‘Teen Mom 2’: Kailyn Lowry on Overcoming Her Eating Disorders and Learning to Love Her Body

Teen Mom 2 star Kailyn Lowry has struggled with poor body image her entire life.

Kailyn Lowry | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Kailyn Lowry | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

In her 2014 book, Pride Over Pity, the reality star dives into her battle with anorexia and bulimia and how she came to have a healthier relationship with her body.

Kailyn Lowry’s struggle with body image

Lowry says she’s “been obsessed with my weight since middle school.”

Lowry writes that she believes her body issues began at home. Her mother had a nickname for her when she was young: “Chunky Monkey.”

“I tried a trainer. I tried cutting back. Refined sugar is in everything, I swear! The Chunky Monkey ice cream container staring down from the freezer racks mocked me. That was actually my mom’s nickname for me. Don’t most body image issues start at home?” she shared.

Lowry recalls focusing on the numbers on the scale more than she ever focused on being healthy.

“As a tall girl, I’m naturally going to weigh a bit more than other girls. Even though I was a healthy weight, the number on the scale seemed to matter more than the lack of fat on my body. I didn’t want to weigh triple digits,” she wrote.

It also didn’t help that Lowry had a good friend at the time who was bulimic and anorexic.  

“She encouraged me to start down the same path. We were a pair of anorexic teenagers who became caught up in an unhealthy trend. Fortunately I had the sense to break the pattern while I was pregnant. Isaac needed nutrition and I wasn’t stupid or selfish enough to deny food to the baby growing inside of me,” she wrote.

But after Lowry gave birth to Isaac, she quickly returned to her old habits.

“I stopped eating or opted for minimal items. I’d chew a piece of gum that’s only five calories. I’d drink water to fill up my stomach. I realize no that these are stupid ways to lose weight; you end up gaining it back next week. But anorexia defies logic. You are literally starving your body of the nutrition it needs and the consequences can be deadly,” she wrote.

Lowry also began working out intensely without giving her body the proper hydration and nutrients it needed.

“Looking for better results, my habits took an even more dangerous turn. I’d do the most intense workout devised, Insanity–a home workout DVD that is supposed to help transform your body in sixty days. I’d do a forty-five minutes session and then not replenish my body with water or nutrients. Instead, I would make myself throw up. That’s how desperately I wanted to be thin,” she wrote.

How Kailyn Lowry learned to have a healthy relationship with her body  

“Enough was enough. I decided that it was time for me to take back control of my body image. With age and maturity, I’ve learned that only I have the power to make myself feel good. I am the only one who can change my attitude towards my body,” she wrote.

Lowry also participated in a campaign called “Beauty is Sizeless.” It helped cement her newfound self-esteem.

“[The photographer Katie Hedrick] made me feel comfortable and empowered as she photographed me in a bright blue Betsey Johnson dress. Having my makeup and hair done brought out the confidence buried within. I decided to strive to keep this as my attitude on an everyday basis,” she wrote.

Lowry promised herself to focus on being healthy, not on the size of her clothes or the numbers on a scale.  

“Size zero skinny jeans may not be hugging my hips anytime soon, but I no longer feel ashamed of my body. True beauty comes from within and being healthy is so much more important than the size you wear,” she wrote.

Read more: ‘Teen Mom 2’: How Javi Marroquin Proposed to Kailyn Lowry