10 Messages From A Survivor

Lani Tons.
A true survivor thrivor.

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Lani Tons is busy taking on the world. She’s the Chicago Bull’s newest (and best) photographer, loving her new life in the Windy City. When she’s not busy behind the lens, Lani can be found traveling the world and networking.

She’s strong, healthy, and packs an emotional intelligence that’s hard to come by. But 3 years ago you wouldn’t have recognized her behind the suffocating cape of her eating disorder. An eating disorder that almost took her life.

Luckily, that didn’t happen. Instead, Lani kicked its ass.

Now I’m honored to call her one of my most inspiring and gifted friends. So, if you’re struggling with body image, confidence, or an eating disorder — Lani has 10 messages for you.

  1. It’s OK to say no to things that you don’t want to do. You’re not selfish. Self care is a huge priority. Things I do for self care:
    • Light a candle
    • Take a bath
    • Nap
    • Paint my nails
    • Take photos
  1. There is NO SUCH THING as a “good” or “bad” food. Food is fuel, remember that. Count the Moments, Not Calories.
  2. Reaching out for help doesn’t mean you are weak. It takes a hell of a lot of courage.
  3. Work out because you want to. Not because you feel like you have to, or that you need to “work off” what you ate.
  4. Recovery is a journey. Sometimes you might take a few steps back, and that’s OK! As long as you are making the effort to keep moving forward.
  5. The scale literally has no purpose. Throw it out. Burn it. Smash it. Get. Rid. Of. It. I thought once I reached my “goal number” on the scale that I would be happy. I wasn’t. Things only got worse from there. Don’t focus on a number, focus on how you feel.
  1. You are ENOUGH. You’re more than enough, actually. You are individually unique and no one can take that away from you.
  2. Social media can be a dark place, but it also can be an awesome place for recovery. I’ve met countless people from social media that encourage my recovery and self love journey. Only you can decide if you want to scroll through retouched, Instagram models all day long or if you want to find REAL people, who are making a difference in the world.
  3. Don’t listen. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, compulsive exercise, thoughts of self harm, or any kind of mental illness, don’t listen to what it’s telling you. It will tell you that you’re not worth it, that you shouldn’t have eaten that, and that you should stop fighting. Your disordered thoughts don’t want you to recover.
    1. What can you do? CHALLENGE THEM.
    2. It’s time to feel uncomfortable by challenging negative thoughts, because you will feel uncomfortable. And that’s OK! Recovery isn’t always easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it.
  4. You are not alone.

Need help? Please call the NEDA helpline at: (800) 931-2237 or visit their website for live chat: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline

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