A Chronicle of Eating Disorder Warriors
As I have touched on in my blog, I have had my own experiences with disordered eating in the past. To be transparent, I struggled with an eating disorder throughout my teenage years and continued with disordered eating habits and a poor body image into my early twenties. Now, in my 30th year, I can happily say that I have recovered to lead a happy, healthy and balanced life, with a wonderful man by my side and a future full of excitement and possibility. Although I will be the first to admit that recovery is arduous, I want all sufferers to understand that it is indeed possible. Recovery improves your energy levels, happiness, self-confidence, disposition and participation in life.
Does my recovery mean that I feel confident in my body each and every day? No, but do I let these days dominate my eating and exercise habits? No. I remind myself that these feelings are normal for everyone, including those without an ED past. Recovery is hard for everyone. It’s normal to struggle and have bad days. We must remind ourselves that we are not weak, but rather, strong for continuing to push forward.
It is important to keep negative self-talk in perspective, to be kind to oneself on these days and call upon the things that help to quieten those thoughts, and keep you pushing forward with optimism. For me, these things include herbal tea a bath with a few drops of lavender oil, some candles, incense and a good book. Mindfulness and a moment of deep breathing also works for me. It may sound quite ‘hippy’, and yes, I have been called this before (haha), but these things work for me and keep my mind from running away from me. It is integral that ED sufferers on the path to recovery, find their own set of simple strategies that work for them.
The other aspect that has helped me is to educate myself on the importance of eating good, healthy, wholesome food. While it may sound counterproductive for someone with a past such as mine to move into a career based on food and nutrition, it is in fact the opposite. Learning about the body, its physiology, and the impact of good nutrition on health, immunity and overall wellbeing has solidified the need for me to nourish my body, and propelled my desire to help others achieve the same. The understanding I bring helps me relate to, and understand ED sufferers, and guide them through their own recovery.
Unfortunately, understanding of the psyche and experience for eating disorder sufferers remains largely misunderstood. An eating disorder is not about vanity, but rather, it is an attempt to gain control of one’s life, for a multitude of reasons. In an effort to increase this understanding, I wanted to create an avenue for sharing the individual experiences of other sufferers. I will be chronicling the experiences and recovery journeys of other ED sufferers, (or perhaps more fittingly, ED warriors) – to share how they have personally triumphed and are continuing to push forward in their journeys to health and happiness.
Below are interviews with some truly inspiring people click on the image to read their story: