This anorexia survivor’s photos show that “skinny” isn’t always a symptom of disordered eating

Just like people, eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. To emphasize this, fitness blogger and body positivity advocate, Carissa Seligman, shared photos depicting her battle with anorexia to show that skinniness isn’t always a symptom of an eating disorder.

"The girl with the eating disorder isn't always the one who looks 'scary skinny,'" Seligman wrote in an Instagram post showing her before and after. "In fact, she may not even be the thinnest in the room. But what you see on the outside doesn't always translate to what is going on inside."

The photo on the left shows Seligman in 2005, which is when she had started eating again after starving herself for a four-month period. She wrote that she was surviving off caffeine and crackers, and once she did start eating again, she said she couldn’t stop.

"I felt awful," Seligman continued. "None of the things that spurred my starvation period had been solved, discovered, or discussed and I began to use food to fill a hole. So not only was I unhappy without really knowing it, BUT I was gaining weight which at the time was my worst nightmare. And I was doing anything I could to lose it again."

Seligman admitted that up until 2016 she was trying to get back to the weight she was during her starvation period. Anorexia had followed her for 11 years. Only recently has she adjusted her lifestyle to improve her mood and coping techniques, and ultimately deal with her eating disorder.

She found joy in exercising and eating healthy, and has been completely candid with her followers regarding her past in hopes that she can inspire others to help themselves.

"Self love is WORK. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can't," Seligman concluded. "There's no quick fix or simple solution. The inside has to be good before the outside will be anything you can love."

From Seligman’s post, not only can we learn to not assume someone’s relationship with food based on their appearance, but we can also learn that there is a way out of that unhealthy eating cycle.

Reach out for help and start finding things that make you happy. The light at the end of the tunnel will only get brighter from there. For resources, you can visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or call their helpline: (800) 931-2237.