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🏆 Eating Disorder & PCOS Journalist & Speaker // Author of ‘I Haven’t Shaved In Six Weeks’ Blog // Seen on TODAY, Cosmo, Wash Po, etc. // 💛⛰🌈📝🚐
Been a lil quieter the last couple days with everything going on in America right now. It’s difficult to read the news in Minneapolis or NYC and not feel overwhelmed — or even despondent — to the news about #georgefloyd or Amy Cooper. • What peculiar times we live in. Am going to start educating myself better via @thegreatunlearn to understand how to be a better ally for a community of people who live in such fear of police brutality, racism and violence. • If ya wanna do it with me, send me your email. I’ve had a few of you reach out via my story yesterday. • In the meantime, I just want to remind you beautiful people what an eating disorder really looks like. • It is not always one way or one stringent way of being. It’s a glamorization to assume eating disorders can stay looking and being one way without massive repercussions. • Most of us are not going to die from eating disorders. But we weren’t ever living either. • And that’s the caveat. To be so distracted all the time that you can never do what you’re meant to do in this life: to be so complacent to an eating disorder that you can’t write that book or draw that pic or take a leap of faith in a new career or passion. • Can’t have a relationship that’s healthy without needing constant validation. Can’t travel and marvel at the world without feeling your hips. • Eating disorders are deadly yes. And they are also deadly for a full life, one in which you are truly living, eyes wide open — with the ability to take in everything around you: • Even the pain, and the sadness — and the beauty, and everything in between 💛 • • • #edfam #recovery #anarecovery #edfamily #eatingdisorderrecovery #edrecovery #anorexiarecovery #mentalhealth #recoveryfam #dietculturesucks #recoveryispossible #recoverysayings #anorexianervosarecovery #bulimiarecovery #bingeeatingrecovery
that’s functional: two legs that transplant me from A to B, two arms that can type this post, a back that is crooked – and yet still allows me to summit 14ers, a core that’s allowing me flexibility to practice yoga. but it’s an interesting perspective when you write to your body like it’s a person, even a friend. Because I don’t feel like I’m as smart as the people I surround myself with and I don’t expect that my body image plague will leave me on the days it’s intrinsically bad, but I have noticed a sense of feeling like I’m
Maybe you were a better athlete, scored more goals or had better time, but it wouldn't have lasted. Or maybe it didn't last and you're choosing to not remember that. • - Maybe you didn't get 'sick enough' to be hospitalized so you debate whether it was really 'an eating disorder' or you were just 'disciplined.' You forget the events, experiences, trips, and meetings you checked out of due to the preoccupation with food. • - Maybe you felt more comfortable in clothes, but you're remembering a couple of times. Mostly, it was never enough and you still hated the cellulite or didn't understand why you still didn't have a thigh gap (because it's genetics, btw). • - Maybe you remember feeling pretty good when you hadn't eaten. This is because your brain was trying to protect you from the damage you were doing to your organs. POW experience euphoria in starvation. • - Maybe you remember how good it felt to 'get rid' of the food you ate. It didn't. Your throat hurt, your stomach hurt, and you felt dehydrated for hours afterwards. • - Maybe you felt like you got more adoration from friends, or someone you liked liked you back. This, too, would not have lasted because we are insufferable in eating disorders and we have nothing interesting to talk about other than fitness or food. • - Maybe you liked that people thought of you as 'fit' or respected you because of your discipline. That only goes so far, and then you're just boring. • It’s all an edited memory. Nostalgia is a powerful thing 💛 • • • #edfam #recovery #anarecovery #edfamily #eatingdisorderrecovery #edrecovery #anorexiarecovery #mentalhealth #recoveryfam #dietculturesucks #recoveryispossible #recoverysayings #anorexianervosarecovery #bulimiarecovery #bingeeatingrecovery
A month ago, I was on a connecting flight in San Francisco to go to Europe and Morocco indefinitely (okay, probably like a month because money doesn’t grow on trees): (I’m going through a quarter-life crisis, we’ll call it), go makeup free, taste Cafe Con Leche at cafes, wander the streets of Europe again in flowing skirts and stop in Seville in southern Spain to reminisce of my year there as an au pair (I do not recommend being an au pair FYI This is why every time I’m insanely productive with writing is right up until the moment that I’m given a deadline. We couldn’t do anything without permission, couldn’t go anywhere outside of the compound we were in, and our lives were unfolding and we had little control of time or days.
