1. What is your name, age, and occupation?
My name is Martha Kate Stainsby, I am twenty four years old and I work as an Intern for the ministry Reformed University Fellowship.
2. When did you first start feeling insecure, or noticing body image issues?
I was two when I said I didn’t look pretty and meant it. I was three when I learned what a diet was and how to do it. I was five when I was called the word fat and it devastated me. I was nine when I noticed what the scale said and what those numbers really meant. I was ten when I was called skinny and it encouraged me that starving myself was okay. I was twelve when a boy commented on my physical appearance and it stayed with me. I was fifteen when I missed a state mandated fitness test because I was terrified to see the numbers on the scale and what the teacher would say. So all of that to say there isn't a time that I wasn't aware of the way that I looked and how that affected how I lived my life.
3. What lessons did you learn from being anorexic and how have you been able to implement those in your life?
When I lived a life of anorexia I had so many rules just to get through my day, what to eat and what not to eat, how to interact with people, what I could and couldn't do, what kind of exercise was appropriate, and so many others. When I decided to embrace recovery and freedom, I learned that those rules were going to have go straight in the trash. I learned that grace is bigger than any kind of perfectionistic standards I wanted to live my life by. I learned that freedom was real and it is worth it.
4. When did you make the decision to share your story and how has that positively affected you and others?
It was fall of my senior year, when I wrote my first article, a guest post for a woman I was interning under. It was the first time I had ever publicly shared my story with thousands of people. I was terrified as I hit publish and then over the next few days I received such warm and positive feedback. I was truly humbled but even more I knew I had to continue to tell my story. Because only I could tell it and if it helped one person than it was worth it.
5. What spurred you to start your blog and use that as a vehicle for truth about beauty?
About a week after I wrote the original post for my friend's site I shared my first blog post and haven't stopped sharing the last three years. I knew that I not only wanted to share my story but I wanted to share with people the message that grace is bigger than shame and that ultimately grace is freedom. The last three years I have had incredible opportunities to write for various platforms and share the message of true beauty. Because I shared my story I have been honored to hear many other brave friends stories. I never could have imagined what that one blog post three years ago would lead to.
6. What artistic endeavors do you have planned for the future?
Honestly, it is scary to even put it on paper but I would love to write a book about true beauty. I would love to continue to share my story and talk about what real beauty is with women.
7. What is your favorite part of the day? (Coffee, a run, time with family, etc.)
Because I work with college students not only is my schedule different everyday but it is pretty crazy. My favorite time of day therefore is any time I get to spend with my husband. Whether that is late at night, during the middle of the day, or on a Saturday morning. Life with him is the best adventure.
7. What is one thing you would like to say to other women to help embolden them and share their stories?
You are truly beautiful, inside and out. No matter what the world or yourself, or anyone else says, you my dear are beautiful. May you know that and live that truth each and everyday!