An Eating Disorder Survivor Opened Up About Vacation Weight Gain

Gina Susanna just got back from vacation, and she has gained some weight. But, as the body positive blogger wrote on Instagram, there's nothing wrong with that.

"I don't know exactly how much because I haven't weighed myself since 2014 when I threw away my scale, but I’m definitely heavier than when I left," she wrote.

While it's not unusual for someone to gain weight on a vacation, noticing her weight gain and not being worried about it felt like a victory for Susanna, who is an eating disorder survivor who now speaks candidly about her recovery for her followers — many of whom also have or had eating disorders.

"And according to our ED's, that's the worst thing that could happen. Right," she continued. "The. Worst. Because ALL OUR LIVES we've been taught that we needed to lose weight to prepare for vacation.
To prepare for special events.
To prepare for photos.
To prepare for the moments in our lives we want to remember, we need to make sure we are thin enough to enjoy them.
But to that I call BULLSHIT."

Susanna told Refinery29 that she felt a post like this was necessary because so many people had gotten in touch with her about being terrified to go on vacation with friends and family before they had lost enough weight or because they knew they'd be eating "unhealthy" foods or because they wouldn't have as much time to work out.

"I KNOW those feelings so well," Susanna said. "And I was just so sick of the constant diet culture voices telling me I needed to 'look perfect' to enjoy myself — or the ED voices making me feel like I need to lose weight in order to 'prepare' for special events, so i'm thin enough to enjoy them."

This vacation, she said, was the first time she was able to reject the thoughts that told her she needed to be thinner to truly enjoy herself.

"The circumference of your waist has no effect on the deliciousness of chocolates or the saltiness of french fries or the sweetness of ice cream," she wrote in the post. "Your pant size cannot feel the breeze of the ocean on your skin or the warmth of the sunshine on your hair."

Instead of thinking of your body as something that needs to be shaped into a mold small enough that it's okay to eat what you want or take time away from the gym, Susanna wrote that you should think of it as a "vessel for experience."

"It's the home for your spirit that rejoices in all of the things you're there to do and see and smell and taste and be surrounded by," she wrote. "It is the vehicle that allows you to experience a new and softer existence, if only for a little while."

She ate anything and everything she wanted to eat on this vacation, and didn't worry about counting her steps or tracking how much exercise she got each day.

"I ate chocolates even though I wasn't hungry. I put real sugar and full fat milks in my coffees. I ate french fries off a stand in Bruges. My body allowed me to do all of those things. It gave me the energy I needed, the comfort I craved, the strength required to be present there."

She knows she came home heavier than when she left, but Susanna is okay with that.

"And I watched my body adjust. I watched my belly soften and my muscles relax. I watched it ease into vacation mode. And when my body eases? that's OKAY. If a softer existence means a softer me? I'll take it."

It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.

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