Posts Tagged ‘Athletes’

Episode 50: Food is More Than a Nutrition Label with Kenzie Osborne

Kenzie Osborne

Episode description:

Kenzie Osborne is a mental health blogger, chef, recipe developer, and former NCAA athlete. After battling intensely with anorexia, she was able to find peace with food through cooking, traveling, and learning about the many benefits food has on the mind, spirit, and body.

Kenzie shares her story with us in this episode of Peace Meal. We begin by discussing a label long attached to her—“the healthy and fit one”—and its impact on her identity. A daughter of doctors and sister to high-performing athletes, she felt immense pressure as part of a family defined by health and athletics.

“That’s who [others] knew my family was. That’s who they expected me to be,” she reflects. “And I felt like when I lived up to those expectations, I was accepted and I was praised, and I would get really positive feedback.” 

As Kenzie’s “healthy” eating and exercise were validated, her eating disorder grew stronger, and its impact was far-reaching. Terrified and unable to be present around food, she missed out on social events. She faced health complications. Her wellbeing, her athletic performance—her life—suffered. Still, as it often is in a culture that normalizes disordered eating, it was hard to recognize that she had a serious illness.

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Conquering My ED: A College Story

Erica Sunarjo

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Erica Sunarjo is a professional writer and editor with a Master’s degree in Marketing and Social Media. She writes thought-provoking articles for publications in a variety of media. Even though she is an expert in numerous fields of business, Erica is always dedicated to learning new things. Add her on Facebook and Linkedin

My parents were hesitant about letting me attend college three states away. They let me go because I convinced them my eating disorder was under control. I lied, sort of. Maybe it doesn’t count as lying since I also convinced myself that I was perfectly fine.

In fact, I told myself that college would offer the autonomy I needed for my life, my schedule, and my eating to progress. After all, was I really recovering or recovered when my parents were so carefully monitoring and managing everything from my calorie intake to my therapy appointments?

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Muscle Dysmorphia, Sports, and Eating Disorders in Males

A person standing beside a weight rack at a gym

There’s a question that has swirled around the eating disorder field for decades: Where are all the males?

Our understanding of eating disorders in males is limited because the field has historically focused on females. Research has centered on females, diagnoses were organized around them, and screening tools and assessments have been normed to them.

We don’t have research that establishes what it means to have an eating disorder if you are male. We can approximate the population of males with eating disorders as 1/3 of the total number of people with eating disorders—but then the question arises: Why? Why would so many fewer males than females be affected?

It is unlikely that having two XX chromosomes instead of one X and one Y is the reason. Therefore, we must search for other factors to help us understand and explain the significantly lower rate in males. Are we missing the males with eating disorders?

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Episode 49: Managing Perfectionism with Kesslee

Kesslee

Episode description:

Kesslee is a young professional, part-time coach, wife, and dog mom. She is passionate about serving others to become the best version of themselves and using her journey to help them along the way.

Kesslee joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share how perfectionism manifested during her eating disorder and recovery. She begins by recognizing the challenges of being a Division 1 distance runner. Under pressure to be small and lean for the sport, Kesslee restricted food while training more and more. The core issue, she says, was a belief that she was not enough—not for her coaches and not her parents.

Now, Kesslee has tools and strategies for combating the lie that says she is a failure. She offers a practical exercise and recommendations for those similarly worried that they’re not enough, emphasizing the power of therapy and meaningful relationships as well. Equipped with this professional and personal support, she is now focused on adding small nurturing and empowering things into her life. She strives to use her perfectionism for good and carries with her a bold affirmation: “I have been put on this earth to take up space and become stronger.”

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Episode 38: Boxing, Weight Cutting, and Eating Disorder Recovery with Mark Schindler

A boxer standing and looking ahead

Episode description:

Mark Schindler is an NBA writer and podcaster for SB Nation and his co-created site, Premium Hoops.

Mark joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on his eating disorder experience, particularly as it relates to his pursuit of a professional boxing career. His food and body image concerns manifested in the sport and contributed to an eating disorder that extended far beyond it. Sharing how his illness compromised both his physical and mental well-being, Mark warns of the dangers of weight-cutting and offers a definition of health that encompasses more than appearance. Strewn throughout the episode are meaningful words of advice and comfort for those considering recovery.

Find Mark on Twitter @MSchindlerNBA.

Learn more about The Emily Program online or by calling 1-888-364-5977.

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Questions to Ask Before You Hit the Gym

Yoga mat, exercise ball, and resistance band

Gym season.

It’s the season after the holiday season, when resolutioners and regulars alike commit to new fitness goals, squeeze in crowded studios, and take advantage of no-joining fees and discounted memberships. Retailers slash prices on workout apparel, the media insist we make exercise resolutions “stick,” and Instagram basically functions as a fitness tracker.

Those experiencing and recovering from an eating disorder often have a complicated relationship with exercise. Many have used it in their illness to influence their body size, shape, and diet, while others have resisted it altogether. A component of many recovery plans is establishing a relationship with exercise rooted in health, self-care, and enjoyment.

In the midst of this January fitness craze, let’s discuss exercise and gyms in the context of eating disorder recovery. Here are some things to consider before visiting the gym this time of year:

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