feeling pretty has nothing to do with my weight

today i'm linking up with amanda (name twin!) over at running with spoons for some thinking out loud. if you haven't checked out her blog, please do. she is an absolute gem and has inspired me in my recovery more than any other blogger!

saturday was my big sister's wedding. it was one of the happiest days of my life.

it was also a day i felt truly beautiful.

for me, and for a lot of girls in recovery from eating disorders, days like that are few and far between. we don't often feel pretty while we're gaining weight or fighting the ED voice in our head. unfortunately we often feel ugly or gross or ashamed or anxious.

those feelings are also what tend to keep us trapped. they keep us stuck at certain points in our recovery. they hold us back from fully committing to the process. 

we believe we will only be pretty if we are thin.

that's a core belief of an eating disorder. so it's natural that we still secretly cling to that during recovery. we may not admit it to our therapists or our family or our treatment team but the thought still lingers in our mind. it's what makes us choose the apple over the chocolate bar because "it's what we feel like". it's what makes us go for a run even when we're tired because "we love running!" .

i understand all of those feelings and all of those thoughts. but this weekend changed something for me.

at the wedding, i ate A LOT. and drank A LOT. we're talking glasses of wine, mimosas, roast beef, potatoes, buttered rolls, snacks, cheese and crackers, macaroni and cheese, and of course wedding cake. and i did zero exercise (besides all the dancing!).

basically i did everything my eating disorder was screaming at me not to. 

and guess what...

i've never felt more beautiful. 

because this weekend i learned feeling pretty truly doesn't come from what i see in the mirror or what the number on the scale says. 

feeling pretty comes from full happy hearts, from nights of dancing and laughter with your family and friends, from delicious wedding cake, from vineyard sunsets, from tears of joy. that's what makes you feel beautiful. that's what makes life so incredible. that's what makes recovery worth it.