Body image is one of many underlying foundations for numerous mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia. It’s also one of “those things” which can’t simply be changed with the snap of your fingers. It’s estimated that 30 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life. With a population of 327 million, that means there is just under a 1 in 10 chance (9.17% if we are being specific) that an individual will be affected at some point in their life. Looking into the statistics further, 48% of men surveyed are dissatisfied with their own personal appearance. I’d take that stat with a grain of salt though because I think a lot of men are embarrassed to even admit they have an issue with their appearance, or if they already suffer from an eating disorder in general.

All Shapes and Sizes

Fat, thin, little or large: derogatory remarks should NEVER be used as a weapon against another human being. The following pictures are not to show off that I am in control of my demons. These are pictures to hopefully empower everyone to not let anything get in the way of happiness. For me, my message is that although I run, I don’t need to have a six-pack to get out there and do it.

My Personal Body Image Experience

For me, being bullied most of my life for being a bigger guy led me down a road I had never been before. I lost 105 pounds of weight and yet I still had the feeling like I was fat. That’s when the obsession with weight loss got dangerous. Daily weigh-ins, pinch checking my belly, and constantly looking in the mirror took me down the route of an eating disorder where I would punish myself by not eating. A year later I’m back on a varied diet, I’ve put some weight on and I’m happy! I run, I laugh, and most importantly I am in control. It’s easier said than done, but never let anyone get you down through bullying. What would be your words of encouragement to help anyone to get out and run – or even better help inspire those suffering and empower them too?

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