and I am constantly comparing myself to other runners because I do not have “the perfect runner’s body”. I am actually so far from that, but I am finally and slowly learning to except that, which is a constant battle. My mom was always putting herself down and I feel like I Iearned that from her. I promise myself that I will try and try and TRY to never talk about myself like that in front of my future children. Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts, experiences, and insecurities. You’re a great role model!

    Emily

    Reply to Emily
  • Kimberly @ Life Alluring

    Wow, such a beautiful post. Your honesty is SO refreshing. Everyone struggles with body image, me included. “Never say anything you wouldn’t want to hear your daughter say about herself.”– I love this. I have 2 young girls (1 & 3) and just like you I have the tendency to stand in front of the mirror and pick apart what I don’t like about myself, or complain to my husband about how “fat” I feel today, how horrible my hair looks etc… These are not habits I want them to pick up on. I want them to see me standing in front of the mirror with confidence, seeing the good– not dwelling on the bad, because those are the same habits they are going to form. Kids get enough pressure about body image from the outside world, I don’t want to give it to them at home as well. Thank you for giving me something to really think about this morning! I am there with you, from here on out no more negative talk about my body!! xo

    Reply to Kimberly @ Life Alluring
  • Ashley @ AllAshleyMarie

    What a beautiful post! You have come such a long way and are definitely such a great inspiration to anyone who doesn’t feel confident about themselves!

    For me, it’s been a little different. I’ve always been naturally skinny no matter what I ate. But, I decided to start eating healthier and improving my strength and I feel so much happier and have so much more energy when I do this! I also have to ignore all of the comments from people (even my own family and friends) that I “don’t have to worry about what I eat” or “you are so skinny, why are you eating that salad? why do you feel like you need to workout?”

    I need to do what makes me feel good and not what anyone else thinks I should do!

    Reply to Ashley @ AllAshleyMarie
  • Sara

    Thank you so much for sharing. I think we all compare ourselves to others and hope that one day we’ll look like them. You’re very right though that we never will and we need to stop shaming yourself. The line in your blog that really stood out to me is “Never say anything you wouldn’t want to hear your daughter say about herself.” I always point out the bad on myself or make “jokes” about it. As someone who is hoping to become a mother in the next year or two that just stood out to me. I don’t want my child ever saying the things I say and if they hear me say it about myself, they probably will.

    Keep up the good work. You have more strength than you realize and I hope you continue to lead a healthy life, physically and also mentally. Thank you for blogging and being so honest.

    Reply to Sara
  • Brittany

    Taralynn, this post is absolutely incredible – so very honest and real. I know that I probably speak for others when I say that it truly spoke to me on such a deep level. I know it took a great deal of courage for you to write, and for that I thank you. Keep your chin up, buttercup, because you are gorgeous – inside and out ♥

    Reply to Brittany
  • Jessie

    Hear me out: From what I can see from you blog, you are skinny. You look like a model! But I do understand if you don’t feel that way, if you feel like you are almost forcing your body to be skinny. Occasionally I reach my “goal” weight and am really happy with how I look, but MISERABLE with how I have to live to get that way. I feel like I have to “force” my body to skinny by never indulging and keeping track of my eating habits like a hawk.

    Lately I’ve been stuck in a rut where I’m really hard on myself and it is back firing. This post was a wake-up call to refocus my perspective, not only on eating, but everything else in my life. Time to stop comparing and just be the best me that I can be. Thank you.

    Reply to Jessie
  • Kate

    Well said 🙂 Why is it so hard to love our bodies? So many of us struggle with self love and acceptance. It sounds like you are heading in the right direction though. I have noticed that you rarely post photos of yourself anymore. Does this have anything to do with your negative self image? I (and I’m sure other readers) miss seeing you and your outfits and such. Take care though. And know that you are beautiful just the way you are!

    Reply to Kate
  • Shanon

    reading this seriously felt like reading my own thoughts. thank you much for posting this. and remember, no matter your size you are always beautiful! inside & out! God made us the way we were meant to be, and we shouldn’t get down on ourselves for it. <3

    Reply to Shanon
  • Courtney

    This post is so beautiful and honest. I could hug you right now. Keep up the fight sweet girl 🙂

    Reply to Courtney
  • Kristin C

    Aww, Taralynn, I’m sorry you struggle so much with that. Honestly, from the pictures I see, you are skinny (healthy skinny). But regardless of that, you are absolutely gorgeous. You and I are the same age and YOU are one of those “celebrities” that I wish I looked like. You are beautiful outwardly. But also, you are beautiful because of your Creator.
    I’m glad you are trying to see yourself more positively, because there is so much good to see!

    Reply to Kristin C
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Kristin! Your words mean so much to me. Thank you for being such an awesome reader and always engaging my posts! I always get excited seeing your notifications! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Tara, i think you are beautiful and amazing and smart and such an inspiration is your journey to health for so many girls. I think it’s remarkable, the effort you put into being healthy and striving to meet your goals. Don’t ever hate yourself for how far you’ve come! Do you think you’ll ever enter a bikini competitions or a marathon?

