Coping

Having Compassion During EDAW - Let's Remember Your "Self"

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Imagine if a dear friend was going through a difficult time dealing with a personal failure in their life. How would you comfort them? You would probably not criticize or blame them for making a mistake.. Instead, when responding to a friend whom you care very much about, you would most likely provide them with empathy and kindness.

20 Things That Everyone Needs to Know About Eating Disorders

Both personally and professionally, I’ve spent much of my life dealing with eating disorders – starting with my own 5 year, near-fatal battle with Anorexia Nervosa and now, dedicating my life to helping women overcome issues with body image, working extensively with eating disorder sufferers. Throughout all of this, I’ve noticed that time and time again, there are certain themes that continually arise in the media’s portrayal of eating disorders. Unfortunately the culture of shame, stigma, and misinformation still runs rampant in stereotypical portrayals of what an eating disorder “looks like”, ultimately contributing to the delay or avoidance in seeking treatment regarding those affected.

I'm A Fat Anti-Assimilationist (& No I'm Not Sorry)

For so long I saw myself as a failure. 

Even though there were so many signs that I was already rebelling against the diet culture, I denied them. Each time I ate cake or decided to watch Dynasty instead of exercise, my inner badass was saying "girl, this sucks." The badass inside my head won a lot, but I couldn't see those choices as being CHOICES. I saw them only as failures.

Love Letter

Dear friend,

I am writing to you today to address our relationship for the past 10 years, which I feel has been rather strained. I loved you when we were kids. You were always there for me no matter what. We grew together. We laughed, we cried, we played, and we danced. You helped me discover who I was in this world. 

New Year, New You?

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It can be difficult, at this time of year, to keep a balanced perspective. The holidays are chaotic, full of opportunities for criticism, self-directed or otherwise, and it is hard to resist the pull to begin January full of judgment. Whether you are the type to scoff at resolutions, or to earnestly face the New Year hoping that you can be a better self than you were in the past in some small way, for those of us who keep ourselves at a distance - the sick self and the well self - the urge to reflect and resolve is fraught.

Breaking Out of Mental Illness Confinement

For the longest time I felt like I was trapped in a box. I felt isolated and it felt like the life that I always wanted to live was so far out of reach.

I have always wanted to travel; I wanted to see what was beyond the comfort of my backyard and experience everything this world has to offer. However, between my eating disorder, anxiety and depression, the idea of travelling seemed unimaginable. Living with such illnesses, I would say, feels like you are carrying around a ton of extra weight.

Happiness: Awareness of the Body and Mind

The Objective of Life: In my opinion, it is to live a fulfilled life free of pain and suffering. Having said that, hardships are often inevitable. However, I do believe that we can sometimes manifest our own problems in our lives, specifically relating to our bodies. Through my own personal experiences, I have recognized my own body concerns as being tied to preoccupations of my mind. The culture of the mind can play a major role in the organization of one’s life, including the perception of the self. Negative thinking pathways in our minds, like negative self-talk, can lead you to feel like a prisoner in your own body, which I experienced before finding the pathway of recovery and happiness.

Sh*t People Say

“You look healthy.”

         I heard this often when I first recovered from anorexia nervosa, and it sent my head whirling with thoughts such as: “What do they mean? How bad did I look before?  Am I too healthy?” A simple, seemingly positive remark made me feel confused and irrational. I knew people were trying to make me feel good, tell me in their own ways that they were relieved I had changed my life for the better, but it was hard to accept my changing body; never mind what others thought.

Dear 2005 Me

 

Dear 2005 Me,

I have been fighting anorexia for more than 10 years. It was getting to the point where I thought anorexia was going to be present for the rest of my life.  If you are where I was, fighting and falling and wanting to give up, have hope. Recovery is possible.

 

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