Hello, happy Sunday, happy fall, all that good stuff! This last week was NEDA’s first-ever Weight Stigma Awareness Week; an effort to bring awareness to this aspect of ED’s that often goes unnoticed. This post is all about raising awareness, sharing my story with weight and, once again, b r e a k i n g  t h e  s t i g m a. I read a quote from NEDA’s Instagram that said:

“Trying to prevent and treat eating disorders without directly addressing weight stigma will always be like trying to get rid of weeds by cutting off the tops. In order to truly prevent and allow full recovery from eating disorders, we must attack the problem at it’s root. And that root is weight stigma.”

That could not be more true. I don’t believe, and I don’t think other people believe, that weight stigma is the cause of eating disorders, but it definitely doesn’t make recovery any easier. BMI is not a measure of physical OR mental health, it’s an algorithm created by and for white men decades ago to measure the ratio between height and weight, not taking into account any other factors. When we define others, or even worse define ourselves, by the number on the scale or our BMI ratio, we’re taking an unrelated figure and allowing it to dictate our health. And people always say ditch the scale or don’t think about numbers, but weight has taken on a life of it’s own, and it goes way beyond the scale. Weight and appearance have become one. If you look heavier, you weigh more. If you look smaller, you weight less. People make these assumptions without knowing anything more than what you look like. And that’s dangerous beyond words.

And how can we blame anyone for how bad weight stigma has gotten. It’s penetrated our world, everything is about weight. It’s everywhere. Advertisements are constantly reminding us all that we must be under a certain weight to wear their clothes. Brands that have one size clothing that are equivalent to a size 2-4 create their brand around people who are under a certain weight. When we run into an old friend, the first thing we say is “you look so good!”. WHY. Why is the first comment we make to a friend after a long time apart about their appearance. Why can’t we praise people about anything other than their weight and appearance. It’s all just adding to the weight of weight stigma (no pun intended).

Honestly, I feel a bit hypocritical saying these things because I’ve never found peace with my weight. The scary thing is, I’ve been at my highest weight and I’ve been at my lowest and I’ve never been happy with how I look or how much I weigh. I’ve been at the point where people have straight up told me I look like I’d gained a lot of weight, and I’ve been at the point where people have gushed over how great I look after purging my brains out to lose weight, and none of these have ever made me feel good.

My natural body type is prone to heavy weight fluctuation. Day-to-day, week-to-week my weight goes up and down so easily. I would love to say that I am confident enough to not let me weight affect me, but that would be a lie. Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I want to do is check what my body looks like in the mirror. How bloated am I, how defined are my abs, how flat is my butt looking; it’s so easy to get sucked into all of that. Some days I look at myself and feel AMAZING and other days I look at myself and just want to cover it all up with leggings and a big sweater. Sometimes I let me weight control me, sometimes I don’t. But I have never gone a full day without thinking about my weight. It’s something that has controlled my life (I’ve learned that it truly is the voice of the ED) for so long. So while I would love to come on here and say everything is perfect, that wouldn’t be real.

It’s okay to have days where I don’t like how I look, it’s part of being human. But it’s not okay to just sit back and allow everyone to become consumed by that number on the scale. We are more than that, and that does not define  a n y o n e. Bodies are beautiful. Bodies allow us to do so much. Bodies are allowed to carry weight. But it shouldn’t have to carry the expectations that other people put on us.

Instead of telling someone how great they look, tell them you’re proud of them for starting a new, exciting project. Instead of commenting on someone’s weight or size in a photo, tell them how happy they look. Instead of commenting on their muscles, fat or anything else about their bodies, tell them they look healthy. Because at the end of the day, what does weight actually mean. As long as your healthy and happy, both physically and mentally. That’s all that matters.

Let’s use this week and all the inspo that came along with it to smash the stigma. We can do it, we are stronger than it.