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Linda! That means a lot! You most likely will never see me in a bikini contest lol I couldn’t put myself up for the things that they do to get ready for a competition. Also, with my history, it’s not safe to do anything like that. While training for a half marathon, I formed haglunds deformity, Achilles tendonitis, and runners knee. I’m struggling with all of those now, but working hard on getting better because completing a half would be a dream of mine. I just need to take better care of my body! 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Angela

    Thank you so much for posting this, I feel like a lot of people needed to hear that! Just so you know, I have been reading your blog for a while and you are always very inspiring! Also, trust me you are very beauutiful, and have a great heart! Keep up the good work!

    Reply to Angela
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Angela!

      Sometimes I have to remind myself of how far I’ve come from the ups and downs, and to stop shaming myself. I hear other girls do it too and it’s just vicious cycle.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rebecca

    You brought tears to my eyes. Lately I have been really struggling with being happy with who I am, because there are so many beautiful people out there (yourself included) whom I look up to and wish I could be like. You’ve helped us see how human you are and how I need to begin working to be the best ME and not a fake version of someone else! Thank you for your honesty, vulnerability and for helping so many of us without even realizing it. God is using you in so many ways!!

    Reply to Rebecca
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Rebecca.

      Some days I wonder why I bother to blog, but it’s because of readers like you! Keep being the best version of yourself, love! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ashtray Girl

    Taralynn, I’ve been reading your blog for ages and finally decided to comment: thank you for this post. I’ve never had eating disorders but I am struggling with my image since I’ve lost ton of weight after being pregnant. You just named my everyday thoughts while looking in the mirror. It’s kind of helping knowing that we all are like this.
    And you look gorgeous, much much better than you used to while you were sick. Definately no need to fat shaming yourself, girl:)

    Sorry for my english, it’s not my first language. Love from Poland!

    Reply to Ashtray Girl
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I know what you’re talking about. I was at Target the other day, by the dressing rooms, and I heard a lady talking to her younger daughter about how she couldn’t stand the way she looked after having a baby. It makes me sad to hear women talk like this. Sure, you’ve gained some weight, but you’ve also had a beautiful child! Those stretch marks, that cellulite, and extra weight are all battle scars. I’m sure it doesn’t help seeing celebrities lose baby weight in one month, but I can’t imagine that weight loss being realistic. Keep your head up, do things on your own terms, and remember how beautiful you are!

      (your english was fantastic)

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Ashtray Girl

        Thank you so much for really kind answer:) you’re right, the pressure for having a perfect body after giving birth is so hard that sometimes too hard, but to be honest I would rather have thousand more stretch marks than not having my son.

        Reply to Ashtray Girl
  • Tier

    Well said! This is something that I have struggled with too. And it took a long time for me to accept myself at a healthy weight. I realized being skinny and miserable was not only unhealthy but not the way I wanted to live my life.

    Major props to you!

    Here’s to being healthy AND happy.

    Reply to Tier
  • Tanja Hurtz

    Thank you, Taralynn!
    That were exactly the things someone should read on their weigt loss journey. You are awesome and reading your blog helps me to stay commited. I love your recipes and your Pictures of Mr. Crumpels (they are so cute and make me miss my dog while I’m working)
    I wish you the best
    Love and greetings from Germany
    Tanja

    Reply to Tanja Hurtz
  • amie

    This is fantastic. I’ve been inspired by your strength, drive, and love for life since I found you on Tumblr. Also, you made me put the Carolinas on my list to visit 🙂

    I hate that I’m placed in the ‘skinny’ category and it became synonymous with healthy. Its annoying when people laugh saying i have no need for the gym (since when did muscle become a crime? lol). Instead of ‘skinny’ we should all aspire to be happy, healthy, and strong (in every way)

    Every girl has that stupid voice trying to destroy her and I’m glad you finally told it to shut up and prove that you are fierce

    xo love ya Tara

    Reply to amie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Amie. I get really excited and moved when people tell me they’ve been following me since my early days. The relationships I have made with my readers keep me going! So thank you!

      I see really thin girls in the gym all the time (I used to be one) I think anyone in the gym deserves respect! Who cares what people think of you, as long as you know what you stand for. Listen to yourself because when it comes to your life, your opinion is the only one that matters!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Natalie

    Well said lovely.
    Wanted to also remind you & thank you- unsure if you remember snap chatting this image to me after I asked you to tweet about ED Support by wearing a pink ribbon. This was before you first spoke out your anorexia struggles.

    Hope this image shows up-

    [IMG]http://i62.tinypic.com/2uykowl.jpg[/IMG]

    Reply to Natalie
  • Sarah

    I’m so proud of you! I’ve followed your journey for a while and I look up to you for your strength. To be able to put your dreams in action but mostly your strength to love yourself. That is such a virtue and super admirable, I hope you are well. So much love, Sarah x

    Reply to Sarah
  • Alina

    You are perfect the way you are!

    I keep on having issues on trying to “make” myself look what the media tells me is “perfect”. You are such an inspiration to me to embrace what “I” am. Thanks!

    Reply to Alina
  • Kelsey

    I’ve been following your blog for a few years, and I have ALWAYS envied your body. You have the body I have always wanted, but will never have. Women need to stop comparing themselves to each other, including me. Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can possess!

    Reply to Kelsey

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