Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorder Recovery’

Hope and Healing for the New Year

A rock labeled "Hope" placed in the snow

Though 2020 has now officially passed, COVID-19 remains in our present. We are still living through unprecedented times, most of us confined to our homes and surrounded by reminders of the pandemic’s impact. We continue to experience profound stress and anxiety, both of which are only compounded by the stress of months past.

Eating disorders are very troubling in these circumstances.

As many of us are now well aware, the stress of 2020 has exacerbated eating disorder thoughts and behaviors in many people. In some cases, those who were already struggling have experienced even more intense symptoms, and some who were previously in stable recovery have found themselves struggling again. Others who had never experienced these illnesses have found themselves dealing with one for the first time. It is painfully clear that there are millions of people who need attention and care for their eating disorders.

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Recovery Conversations: A Q&A with Josh Person

Josh Person

**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.

Josh Person is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and brand communications consultant who has worked with a number of startup companies in the natural foods industry. In addition to his work, he believes in spreading awareness about and educating others on eating disorders and other mental health issues. Follow him on Instagram @thejoshperson.

Recovery Conversations is a question-and-answer series that shares voices and stories of eating disorder recovery. Among the many things Josh Person shares in this post are the lessons he has learned in recovery, the support and resources helpful to his healing, and the wisdom he’d give to his younger self. 

What do you wish more people knew about eating disorders?

It isn’t about looking a certain way or eating certain types and quantities of food. Rather, these are just the tangible manifestations of something so much deeper. An eating disorder is the loop of internal dialogue that cannot be turned off. The feelings of lack and unworthiness. These are emotions not easily put into words.

Another thing I think is important for people to know is that eating disorders are not the result of “bad parenting,” as parents of clients seem to think. So many are unnecessarily blaming themselves (including my own) for “causing” their child’s eating disorder, which is not the case!

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Holiday Conversation Topics That Aren’t Food, Diets, or Weight

A family sitting around a holiday meal

Navigating holiday conversations can be challenging in even the best of years. In a year of a pandemic that has dominated our lives and interactions with others, it may feel even more so.

What is there to talk about with family, friends, and acquaintances this year? How can we meaningfully engage in yet another video call, or make new conversation among our small, in-house pods?

When the goal is connection—and it often is, especially for those struggling with the isolation of an eating disorder—the topics of conversation ought to be thoughtful and appropriate.

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Recovery Conversations: A Q&A with Abigail

A person holding a sparkler outside

**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.

Recovery Conversations is a question-and-answer series that shares voices and stories of eating disorder recovery. In this post, Abigail lends advice to others struggling with an eating disorder and then shares how she protects her recovery and practices self-care.

What advice would you give to someone currently struggling with an eating disorder?

I don’t mean to sound corny, but I think it’s important to tell anyone struggling three things: 1) you’re not alone, 2) it’s not your fault, and 3) it won’t be this way forever. You probably feel like this is some weird problem that you’re supposed to fix on your own, but it’s actually a real disorder that millions of people have. Many professionals understand and know how to help you overcome an eating disorder. If you’re scared about living your whole life worried about food and weight, you should know that you don’t have to. You can recover with help from professionals who know how to treat these disorders.

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It Started Innocent

A person standing outside with outstretched arms

**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. This story includes mention of self-harm. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

This blog was submitted anonymously by a person in eating disorder recovery.

My eating disorder never really “started.” It just happened. At least, that’s what I used to think.

When I was 11, I was diagnosed with diabetes, and for the first time in my life, I craved food. Sure, I had been a typical kid with a typical candy-shaped stomach. But this craving was different. My body was starved from weeks of cellular fasting, and it told me to eat. Ok, so far so good.

Through my teenage years, those beloved hormones began to race through my system. My body started to change, and with it, so did my metabolism. I cut lunches and felt guilty when I couldn’t resist the urge to fill my blossoming belly (although in truth I was still quite petite). Evening snacks evolved from a handful of nuts to a cup or two—in any case, more than I intended. I felt weak, unable to control this ever-persistent desire. But it never interfered with school or work. It was a mild case of disorganized eating.

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Nurture Yourself Through Nature

Hands with soil and leaf bud

**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, will be available from Hopewell Publications on March 2, 2021. 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.  

I have always disliked yardwork—or any outdoor work, for that matter. I hated that it was dirty, sweaty, and left me with sore muscles despite regular exercise. Worst of all, it turned me into Sisyphus, a character from Greek mythology who was sentenced to an eternity of pushing a boulder uphill, watching it roll down, and then pushing it up again. It seemed I would just finish mowing, weeding, or raking, only to find that the grass had grown, new weeds had sprouted, and more leaves had fallen.

But COVID-19 changed my attitude.

Like many people, I saw my life turned upside-down last March. Suddenly, I couldn’t walk to the neighborhood coffee shop and write. I couldn’t sit in a patch of sunlight at the library and edit my book about eating disorder recovery. I couldn’t participate in group fitness classes on the YMCA’s roof and savor spring’s increasingly blue skies. I couldn’t attend weekend horseback riding lessons, which were the only outdoor activity I enjoyed. Overnight, my work and social life had been reduced to sitting in front of my laptop. I couldn’t escape staring at a screen. I needed an outlet—a way to shake off stiffness in my body and mind.

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