National Eating Disorders Association
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Attention: This is Your Holiday Priority

Ashley Michelle Williams

The holidays are a time when we can all begin to embrace loved ones and reflect on the year. Yet the person you should be embracing the most is yourself.

This is especially true for those who are battling with an eating disorder.

In addition to guilt and anxiety about eating, the holiday season can cause people who struggling with eating disorders to feel guilty about not loving themselves enough within the last year; to set unattainable goals for the next year; or to feel guilty about not taking care of their bodies enough during the previous year.

I think that those who are battling eating disorders should try to let go of the guilt they feel about the previous year. Instead, this holiday season should be about forgiving yourself and accepting yourself.

We each need to realize that every year offers a person an opportunity to change and to become better than the person they were in the previous year. This is possible through deep self-reflection and a devotion to the betterment of one’s self. But it has to be sought.

It’s easy to beat up on yourself for the previous mistakes that you have made. It’s easy to not love yourself, because of the guilt and regret you have about not taking care of your body.

But then again, it’s also easy to not do any of these things.

We often make resolutions on the first day of the New Year. We can also make a choice to be better than we were in the previous year. We can make the commitment to love ourselves more, to learn from our previous mistakes, and to see everything as an opportunity to grow.

When we are able to see that everything that we go through is an opportunity to grow and to become better than what we were, then that is when we change, become better, and live wholeheartedly.

I hope during this holiday season that you begin to reflect on the good that is still left in your life and in the good that you can bring to the world. Your life matters and you matter. You just have to realize that for yourself and love yourself for being who you are… Nothing more and nothing less.

Ashley is the founder and CEO of RIZZARR, a social publishing platform that aims to collect the voices of young people around the world to empower them and to positively transform their lives. She has a background in journalism. Ashley has worked for NBC News, WBAL Radio and USA TODAY. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, earning a B.A. in broadcast and digital journalism as well as minors in international relations and Spanish.

This content was originally published on Proud2bme.org in 2012.