Focus on acceptance and self love, and know that you too can achieve your dreams.

Natalie Laughlin's Blog

As crazy as this may sound, I am thankful for having had the pain of an eating disorder in my life. It forced me to examine myself. Where did I fit in to the rest of the world? What did I want? What did I truly need?

Beginning to feel good about myself regardless of my weight did not happen overnight. During my first year of college, I joined Overeaters Anonymous. I went to a meeting a day for two years. There, I discovered my emotional connection to food -- that I would eat whenever I felt fearful. Because I thought I had to be perfect all the time, I had been pushing down my feelings with food. OA also helped me to focus on my spirituality, my inner self. I began to realize that my focus shouldn't be on my body, but on finding out who I am on the inside.

OA gave me grounding. The steps, meetings and people I met led me to a place where I was understood. I had no idea that there were other people who felt as I did. It was a relief.

I continued the exploration of my true self by reading self-help and spiritual books, taking self-improvement seminars. I was relentless about the pursuit of my own happiness. Generally, I focused on my spiritual and emotional self rather than the physical self I had obsessed over for so many years.

I also learned how to eat normally, using food as fuel for my body and exercise for physical strength. I felt an incredible sense of well being simply by experiencing the movement of my body.

Through therapy I also found out that the pain I experienced as a child manifested itself physically with weight. When I began to examine where the pain stemmed from, I slowly healed, releasing the obsession and fear of food.

Today I am fully responsible for my life and know that with my orchestration and conscious awareness of God's will, I can achieve all the dreams I see in my mind.

Ironically, I am now a successful plus-size model. My weight, which had paralyzed me through my life, has now given me immense rewards. I am now admired because of my full figure.

Being a full figured model in the fashion industry is still a new phenomenon. Even though 62 million American women are size 12 or above, the fashion industry and the media would have you believe that every woman is a size 6, with perfect skin and a perfect body. Even models don't look that way in real life. The art-department computer takes away cellulite and wrinkles and subtly reshapes their bodies. How can we aspire to a physical perfection that does not even exist?

Did you know that models 20 years ago weighed 8% less than the average woman? Today they weigh 23% less. As a model, I never see myself as a freak, the big girl among the thin; I feel that my body's curves hold their own appeal.

It's not always easy to feel confident and secure with your physical self, especially as a woman in a society that puts such a premium on a virtually unattainable ideal. But if at this moment, right now, you can start by accepting that you are an individual, a person like no other, you can begin to feel love and acceptance for yourself. Those feelings will spring you forward into your self-where your self confidence and self esteem are waiting for you.


There are currently no comments, be the first to post one.

Post Comment

Only registered users may post comments.

Copyright 2011 Natalie Laughlin  | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement