#LYPfamily meet: Destinee S.

I have been battling self-image issues ever since I was 14 years old. Freshman year of high-school is when it really started. I remember walking up the stairs to my class and a boy yelled up at me that I had no ass. I was a healthy weight for my height. 5’9 at 145 pounds, eventually that became too much for me so I started to gradually lose weight. It was never noticeable. I remember thinking that I looked good, and then getting on Stickam with my little sister. She would constantly get told how beautiful she was while i was being told I was a “fatty”. My favorite cereal is Cap’n Crunch, I would come home from school and try to get a bowl and my step father wouldn't let me because I needed too watch my calories. I was 14. My sister started dating a boy who made fun of me every time i would eat. So i stopped eating and started exercising. I was always being told to watch what I eat or that I should watch my calories. My step father gave me diet pills at age 16. I was addicted to them as well as exercise. I would only eat watermelon, celery, carrots, and cucumber with apple cider vinegar as a dipping sauce.
Everyone was more so "proud" of me for exercising and losing weight, not realizing that I was skipping meals and exercising for hours on end. It became an extreme addiction. I walked to and from school and then would hop on the treadmill for an hour and a half and then would walk three miles to a friends house to use their stairs as a workout. I would run in place in my bedroom. I hated everything I was. I wouldn't look in mirrors. I wouldn't accept compliments. I googled "easy ways to make yourself throw up" one night and was literally in tears when there were no answers. I would do anything to lose weight. I stopped enjoying the taste of food and started hating the way it felt when i swallowed it. I avoided swimming because my body didn't look how it was supposed to. Junior year in high school I was 125 pounds and I was always told that I was perfect. So I lost more weight. By senior year I was 110 pounds. I forgot what food tasted like and would only eat when people told me I needed to just to prove that I was okay. I came up with a trick to eating candy bars, I could enjoy it without consuming all of the calories. I was sick. I wanted to be skinny and I would do anything to get there. I took diet pills three times a day for three years.

I'm now 22, still learning to love every inch of my self. Everyday I get stronger. Everyday I accept who I am a little bit more. Eating disorders are not a joke. And I'm here to tell anyone that is battling what I am, that I know you can do it. Love every one of your pieces and don't listen to the negativity people say. You're perfect exactly how you are. One day, you’ll wake up and realize how beautiful you truly are and harsh words really won’t hurt you.
- Destinee S. 

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