Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorder Recovery’

Participate in World Eating Disorders Action Day

A group of adults standing outside

Each June, members of the eating disorder community unite to recognize World Eating Disorders Action Day (WEDAD). People experiencing eating disorders firsthand, along with the friends, families, providers, researchers, and policymakers who support them, rally across the globe around a common goal of understanding, connection, and healing.

We invite you to join us this year. Here are five actions you can take today to support eating disorder awareness, education, and recovery.

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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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Putting in the Work

Teresa Schmitz

**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.

While navigating her own recovery journey at The Emily Program, Teresa Schmitz discovered a hidden gift in being known as a great listener with a compassionate heart. Being earmarked as an IT Leader who was more into the people on her teams than the technology they were building, she realized her purpose was beyond her title. She connected the dots and soon realized her purpose was to help empower others. She pursued her dreams of becoming a coach and launched her own coaching business, My Best Self Yet.  She now helps women feel empowered to navigate the journey of loving themselves unconditionally. She also empowers others to know and use their character strengths in the In It Together group coaching program. Learn more about Teresa’s story and follow My Best Self Yet on Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.

“You have to put in the ‘work.’ You have to be willing to put your health and recovery above everything else.”

These are words that I said in my recovery story on the Peace Meal podcast. I can say them now because I am recovered, and putting in the “work” is exactly what it took.

I didn’t think recovery was possible when I was first diagnosed, as my eating disorder had convinced me that I was the problem. “I” just could not lose weight. “I” just could not seem to get a grip on my food consumption. “I” just couldn’t get my act together. There would be a lot of “work” unraveling these and many other beliefs.

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Episode 48: Finding Freedom in Recovery with Christie Dondero Bettwy

Christie Dondero Bettwy

Episode description:

Christie Dondero Bettwy is the Executive Director of Rock Recovery, a nonprofit that uniquely combines clinical and community care to help people overcome disordered eating.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Christie shares with us her personal and professional experience with eating disorders. She first traces her path through illness and healing, highlighting the risk factors that contributed to her disorder as well as the community that helped her find freedom from it. Then she unpacks her decision to enter the eating disorders field–including how and when she knew she was “recovered enough” to translate her personal experience and passion into a career at Rock Recovery. Finally, Christie helps us reflect on the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eating disorders. We discuss how COVID-19 has triggered and exacerbated these illnesses, and how we, as a field, must work collaboratively and creatively to meet the tremendous need for care now and beyond the pandemic.

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‘Ed’ and All Her False Promises: A Story of Recovery

A group of friends standing on cliff during a sunset

By Abby Couture

**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.

At the age of 14, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. My admission into intensive care was sudden. I had gone from starving myself for months to being fed three meals and snacks a day in a hospital bed. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly embrace this abrupt change in routine. Though as traumatic as living through an eating disorder was, I believe I was able to survive for a few main reasons.

The first was my reckoning with control. A common feature of individuals struggling with disordered eating is an underlying fear of lacking control in one’s life, or feeling powerless and uncertain with their sense of self.

Throughout my freshman year of high school, I struggled to feel grounded and secure in shifting family dynamics, redefined friend groups, and a fluctuating identity with academics. In middle school, everything seemed so much easier, my grades were above average, and I felt more or less socially safe. In high school, I found myself frequently shifting between different social groups that were often in conflict. I felt tethered between old ties and new ones, constantly shifting “selves.” This ultimately led me to constantly question how I could be defined. At the end of the school year, my grades had dropped and I was no longer on the honor roll. Compounded by a disconnection with my academic self was a feeling of alienation from my own bodily identity. As I navigated puberty, I began to gain attention from older boys, leading me to objectify my own body as I learned to view it as social capital.

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My Eating Disorder Is A Character

A person writing in a notebook besides an open laptop

**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.

Lisa Whalen’s book, Stable Weight: A Memoir of Hunger, Horses, and Hope, is now available from Hopewell Publications. Her writing has also appeared in An Introvert in an Extrovert World; The Simpsons’ Beloved Springfield; Introvert, Dear; and Adanna, among other publications. Whalen has a Ph.D. in postsecondary and adult education and an M.A. in creative and critical writing. She teaches composition, creative writing, literature, and journalism at North Hennepin Community College, where she was selected Minnesota College Faculty Association Educator of the Year in 2019. In her spare time, she is an equestrian and volunteer for the Animal Humane Society. Learn more at her website, and follow her on social media @LisaIrishWhalen. 

“Describe how the antagonist drives your book’s plot.”

Those were the instructions 74 other authors and I received as we prepared to attend a conference in New York City. The conference would teach us how to pitch our books to agents or publishers, which involved a lot more time, research, and effort than I realized. We were told that to get the most out of each session, we should complete some assignments before we arrived. The first was describing how our book’s antagonist (villain) drives our story’s plot. It was a straightforward task for every author…except me. The others had written novels; I had written a memoir describing how The Emily Program helped me recover from an eating disorder. My story doesn’t have an antagonist, I thought, frustrated.

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