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love me; for me

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Name: Tay Guitard Age: 24 years old Occupation: Musician @gdnightjasmine Location: Toronto, ON

I grew up in New Brunswick where a lot of my family members were over weight that was the norm. I was 15 when people started to talk. I went to an arts school in Toronto where I started performing and there was this expectation around physical appearance. The other girls were maturing, wearing shorter skirts and tighter clothes and I was still this round little girl. I didn’t have a lot of friends. And thats when it hit me like maybe I need to look a certain way in order to have friends or for people to like me.

So, I stopped eating. I lost a scary amount of weight fast and people started complimenting me and inviting me to parties. It got to the point where I lost total control of my view on food. I was disgusted by it. I was scared that anything I ate would make me “fat". I surrounded myself with girls that thought the same and lost the friends who loved me for me and not for my size. I didn’t go out, play music, or dance. All I could think about was my weight and what people thought of me. There was a lot of negativity around my weight. I tried therapy but it didn’t work. The people who loved became so scared that they threatened to hospitalize me but never asked how I felt. I became really isolated and depressed really quickly because I had no support.

It was when I was 19 that I realized I had to do something or I was going to die. I took time for myself to focus on my needs which lead me to yoga. It taught me how to be patient with myself and quickly became my main form of therapy so much so that I ended up becoming certified. I also took up boxing to help with my anxiety and started a food diary which helped me realize that I wasn’t enjoying the food I was eating (which was mainly meat) and took up veganism. It wasn’t long after that I started to gain the weight back. I was happy. I was doing something I loved. I reconnected with old friends. I stopped thinking about my weight for the first time in 5 years and I felt a major shift. Overall it was a huge struggle, but I wouldn’t change my experience because it’s made me

into who I am today and I’m happy.

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