National Eating Disorders Association
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Men

When I was deeply suffering from my eating disorder, I hated my body. I abused it. Worst of all, I separated myself from it. My mind became one entity and my body became another. To my mind, my body seldom did anything right. 

Since entering recovery, I have had to learn how to care for my body, how to nourish it, and how to appreciate it. But most importantly, I have had to accept that I am my body and my body is me. I will never be able to separate from my body, nor should I want to. When I hurt my body, I am hurting myself.

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As a person who struggled with an eating disorder and a co-occurring substance abuse problem, I spent nearly a decade lying. 

I lied about how much I was eating, I lied about how often I was eating, and I lied about what I was doing after I was eating.

I lied about how much I was drinking, I lied about how often I was drinking, and I lied about my ability to stop once I started drinking. 

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My childhood and adolescence were marked with milestones of self-destruction.

Content note: Descriptions of self-harm, eating disordered behaviors, substance abuse, and suicide. 

When I was 13 years old, I swallowed a handful of pills; when I was 16, I did the same thing again, but this time an even larger dose, chased down with mouthwash. The first time I was sober; the second time I was drunk. Both of those incidents lead to me being hospitalized, and the latter lead to my spending month of inpatient rehab for substance abuse. 

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Many of us from minority communities, whether it be our race/ethnicity, sexual orientation/gender identity, foreign/immigration status, or any other such factor, share an unfortunately common experience moving through the world: being the only one of your group in a room.

This “room” may be a classroom, a waiting room, a workplace, a party or event, or even a terminal at an airport. It doesn’t really matter what the context is, the experience remains the same.  

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Each year, it is reported that one person in the UK completes suicide every 120 minutes. Most of those people are men. And suicide and eating disorders often intersect; for example, those suffering with anorexia are 31 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. 

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Growing up, I always wanted to say that something would “unthaw” when my mom would pull it from our freezer for dinner. It was one of these words that I always used in the wrong context; I was always saying “unthaw.” Thinking about my life now, it was some sort of foreshadowing.  

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Kelvin Davis is a body-positive men’s fashion blogger. He is a model for Chubbies, an admin for Eff Your Beauty Standards, a dancer, a modern-day gentleman, a style icon, and a celebrator of body positivity on Instagram. Kelvin is now an author as well, with Notoriously Dapper: How to Be a Modern Gentleman with Manners, Style, and Body Confidence coming out on October 1st. 

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Teen Mom OG is a favorite guilty pleasure and it's been one of TV's highest-rated reality shows for years now. The cast invites us into their lives every week as we invite them into our homes, celebrating their highs and supporting their lows. The cast uses their hit show to bring awareness to everything from teen pregnancy to single parenting, adoption, and mental health struggles. Sharing these intimate and personal struggles is very admirable and I applaud them for their bravery. 

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I used to become so depressed that I would hate myself for every little thing I perceived as a flaw. I'd spend hours daily making lists of the things I needed to work on and the things that just weren't right about me. This constant battle in my head left me never feeling good enough. I'd toss and turn in bed some nights wondering what I could do to just see myself as perfect. 

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I remember being really young when I first became conscious of my unhealthy relationship with body image. It was the classic "being in elementary school" kind of thing; I was bullied for being a little chubby, having to take my shirt off in locker rooms, and being profoundly uncomfortable with day-to-day pressures. I quickly developed this false narrative that my self-worth was directly related to how skinny I was or how I looked. I couldn't imagine anyone else felt this way and didn't even think to be open about it as a teenager. 

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