Episode 44: Recovery as a Journey with Rachel Wilshusen
Rachel Wilshusen is a dynamic writer with liberal arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, University College London, and the University of Cambridge. After an extensive battle with anorexia, she wrote Emancipated Love Junkie: Liberating Myself From Anorexia to embolden others to follow her path toward recovery.
Rachel shares with us her experience of eating disorder recovery in this episode of Peace Meal. She illustrates it as a multi-step, nonlinear journey that began the moment she first reached out for help and continued well into and after her stay at an eating disorder center.
Treatment provided the necessary structure, education, and tools to help Rachel launch her healing, and then her task was to implement the lessons learned into her own life. To actively value her health, she says she relied on continued support from eating disorder professionals and a regular practice of self-care. She reminded herself again and again, even when she couldn’t quite believe it was true: She deserves to treat herself well.
With repetition and practice, Rachel has been able to quiet her inner critic and treat herself as she would treat her best friend. Self-kindness allows her to handle slips along the way and to reframe her perspective when negative, self-defeating thoughts come. It also helps her to keep her perfectionism and desire for control at bay.
Some of the biggest gifts of Rachel’s recovery include the ability to respect, trust, and affirm the power of her body and the opportunity to learn more about herself. She shares how her relationship with her body evolved with pregnancy, as did her appreciation of nutrition.
These big and “mini-wins” along the way, Rachel concludes, are what make her recovery. It has indeed been a nonlinear process—but a beautiful one.
To put it short? It’s a “manifestation of self-love,” she says.
Rachel’s book is available in print and digital form on Amazon. Her blog, Live Free & Happy, is on her website, rachelwilshusen.com.
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About the podcast:
Peace Meal is an Emily Program podcast that discusses topics related to eating disorders, body image issues, and how society may contribute to distorted thinking.
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