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The “health” I was constantly congratulated for:⁣
-weight loss ⁣
-thinness ⁣
-self control / dieting ⁣
-exercising for calories burnt ⁣
-a lower number on the scale ⁣
-a lower number on my pants⁣
-*looking* healthy⁣

The health I rarely was congratulated for:⁣
-weight gain ⁣
-acknowledging disordered eating ⁣
-quitting dieting⁣
-exercising for body and mental health⁣
-ditching the scale ⁣
-going up in size ⁣
-*being* healthy ⁣

External validation is like a drug. When you’re told how great you’re doing, how “healthy” you are, it feels like a high. ⁣

Internal validation is like a daily vitamin. When you tell yourself it’s ok, that your health is not defined by what you thought it was, and it feels like comfort. ⁣

I cried when I saw this second photo today. How fragile her heart was, how desperately she wanted to be accepted and congratulated. She wanted the drug. She needed the high. How proud she was when she could go against her own hunger, was that not the ultimate self control? ⁣

I smiled when I saw the first photo today. How strong her heart has become, how desperately she believed in working towards self acceptance. She wants the vitamin. She no longer needs the high. So now she’s proud she can nourish her body, and give herself the ultimate self-love. ⁣

Photo 1: @jelau_photography

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