I am over the moon excited to share this interview with y’all today. I had the honor of interviewing Caroline Tucker!
Caroline is one of my favorite Youtuber’s with over 300k followers and almost 50k on Instagram. Her channel is so much fun and ranges from outfit inspiration, thrift hauls, vlogs, and so much more. She has been open about her struggles in the past with an eating disorder on her channel. In this interview she dives a little deeper and provides advice and wisdom for other people struggling with their own bodies.
When did your eating disorder first develop?
I’ve struggled with body image ever since I could remember but the tipping point came when I was in middle school transitioning to high school. I decided I wanted to change my eating habits, so basically stop eating McDonald’s after school every day haha, and overall just take better care of myself and make healthier decisions which quickly escalated in a couple months time from less junk food and more exercise to very dangerous food restrictions and a full blown eating disorder that now controlled my life for years to come.
When did you start recovery? Why did you decide it was time? Did someone or something inspire you?
I started recovery end of my junior year of high school. It was this complicated mix of feelings where for months, I knew what I was doing to my body was wrong but I felt like I couldn’t, and some part of me didn’t even want, to stop. It was actually the beginning of my YouTube channel and starting something that occupied so much of my time and quickly became a huge passion and love of mine that made me realize I couldn’t keep living my life under the control of my eating disorder. When I was at my darkest moments it felt like nothing else mattered and everything I once cared about I had completely lost interest in. This illness robbed me of my energy and consumed my life. It wasn’t until I decided to make videos that I found something I loved once again and realized that there was a life to be lived outside of this illness, a life that I WANTED to live.
Have you had a support system along your journey? If so, how have they supported you?
My friends were a big help through my journey and I’m forever grateful for their constant support and love. They were some of the first people to try and help me when I didn’t even know I needed it and I can’t thank them enough.
Have you gone to therapy? If so, have you had a positive experience and would you recommend it to others?
I had talked to people here and there, school counselors, life coaches, psychiatrist, but it wasn’t until a couple months ago that I took the time to find a therapist that would work for me and I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s an investment worth making and if given the opportunity GO! The best investment you can make is in yourself and your mental health.
What was the hardest thing about recovery?
I hadn’t realized at the time how many underlying insecurities and issues with my self esteem, beyond just my body, I had. That was a huge wake up call but also a necessary one i needed to address if I wanted to move forward.
What is some advice you would give a person struggling with an eating disorder right now?
There is so much life and love and happiness to be experienced and you deserve to experience it. I look back at all the years I let pass because I was so consumed with food and my body to actually let myself live life and I don’t regret it (I believe everything happens to teach us something, as shitty as it may be) but I do wish I reached out for help earlier. The path to recovery is a windy road and you will have ups and downs but just like life, the point isn’t to be perfect. It’s to be messy and make mistakes and do things that scare you and know that you are worthy and enough and deserving of feeling love for yourself! Life is too short!
What inspired you to share your story online? What do you hope people take away from it?
I wanted to share my story online knowing that if I could even help one person who was or had struggled, it’d be enough. I also think so much of eating disorders is the shame and guilt we feel for feeling like we failed in some way when in reality, so many people are struggling with the same feelings. It’s okay to admit that you’re not okay…it’s actually one of the bravest things a person can do. If we can all take the steps to have more open conversations and educate people about eating disorders, break the stigmas and stereotypes, my hope is that maybe one day we can stop more of them before they even start.
When did you start living a more balance lifestyle, and how has it improved your overall life?
Since recovery it’s definitely been a journey throughout the years of finding this “balance”. It’s still something I struggle to find every day but I would say about 2 years ago things started to really change. I started focusing on how things made me feel. I would eat a salad because I liked the taste and it would nourish my body but I would also eat a cookie because I liked the taste and it nourished my soul baby! Both are important and key to remind yourself of.
Same goes with working out and doing something because I want and am able to, not because I’m punishing myself. I should love and enjoy my life not purposely do things I hate because I hate myself…that’s a waste. Not only has my love for myself grown but my friendships, family, work, and overall quality of life have all improved because I now have so much life and love and energy to offer now that I’m treating myself the way I should be.
What do you do on bad body image days?
First things first, I go on a walk as soon as I wake up. Doing something nice for my body and getting outside always helps to clear my mind. Other things I do are trying to remind myself that these thoughts I’m having aren’t based in reality. I like to make a list of all the non physical things I like about myself and how much more important those things are anyways. Also doing little things like cleaning my room or washing my car or finishing a work project help to make me feel accomplished and are a reminder that I’m capable of so much and my body has nothing to do with those things. Do my legs work? Can I breathe properly? I have all my fingers, right? Great! Then my body is doing what it needs to be doing and I need to love it for that!
What are some specific affirmations you try to remind yourself of?
I LOVE me some good affirmations. I wake up every morning and tell myself that I am enough just as I am. Regardless of my strengths and weaknesses, I accept myself exactly as I am, in this exact moment. I also like to remind myself that all the people I love in my life, I love for who they are and not how they look so why would I not set those same terms for myself? People remember how you make them feel not some irrelevant number on a scale anyways. As long as I’m having fun and leading with love, nothing else matters.
Thank you so much for being on the blog Caroline!
Youtube- Caroline Tucker