"I stopped beating myself up"
How I did it: I didn't grow up eating vegetables or knowing what a well-balanced meal looked like, but I started cooking for myself when I stopped eating meat at 13.
I spent an unfortunately large chunk of my adolescence muddled in disordered eating and body dysphoria, which can rear its ugly head now and again, though it's become something more of an uninvited and unwelcomed guest in my life-- rather than a resident-- these days.
After high school I started working in the deli of a health foods store and learned how to make LOTS of really great food (more than just the rice and beans I'd been living off of during high school).
I found that I love cooking. I slowly started becoming more active-- trying to exercise at first because I "should", then eventually because I craved it-- both the challenge and the feeling of vitality.
Lessons & tips: Enjoy food and enjoy your body.
Resources: Whole grains, vegetables, garlic and onions(!), lots of fruit, friends who like to cook with you, a good running path in the park, books, lots of sleep
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