Letter to a Younger Self: A Project HEAL Series

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Dear that little blond hair, blue eyed girl,

I just wanted you to know that you are gifted. You were gifted when you were born and you are gifted today. The thing is buddy, you will always be gifted. You were born with a high chance of death, but you pushed through everything and came out strong. You push through and you continue to push through kiddo. Buddy you are so full of love and everyone that meets you knows that. Your smile, your heart, your humor, and your personality are a blessing.

You are you and that is what makes you so beautiful. I am writing you this letter because I want you to hold on to that little blond hair blue eyed girl. You don’t need to change to receive love, you just need to be you. Own your soul. Own your body. Own your baby making hips. And own that smile and don’t ever doubt how incredible these things are. Your authentic beauty will inspire others to be authentic and that is the best thing you can do for the world.

I want you to listen to me very carefully. Because I am older you. I have been through a lot of things that I never wish upon anyone, but there is one thing I really want you to hear.

Your body will change buddy, but your soul will not. Your soul is filled with so much good and that will forever be yours. But do not hold on to your body because I want you to know that it will always be changing. One day you will bring children into the world and your body will change yet again. Hold on to your soul buddy. Take good care of it and give your soul the body it need to change the world. Fuck your mother. Fuck the lies she told you about yourself. She was always so wrong about you.

Listen to me because I know the truth. Never give up. Never stop being you and always know that your soul, your heart, and your beauty are a blessing to this world. You were not born bad. Don’t think that for a minute. Sometimes children are born to parents who don’t bring out the best in them, but you have to hold on to the fact that it is not you… it is them. You did nothing wrong to deserve the pain you have been put through. You are you and that is a blessing.

 

I am always rooting for you!

So much Love,

 

Big L


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Project HEAL’s new peer-based support program, Communities of HEALing, will include an evidence-based eating disorder prevention and body acceptance program known as the Body Project. The Body Project is an intervention that was developed by renowned researchers Eric Stice, Ph.D and Carolyn Becker, Ph.D and is backed by two decades of research at Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Oregon Research Institute. This program has been delivered to over one million young women around the world and is the only program that has repeatedly demonstrated reductions of body dissatisfaction, negative mood, unhealthy dieting and disordered eating. Further evidence indicates that the Body Project intervention reduces the risk of future onset of eating disorders and obesity.
 
Recently, Project HEAL held its first facilitator training of the Body Project with some of our volunteers from NYC and PA, all of whom are in recovery from an eating disorder. One of the activities that all volunteers completed as part of the Body Project program was to write a letter to a younger version of themselves using the information they learned from other sessions of the intervention and advise their younger selves on how to avoid developing body image concerns. The letters shared were truly powerful and we are thrilled to have some of our new facilitators share their letters with you!

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