Letters To My Younger Self: Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott Former Self

Dear 22-year-old self,

I promise you, you are going to make it through this. I know you hate yourself right now, and there are days you wish you could go to sleep and never wake up, but you will survive. And believe it or not, you'll thrive.

You have lived with this fear of your body for the past 5 years. Fearing how it looks, how much it weighs, and what it might not be able to do IF you get bigger. And right now, as you have started to walk into recovery, and you see, feel, and experience everything about you IS getting BIGGER and IS becoming MORE. It seems like too much...

Breathe.

Don't worry.

Don't be afraid.

And PLEASE, for the love of God, don't hide yourself away. For some reason, in becoming physically bigger, you'll shy away and try to make yourself less noticeable by not speaking up or showing up. By hiding because you'll somehow believe your value and your size have an inverse relationship, and that's just going to make it even harder in the future.

And while you have backed way off and way down on your running to get healthy, please don't wait until you're in your 30’s to realize you can run somewhat fast and race. Get that idea out of your head NOW!

That idea that you can only be a good runner or a fast runner only if you’re rail thin: GET IT OUT OF YOUR MIND! Please don't waste all that time running at home, running alone, avoiding races just because you want to avoid what others think. (And here's a huge tip: Runners come in all different sizes and shapes, and most people are worrying too much about how they look themselves to even care what you look like).

Hey young 22-year-old self!

You're going to get up to a healthy weight and maintain it, and guess what!?! (You'll NEVER BELIEVE THIS!!!) You're actually going to be able to eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (like even orange chicken or french fries) and you won't think anything of it.

No, really! I'm serious!

You'll eat because it sounds good, you'll be satisfied, and then you'll go on with the rest of the day without a single regret. The only thought you'll have is, "That tastes good. Man, I've come a long way!"

You're going to be healthy. You're going to be able to live a relatively "normal" life.  You're going to have those kids the doctors told you you’d probably never have. And you're going to be able to run. You'll even run full marathons. Not just one either. But many.

You're won’t run because you have to burn something off or to make-up for eating something
“Bad”. You won’t run because you have to. You're going to run because you love it. Because you enjoy seeing what else you can do and how much further you can go when your body is well-fueled and strong. And you’re going to run because you want to be faster. You have some dreams to catch! (If you could figure this out sooner than later, your 36-year-old self would appreciate it.)

So younger me, hang in there. Fight through this.

Just keep your head above the water.

Keep paddling.

Keep swimming.

I know it feels like you're going to drown, but one day you'll get to shore. You'll stand up on those legs. And you’ll realize, not only did you survive this beast that defeats so many others, but you’re stronger for it.

Love,

A somewhat older and little wiser you.