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5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Working at an Eating Disorder Clinic

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Last month, I accepted a job as a registered nurse in an inpatient eating disorder clinic. I spend my days around the most amazing women who struggle to see their beauty. As someone who is a self-made fashion, beauty and inspiration blogger my life contains so much about appearance: beauty products, skincare lines and the latest fashion trends. This past month has been life-changing because I’ve learned to walk in the shoes of other people.

If I could choose one word to describe my time spent with my patients I would choose ‘brave’. Every single day I watch them overcome their negative thoughts and struggles. I watch them seek inspiration instead of negativity. I watch them flourish and try to move forward. I watch them in awe as I dream of one day being as brave as they are. I am forever grateful for the opportunity of being their nurse and for the opportunity of learning from them every single day. There are so many things I’ve learned from them but here are five of my personal favorites:

We are more than our weight 

Before I started working full-time, I was eating healthy and doing yoga every week. Now, I’m drinking coffee every day to survive the long hours at work and packing my lunch (which isn’t always as healthy as it would be at home). Plus, it has become more difficult to find the time to workout which has left me feeling gross and fatigued.

At work, we never let our patients see their weight because life is so much more than a number. It is all about how you feel. Throw out your scale and start listening to your body: when you have the energy to get through your day and you feel emotionally, spiritually and physically great then something is working. When you don’t feel that way, then you need to change something in your life to re-gain a healthy balance. {For me, I’m totally trying to get back into yoga}

Never judge someone else

In today’s society it has become second nature to judge someone based on their appearance or actions. With the help of my patients I have learned that every day people are struggling with things you don’t know about. Judging people without knowing their entire story is wrong. Stop gossiping and stop judging others, no one likes the mean girl.

Embrace your uniqueness

There is this one quote on the wall at work that gets me every time: “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.”

Tweet: “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.” – @stylebyliv

This is so important because everyone is different. We all have unique qualities that make us who we are today. Without those qualities we would not be the fabulous, a** kicking individual that we are. It is so important to love yourself for your unique qualities abut also to realize that you cannot compare beauty.

Be thankful for what you have

It is so easy to complain about the fact that the booties we want from Nordstrom are too expensive or that our boyfriend is being extra annoying today. Whenever you start to think like this remember that you are blessed to be able to shop at Nordstrom and that you even have a boyfriend (or anyone) that loves you.

People face difficult situations every day and many have it worse off than you. Be thankful for the difficult times in your life and know that it will only help you grow stronger. Be thankful that you have all the wonderful things in your life. Be thankful that you woke up today and that you are able to breathe and live another day.

Beauty is more than skin-deep 

Being beautiful is something that everyone dreams of achieving. In our society we are taught that if we are beautiful we will be loved, accepted and more successful. Through this entire experience I’ve learned that being beautiful is more than appearance. It is your personality, brilliance, quirks, interested, hobbies and so much more.

Have you ever heard someone talk about something they were so passionate about instantly they were so much more attractive? It’s because beauty is more than the way you look, it is the way you feel about yourself and the way you make others feel.

Which lesson is your favorite?

LYMI,

Liv

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  1. Chris says:

    Very well said ❤️

  2. Love love love this insight! As someone who has struggled with anorexia for over 10 years it gives me hope that so many people are willing to help these beautiful souls <3

  3. Stephanie says:

    I love this! As someone who struggled with a severe eating disorder all through high school and now has serious health issues due to the damage it did, I would absolutely vouch for these inspirational thoughts being super important in everyones’ lives. We’ve got to focus on as much positive about life and ourself as we can to get through the challenges as a team! Thanks for sharing!

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

  4. Beautiful message! It’s so important to love ourselves and live in gratitude! Thanks for sharing.