Sharing a Photo of my Past

Well guys, I officially cannot believe I’m doing this.

Seriously. I’m sitting here thinking about it, and I’m like…

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.


In case you missed the title, I’m sharing a photo with you from my past. When I was in the throes.

The video says it all…why I haven’t previously shared a photo, why I am choosing to now, and what I think when I see this image today.


Just a gentle note, this image could be triggering, so please view at your own discretion. (Image at 4:30)

Thanks for watching, and thanks for taking this journey with me.

Without further ado… (Click on the photo or click here to play 😉 )

382 responses to “Sharing a Photo of my Past”

  1. I want to say it was by chance you stopped by my blog. I know we have different eating disorders but I still feel your pain. I think we crossed paths for a reason. I’m proud of you. You’re a strong amazing person. I’m thankful our paths crossed. God bless you.


    • Thank you so much Chrystal. That’s so kind of you to say. I’m glad our paths crossed as well. Stay strong, warrior. Cheering for you in your recovery! Hugs and love xox

  2. I have always loved your authenticity of your posts. You are brave in your written posts, but Oh, wow the heart and vulnerability of your video comes through on all levels. Thank you for sharing, thank you for being honest about your journey. You’re an inspiration of hope for people to stay or start a journey of healing.

  3. Hey girl I just watched your video and I have to say I was so touched by how open you were being. I haven’t followed your blog as long as some of your other readers but I felt so connected to you immediately especially when you said you’re grateful to be alive. I know how that feels to be thankful just to be where you are now because I’m nearing my second year of staying clean.

    • Aw thank you so much my friend. Thanks for taking the time to watch. Yes. Very grateful indeed. That’s awesome. Congrats on two years. That’s something to be proud of. Hugs and love xox

  4. Moving and powerful, Caralyn. How brave of you to share the photo with us. I would say that much like your journey to showing parts of your face in photos to doing video, it’s been a similar journey for you to get to the point to show that photo, but also note how grateful you are to be healthy and alive. I didn’t see that as a dramatic admission, but one based in faith and hope. I don’t want to make showing your face on a blog as important as what you’ve been through, but I find the journeys similar.

    The old saying I used to hear growing up is while I may not be where I want to be, thank God I’m not where I was. That seems to apply to you, dear. Here’s hoping to continued health and happiness for you.

  5. You are such a strong remarkable woman. You have overcome, but just survived but overcame and thrived. So proud of you. You are such an inspiration. Keep shining your light.

  6. I know how much courage that took…I felt it, as it brought tears to my eyes. Do you know what an inspiration you are? I’m glad you’re here and thanks for sharing and being open and honest and letting people know that there IS a way back.

  7. You are a beautiful soul my Angel!!! You are an inspiration to ALL and I know it took a lot to share your story and photo! Know we ALL love you, your Angels love you and are always with YOU, and God loves you and is always there for and proud of you! xoxo

  8. You are courageous, and I just want to say, “thank you.” Thank you for sharing more of your story in an even deeper, more personal, visual way… Also, I’m so very grateful, too, that you’re both alive and healthy and blessed. And may God continue to bless you abundantly!

      • I wish I could put words to the feelings I felt throughout your video, not just the photo. I don’t think I ever will have the words. Too many feelings all gathered together. All I know is that I am so grateful that I followed your blog. Not a blog I would have normally followed since I don’t have an eating disorder. I have my own “disorder” and your posts and messages have always been so inspiring for me. Even from a deep emotional expression such as this video, I leave feeling uplifted and truly touch within my heart. Filled with hope. You have a good night also, Caralyn. 🙂

  9. Bless you! I so felt your emotion watching this. You are very down to earth and courageous. You are “Beauty beyond bones”. I’m fortunate to have found your blog. Bless again and stay strong and please keep blogging. ♥

    • Thank you Christopher. I’m sorry you have witnessed this first hand in your family. I appreciate your kind words of encouragement. Sending massive hugs. Thanks for watching xox

  10. Hi! I came here and watched your video. I know I am still young but thank you for sharing this. I smiled when you said you are glad to be alive. Well, stay strong!