Sending all the love, joy and positivity for the best week ahead. Lots of love xx

Mental Health Moment #7- Recovery Sucks, But I Love It

*TW: Eating Disorder*

It has been a week, let me just start by saying that. ED awareness week has made me feel empowered and strong in so many ways, but weak and inadequate at the same time. Ever since coming forward with my story, I’ve vowed to be as open and honest as possible while still putting myself and my needs first, knowing that’s the only way I’ll ever recover. This week I’ve seen and read so many brave stories of courageous people who have also decided to share their journeys with others. But the light of recovery is not the only side to the horrors of an eating disorder. And to be completely honest, recovery is a f*****g nightmare, mentally harder and more exhausting than restricting or purging will ever be. Today I wanted to open up about how incredibly intense recovery is. I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face, I’m not sharing this to look for pity, I’m sharing this because I want to be as real as possible, and to show others struggling that they are not alone.

184 days ago, I decided to finally seek treatment for bulimia nervosa. I really didn’t think I had a problem, or at least a big problem. I had landed back in LA for my sophomore year of college and was consumed by the number of comments my friends and peers had made about my body and weight. Everyone was telling me how great I looked, everyone was saying how skinny I was, and I loved every word. Tuesday was our first unofficial pre-season practice, I was so excited, but nervous knowing that I had spent almost four months that summer doing no physical activity. I dove into the water next to my teammates and immediately felt intensely exhausted, like I couldn’t move my body through the water any longer. I wasn’t just out of shape, I knew out of shape and that wasn’t it. Something was wrong, something was off, I knew it was getting dangerous. That was the first time I saw how much damage I had done to my body. Maybe purging my body of any bit of food that went into it wasn’t so great after all. Maybe the compliments and comments weren’t worth it. At that moment I chose recovery.

I first spoke with a trainer, someone I knew fairly well and trusted. I was then referred to a therapist, someone who was trained to deal with eating disorders. Next I was instructed to meet with a physician once a week, which ended up leading to excessive weekly blood tests. And finally, the last piece of my formal recovery structure was a weekly meeting with a dietician, again who specialized in eating disorders. All this was daunting, terrifying, exhausting. I had convinced myself that my eating disorder wasn’t bad, that it wasn’t real. I thought it was simply something I had made up in my head. I soon realized that this was the voice of the eating disorder.

The days I went to therapy or met with the dietician or doctors were nearly debilitating. There was nothing more draining than having to face the monster of my eating disorder head on. I would leave therapy feeling like a zombie and wanting to do nothing more than lie in bed for the rest of the day. Yet another urge I had to fight. Days, weeks and months blurred together, I began to question whether recovery was worth it. Everyone had told me to remember that recovery isn’t a straight line, but there will be ups and downs. I knew this and I tried to remind myself of this often, but it’s hard. It’s hard to step back and see how much progress you’ve made when all you can think about is your purge the night before. It’s hard to remember that one purge a day is incredibly amazing compared to the time when two slices of an apple was enough to make myself sick. Learning to acknowledge the small accomplishments has been one of the hardest parts of recovery.

To be completely honest, I feel like I blacked during the first couple months of recovery, it’s hard to remember the days. All I know is that I wanted to quit recovery everyday. Suppressing one urge would only make the next one stronger. Going a day without purging would make me feel like it’s okay to purge the next day. And I’ll say this again, it was exhausting – physically, mentally and emotionally. While I would love to say it gets easier, I don’t think that’s true. But as time goes on, you learn to find new ways to cope. You find the ways to help you feel happy and normal, you find the people who will support you unconditionally, and you’ll learn to be proud of the small accomplishments you make along the way.

I’m not recovered yet, and I don’t think I’m even close. I have slips and relapses all the time, it’s part of the process. It would be amazing if I could snap my fingers and stop all behaviors and abusive thoughts forever, but unfortunately I’m not living in a fairy tale. Learning to embrace the slips and see them as learning opportunities is part of recovery. There are still days and nights where I find myself bent over the toilet again, purging my body of food. And as weird as it sounds, I’m okay with that. Like I said before, recovery isn’t a straight line, but as long as the trend is looking up I know everything will be okay. I know that’s something I can be proud of.

I have an indent on my forearm from leaning on the toilet bowl. Cuts line my knuckles from where my teeth have dug into my skin. The back of my throat is covered in scars from scratches from my nails. What was once a full, thick bunch of hair on my head has thinned out and become brittle. My cheeks get swollen during bouts of purging as my salivary glands get irritated. Some of these things will go away, and some will stick with me forever. Because no matter how long I go without purging, my eating disorder will always be a part of my life. Recovery is learning to silence the abuse and embrace the power.

