One Model's Story of How She Stopped Abusing Her Body

Plus-size model Angela Jones and her writer friend Elizabeth Nord recently created a web community called Plus-Size Models Unite, where they focus on positive body image and feeling good about being women. They’ve scored interviews with some of the buzziest plus models around—and it’s so interesting reading what these models have to say. We get so used to seeing them, but we never get to hear them! Anyhow, Angela hasn’t always been so healthy and body confident; she struggled with bulimia. We talk a lot about bingeing here at HealthyGirl, but we don’t talk about purging very often. Part of that is because that’s not something I suffered with—but I DO know that disordered eating is on a spectrum, and that many of us can bounce around that spectrum at different times in our lives, sometimes bingeing, sometimes restricting, sometimes purging. Angela’s mission and message are positive ones, so I’m happy she’s sharing with us today. Without further ado, here’s Angela…

My recovery from bulimia has been a journey. One day I made up my mind that I would stop abusing my body and I did just that – I stopped, but the thoughts, feelings, and urges that had accompanied the abuse did not stop right away. Every time I ate, I was tempted. I had to talk myself out of “it.” When I was out to dinner or out of my normal routine or when I could not control what food was available to eat, I was haunted. I could not enjoy my meals. I was always thinking about what exercises I would have to do tomorrow or that night right after I ate. I would think about what I put into my body and how badly I wanted it out.

My thoughts raced. “I could just go into the bathroom and no one would know” or “Right when I get home I’m going to jump on the treadmill and run” or “Tomorrow I am not eating or I will only eat…” It was all about control for me. Every day, I would fight the battle. I fought the urge. Even if I felt sick from eating chocolate cake or whatever I was feeling guilty about eating that day, I would deal with the emotions and get through it.

I have matured a lot in the last ten years and my priorities have changed. Having a family and raising children has been a huge revelation for me. My body is amazing. It has allowed me to give birth to our two beautiful babies. I want to be around for my family, to see my grandkids, and to enjoy my life with my kids and my wonderful husband. My husband always says, “Life is a beautiful thing.” Yes it is!

I hope my story can help aid women on their personal road to recovery. The mind is a very powerful thing. Have faith in yourself; know you are important, and that you do matter. Don’t give up! You are definitely not alone and you are not weird. I know I felt alone during my time of suffering from bulimia.

Every day is a new day. Enjoy each day, feel your emotions, listen to your body, and take care of yourself. Take ten minutes out of every day to write in a journal, meditate, or relax. When I see the smiles on my children’s faces, hear “I love you mama,” or feel the kiss of my husband I know that I would much rather enjoy those moments then obsess about fitting into a certain size. Those are the real things that matter.

I don’t struggle with bulimia anymore. I do have bad days when I feel frumpy, bloated, or I wish a shirt wasn’t so tight. The way I have dealt with my recovery is to be good to my body, to eat healthy, stay active, laugh, and enjoy my life. To be healthy I need to need to love, take care of, and know my own needs and myself. I also feel that is important to be able to find a “team” of women you can relate to. It is important to know that you are not alone. Connect with other positive women. That is like a breath of fresh air.

Think about what you love about yourself, what makes you special? Don’t dwell about what you don’t like, but what you DO like? Walk with confidence, smile, and surround yourself with people who are on your team.

I think we should make this the theme for the day! What do you really, truly like about yourself, your body, your personality, your life? xo…Sunny

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7 Responses to One Model's Story of How She Stopped Abusing Her Body

  1. Astrid says:

    I love this. I have struggled with bulimia, and have been in a strong recovery. I have been experiencing some slips in the past month, but I am getting through it, because I know how awful it makes my body feel, I know it olves nothing, and I know that my body feels great when I take care of it. I love how passionate I am about certain things. I love my collar bone area. It has always been my favorite body part. There is even a big freckcle in between the collar bones, where a necklace charm would fall. I love it. Although I hate uncertainty, I am growing to love how open my life is right now. Anything is possible!

  2. Sunny says:

    Let’s see…what do I like? I like my laugh! It’s sort of big and starts from way down inside. And I like what it says about ME, that I love to laugh, am deeply affected by life and love to engage and react. (I also like my hands and fingernails—random, I know, but rings look really good on me!)

  3. Angie says:

    I like how I can listen to people. I’m very analytical (hence, I’m constantly picking my self to pieces…), but when I use my analytical skills to be a good listener, I can find amazing conversations and friendships blossom. I have realized that what I enjoy most about life / what makes me truly happy, is talking with others and finding a shared experience.

    For the physical side, I’ve always liked my calves. It’s the one part of my body that I can look at and see that I am healthy. They don’t change; they are steady and sturdy!

  4. Heather says:

    I like that I can create things. I create products, and in 5 years, have managed to accumulate nearly 500 stores across North America that sell my work. I’ve even had one of my products ripped off by Costco! (and yes, this made me very, very angry and eat a lot of sugar…but whatever, I can think and make and they have to rely on thievery). But I like that I can do this. I like that my brain works in such a way that I can get an idea in my head, sketch it out on paper and then manipulate steel to create something…and then I can convince people all over Canada and the US to give me their hard-earned money in exchange for the best within me! That freakin’ rules!!! And for the record, not one person has ever told me that they would only buy from me if I could lose 10 pounds.

    (and as an aside, I have decided that with everything that I have gained from this group, I am confident enough in my ability to stave off binges…last week, I quit smoking…which since University has been my diet aid of choice!!)

  5. […] on to found an online community for plus-size models. Angela has written reflective guest post at Healthy Girl talking about her past struggles with an eating disorder and her hopes for the future. [Link] Every […]

  6. Mindy says:

    I like my sensitivity and compassion. I like the fact that I care about the world and want to make it a better place.

    I like my silly sense of humor…even if other people don’t always get it.

    I like my expressive brown eyes, smooth clear skin, and straight white teeth.

    I like my tiny hands.

    I like my unique sense of style.

    I like the cute little beauty spot on the right side of my mouth.

    I like being smart, talented and creative.

    I like the fact that I decided to stay in school despite all the problems I’ve had…my experiences have motivated me to be a better person.

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.