  11. God and your journey have made you beautiful with a powerful message. I am thankful you are here to share the journey with us.

  12. What a brave, raw, powerful video. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I know that must have been really difficult. You’re a beautiful soul. I wish I could give you a hug. <3 Much love to you.

  13. Reblog on my site, hope that is ok, your words of courage and strength are inspiring. I like how you remind us that when making a change for the better in our lives it has to be on all levels. Thank you for sharing, I am sure you will help others who are struggling.

  14. It must have taken a crazy amount of courage to post that picture. I can’t even imagine.

    Kudos to you for having reached a healthier mindset both physically and spiritually. And may God be praised for all of His help. 🙂

  15. There is great strength and power in your testimony. I thank god for your courage and willingness to share it with us and for allowing me to be a small fraction of this story. You are a blessing to many and are truly beautiful and truly being the light of the world.

  16. Great post 🙂 It is never easy for any human being who is gone through a painful part of their past to depict it in candid detail, but you were very courageous to do so and I am so proud that you are now a happy individual with a life that is continuing to flourish. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Thanks John, that really means a lot. You’re right-it was deffffinitely pretty scary to press publish on this one. Thanks for being such an awesome source of support and encouragement 🙂 hope you’re having a great week! sending big hugs xox

  17. Through your healing, so many more will be healed. Praying for you sis! Thank you for your bare, brave honesty. Someone will be saved because of this. <3

  18. There is a part of you that holds a inner peace like no other. Most of your story tells of a person that battled and conquered a very nasty battle that so many battle. The first part comes when you see that tragedy is coming. Second do what you must to correct it. Third talk to someone about it. All of which you have done.

    Now as my point, It took much courage to express your feelings, Sure before showing your picture you made statement of worry for those who might not like the trigger then after showing your picture you hesitated.

    So it did have a flash back not only of that life, but also the worry for those other who have battled or maybe battling it. By you opening this wound in your life you may help other readers who are battling it now, and just need that little push to get them started.
    Despite that statement through the whole video, I seen areas peace within your life that many don’t show, even after talking about certain situations including yours.
    The rest of the presentation you emotion was more of a person who had let go of the past, found Peace within and took control of their life. Keep strong and your life will prosper.

  19. You’re beautiful..thanks for being so brutally honest and transparent. I wish there were more people like you in this world. Where you begin in life is not where you you’ll end. Stay on course, your journey of recovery is inspiring. I pray that those who read your blog , see tbe beauty of a spiritual human being who overcame adversity. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Thanks so much for sharing that part of your story with us! It’s so inspiring to see how God has really worked in your life, and is now using you as a living testimony of His faithfulness! 🙂

  21. Beauty! I’m glad you hithtebutton! 🙂 First, very brave to share this way. I would not have guessed that was a picture of you. To my eyes, it didn’t look as bad as I had imagined from your earliest descriptions. I remember you describing the hair loss and more. Still, the fact that it looked nothing like YOU tells me just how dire things were.

    Second, I don’t think you’re being dramatic by saying you’re glad to be alive. Remember that I’ve been there 3 times! I’m glad to be alive; that’s just a fact for me as much as it is for you! And I can think of 15,000+ people who are at least as glad as you are!

    You’ve done a great work in ridding yourself of those last emotional wounds by revisiting your pains and salvation with us! You’ve healed with family friends from the past, you’ve shared you name, your face, and now the face of your ED. In the process, you are a relentless witness to the healing power of Jesus, showing others the way from whatever they suffer, be it ED or something else.

    Thanks for not just being a blogger, but being a friend to me and all of your readers. Blessings to you!

    • Hey Jeff! Aw, thank you. That’s kind of you to say. I’m so grateful that we’re friends too! 🙂 You constantly bring a smile to my face, and send me so much kindness through the inter webs 🙂 hehe and Amen to that – Jesus is so good. I seriously owe it all to Him – ev-er-y-thing! I know you know this too. Sending massive hugs to you, Jeff. Have a terrific weekend. xox

  22. Thank you so much, BBB, for posting this, and sharing your wounds, your life. I am so thankful to God for your beautiful recovery. May you continue to draw your strength, courage and identity from God and allow His beautiful Truths of who you really are to permeate and envelop every fiber of your being. For you are His masterpiece! And a most gorgeous one at that <3

    • Hi Mindy! Thank you so much for this kind note of encouragement. I really appreciate your support. Amen to that-God has truly transformed my heart and healed it and for that I am eternally grateful. Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful evening. Xox

  23. You are an amazing woman! I cried watching because what you said touched me so much, I have been through so much and seeing this has helped me a lot. You will help so many people with this video. I wish I could give you such a big hug love. Stay Awesome!