I don’t want this to discourage you from seeking treatment or beginning recovery, I want this to inspire you. It’s hard as hell, and it won’t be easy. But living in agony and pain isn’t easy either. Living a life full of secrets and lies isn’t easy. Living a life hating yourself and your body isn’t easy. Making that decision, 184 days ago, to seek treatment was the hardest decision of my life, but also the best. It’s wreaked beautiful havoc in my life, and while I still find myself wanting to quit so often, I know that what will come out of this will be so beautiful. Will I ever fully recover, I don’t know. Will I ever be completely happy with myself, I don’t know. But will choosing to prioritize recovery every single day, no matter how exhausting and hard, help me become happy and healthy, yes.

Make that decision today. Choose you, choose strength, choose recovery.


NEDAawareness Week

ED Screening Tool

#nedawarenessweek #comeasyouare

Mental Health Moment #6- NEDA Awareness Week

Today is the first day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Over 30 million people in the US and 70 million people worldwide suffer from an eating disorder. Every 62 minutes, someone dies as a direct result of an eating disorder, giving it the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Up to 3.5% of all American women will suffer from Anorexia at some point in their life, and up to 4% of all American women will suffer from Bulimia at some point in their life. These numbers are too high, but they don’t have to be. Eating disorders are real, they are a mental illness and they deserve the same care, treatment and support as any other physical or mental illness.

For those of you also struggling, know you are not alone, you will never be alone. Never forget that. If you are struggling in silence, try to break the silence. Reach out to people around you, begin to get treatment, start your road to recovery. Choosing to get help was the hardest decision I ever made. I was scared, anxious, ashamed, I thought I had failed. I was wrong. So while going into treatment was terrifying, it ended up being the best decision I ever made. Recovery is not easy, I’m not going to lie, it’s the most physically, mentally and emotionally draining thing I’ve ever done, but what comes out of it is so beautiful. Happiness, health, undeniable self-love. It’s all worth it. Don’t wait a second longer, make that decision today.

To all those who are supporting someone struggling, you are incredible. I know it’s not always easy to stay by someone’s side when they’re going through s**t, but know that you are appreciated. Most of the time, it’s the smallest and most simplest of things that make the biggest difference. Asking how their day is going, sending a quick text of support or even just a smile goes further than you think. And for all you supporters out there, know you are appreciated. If you see someone who you suspect may be struggling or who you know is struggling, don’t look away, don’t push them away. Sometimes all we need is someone who shows they care, someone who will take three minutes of their day to show love and support. You can be that person.

Finally, I wanted to end this post by saying thank you to the incredible people in my life who have never left my side, the people who have shown me time and again that they love and support me. You are my angels, you are the reason I am where I am today. Whether you realize it or not, your actions and words keep me going every single day. On the days where I feel like I can’t keep going, the days where recovery seems impossible, your love makes me want to fight.I want to be there for all of you, I will be there for all of you. This platform has become my biggest blessing, giving me the opportunity to share my story in an attempt to help some understand and to help others feel less alone. The stigma may still be there, but it won’t be for long.

Get ready for a week full of posts!

xx Aime


NEDA Awareness Week

To My Eating Disorder…

Today is National Love Your Body Day, and while I try to preach and live by the idea of self-love, I’ve been struggling with this by a battling with an eating disorder. It’s not something a lot of people talk about, and it’s not something a lot of people talk about publicly. But I’m ready to break that mold. The scariest thing about this whole battle has been feeling alone in my fight. But I know I’m not the only one. I’m here telling my story with hopes that it can help others out there feel a little less alone. I’m not posting this looking for pity or attention, I’m posting this because reading other peoples stories was such a big part of the start of my recovery. If this can help even just one person feel a little less alone, then it’s worth it. 

