The words – loaded like bullets into the sentence that was being directed at me – stung deeply. I was only ten years old, and although I was likely carrying a small amount of puppy fat, being told I was fat was like the end of the world. I was fat, and the implication was that I was too large for ballet, and too large to ever even attempt to be the main ballerina in an upcoming recital.

That was three decades ago, and the words that were directed at me on that balmy Sunday morning were part of the reason why I spent my teens and twenties struggling with anorexia. They were part of the reason why food freaked me out to the point where I no longer ate; when my relationship with food became more or less normal, however, I would binge eat and then hate myself for weeks afterwards. Between my anorexia, my binge eating, my depression, and my PCOS diagnosis, my poor body was suspended like a leaf in the wind while my health took a nosedive. It took me a long time to get better; it was a hard battle, and I won. Eventually.

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