"Travel helped me with my eating disorder" by Lydia Jane Alice

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"Travel helped me with my eating disorder" by Lydia Jane Alice

Travelling really opens up your eyes as to how small we are on this big planet.
It makes us realise that, in the grand scheme of things, trivial things we worry about at home are truly irrelevant. To me, it has been a fundamental feature in changing my life for the better.
When I was younger, I was bullied for being ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’. For as long as I can remember, I used to look in the mirror and feel upset by what I saw as a result. When I was eleven, I started dieting and going to the gym to make myself feel better… but it only made things worse. I developed an unhealthy addiction to tracking calories eaten and burned, I would spend hours researching the best methods to lose weight and feel depressed if I even put on as much as 0.1lb.

I was beyond skinny, but I was still unhappy.


This is how I spent most of my teenage life. I truly believed that if I starved myself enough, I would be beautiful and people would like me. All I ever wanted was for people to like me, but my eating disorder actually pushed my friends away. Scared of ever eating more than 500 calories a day, I wasn’t my funny, bubbly self anymore… I was just an empty shell.
When I went to college, I met my boyfriend, Mike. We started going out in December 2013, and I was still addicted to calorie counting. While my female friends never wanted to offend me, he called me out! “Why are you doing this?” he used to ask. He’d get mad at me and tell me I was beautiful the way I was. It was the first time anyone had ever acknowledged my eating disorder and told it where to go! He helped me start eating more and gain some confidence.
After we had been seeing each other for a few months, we started planning some trips. We both had an ambition to see the world and experience as many different countries and cultures as we could.
In the past four and a half years, we have travelled all over the place and had so many incredible experiences.

While I started out still worrying about my weight all the time, I began to realise how ridiculous it is to be worrying over calories when there’s an entire world out there to explore.

Also, how food is actually one of the best things about travelling and immersing yourself in an exciting new culture!
Plus, I began to enjoy taking pictures and even being in them. Travelling allowed me to gain confidence in my own appearance again, regardless of whether or not I ‘fit in’ with other people. It made me realise that a few bullies at home were not the be all and end all in life, in fact, they were remarkably small and insignificant.image-3
Everyone in the world has beauty – regardless of their outer appearance. Travelling the world only made me realise that more – we are all so unique… and that is an amazing thing to celebrate! I mean, if we all looked like supermodels, it would be a pretty boring world to live in right?
Fast forward to today.
While I would love to say that I am completely over my eating disorder, I would be lying. My old demons come back to haunt me sometimes, to tell me I’m not pretty enough, not skinny enough. But here I am, writing this blog post to share with you all – and that is my biggest success. I think everyone gets feelings of self-doubt from time to time, but having the courage to tell those feelings where to go is one of my greatest achievements.
At the beginning of 2018, I finally pushed myself to start my own fashion and travel blog. It has been a real test to my confidence, but I am really loving the journey so far. My aim is to help people who, like me, struggle with feelings of low self-worth and to tell them – you’re amazing, just the way you are.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Lydia Jane Alice

Lydia is a 22 year old history student, fashion and travel lover.  She has upcoming trips to Morocco, Malaysia and Indonesia!
Instagram: www.instagram.com/lydiajanealice
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lydiajanealice
Blog: www.lydiajanealice.com

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? SheGoesGlobal.net is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.

2 Comments

  1. Diana April 6, 2018 at 10:50 am - Reply

    A incredible story, and so brave of her to be willing to share her journey. Thanks!

    • Heather Ditmars April 6, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

      Isn’t it?! She is so beautifully brave. So happy she chose SheGoesGlobal.net as the platform!

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