  24. A very brave post, I really admire your strength and although I haven’t met you and probably never will I too am grateful that you are alive! Very touched 🙂
    Tracy xx

  25. I felt all kinds of feelies and emotions throughout the video. That was brave of you to share a dark moment of your life. Though honestly I still couldn’t see the physical/emotional pain in the picture, it was that beaming radiant smile i bet. I’m sure you know the difficulties well enough but I just saw a brave smiley girl. If a saw anymore than I was suppose to based on that photo that would probably make me judgmental wouldn’t it? Arguably, if we saw more of the body it would be more obvious. Maybe my eyes are not adjusted to critically analyze a person based on their facial appearance, probably for the best. Things have definitely got better though. You look so good now! Much Love.


    • Thank you so much Nam. I really appreciate your encouragement. Yeah, I didn’t want to share a full body, as that would have been to jarring. Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot. Sending hugs xox

  26. All through the time I have been reading your Blog I have never focused on the anorexia because of course it isn’t there to be glorified like you said, I focused on your faith, I mean wow, I had the picture of the roman centurion when he went up to Jesus and had so much faith in Him, you have been through so much and you have so faith in Him, I always see your inner beauty the beautiful spirit that’s in your heart, that’s what has kept me reading and it has given me so much encouragement and I am so thankfully for you being in my life <3 and about the other thing, you are a new creation, that past you I know is gone, washed in the glorious blood of the lamb, I understand the mental scars will always be there but Jesus is working on those day by day and I know God is using this history these struggles as fire for the goodness of God as a testimony of Faith, I am so proud of the progress you have been made even if i wasn't there at the beginning of your recovery, I love you with all my heart sister, you will forever be in my heart if we ever get to meet or not, as I know were are definitely meet one day 😉

    Benjamin xxxxx

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful note of encouragement. I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate your kindness and support, my friend. I’m grateful for you. Hugs and love xox

  27. Thanks for sharing this video with us! I love the way you end with a total heart of gratitude for being alive! God brought you through to be a testimony to others. Thanks again

  28. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable moment with us. I often look back on old pictures not out of envy of not being that thin anymore but to see how far I’ve come and all the progress I have made. Yes it is weight that it noticeable to the eye but looking at those pictures makes you feel how far your mind body and soul have come. Kuddos to you, keep inspiring everyone around you! <3

  29. You are such a brave and strong woman. It takes a lot of courage to share your past, especially something that was this difficult. You are an inspiration! Sending you love and hugs.♥️

  30. Such strength, such honesty, such a witness! You are a blessing to so many who read this and to all those people who have yet to meet you. I thank our loving Father for you and thank him for the way he has chosen to use you. Thanks

    I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:4

  31. Wow. That was very powerful stuff. Thank you for having the courage to share. Maybe it will inspire someone else to summon the strength to set foot on the path to healing.
    If you consider the two images side by side, the “current” you shows genuine happiness when you smile. The you in the” throes” may be smiling, but it looks like it’s forced happiness. Smiling because it’s expected.
    Keep doing what you are doing, especially if YOU believe it is helping. We are all here for you.

    • Thanks so much for this kind response. That’s very insightful-it was definitely a forced smile. A frantic smile. A smile that was doing everything it could to conceal the pain inside. So glad to have a genuine smile back:) thanks for your support. Hugs and love xox

  32. I waited until now to watch this because I wanted to give my full attention to it. You are brave, you are strong… You are brave and strong in the Lord. Keep telling your story because I believe you ARE helping people by sharing your journey. Blessings Jim

  33. It’s clear how big of a step this was for you. Realize that there is power and love in the body of Christ. That power and love will be an amazing support for you as you keep going on your journey. Sharing this tells us where you’ve been and helps us to better understand what you’re going through and what you’re thinking–keep it up and we will support you!!!

