What really is happiness?

“You look so great”.

‘Your willpower is amazing”.

“I want to look like you”.

“What do you do and eat?”


These were some of the questions and comments I received when I was in the depths of my eating disorder. Girls that I had never talked to ever started coming to me for health and fitness advice. Boys started noticing me and talking to me. I was finally receiving attention and compliments from guys. And girls complimented me and questioned me for my secret to being skinny. They wanted the body that now overtook me. I say overtook because they body I was in was not me. I was overtaken by ED. Every little thing I did and thought about revolved around ED. As my counselor put it, he was like an abusive boy friend that I was afraid to leave.


At the time all these compliments and praise where fueling a fire. My ED feed on them. It gave me more willpower and strength to keep going down the ED road. I know that many of you did not know what I was going though. Many of you maybe had some worries, but did not know how to go about addressing them. Many people thought I was so happy with my newfound body. But, that was not the case at all. Everyday was horrifying to me. I was always consumed by the thought of food and exercise. I planned my life around eating and working out. I was afraid to go out to eat and be social. I had a whirlwind of negative ED thoughts going through my head every second: “What if there is nothing there I can eat?” ,“I can’t go to the restaurant it is not healthy.” ,“You can’t eat that you will get fat.” , “Nope, I can’t go to the movies with you I will miss my meal time. “ ,and “Heck no I will not go to breakfast with you. That is when I work out.” Everyday was a battle for me, and in the beginning ED won a lot of the time. I could not be a normal person my age. I was no longer the outgoing and adventurous girl I once was. Stress and sadness overtook my frail body. I hardly slept and felt like there was no way out. I had lost friends and could not make any. I had never felt so alone yet so controlled by someone (ED).


There are times when I wonder what my life would be like and where I would be if I had not had an ED. I think back at all the time I lost while I was consumed with my ED and all the experiences I missed out on. But that does not good. Everything happens for a reason. All I know is that I have been able to battle the demons and have discovered some of my old self again. I have gained back friendships and now can go out and be social and adventurous again. I wont say I am back to my old self because I have becomes so much stronger and have gained a different perspective on life. I still do have struggles but I have much so much progress.


I write this article in order to help other girls who are going through what I did. I want people to think about things before they say them and understand the seriousness of an ED. It is sad to see that this is what our society has come to. Skinny = happy, healthy, beautiful, successful, etc. I was one of the many young girls that fell to this message and unfortunately many other people. I see this everyday on Instagram and social media. Many young girls are praised for their unhealthy eating and exercise habits. What I ask is for you to think about what actually is beauty, healthy, and happiness. Challenge societies irrational standards. I can tell you from experiences that skinny does not equal happiness or health. Happiness is friendship, relationships, adventures, experiences, and love. There is so much more to life than that.

I hope this spoke to you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.




11 thoughts on “What really is happiness?

  1. adventurewithellie

    I completely agree. I always saw things like that but really was never truly happy until now where I am enjoying things and not being scared to eat a little piece of chocolate or go out to noodles & co! You are such an inspiration! Love the post


  2. blondepancake

    Your strength is unbelievable Hayley. This was such a great post and you are such an amazing person. Hope you’re having a great week! 🙂 xo


  3. Lyss

    This is such an amazing post Hayley. So so true that skinny does not equate to happiness. Wish I didn’t fall into that trap and believe that either; but everything we go through in life teaches us something and I most definitely know now that my body type doesn’t determine my worth. Hope you are doing well beautiful! ❤


  4. Victoria

    I have been following your health Instagram for 3 years now and I remember reading one of the first post you wrote about your mentality and it was such an eye opener for me because I was experiencing the exact same thing! I remember feeling scared but relieved that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way! Sharing your story has been a tremendous help and it has been so fantastic to watch you transition from being captive to the depths of an eating disorder to experiencing a full and promising life! Keep going strong!! 😊😊


  5. caileejoy

    Wise words girl! Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s so sad how the media praises being skinny more than it praise having a healthy relationship with food (Which is SO much more important). Health comes in all different shapes and sizes. And I love what you said, “Happiness is friendship, relationships, adventures, experiences, and love.” ❤ Hope that you have a beautiful day!!
    Xoxo Cailee @ http://hellohealthyeating.com 🙂


  6. Kaylee

    “There are times when I wonder what my life would be like and where I would be if I had not had an ED. I think back at all the time I lost while I was consumed with my ED and all the experiences I missed out on. But that does not good. Everything happens for a reason.” — Wondering what if does me no good too; it only hurts my self-esteem even more, makes me feel like another failure, and fuels my ED. Staying positive is the way to go. And HECK YES to challenging society’s norms!



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