I was standing at a beach party with my friend, in my brand new mint green and white striped bikini–the one with the pads in the boobs that made it look like I actually had them.
I was feeling good. Well, as good as an insecure, body-conscious teenager could feel.
And all of a sudden, from my peripheral vision, I noticed a guy standing just a few paces away. You know when you can feel someone staring at you? Well that’s what it felt like.
I was on high alert. Because that’s what I trained myself to do. My aim was to appear desirable to every eligible man, because somehow that made me feel more worthy.
So I stood straight, sucked in and puffed out my padded chest.
And then I heard the words…
“Wow, look at how flat she is!.”
They weren’t to me. But they were certainly about me.
My face flushed.
It was the final nail in the coffin.
I had a feeling I wasn’t enough.But it wasn’t until that moment that I realized that you knew it too.
I was crushed. All my efforts to cover up my inadequacy had failed.
You saw the truth.
I was a fraud.
The pain and humiliation I felt in that moment was bottomless. And it was in that moment that I decided that my life would be dedicated to proving I was enough.
I would never again suffer the humiliation of being recognized for my not-enoughness.
I would never give you an opportunity to see my weakness. I would be perfect. I’d get my body to look perfect.
I would get you to want me. But I would never again let you see that deeply into me. That was now off limits.
(No I didn’t have that self-awareness at the ripe old age of 14)…
But looking back, I can see that that day on the beach was a turning point of sorts that took me down a destructive path of bingeing, body obsessing, diets, drugs, perfectionism, people pleasing, pressure, controlling, cattiness, comparison, judgment, separation, struggle, over-achieving, over-exercising, over-working and over-extending….
I was on a mission to prove to you that I was enough –good enough, worthy enough, pretty enough, smart enough, successful enough, lovable enough…
And even though my life was obsessively committed to proving my enoughness, the part that felt not enough would bubble up, like acid reflux, daily.
And no amount of pills or prescriptions would make it go away.
I didn’t know that there was another way of being—of living. Of actually feeling enough.
Until I did.
And when I got into recovery for my food problem nearly a decade ago, it didn’t even occur to me that this path would eventually lead me to healing the places that felt not enough and to actually having the experience of being enough.
In fact if someone told me back then that I would one day feel enough—that I would be comfortable in my own skin, no matter what I weighed and that I WOULDN’T be concerned with your opinion of me, I would have said, shut up. That’s impossible. You don’t get it.
And yet, that’s what happened to me.
I got to a place where regardless of my dress size, shoe size or nose size–regardless of the number on the scale or in my bank account, I felt enough.
And it wasn’t like I was suffering from the equally damaging “too muchness” either. I just felt enough.
In fact, I felt more than enough.
And the best part was that it didn’t matter what you thought of me. I didn’t need you to validate me anymore for me to be ok.
Forget the fact that I got free from food addiction. THIS was freedom.
To be free of you. To feel ok just the way I am. THESE were the true gifts of getting free from food addiction.
And that’s why I’m so damn committed to helping other women get this kind of freedom.
Because you deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin.
You deserve to like yourself exactly as you are.
You deserve to be free from what others think.
And ironically, it’s not about you.
In fact, you prioritizing your freedom over everything and everyone else is an act of SERVICE not an act of selfishness.
So if you’re still in the prison of not-enoughness and you want out, then send me a personal message. Let’s talk. Cuz that’s bullshit and you don’t have to do that anymore.
And If you’ve experienced your enoughness as a result of the work we’ve done together, leave a comment and share about it. Because your experience will give another woman hope.
It’s not boasting. It’s service.
So yesterday, on July 4th, as I stood in the sun, wearing my favorite purple bikini, and feeling the sun dance on my 38 1/2yr old skin, I savored an extra special moment of gratitude and awe – both for the grasping little girl from so long ago.
And for the fleshed out woman who stands here today, filled up from the inside out and totally free.
In dedication of all things raw, real and recovered,
p.s. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. It is an absolute honor to walk this path beside you.