No matter what is going on in my life or your life right now, please take the time to appreciate your body for all it does and all it allows you to do. Love yourself and help others love themselves. Happy Love Your Body Day xx

To my ED,

First of all I want to thank you. I want to thank you for being there for me when I felt like I needed you and for telling me the things I wanted to hear. I loved you more than I’ve loved before. You became a part of me, and it was a part I didn’t want to lose. In the darkest days when I felt nothing but the worse things of myself you made me feel beautiful by following your demands. You tempted me, you encouraged me, you seduced me, and it was something I couldn’t ignore. You knew when to step back and when to take control. You were sneaky but terrifyingly appreciated. You captured my heart so enticingly and I became addicted to it. But no matter how hard I tried or begged, I couldn’t get rid of you. I was obsessed with our brutal love story.

Now that I’m beginning to break free from our abusive relationship, I can see what you really did to me. You made me tell endless lies to my family and friends. You made me believe things about myself that weren’t even close to true. You made me believe that food was the enemy and that eating was a punishable sin. You made me feel guilty but then extremely rewarded and satisfied after a purge. You made me damage my body in a way nothing else had ever done before. You tricked me into loving you when I couldn’t love myself. You took the things I loved away from me and taunted me with it. You took over my brain, consumed me, every hour, every minute, every second of the day. You made me spend hours in the bathroom bent over the toilet with tears coming out of my eyes. You made me feel unworthy of all the things I dreamed of. And finally, you made me the person I never wanted to be. I thought that I was you and you were me, but I now know that I was never you and you were never me. You were simply a voice in my head who I trusted and felt connected to. And I am grateful to not have you in my life anymore.

There are days where I still miss you. There are days when I wish more than anything that we could be back together. Trying to recover from our relationship has been the hardest thing I’ve had to do, and I don’t think it will ever truly end. Sometimes I wish you could come back to be the voice in my head telling me what to do. You knew me better than I knew myself and always knew what I wanted to hear. In the moment, the harm you inflicted on me paled in comparison to the beauty and confidence you made me feel.

But I find myself wanting to thank you again. Ridding you from my life has given me the chance to appreciate the life and body I’ve been blessed with. I’m thankful for my family and friends who have loved me and supported me no matter what. I’m thankful for a body that allows me to do the things I love. I’m optimistic for a life free from the bathroom and out in the beautiful world. I’m thankful for the small things in life that bring me pure joy. I’m thankful for my new look on life, one that’s much clearer and brighter than ever before. I’m thankful that I still have my life, even though you could have taken it from me. I’m thankful that I get to move on and forward, leaving you behind only as a distant memory.

Now that I’ve started distancing myself from you, I promise to live a life full of gratitude and love, remembering that I am worthy of being happy and loved in my own skin. I’m ready to live my life as me, only me, and no one else.


NEDA: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

Teaching at 17? #3- Creating Our ‘What We Love’ Board

Friday October 7th, 2016

Today was the last day before fall break. The end of, arguable, the work, most stressful week of the year, especially for seniors. I knew that i was going to have group fitness that day, so I tried to think of something that would spread some good vibes and have everyone walking out of the class smiling and feeling good about themselves. So I thought of this: The ‘What We Love’ Board. Over the last 6 months, my relationship with my body and myself has changed significantly (for the good). I wanted to see how the kids in the class’ views on their bodies could change throughout the year. This is how I ran the activity: I had everyone sit in a circle next to 1 or 2 people who they felt comfortable and close with. Each person got 4 pieces of paper: 1 white scrap square, 1 pink post-it not, 1 blue posit-it note, and 1 green post-it note. First, everyone wrote down one thing that they didn’t like about their bodies/physical appearance on the white scrap paper. Once everybody had something written down, I put a trash can in the middle of the circle, and had everyone crumple up their piece of paper and throw it into the trash can. Once we got rid of all the bad thoughts, we wrote one thing we liked about ourselves on the pink post-it. For example, mine was my laugh and my ability to make other people laugh. This had nothing to do with my physical appearance, which is the whole point. I had everyone hold on to it and got them into their pairs/groups. With the other 2 post-it’s, I had them write something they liked about their partners (physical or personality). When everybody had something written down on each post-it, I had them all stick it up on a big poster. Our plan is to keep the poster with stickies up in the room all year to remind everyone how much good there is in the room. I want to run this activity multiple times this year to expand our ‘What We Love’ board. By the end of the year, I hope we have one giant poster of happiness and god vibes!

