Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorders’

Recovery Happens in the Little Moments, Celebrate Them

Megan Bazzini

**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.    

Megan Bazzini is an anorexia survivor. She’s an American graduating from an Italian business school in June 2022. Her country-hopping uni years opened her heart and mind to choosing herself, recovery, and giving back. This is only the beginning of her advocacy for destigmatizing eating disorders. She is seeking literary representation for five novels featuring characters with eating disorders. You can follow her on Twitter (@BazziniBooks).

If you’re thinking about recovery, just starting, or have been fighting your eating disorder for what feels like forever, you may know the contradictory vengeance of reckoning the recovery roller coaster. Your emotions may range from exuberance at seeing colors in sharp clarity for the first time in years to the absolute terror of facing your fears and the unknown about the other side. Recovery is all about feeling this fear and reconciling it, by naming it and doing it anyway. It’s these little rebellions against our eating disorders that separate us from it and eventually give us our lives back. I’ve celebrated the little milestones in my recovery. During my sixth-month mark, I wrote a letter to myself.

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Episode 65: Honoring Your Hunger with Hannah Howard

Hannah Howard

Episode description: 

Hannah Howard is a writer and food expert who has spent her career in the food industry serving, bartending, cooking on a line, flipping giant wheels of cheese, managing restaurants, and now writing about food. She is the author of two memoirs, Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen and Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family. 

In this episode of Peace Meal, Hannah tells us about her complex relationship with food, describing how she once feared her own appetite. Food had been the center point of her career–her professional passion–and also a source of anxiety as she struggled silently with an eating disorder. Hannah describes how sharing her story in recovery has not only connected her to others with similar experiences, but also allowed food to be a source of joy and passion once again. In addition, she discusses the  “good” and “bad” labels often applied to food and encourages everyone to approach eating with self-compassion and kindness. She reflects on her experiences of pregnancy in recovery, naming how she set boundaries at the doctor’s office and strives to set a good example for her children. Recovery is a process, one Hannah says she is still learning.

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Anxiety and Eating Disorders

A woman has both her hands on her chest and looks stressed

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, but they are still often misunderstood. As with eating disorders, the seriousness of anxiety is often dismissed. When a disorder affects so many people, the behaviors and symptoms can become normalized in our culture, but those suffering deserve help just as much as anyone else. Just like eating disorders are often misunderstood as something that people can just “get over,” many people think anxiety is something that you should be able to move past easily, which is not realistic in either case. In this article, we will cover the definition of anxiety disorder, five common myths, and how eating disorders and anxiety are intertwined. 

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Episode 21: Eating Disorders and the Holidays with Kezia Reeder

A festive holiday table setting

Episode description:

Kezia Reeder is a former Emily Program client and staff member, as well as a continual advocate for eating disorder recovery. In this episode of Peace Meal, she joins host Dr. Jillian Lampert to describe her holidays with an eating disorder. Kezia’s insight is valuable not just for those currently struggling, but also for parents and others supporting loved ones who are. 

For those who celebrate, the holidays can be a hard time for individuals with eating disorders. Not only do Western holidays often center on food, but they also often bring stressors related to seeing people for the first time in a while. This year, as collective anxiety surrounding COVID-19, vaccinations, and variants lingers, the holidays may be especially challenging. Reflecting on holidays past with an eating disorder, our guest Kezia says she struggled at first without any outside support. She hid her disorder from family and friends, suffering in silence amid food- and body-related conversations and a lack of routine around meals. During her recovery, Kezia explains that she used trial and error to navigate the holidays successfully. The more present she was in treatment, she says, the more present she could be outside of it. With the help of her treatment team, she learned how to enlist family support—a key element to her recovery—develop a meal plan, and approach holiday food as just food.

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Episode 64: Healing Has No Age Limit with Betsy Brenner

Betsy Brenner

Episode description: 

Betsy is a long-time tennis coach, retired hospital attorney, and the author of a memoir titled The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Midlife. Her inspiring message is that it is never too late to be a work in progress. Betsy is also an eating disorder recovery speaker, advocate, and peer support mentor who shows that it is possible to heal from past trauma and become healthier in body, mind, and spirit.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Betsy discusses how she was taught to suppress her emotions growing up, how dealing with her trauma was the only way to recover from her eating disorder, and how you’re never too old to start healing. She tells us how the food she consumed as a child was completely controlled by her mother, and how that prevented her from learning how to eat intuitively. She also covers the combination of events that led to her developing an eating disorder in midlife. Betsy shares that telling her story in her memoir lifted the weight of her trauma and made her feel empowered and free. She emphasizes that you can recover, as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and deal with the trauma you’ve experienced.

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Do I Have an Eating Disorder?

A young woman looking out the window with a reflective look on her face

Eating disorders are much more prevalent than many people realize. In the U.S. alone, more than 30 million people will struggle with one. An eating disorder is a complex mental illness that affects an individual’s eating habits and can cause severe distress about body weight and shape. Disturbed eating patterns can look anything like extreme food restriction to periods of excessive food intake.

How do we know when disordered eating becomes an eating disorder? It can be difficult to distinguish between the two when dieting is so prevalent and excessive exercise is glorified. However, eating disorders, unlike disordered eating, impair one’s health and ability to function in terms of life goals, relationships, career, and more. 

There are many types of eating disorders, each with an array of signs and symptoms, including anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, ARFID, and OSFED. In this article, we will cover the warning signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, the key questions to ask yourself if you are concerned you have one, and the misperception that eating disorders only affect young, thin, white women.

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