After taking a year and a half off work from modeling to recover, I feel so freaking happy to say that I am getting my booty back, my boobs back. I feel things jiggle when I walk. I have arm muscle now. I can eat to my hearts content and have a big, curvy body that is sexy.
Do I regret coming out about having an eating disorder? NO!
Do I regret sharing photoshoots that show myself at a low weight? NO!
Why? Because I am proud to help others who are also suffering from anorexia and bulimia and I am not afraid to show how recovery looks like, the good, the bad and the scary.
I am so happy that my body is growing to whatever size God made it to be. Let it grow baby!!
How am I preparing for NYC? Eating to my hearts content and letting go of all fears that used to consume me!
We are all already perfectly made!
Let the journey continue!
When I entered into recovery in 2010, I was in for the shock of my life. I was blindly going where I had never been before and I was accepting all of the bells and whistles that were to come.
Fast forward four years later and here we have January 2014. Where am I now in recovery? I am very grateful to say that God has seen me through some (for lack of better words) hell-hole days, weeks, and years, and He has Blessed me with pot holes of light that have kept me going. I have had months of steady recovery and then BAM!, I have fallen into relapse so fast that I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive.
*I have seen my body go up and down and up and down and I have felt myself have the emotional capacity many times of a 5 year old.
*I have had to re-learn to eat and have had to learn pretty much the library on nutrition and how to apply it to my daily eating habits.
*I have had some MAJOR physical side effects as a result of hurting my body for 20 years, and have had to accept and take care of myself in a whole new light, and not complain.
*I have had to relearn how to percieve myself and how to relate to the world and to others.
*I threw out the scale. I do not know how much I weigh, nor do I care! I am a firm believer that my worth and value are not rooted in my weight, size, or physical appearance. I believe it is the inner person that is important and this is what I have been working on.
*I have been working with the National Eating Disorders Association for the past year and I am so grateful to God that on March 8, 2014, we will be holding our Los Angeles Walk in Santa Monica, California. NEDA formed the Artist Initiative Team and they asked me to captain it for LA! The Initiative is for people working in the entertainment and artisitc industries who want to stand up for divirsity and fight against eating disorders. I am very honored and proud to be apart of this developing program with NEDA!
If I could tell my 8 year old self to never lean over the toilet again, I would scream as loud as I could, “STOP!”
Please do not ever ever hurt yourself! There is SO much more to life than ourselves, and our weight, and what we look like. We can think beyond ourselves and help other people who are hurting, for starters. Addicitons are so self-centered, and once they start, they are almost impossible to stop.
Now I just eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. If I feel like I ate too much, oh well! It is just a feeling, and like everything with time, that feeling will go away. I don’t need to do some crazy hurtful thing to myself. It is just nuts. My body deserves so much love and delicious, healthy food is love. I work out, but I do not over exercise. I just focus on living a healthy lifestyle. I focus on health, and not on a size or a shape. I want to be happy! Don’t you?
Recovering from anorexia and bulimia IS a long and tricky road. There are so many days when I feel on top of the world and others when I feel like I want to throw in the towel.
Feelings and emotions are normal, however, and should be welcomed openly because they are signs that we are not numbing or stuffing them down with addictive behaviors.
Physically, we see our bodies grow and change into the way that they are supposed to be as we re-feed ourselves, and this can provoke many uncomfortable thoughts and behaviors.
Its ok! If you need to cry, scream, yell, write, call someone, whatever, please do so. Any form of healthy release is great and encouraged. Don’t expect others who have not gone through an eating disorder to understand how you feel because they just cannot. Instead stick to your doctors, therapists, 12 step support group friends, etc. Anything else is really just co-dependency.
One of the things that has really helped me during re-feeding and watching my body change as I gain weight during my anorexic recovery is constantly asking God (my Higher Power) to help me to see myself the way that He sees me. To understand that I am beautiful and wonderful in His sight. I have to break away from that child-like box that anorexia put me into and accept that I am growing into the beautiful 28 year old woman that I AM! It is a renewal of mind, body and spirit into this amazing creature that God has made. How dare I destroy that? I am a warrior, a Woman of the Most High God, and He has a big future for my life.
So I just really encourage you today that wherever you are in your life and road of recovery that you are NOT alone. Your feelings, thoughts, physical body and spirit are unique yes, but they are being shared with countless others who are also recovering. Do NOT GIVE UP!! Become the beautiful masterpiece you were designed to be so that you can achieve all that you have in your heart!! YOU DESERVE IT!!
“Hello, gorgeous people, my name is Nikki. I am a model, host, commercial actress, writer, believer and dreamer. I am an advocate for NEDA, and sponsor those in eating disorder recovery because I am a survivor of a seventeen year battle with bulimia and anorexia. At the height of my modeling career, I was known for my beautiful curves; however in Europe as my battle with anorexia overcame me, I became known for my bones. Recovery for me has been filled with years of ups and downs but I decided from day one to never give up. I was fighting for my life and striving to be a role model for everyone suffering silently in the modeling industry and beyond. I am forever grateful to be free of addiction and pain, however I know that it is only because of my God, and by helping others every day with my story. Now, if I get back into the modeling business, I am calling the shots! I don’t care how much I weigh, and I refuse to surround myself with a team who would ever try to make me lose weight. I believe that our value comes from who we are on the inside and this is the message I want to leave behind for generations to come!”
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