Aime’s Facebook Challenge

I don’t know what it’s like for you, but where I go to school, your Facebook profile picture is a really big deal. It can’t just be some random photo that was taken of you, but it has to be pro-like and very well planned. I even know some people who will go and do a whole photoshoot just to get a new profile picture. I’m not saying this is bad at all, I mean I’ve been guilty of doing that before, we all have. So what I want to do is combine the urgency of your Facebook profile picture, with a topic that is extremely important to me: body image. I have changed my profile picture on Facebook to a picture of me in a bikini at the beach, with this as the caption:

“It angers me that some people out there in the world put down others based on the shape of their body. Nobody should ever feel anything but immense love for the body they were given. There should be nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be embarrassed of. If you learn to embrace and love the body you have, you will be a much happier person. This is a picture of me at the beach this summer. I wasn’t posing, I wasn’t sucking my stomach in, I was just enjoying life. I have a challenge for you, change your profile picture to a picture that shows what your body looks like. Don’t hide anything, don’t be embarrassed, be proud. “

What I want to see is how many people actually react to this challenge. I have a feeling that people will like the photo, but won’t actually go through with the challenge. I think this is going to be an extremely telling challenge about how our society views body image. If this doesn’t work, I’m planning on starting a hashtag trend in a few months where I have people post pictures of their body’s on Instagram, and tag 10 of their friends to do the same (a little bit like how the ice bucket challenge worked). I’m excited to see what I find out from this experiment, and I can’t wait to share the results soon. And please, if you are reading this, I am extending the challenge to you!


The Importance of Fresh Produce

Walking down the aisle of the supermarkets in Singapore is not exactly amusing. You look at the labels for the fruits and vegetables and see the same thing on every piece of produce: “imported from Indonesia”, “imported from the Philippines”, and “imported from Malaysia”. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing that we buy produce that imported from other countries, it’s definitely not the best thing. Not only are the fruits and veggies not the freshest, but we also don’t get a wide variety of foods. For my family, our standard shopping cart consists of apples, oranges, onions, broccoli and the occasional eggplant, but only if we find good ones. That’s basically it. 10 months out of the year. But for those magical two months that we spend out of the country (mainly in So Cal, a little in Japan), walking down the supermarket aisle is 100% my favorite thing to do (okay, that might be a little over the top, but you get the point). Instead of just reaching for our standard apples and oranges, I find myself reaching for pints and pints of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. We get bags on end of cherries, picked right in California, and humongous summery watermelons. Not only do we get our fresh eggplant fix, but we’re reaching for bundles of asparagus, fresh corn, peppers, tomatoes, and possibly any other vegetable you could think of. Because of all of the fresh produce we have available, I find ourselves eating a lot healthier. We’ve been making tons of salads and roast veggie dishes, we’ve been adding fresh asparagus and tomatoes to our pastas, and tons  of eggplant, onions and peppers to our curries. And let me tell you what, it’s absolutely delicious. Living in Singapore, I often forget how good fruits and veggies are supposed to be, and sometimes force myself to just eat the fruits and veggies like I’m taking vitamins or something. Becoming aware of the food you’re eating and learning to appreciate the freshness of produce is one of the most important steps to learning how to start eating better and enjoying the food you eat. So where do you get your produce from and how fresh is it? I promise, fresh produce makes all the difference!

Horrors of the A4 Paper Challenge

This is a new body challenge that has gone horribly wrong. If you are unfamiliar with the A4 Paper Challenge, here’s how it goes. You get an A4 sheet of paper and hold it up to your torso vertically. If the piece of paper completely covers your waist, you have “passed” the challenge. Creating inaccurate visions of what a woman’s body should look like, it is causing girls to do whatever is possible to fit their waist inside that little piece of paper. But why? When I first read about the challenge, I was so unbelievably angry that the world had created such a thing. Why do we have to keep on reminding girls what their body should look like? Each girl is beautiful in their own way, and trying to get your waist to fit into an A4 piece of paper is not healthy, nor is it was beauty is. Don’t look at this as a challenge, yet as a reminder to remind yourself how beautiful you really are, whether your waist fits in the paper or not, and focus on being healthy and happy.

