Recovery

A Worthwhile Journey

 

It didn’t start out as an eating disorder. If you had asked me back then, I would have never admitted to having one. I was a collegiate athlete, studying health…there was no way I would allow something so terrible to ravage my body. I needed my body, and so did my teammates.

Beauty Found in Broken Pieces

You learn to live a life half alive. Merely existing amongst the living. Entrenched within your own mind, spinning a weave of angst and uncertainty. Making more problems for yourself than there really are. Wandering, unaware of the beauty that surrounds you, kind words being spoken to you and how your body is shouting within to notice the damage you are causing. It’s breaking, and you don’t care. This place is dark and blurry and the only thing that comes to mind daily is “When is all this pain going to end?”

Why it is Hard to Be an Eating Disorder Recovery Advocate

Image Source

 

It is impossible to articulate just how challenging the days with my eating disorder were, and to remember all the various roadblocks to overcome. It is equally as challenging when preparing for a speaking event to know what type of information would be the most helpful, and what people need to hear. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me because of my experience; I want them to learn, and act, and change.

Ever Present: The Potential to Relapse

Last June, I hit a milestone in my life with the celebration of my 40th birthday. Since then, it has been an interesting 7 months or so of reflection, soul searching, tears, and pondering how I am going to spend the next half plus years of my life. American actress Jane Fonda describes aging as having 3 acts, just like a theatre play (for more details check out her TEDTalk). I like that way of labeling these transitions of aging. I suppose that being 40 puts me in Act II of my life, where I have developed a keen desire to understand myself better, to find my life’s purpose (yes, I’m still searching), and to ultimately live up to my potential (whatever that may be). But in the corner of my mind, while I reflect on the meaning and next steps in my life, lurking in the shadows are some familiar voices – those damn eating disorder thoughts.

EDAW Reflections: Thinking Beyond the Stereotypes

So often we discuss body image, weight preoccupation, and eating disorders as issues that affect girls and women. However, when you take a closer look, through research, clinical cases, or through discussion with boys and men, it’s very clear that these issues are not exclusive to one particular gender. Throughout my pregnancy, I often thought about how I would promote a positive body image and healthy eating attitudes in my son. I never thought of difficulties in these areas as “girl problems.” As a new mom, I continue to reflect on the topics of body image, self-esteem, and eating related issues, and I’m already trying to put some positive practices into place. Thus, as this EDAW has come to an end, I’d like to share a letter I wrote for my son, with the hope that others will be inspired to share similar messages with the boys and men in their lives.

The Importance of Taking Risks in Recovery

 

Even for individuals who have not been affected by eating disorders, there is an impulse to stay with what is comfortable and familiar. A comfort zone is a safe place to be; but no major growth ever happens there. In order to truly grow and strengthen your recovery, it is critical to continue to challenge yourself on a regular basis, whether it’s trying new restaurants, facing “fear or trigger foods”, being more flexible with exercise, taking rest-days, or resisting the urge to engage in food rituals.

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

Image Source: KiddNation

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.

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?

Image Source

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.

Pages