I was 24 & in rehab for the eating disorder when a doctor diagnosed me with OCD, specifically #Dermatophagia. • For a majority of my life, I have compulsively chewed, bitten & gnawed on the skin of my right index finger. Wack right? Anxiety takes many forms. • I remember a nurse in rehab asking about it. “I eat it,” I joked nonchalantly. • I saw her scribble something. • “Is that a problem?” • She looked again. “It’s self harm,” she noted. • I disagreed. “It’s just what I do.” • Besides, wasn’t I there for the ED? • Since I was 6 years old, I have chewed on this finger to a 3rd degree burn. My friends joke about it. Everyone who knew me knew the finger. It was part of me. • What I didn’t understand is that OCD is synonymous with anxiety, much like eating disorders. With Dermatophagia, I have the same recurrent, ongoing uncontrollable thoughts & behaviors to pick at my skin. Much as I did with anorexia & binges. And when I act on it, it feels like relief. • With anxiety, it makes sense we develop other OCD coping mechanisms besides an ED. And they all mush together. But I didn’t see it then. • In rehab, they bandaged it. And I’d sneak it off anyway to chew. • Until 6 months ago, I continued to chew on this finger: a safety net. • I didn’t think I could stop. Much like anorexia, I had tried & failed 1000s of times to stop chewing, sometimes in the same day. • I recognized that it was still affecting my self worth to not be able to stop. To know I was still utterly controlled by it to the point of crying if it was bandaged. if I want my recovery to move, I had to address other behaviors that aren’t strictly eating disorder. • So 6 months ago, on an unmemorable day, I purchased skin cream & bandaids. Half-assed, I went to bed & bandaged my finger. • And I did it the next. And the next. Sometimes I chewed anyway, sometimes I didn’t. And now I am 6 months in. I have not chewed in 3. • I honestly do not know how. There was no light bulb. Or defining moment. I am just doing it & this a pat on my back post. • Also, a reminder: habits are hard to break. Recovery is not glamorous. It is often not climactic. It is tiny shifts, one at a time, or so I learn 💛#ocd
like all of the sudden I’m gonna see something catastrophic that wasn’t there literally 10 minutes before and be like ” I have this interesting leftover eating disorder thing where when I’m feeling uncomfortable in my clothes, or participating in events like weddings or some other way where I’m at the mercy of many other schedules and times, I tend to wear the same item of clothing (one that obviously feels comfortable) for days in a row. Anxious when I don’t get to choose what I’m eating for 3-4 days unless I wanna leave the group and go Uber somewhere on my own (which like I’m gonna do cause I wanna be with my friends because what else is recovery for but to enjoy the presence of being with the ones we love in this life?) I’m pretty proud of the things I’ve done in this life so far, especially in recovery, and that in itself has given me a confidence I lacked entirely in my early 20s when I was confused, bumbling out of college – and bouncing around the world with no bloody idea what I was gonna do or who I was gonna become.
Was sitting on the couch across from a friend’s partner last night: it was the first time I met her. • She asked what I did, I mentioned some sort of spiel “I have no idea what the eff I’m doing, I’m unemployed etc” and then proceeded to say I write about eating disorders. • It happens so often — more times than I could possibly recant: I share a bit about how I started a blog some years ago and etc etc: • I watch that person shift in their seat, eyes peer down. • At some point, in an uncomfortable, hushed way — they share they too have or had an eating disorder. • It happens all the time. With so many women I meet. Men too. • And I wish sometimes I could bottle it all up and release the sentiments and stories and feelings I hear when they share their experiences — and have an ongoing tape playing so that people could hear just how similar their thoughts are. Feelings. Experiences. • Nothing you feel in your eating disorder is original. Is that cruel to say? I don’t know. But nothing you experience or worry about with the ED is unique to you. • There are so many of us out there dealing with and managing the same behaviors and experiences and insecurities about recovery. • And I guess my point is that there are so many who live in recovery too — and have made it to the safe side of what that entails. • So I know it is possible to change your patterns and behaviors and I know it’s possible to live in recovery more often than not. • And I’ve yet to meet someone who said it wasn’t worth it — every hard and difficult day of it 💛 • • • #edfam #recovery #anarecovery #edfamily #eatingdisorderrecovery #edrecovery #anorexiarecovery #mentalhealth #recoveryfam #dietculturesucks #recoveryispossible #recoverysayings #anorexianervosarecovery #bulimiarecovery #bingeeatingrecovery
I’ve found over the years: there’s a difference between ignorantly proclaiming to ‘not give a shit about what people think’ – and valuing perspective of the peoples who have taken great strides to know you. Maybe we all live life at too high a pitch, those of us who absorb emotional things all day, and as mere consequence we can never feel merely content: we have to be unhappy, or ecstatically, head-over-heels happy, and those states are difficult to achieve within a stable, solid relationship. I used to think–and given the way my ex and I ended up, maybe I still really do–that all relationships need the kind of ferocious push that infatuation brings, just to get you started and to push you over the humps of self-denial, anxiety, past pain, and Instagram-stalking obsession. Sometimes it feels like it does, and sometimes you realize it’s nothing more than a booty call bandaid – masking the same pain that you know you’re gonna feel again at some point anyway.
