Now when I look in the mirror and start to have a negative thought, I don’t stop and say, ‘You’re beautiful, you’re gorgeous, I love you, you’re perfect the way you are.’ Because I don’t believe that. So, what I say to myself is, ‘You’re healthy, and I accept you. And that’s all I need to do is accept you. - Demi Lovato
When I read the quote above by Demi Lovato, I didn’t know what to think at first. In my personal experience in recovery, I was taught to repeat to myself over and over again that I was perfect the way I was and that I was beautiful. So why would a public figure who is an advocate for recovery make such a statement?
After reading the quote a few more times, I came to a realization: Demi Lovato was being authentic. She was truly describing the reality for someone who is in recovery from an eating disorder. When you are in your eating disorder, you seek perfection; perfection of your body and perfection of control. So why should one be expected to seek perfection of loving your body in recovery? Could seeking perfection of loving oneself do more damage? If someone in recovery feels that they can’t get to that “aha” moment will they feel like a failure?
The reality is recovery has its ups and downs. Most people will have days when they look in the mirror and don’t like what they see. It doesn’t mean that you are weak, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that you are relapsing. It means that you are human. It’s okay to accept that you won’t always love your body; the most important thing as Demi says, is that you accept your body and you are healthy in your mind and body.
So this is me as a recovery advocate being authentic and saying, “I don’t always love my body.” And you know what? That’s okay. What should be more important is that I learned to love and accept the person I am. All of my past struggles have made me into the strong person I am today, and I am at peace with that.