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Happy Monday, all! 

Today's blog is a very special guest blog from our friend Nicole Ortiz(@MissDeIntl2012) - i.e., Miss Delaware International 2012 (titleholder), Miss Maryland United States 2009 (titleholder), Miss United States 2009, Miss Maryland USA 2009 (Top 15), Miss Maryland USA 2008 (Best in Swimsuit Award)! 

Quite a resume - on top of all of that, Nicole is the co-founder of the website PageantProfessors.com, and a wonderful advocate for eating disorder prevention and intervention, as well as promoting positive self-image! We are extremely excited to have her guest blog for us, as eating disorders and positive body image are crucially important issues to be educated about. 


Pageantry and eating disorders

On the surface, pageantry might seem like an unlikely hobby for someone with a history of eating disorders, but it’s been through this unique platform that I’ve been able to heal. Here are a few ways that pageantry helped me regain my confidence and achieve my dream of being an advocate for eating disorders awareness.

Engage in positive self talk: Preparing for a pageant includes filling out a bio sheet, which often drives the questions asked during your personal interview. The simple act of listing my educational and professional achievements, hobbies and community involvement reminded me of the many talents, strengths and gifts I possess. My inner critic grew more silent every day as I cultivated a new habit of positive self-talk! 

Let go of pressures and expectations: Life with an eating disorder was exhausting; I put tremendous pressure on myself to be perfect. For years, my self worth was tied to the number on a scale. Today, sharing my story with other young women and families impacted by the diseases encourages me to let go of the invisible and impossible standards I created and move forward.

Stop dreaming, start doing: I spent many years on the sidelines of my life, watching others achieve big things. I was so afraid of failing that I never took big risks. Five years ago, I would never have stepped foot on a national stage or opened up about my eating disorders to the community. However, as terrifying as these things are, having the opportunity to represent my state and spearheading the first National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Delaware are well worth the risk!

All things are possible. The roads to Miss Delaware International and eating disorder recovery were challenging and without persistence, I wouldn’t have achieved either! I competed three times before winning my first state title and found myself relapsing during times of stress and transition. In years when I lost the crown, I never lost faith in myself. Victory over a decade-long battle with anorexia and bulimia suddenly put any and all things within my reach.

Above all things, I am thankful for this special journey; it’s amazing what miraculous things can happen along the road to self love.


Thanks, Nicole!

For more information on eating disorders, check out our Health Issues section. Remember, giving your child the knowledge to build a healthy lifestyle helps to promote great body image. Make a healthy choice - for life! 

4/29/2012 10:30:49 PM|KRIS.VANVONDEREN

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