My name is Laura. I’m a 24-year-old holding a master’s degree in Writing, Editing & Mediating, and a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Culture. I spend most of my time working as a desk editor at SVH and as a freelance editor at my own company EditUp, writing for my personal blog (in Dutch) called Schrijfmeisje.nl, and driving my beloved car, a cute Cinquecento. When I’m not writing, I’m either reading, doing yoga, or in the kitchen; cooking is one of my other hobbies. During the summer I grab every opportunity to go inline-skating outside. I’m an alliteration addict and as a former student of English, I have a favourite word: hippopotamus. This is who I am and how most people know me. But what most people never knew, until five years ago, is that I’m anorexic.
Who I was
I was one of those girls who found herself standing on the scales every single morning, confronted with the number it showed. That number would determine the mood, and coincidentally, the courses I would have that day. If the number wasn’t satisfactory, this would be reflected in the mirror; I’d see a rolled roast with flubby fat rolls and huge pudding legs rather than the walking skeleton I was. It took me years to realise that these numbers did not change anything about who I am: Laura, a true control freak, a perfectionist, and an insecure girl with a great amount of discipline. These perfect ingredients led to an eating disorder after several life-changing, negative events, and that ultimately resulted in new perceptions and the desire to help people having similar issues, by creating Beauty Is Not a Number.
Who I am
Getting to where I am today has been quite an effort, but one I’m proud of. After several setbacks, I decided that professional help was not for me. I felt I was treated like I was just another case, rather than an individual. I created my own therapy: writing. Battling my anorexia without someone else analysing me, instead focusing on my problems myself (and writing them down) has shown me that it’s not just health is on the inside; it’s beauty as well. I feel beautiful when I’m healthy and capable of enjoying life, when I embrace what is prettiest about me rather than nitpicking on what I don’t like, when I accept who I am instead of constantly criticising myself. I feel beautiful when I have actually achieved something as a person. It’s about who I am, and who I’m becoming. It’s all about my mindset, and not about a number.