    In Him,

    • Thank you Tom. Amen to that-I have been so touched and blessed by the friendships on here. I am so grateful for you:) thanks for watching and your encouraging words! Hugs and love xox

  34. Thank you for liking my blog. I’m just starting on my long road to recovery from drug addiction. I find your story to be inspiring. I hope I can beat my own demons. Also you are a much better writer than I am. I have no idea what I’m doing but I find writing to be catharic so I’m going to keep at it. Best wishes.

    • Thank you so much for this reflection. Know that I am cheering for you on your journey to recovery! 🙂 thanks for stopping by and keep writing! I look forward to reading more! Hugs and love xox

  35. Thank you for your post. You have a beautiful story. This disease is so destructive. It took a lot of courage to put that photo out there for the world to see. You have obviously come a long way. You are a beautiful person!

  36. I understand what a courageous and humbling thing it is to look back and say this was me. We can’t see what is not physically there but you can. I’m so inspired by the example you set. Your light is bright, indeed.

  37. A friend (who also has a chronic illness) and I have been “email-discussing” the idea of the Gift of Suffering. She and I are both convinced that God will allow (or permit) us to suffer because we can use our suffering to bless others. There are many scriptures that point to this general concept. You, also, have found the gift of suffering (a deeper walk with God, comforting others with the comfort you received from Christ). I am glad that you are on this side. Still, your tribulation developed patience; patience, character (maturity); and maturity, hope. And, hope never fails. In fact, I wonder if I should write a blog about this idea? Do you think people would understand that I am not minimizing their pain and suffering?

    • Thank you so much for this reflection Rose. That’s such a deep way of thinking about suffering. I definitely think you’re onto something. And amen to that-hope never fails. I’d definitely love to read your thoughts further! Hugs and love xox

  38. I just wanted to tell you that it’s not dramatic for you to be grateful that you’re alive! Anorexia is a disease that takes so many lives and is so hard to recover from. Your story is such a beautiful testament and honestly, a miracle. I know I feel like I’m being overly dramatic sometimes, and find it so helpful when friends tell me I’m actually realistic in my word choice. So I just wanted to do that for you 🙂

    • Thank you so much, gosh you are so sweet and encouraging. God has definitely been good to me. I wouldn’t say a miracle is a stretch at all! Thanks for always giving me a nudge of kindness! Big big hugs xox

  39. Hello Friend – While watching your video tonight, one thought kept coming to mind over and over…”but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 I see you soaring and I am honored to be invited to see you soaring like in eagle. Thanks be to God! 🙂

  40. God Bless you! Thanks for sharing your journey with us and for sharing something so personal – that was very courageous; God healed you so that you can turn around and heal others and you do that every time you blog. Keep being you..

  41. That was courageous ! I too had eating disorders for more than half my life… I totally understand anorexia… And bulimia. And how great freedom through Gods grace is!!!🙏
    Thank you for sharing

  42. That was a touching video and your blog is inspiring. I’m so happy for you. Look at how far you’ve come! You’re amazing and beautiful.

  43. I’m so happy for you that you acknowledge and recognize how far you’ve come from that chapter of your life. Looking backwards gives us unique insights and perspective to the journey ahead. Thank you for sharing that piece of you.

  44. It’s interesting that the Olympic ad led you to reflect on your own story and journey. Life isn’t all about the “highs” and you certainly shared a “low” point, which is very brave of you to do. It’s wonderful to hear your gratitude! I have a friend who recovered from an ED, but we don’t really talk about it much. Following your blog and story makes me think of her…and just reflect that we don’t often know someone’s full story. It’s a reminder to simply be kind and gentle to one another as we all have a different journey in life.

    • Thank you so much for this reflection. Thank you for taking the time to watch and for your encouragement! I love that:yes, gentleness is such a gift to one another. Hugs and love xox

  45. Dear Caralyn:

    I always get a twinge when you use “authentic.” It still stimulates the thought that your feel a need to justify yourself before us. But I think that your revelation here is really important to me in getting “calibrated” (another sense of making my experience of your story “authentic”) regarding the depth of your struggle. So, if it’s possible, could you place the photo in context? Was this before or after your intervention? I’m assuming that the hair is the orange fuzz that grew in after your lost your original crop.

