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Alyson Stoner says she felt ‘insecure’ in her body before getting treatment for eating disorders: ‘I was so isolated’

The actress and dancer opened up about feeling “insecure” in her body. (Photo: Getty Images; Designed by Yahoo Life)

it figures Yahoo Life’s Body Image series, which delves into the journeys of influential and inspirational figures as they explore what body confidence, body neutrality and self-love mean to them.

Alyson Stoner has been acclaimed as a skilled and charismatic dancer since gaining notoriety for her appearance in Missy Elliott’s “Work It” video in 2002. cheaper by the Dozen, Come forward And camp RockShe realized that losing control of her mind and her body was the price of fame.

Stoner, 29, told Yahoo Life, “My body used to be a battlefield, an unsafe place to exist.

She credits the “imbalance” she experienced not only to the industry, but also to the environment in which she grew up. She says an “unstable family home” played a big role in “losing confidence with my body.” Something that is still in the process of recovery.

“My decision-making was never about, like, what’s going to be healthy and good for my well-being? It was more like, does it help me, you know, survive the night? Which means Maybe, don’t go down and get the food because you don’t know what’s going on in the kitchen,” she says.

The need to remain invisible at home led Stoner to neglect self-care, further solidified by his experience as a child actor. “I still consciously do the basics today, like, drink water, brush my hair,” she says. “They dressed up for the industry. And whenever I was like, Oh, I’m not going to be on camera today, I’m going to forget to do all the stuff because I just associated all that with being camera-ready — not in And like valuable rituals for self-care and health.”

She uses these examples to explain the combination of her body and mind in the simplest of terms. However, her inability to provide for herself and her needs while meeting others’ expectations “showed up in her every day,” she says, noting that she “bounced past signs” such as thirst, hunger, and pain. . “On set, I believed that if you are the fittest you will get the role. So, it doesn’t matter if you are in pain, because the goal is not wellness, the goal is achievement.”

She was convinced to take any means necessary.

“I read so many health and fitness articles that were not designed for my 13 year old’s developing body. And I absolutely did not understand that it had to be read in context, it had to be read lightly, it was not was like a doctor’s orders and a prescription. You know, I was just consuming information, like anything worth following,” she recalls. “I was helpless in my own experience. Or I was so disconnected because I was focusing only on my body, as opposed to inward.”

In 2011 at age 17, Stoner was hospitalized and entered rehab where she was diagnosed and treated for anorexia nervosa, exercise bulimia, and binge eating disorder. He also received diagnoses for generalized anxiety disorder, OCD and alexithymia — commonly known as emotional blindness — has been linked to PTSD.

He shared with details his experience in treatment for the first time in 2019 People, Staying private about it in the interim was important to her recovery.

“I recommend Be careful who you tell and who you don’t tell. And let the people you tell be, you know, an intimate group that you trust while you’re building that foundation and there’s less pressure to maintain, you know, the finished product. , or say, ‘Yes, I did it,'” she says. For me.”

She refers to this as her “cocoon”, which has insulated her from outside commentary that hinders self-functioning. However, avoiding outside influences forever was not an option.

“just like with my sexuality is coming outI waited until I felt like I could talk about something without being active,” she explains. , and birthdays, and hanging out with friends and being on set again, And like training for a role without having to retrain in behavior. I gave myself a chance to go through rehearsals in a bunch of different environments before I really started talking about it in public.”

Although she’s more open about the difficulties today, she continues to equip herself with the tools she needs for recovery, well-being, and self-love.

“Like, projecting yourself, creating a particular mantra or phrase, when you can inevitably encounter a response that’s unwanted or unhelpful. For me, I actually had physical cards that I wrote was, you know, what those triggering comments might sound like or look like or who they’re coming from. And I would create replacement statements that I would say internally in that moment just to orientate toward healing. To keep,” she says.

Stoner emphasizes that it took years to integrate these practices into his life, and an equal amount of time to reap the benefits of them. She hopes to save others that time by leading them to the tools she discovered and built on her wellness platform, movement talent, “I know the manuals of my mind and body and how they work. And so, I feel empowered with the tools that will help me manage life,” she says.

A capsule collection The actress teamed up with intimates brand Harper Wilde for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month to share some of her favorite slogans and affirmations, including “Humans in Progress” and “Anxiety Armor,” for those who need them.

Being able to reach others like this and on this topic is his greatest achievement.

“I’ve always wanted to be here — to be able to humanize each other, to connect more authentically. It was one of the scariest processes starting in rehab, really because the praise, the fame The cultural infrastructure around quality, parasocial relationships isn’t really designed for honest, safe exchanges. And I was very afraid of how people would react, how it would affect my career,” she She says

“When you grew up in the industry, there is a brand self, the product is the brand self, an artist is the creative self and then there is the true self.” she continues. “So it’s been really scary lately when I feel like I’ve settled into who I am, thankfully. I released the vision of my body being a project to complete or an object to fix. I It just feels free to show up like this, wearing my friend’s sweatshirt and no makeup and being like, ‘Yeah, that’s enough for today.'”

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please visit the National Association for Eating Disorders (NEDA) website nationaleatingdisorders.org for more information.

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