Your ‘Perfect’ Self

It blows my mind that I can pick up a magazine with the header “The New Plus-Sized Model”, flip it open and see a gorgeous woman wearing size 8 clothes. As a society, we have painted a picture of what the ‘perfect’ woman looks like; long skinny legs, a flat stomach, thin arms, and narrow hips.

perfect-female-body    example2

If I were to go up to a couple of random people and ask them why the descriptions above represent the ‘perfect’ woman, I bet the majority of them wouldn’t know why. I don’t believe that the ‘perfect’ woman we have put together is perfect at all, but it makes sense why they would think this way. When you search “woman’s perfect body”, this is the most popular photo that comes up.


I was able to step away from the norms of society and create my own ‘perfect’ woman; a woman who feels strong and fit, a woman who believes that they are the best version that they can be, a woman who acknowledges their insecurities, yet doesn’t let that stop them from being anything but them, and finally, a woman who is happy. For me personally, if I drop time in my 200 fly, that is one step closer to being the ‘perfect’ version of me. For most people, stepping on a scale to see they’ve lost 3 pounds or measuring their waste to see that it’s ½ an inch smaller is what makes them feel better about themselves. Why do we obsess about getting smaller and getting closer to the ‘perfect’ woman? I take pride in my arms getting bigger, and my legs getting bigger, because I know that I’ve been working hard to build up strength and muscle, and that’s a hell of a lot more important to me than having long, skinny arms and legs. Why do we have to conform to the norms of society? Why can’t we break that trend and create our own versions of our ‘perfect’ selves? Going back to the model on the magazine, why does society categorize someone as plus size, just because they’re a size 8? A size 8 is in the average/healthy range. We do this because a size 8 does not conform to society’s rules of the ‘perfect’ woman. Does this mean that you can only be perfect if you look exactly like the ‘perfect’ woman above, because if that’s the case, then everybody would be trying to look exactly the same, and all of a sudden we’ve lost the identity of ourselves in this image that has been made up. It took only one person to come up to me and tell me that they admired how strong I was, both physically and mentally. Ever since that day, I take pride in my broad shoulders, my giant quads, and my strong, wide back. Stop being a follower and become your own leader; decide for yourself what the ‘perfect’ version of you is. And for starters, don’t call it the ‘perfect’ version, because nobody is perfect, and that’s what makes everybody special in their own way.

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 3.40.17 PM

And remember, this perfect, is not always the best ‘perfect’.


Sweat = Satisfaction

Do you ever notice those girls in the gym locker room putting on make-up before they go work out? They sit there for hours doing their blush perfectly and fixing their hair into the perfect ponytail that will be ruined in minutes.


Well I think it’s the most ridiculous thing. You’re at the gym to work out and not to impress or attract boys. Not only does make-up leave your skin dry and clogged, but you are going to sweat it all off within the first 5 minutes anyways. If you’re anything like me, you will be dripping 3 minutes into your warm-up. Although you may not have your eyelashes nicely curled and your foundation perfectly blended in, the sweat on your face is so much better. It shows the work you’ve put in; you are working hard in there, and that beats eye shadow and mascara any day. Personally, I love the way my face looks when it’s drenched in sweat. Okay, maybe it’s not that attractive, but when I look at myself in the mirror in between reps, and see the sweat pouring down my face, I feel good about myself.


I feel like I’ve done something meaningful; like I’ve really put the effort into what I was doing. When I’m done with my work out and I’m standing in the locker room in front of the mirror, I see nothing but my natural face covered in sweat. I might feel sticky and gross, but there is a level of satisfaction I have with knowing that I brought that sweat on. Once I’ve showered and washed the sweat off my face, I feel so good.


Sweat does wonders for your face; it unclogs pores and gets rid of all the bad toxins in your body. Don’t block the sweat by putting on tons of make-up before hitting the gym. As long as you’re drinking lot’s of water and staying hydrated, the sweat will do wonders for your skin and make you naturally beautiful!