My eating disorder started in seventh grade. I had low self esteem, terrible body image problems, and held myself to standards that were unreasonable. As a dancer, I spent a lot of time looking in ceiling to floor mirrors and comparing my body to other people’s. I began obsessing over this idea that I was overweight and skipped lunch one day. And the next day. And the next. I also began exercising obsessively and self harming. I became an excellent liar, and started telling my parents about all the foods I ate for lunch when the reality was I hadn’t eaten since my breakfast granola bar. My parents didn’t know anything about my eating habits until a teacher at school emailed them and expressed his concerns. I talked to my school counselor, but it wasn’t until the beginning of eighth grade that I actually sought treatment from an eating disorder specialist. Talking to a therapist lifted lots of weight off my shoulders and helped me confront my own feelings. I learned that I also suffered from mild depression, which was fueled by my hate of myself. Some tough parts of recovery were/are telling my parents about self harming and skipping lunch, but the toughest part is having to eat. You have to accept the fact that you are going to eat, you are going to gain weight, and you are going to hate it every step of the way. You are going to make mistakes, you are going to relapse, but you are going to recover. I am slowly learning that I am worth recovery. I am worth it… and so are you.