My first interview is with the very inspiring Maddie, who shares her journey through pictures via her happystartswithhealthy Instagram account, and blog @ eathealthygethappy.weebly.com
I am sure you will learn and take strength from Maddie’s tenacity.
Q.Which eating disorder did you suffer from?
I suffered from Anorexia Nervosa. I was first diagnosed in 6th grade, and then relapsed in 8th grade.
Q. What do you attribute as the cause?
I believe the world of dance has contributed to my eating disorder. Judges will deduct points if you don’t have the look that they are looking for. When people think of dancers, they think of frail and tiny, graceful ballerinas. My mindset was to become one of them.
Q. What treatment has assisted you in your recovery?
I went to therapy and a nutritionist, but they did not help very much, so I recovered on my own with no extra help.
Q. Did any treatment has hamper your recovery?
When I went to therapy, my councillor had also suffered from anorexia and bulimia. However, she was so frail that I was not able to focus on my thoughts or feelings, but only how I wanted to look like her.
Q. What are your relapse triggers?
When people make rude remarks about my body.
Q. In one sentence, what does an eating disorder feels like?
You are trapped inside a glass box that is slowly being consumed in water, and the water level rises to the top, you take one last breathe before it consumes you.
Q. Which food or drinks are your ‘safe foods’, ie those that cause you the least anxiety?
Ezekiel Bread, Quest Bars, Natural Peanut Butter, all fruits, water, chicken, turkey, yellow mustard, oatmeal, nonfat milk.
Q. What strategies reduce your anxiety?
When I get anxious I usually go and do a bit of physical activity or distract myself by decorating my room or making things.
Q. What motivates you to recover?
My dance. I want to dance professionally, however I know that if I don’t get through this stage in my life it will not happen.
Q. What is your advice to other ED sufferers who want to recover?
You need to keep pushing even when times get tough. Recovery is a full time job, you can’t just quit when things get rough. You have to have your mindset in the right place, and not critique yourself because that will make your recovery shaky. Just keep pushy, and it will be over before you know it.
Q. How has your life changed since recovering?
Since recovering, I have noticed that I am not as isolated and rude to my family and friends. I have more energy and more stamina, and food does not consume my life.
Q. What is personal mantra?
“Recovery is not easy, but then again, no one ever said it would be”
Q. When do you feel most balanced and happy?
I feel that I am most balanced while filling my day with school and dance, so that there is no room for any negative thoughts.
Maddie – thank you for inspiring me and my readers, and I wish you nothing but happiness, health and balance in the future x.