H friends! Today is Day 25 of No Fear February and I’m so excited to share another Q&A with you all today, this one with the one and only @gracebulson! Grace is one of the most genuine people I’ve come across here on Instagram. She shares truthfully about her experiences in a way that helps others to find comfort and encouragement. She is also partnering with her best friend @actually_alexandra on a project called @fearstofreedom where they are hosting some amazing getaways so be sure to check that out as well. I am so honored that she took the time to answer these questions for you guys to read, so check it out at the link in my bio!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself; where you’re from, what you do, and what you’re passionate about!
Hey I’m Grace! I’m 20, from Los Angeles, CA and am currently living in Boston MA. I am the co founder of Fears to Freedom, which is a business my best friend & business partner started (@actually_alexandra ).
We run getaways all over Europe which focus on bringing together a community of like minded women to travel and gain the confidence to create and live the life of their dreams. We will also be online coaching, creating online courses, vlogging and offering much more in the near future! Along with that we really love content creating – taking pics, traveling and inspiring others to live the life of their dreams.
I am VERY passionate about traveling. From a young age I have ALWAYS wanted to travel, I believe it is the best way to grow and learn as a person. It really opens your eyes to all there is on Earth and all the different cultures, people, places, lifestyles, ways of life – everything. It is something I want to do for the rest of my life.
- Have you struggled with an eating disorder or body image issues and if so, how did you begin to overcome it?
Yes, all throughout high school (especially senior year) and up until a few months ago I struggled with disordered eating and constant negative thoughts about myself and my body.
My disordered eating and unhealthy obsessive habits stemmed from my lack of self confidence in myself and my body and from the constant negativity I thought about myself. I was so insecure about myself and all I wanted was to lose weight thinking it would make me feel better about myself. Which it obviously didn’t.
For years I spent hating my body, wishing I was smaller, thinking that barely eating and doing crazy amounts of exercise was going to fix that, but it never did. My recovery process was up and down, it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight.
It started when I began to learn that my mindset was the most important factor in healing from my disordered thoughts and habits.
I began to overcome it by turning my negative thoughts into positive ones. By filling my thoughts with positive ones, with ones that made me feel good, not awful about myself.
By not letting those negative thoughts get to me.
I learned to love myself and my body where I was at in that moment – not after I lost 10 lbs, or fit into X size, but loving where and who I was at that moment.
Practicing self love, being nice & gentle to myself, my thoughts and my body all the time.
- What is the best advice you have heard or been given about overcoming an eating disorder?
For me, when I put dying into the equation that really changed my whole perspective. I know its a weird topic to talk about but it seriously changes the game.
Knowing that you get one life and one day you’re going to die is terrifying, but also powerful.
We don’t know how long we get, we don’t know when our last day will be.
All we know is that we have RIGHT NOW.
Right now to change, right now to heal, right now to grow, right now to change your life.
You have this moment, right now to decide what you want to do with your life.
You call the shots, you make the rules. It’s your LIFE.
Try asking yourself the question, “Do I want to spend the rest of my life feeling like this and living this way?”
And 10/10 times the answer is nope.
Once you want to get better, once you want to stop feeling like that, once you want to recover that’s when that courage and that fight comes back into you.
That’s when you get the power to change your life.
Realizing that really helped me to recover.
- What is one fear that you want to destroy for people who are struggling with eating disorders or body image issues?
Don’t fear food. Don’t fear your own body. Don’t fear failure. Don’t fear fat. Don’t fear judgement.
What you should be afraid of?
Living your life, trapped by an eating disorder, disordered eating or negative self/ body image issues.
Not living life how you want to live.
Not living to your highest potential, instead being trapped by your own self.
Looking back on your life wishing you would have done it differently.
Imagine your life without fear, without doubt.
Turn that imagination into a reality.
It takes time, it takes practice and it takes work but creating ways that work for you to smash those fears – it gives you your life and yourself back.
- What do you believe contributes to the high amount of eating disorders in America?
The constant negative talk about food, weight, diets, bodies, calories etc.
Everyday in newspapers, commercials, magazines, social media etc we here about new ways to lose weight, burn fat, get bikini ready etc and that is the most toxic negative thing EVER.
We constantly see models, celebrities or athletes being praised for their fit skinny bodies and shamed when they gain weight.
Those ad’s make you believe you have to lose weight, be skinny, look like a supermodel to be beautiful. NOT. true.
It’s crazy how diet culture is talked about 24/7 and it’s the norm to hear someone’s “on a diet”. If diets, weight, losing weight, low calories things were not talked about, promoted so much and ingrained into our minds the number of eating disorders would be much lower.
I think it is improving, the new movement of all shapes and sizes being beautiful and the self love moment is growing which I think is amazing.
Everyone should be brought up loving themselves and others for who they are on the inside, not the outside.
- What is one truth that you want to share, related to eating disorders and body image?
Hmm, a truth.
The truth is eating disorders, disordered eating and those negative thoughts around your body and yourself are so hard.
They consume you, they take over your life.
But they don’t have too.
Those thoughts are not going to last forever, as long as you choose to change them
YOU are in control of YOUR life.
I made the choice to take control of my life, I made the choice to stop living in fear and start living for myself.
Making decisions for myself, what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted.
If I knew 2 years ago ( at my worst, at my low ) that I would be where I am today I would have never believed it – I saw no way out, I seriously thought I was going to be trapped by my thoughts forever.
But it’s possible, if you put in the work, if you want to get better if you fight for yourself, you will gain control of your life.
You will recover.
I know this because I did it.
Thanks for reading!