The Montfort Group

Self Love And Eating Disorders

I recently came across a post that read, “It’s crazy how I adore women of all body sizes and shapes, but I can’t accept my own.” It was a moment where I sat there and pondered for a moment how eating disorders begin. Seconds ago, I was sifting through political post after political post, nearly clicking off the application, when I saw this. Why does this resonate so much?

The older I grow and the more experience I have attained as a mental health professional, the more I realize what a common phenomenon it is for people to have disdain for their bodies. “I hate my hips.” “I have no waist.” “I have fat fingers.” “My thighs..” We live in a world where it’s normal to criticize ourselves in this way. Where eating disorders are so prevalent that we have 9-year-olds in in-patient treatment facilities. It’s an absolute travesty. 

Eating Disorders

I’m sure you’re wondering how a 9-year-old ends up in treatment due to intentional starvation. Severe trauma? Sometimes. In this case, no. As we began exploring the onset of her eating disorder, she stated that “the day I started restricting was the day I went shopping with my mom. She was trying on swimsuits and said, ‘I look so fat.’ My patient explained that if her mom thinks that she’s (mom) fat, she (the patient) must also be fat.” 

We condone the idea that it’s okay and “normal” to talk about ourselves in this way. It’s just not. Have you ever had the flu? A stomach bug? Maybe food poisoning? Have you ever sat there pleating to just feel better because it’s THAT bad? And come the time you begin to feel better, you are so thankful to feel normal again? Me too.

Self Love

So here’s where I ask that you start. Grab a piece of paper and label it “Daily Body Gratitude.” I want you to begin by writing down one gratitude for your body each day. “I’m thankful for my arms because they allow me to hug the people that I love.” “I’m thankful for my lungs because they allow me to breathe.” “I’m thankful for my eyes because they allow me to see different parts of the world.” 

I understand that this might feel silly and likely going to be really hard. But I want to encourage you and challenge you to try it. When we start seeing our body for all of the things it does to simply survive, the thoughts begin to change

Picture of Courtney Strull, MS, LPC

Courtney Strull, MS, LPC

I attended The University of Texas in Austin where I majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. During my undergraduate coursework, I did research under Dr. Rebecca Bigler, where I studied gender and racial attitudes among children. Upon competition of my undergraduate degree, I moved to Dallas to attend Southern Methodist University’s Master of Science in Counseling program and completed all the training to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

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