    However, I understand if you don’t wish to elaborate.

    Thank-you for providing this image to those of us that haven’t suffering ED or similar disorders. I had brief associations with stick-thin women that were obviously bulimic or anorexic, but never someone so terribly wasted by the disease. I didn’t understand, and I an grateful to have benefited from your courage.

    You are so blessed by your physiological recovery. That also inspires hope for those engaged in the fight to pull loved ones through to health.


    • Thank you so much for this reflection and perspective Brian. Yeah it definitely shows the severity of my disease. This was before I went to inpatient. My senior prom. Answering these questions is bringing up some negative emotions so I’m going to just leave it there. Thanks for understanding. Xx

      • I understand entirely.

        At one point, I was sending Christmas reflection to Cardinal Mahoney out here in Los Angeles. In one of them, I suggested that those that have strong hearts bring them to the cross for Christ to use in healing others.

        Mine is held out to you.


  46. BBB, thank you for sharing this visual part of your story with us. I know it was a big step and even bigger act of vulnerability for you to do so, my beloved friend and sister in Christ!

    How I do so thank God for you! I am thankful you are with us 🙂 <3

    How do you spell your name, by the way 🙂

  47. I love your vulnerability in this. Right now I’m taking a Christian counseling course and have learned the value of vulnerability in the process of healing. What you did by sharing that photo with us was brave, and risky for you. Thank you for trusting us and being you, just the way you are 🙂

    I can clearly see such a difference between your old self and who you are now. What a testimony that is! I’m blessed to read your blogs. As a missionary and someone who works in ministry as a lifestyle, I love seeing people like you who are so inspiring by just being you the way God made you to be, and not even serving in some kind of church ministry or something else.

    Thank you for being you 🙂

  48. Dear Beauty, You are truly beauty beyond bones – That is to say; bones are all sort of challenges you face in life and you have grown beyond them, stronger beyond their strongness, for the Creator has wish it to be so. Thanking you with love for your kind gesture and liked on my little work. God bless and keep you.

  49. I didn’t think I would cry, but I did. I know that face and I’m so grateful for your sharing. You look like a transformed and beautiful, healthy woman now-who managed to anti age in the process! Blown away.

  50. This took guts, real guts and obviously was not without cost to you. I trust and pray that God will continue to bless you in your courage and honesty. As a close Christian friend of me said before his dementia robbed him of his mind – “being a Christian does not mean we will not have to go through tough times. What it does mean is that we are not alone in those times.” Oh – and thanks for liking one of my poems. For someone just starting out with a Blog it is greatly encouraging. I hope you will find others relevant/useful.

  51. So it’s been a few posts since I left a really complete comment 😉

    You know there have been a few occasions where I kind of just rampaged through facebook deleting everything. Not for the same reasons of course but I don’t really like to think about some periods in my life, so I can relate a little bit and with that as a starting point it makes me wonder just how much junk I’m still ignoring in the trunk because I just don’t want to go there / remember that person / admit that was me. I’m a very reserved and very self-absorbed person–the kind that may not remember your name the first time because I was too worries about what I was going to say next / what tone I was going to use / whether a bad pun would be appreciated by someone I can’t even remember the name of five seconds after they’ve told me (and don’t even get me started on the hours afterward I’ll spend running over the possible names that I could’ve heard trying hopelessly to hit the right tag in my brain all the while kicking myself for being too self-absorbed to remember a simple name) yeah, I’m not sure where all that came from cause it was NOT in my mental notes (a snapshot into my mind).