Think a lotta us are feeling setbacks or stagnancy in recovery throughout the quarantine. Just wanted to give a little reminder of how insignificant recovery can feel — and how it also attributes to a bigger picture you can’t see all the time. • My friend @erika.broadbent said it well in recovery group last night “think of it as collecting a bunch of pennies. On their own they have almost no meaning, but put enough of them together and you have enough to buy something.” • Made me smile. Pennies are useless currency — in fact I think it costs more to make them than a penny itself. Butttttt you get what I’m/she’s saying. • You are always gonna have shit you need to work on in recovery. • You are not gonna rewire all that stuff quickly. And it feels laborious and long and frankly boring: but you are doing the work. • You are always doing the work. Whether it’s fast or slow or quick or for me, stubbornly “hard way.” • I do think I do shit the hard way. I’m defensive and stubborn and it hasn’t been easy to let go of the desire to use movement as punishment. • But here I am, 7 years in, leaving the gym for the first time in recovery. And it’s counterintuitive and I mostly keep thinking “ok it doesn’t have to be forever linds calm down.” • But I’m gonna try it. And it’s cause I have all the other years compacted to have the trust to let it roll the way it will. • It’s been a long 7 years. But I could not have done it any differently. I am me. And it could not have gone any other way than it has 💛 • • #edfam #recovery #anarecovery #edfamily #eatingdisorderrecovery #edrecovery #anorexiarecovery #mentalhealth #recoveryfam #dietculturesucks #recoveryispossible #recoverysayings #anorexianervosarecovery #bulimiarecovery #bingeeatingrecovery
💛 for anyone struggling with gyms reopening: realizing how much more time they have to create and rest and not feel controlled by the hours going to & from & inside gyms — feel free to join me. • Made a pledge with my mom (yay ma!) to leave the gym when it reopens, at least for the next few months. • Feels counterintuitive, & also I haven’t set foot in a gym in over 3 months & the amount of time I’ve had to embark on other things has been altering. • Part of its unemployment sure, I just generally have more time. But this quarantine was a fierce, in my face wake up call about how much time I spend in pursuit of gym time. • My gym is 20 minutes each way, not to mention the time spent changing and showering, working out, waiting on machines, pushing to do one more thing or one more minute. • I think quarantine was the same kinda wake up call that treatment was. I can leave the gym and still be healthy and active and fulfilled. • Movement is therapy for my anxiousness at times. And that’s okay for me. • After years of eye-rolling at yoga, I started it 6 months ago when I stopped drinking every evening — and I am hooked. I love it. I can’t believe it took me 30 years to start it. • Yesterday, my roommate & I were hiking. We’ve walked the dogs every day of quarantine. “Quarantine made us closer,” she said. I nodded. “You’re one of my best friends honestly.” • Almost cried for real. It has been hard to make girl friends in Colorado. I just didn’t make the effort when I first moved here & often feel kinda sad that my female friends are in nyc or Texas. • Played piano — bought new music. Made some pecan nut milk. Y’all. I have hobbies lately. Real hobbies. I’m on week 6 of recovery & book group. I garden. • Unemployment is taking a mental toll lately, but I think about how much I’ve done in quarantine — and I am proud of it. • It’s a privilege to come out of this better, I know that, but it shed light on how much time I still spent in gyms, wishing for hobbies I didn’t make time for. • I’m not gonna tell you it’s okay to leave the gym — I’m not a therapist. All I can do is invite you to do it if it’s calling you like it’s calling me 💛 • #recovery #edfam