Before I developed the habit of binging and purging, I weighed about 130 pounds. I was depressed, apathetic towards life, and hated my body. Every day I would stand in front of the mirror and say over and over to myself, “Me odio,” which means “I hate myself” in Spanish. I said it in Spanish because if someone heard me, they wouldn’t know what was going on in my head. I whispered it to myself to and from school on the bus, before I went to sleep, and when I was alone in my room. Nobody was more hateful of me than myself.
When I started exercising to lose the extra weight I had put on my being depressed, that all changed. I came back from running one day (although I only ran for 5 minutes at a time in those days) and I looked at my puffy red face in the mirror and tried to say “I hate myself.” But I found I couldn’t. So instead I said “I love myself.”
From then on, I just didn’t have the desire to say “I hate myself.” I would try to force the words from my lips but they felt alien to me. And I found myself looking in the mirror and smiling, and liking what I saw.
Realizing that you do not hate yourself is the best thing that can happen to you. It’s the first step to accepting who you are and loving your personality, no matter what you look like. When I realized this, I became more confident and happier. My self esteem still was and probably is incredibly low, but it had been raised a few notches just by the change in thinking.
Look in the mirror after you’ve taken a shower and tell your reflection that you love yourself. It can make a lot of difference.