    What I was starting to say is, I’m proud, and I hope you’re proud too of what Christ has accomplished in you, his beautiful masterpeice, Caralyn, a young woman greatly beloved (#throwbacktodaniel #iknowbutijusthadto)

    It’s not hard to tell (or maybe you’re just a good actor 😉 ) this is big for you and at first I was like ‘well that’s not so big,’ and not that I was thinking that in like a discrediting way but I couldn’t (and I’m sure still don’t) completely grasp what a step it was for you to share that photo with us, but at the same time (and maybe this is where that tidbit at the beginning came from) it got me thinking about all the reminders I’ve buried over the years that don’t even seem nearly so big as this but that I wouldn’t want to dig up for a thousand bucks a pop. (Maybe a million–MAYBE 😉 ) I guess it just impressed on me a bigger sense of what kind of courage it took for you to go through with that. Bravo (:

    (I actually feel like this comment turned out a lot lamer than I was planning but, WHATEVER) (curse you, over-introspection) I don’t think I can put it any better than I already did to say, I’m proud, and I’m pretty darn lucky to have stumbled on your story because my golly gosh it’s been so encouraging to follow along.

    Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now 😉
    Happy Sunday!

    • Hey Carson! Oh my gosh this comment really made me smile. First of all, it was totally NOT lame at allll! It was really thoughtful and heartfelt and I so appreciate it. And golly gosh (☺️) am I grateful that our paths crossed too! Because you just continue to enrich my life, so thank you for that my friend. Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday! Hugs and love xox

  52. while listening to your heartfelt story of transformation I also saw myself. although we are vastly different physically, age, gender, and issues of our past, the spirit of our transformations has common ground. I thank you for your honestly, and openness.

    bless you my friend

  53. Hi Caralyn….going for the Gold medal again in bravery (you remember what I said you first got it for, right? 😉 And yet, it is with great hope and prayer that I believe that the sharing of this will allow that darkness to be brought into the Light, to be surrendered. There’s an expression that I think came from AA that you are only as sick as your secrets. YOU have been hauling out those secrets, bringing them to the surface, hewing them out of the ossified fears and torments of the past, throwing them out into the light where they can be turned over to God. He has granted you the knowledge, the courage, the wisdom of when and how to do this, and will help you through this.
    Keep going daughter of the Most High 😀

    • Hahha than you Jeff. That’s kind of you to say. Yes, I know and love that saying well. It’s so true. When we let people in, it no longer has power over us. Thanks for your encouragement. God is good. Hugs and love xox

  54. wow this is beautiful!! Thank you for liking my blogg, as I have just started. It brought me to your bogg..god really works in mysterious ways, just when you liked my blogg I was actually having lunch at a hospital. And I came across a older woman who was anorexia and I was asking God how does a person become like this and how does it go this far.. Its so amaizing, as I went on your blogg I got all the answers and it has helped me to understand and have abit knowledge. Because of your blogg I now have some understanding, and now I can go and pray for people out there who is struggling!! Your blogg is so inspirational, and so uplifting!! It is so amazing to see how the Lord has touched your heart and you are a living proof that with God there is healing and revival.. I pray that God may use you more and more, and as you are writing this blogg it may bring light to all those who are broken.. May you be a light to the world as the word says we are a light to the world..

  55. I cannot imagine what courage you had to summon to publish this post. You would be impressed by the latest post of someone else with a similar, but possibly far less extreme ED history:
    Strangely I followed her blog because of the strong, commonsense Christian spirit of her writing and had not realised her past ED history until reading this.

  56. I should point out, in case you check her blog, I describe her writing as ‘commonsense Christian’ because she rejects the extreme ‘dangling you over the pit’ hellfire and guilt inducing preaching she was subjected to as a teenager and is not a churchgoer. Nevertheless she has come through it with, I think unknowingly, a sense of balance which Jesus would love.

  57. Its hard to look back at ourselves when in the past we feel the breaks. I hate old pix of me because I was at least 2x if not more, of my size now. All my friends love sharing old pix of them. I don’t. I usually share old pix of places I’ve been but not of me. I totally confide with your feelings of your old shot. I feel the same gratefulness that you do about where I’ve come from that. You are beautiful now and have made your presence into a beautiful present and that will keep on carrying you to a beautiful future. Biggest love and hugs!! xoxoxoxoxo

  58. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and God saw your true beauty even before He and healed you lead you to where you are today
    You are a true light to illuminate the darkness of disbelief and give hope to those who are still struggling