Daughter, sister, friend, dog mama, career woman, fitness enthusiast, & body positive advocate.
“I am cautiously optimistic, determined & open. My best day was graduating from college at 29 after spending 3.5 years in school while working full time. I fear my self-worth will always be rooted in how much I can shrink my body. My worst day was when I tried to end my life at 17 because I didn’t have the right tools to cope. I was 30 when I decided to finally address my eating disorder after an intense binge eating episode that resulted in suicidal thoughts. Therapy, journaling & advocacy have helped me find my strength. I’m no longer afraid to share my story & I know a lot of people struggle as I do. I catch myself in the story that my ED is my parents’ fault; they watched my disordered behavior as a child and didn’t stop it. My more empowered story is that our past is there to help us resolve pain we hold onto in order to keep up the narrative that supports the toxic behavior. Truth is my parents did the best they could with the information they had & it’s not their fault what I choose to do as an adult. I’ve had many years of feeling not good enough but since starting ED recovery I’ve felt that paradigm start to shift. I still have bad moments, but when I do feel good enough it’s for the right reasons. I’d tell a 12 year old me that romantic love is not everything, love with herself is everything. Happiness comes from financial freedom, a sense of purpose, healthy relationships & great coping mechanisms. Beauty comes from a mixture of qualities that create a genuine & contagious energy. I’ve been let down in romantic relationships. I’ve learned not to rely on someone else for my happiness and to walk away from anyone who continuously mistreats me. I wish more people knew how hard it is to find worthiness today, as an overweight female. You have to fight every societal message that’s been established since the moment you were born. I’m proud that I don’t let obstacles get in my way. I am strong, independent, loving and kind. I believe in honesty and treating others how you want to be treated. I am Tina. I love to spin, write, cook, lift weights & inspire others.”Tina
Kristie Dean, Tina, 2022. Digital Photograph. ©Kristie Dean. All rights reserved.