Episode 74: Finding Yourself in Recovery with Eric Pothen

Eric Pothen

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Eric Pothen discusses how well-meaning comments about his body played a part in the development of his eating disorder. Following the body commentary he received after college, he says he started restricting, bingeing, and purging via excessive exercise. Eventually exhausted by the darkness he was living in and the feeling of losing himself, he set out on a path to recovery. He explains how preparing for a marathon helped his recovery because he had to focus on nourishing his body to prepare for the race. He also tells us how affirmations played an integral role in his recovery. Eric ends the podcast by explaining that recovery not only gives you freedom from your eating disorder, but also helps you rediscover and love yourself.

A middle school choir teacher in Albertville, MN, Eric struggled with an eating disorder for several years. Today, he uses his previous struggles of having an eating disorder as his strength to raise awareness and serve as an advocate for those who struggle with these illnesses, disordered eating, or body image. Eric is the owner and founder of the apparel company Embrace Wear, whose mission is to help others learn how to embrace themselves and discover beauty and self-worth within. He recently launched a podcast of his own, Embracing You, which is now available on Apple Podcasts.  

We cover:

  • How body-related comments can be a major risk factor in the development of an eating disorder
  • How the concerns of loved ones can have a huge impact on realizing that you need help
  • Why you have to do what works for you in recovery, regardless of what works for others
  • The power of affirmations in the recovery process
  • How recovery can help you find yourself again

In Eric’s words:

  • On recovery: “It’s going to be trial and error. You’re going to have to find things that maybe work for you and not another person. And be okay with knowing, “This is exactly where I need to be. This is exactly what I need to be doing. This is MY recovery and I get to navigate that myself—of course with the support of others, hopefully, along the way.”
  • On the power of affirmations: “That was truly such a beautiful part of the process for me… As I was in this space of recovery, I was finding myself again. I was seeing the old parts of Eric that had been lost for so long. And that was really through those affirmations.”
  • On why recovery is worth it: “You are so worth it. And it’s a challenging road ahead, I’m not going to lie, but you need to remember that you are the most important person in your life…. and you are worth all of the hard work. You are worth those really difficult moments to get yourself to a space where you can really rediscover the love that you have for yourself—a space where you feel more free, more connected to yourself, and ultimately, a space where you can live your life and just be.”

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About the podcast:

Peace Meal is a podcast hosted by The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative that covers topics related to eating disorders, body image, and how society may influence our thinking.

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Are you interested in being a guest on Peace Meal? Email podcast@emilyprogram.com for more information.

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