Posts Tagged ‘Guest Bloggers’

Recovery Conversations: A Q&A with Shannon

A person in glasses smiling at the camera

**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. Shannon, a woman in recovery, opens up here about the recovery process and the resources, support, and self-care activities she has found helpful.

How would you describe recovery to someone currently struggling with an eating disorder?

It’s true when they say that it is REALLY hard. It is exhausting, uncomfortable, and might even be painful sometimes. Sometimes you might wonder if it is really better than life in your eating disorder, and you might miss your eating disorder. This is all normal. It is NOT a sign that you’re not cut out for recovery. If you could survive your eating disorder, you can survive recovery and experience not just the tiring, hard moments but the little glimpses of freedom that you get along the way.

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Gaining a Life: A Q&A with Emily Formea

Emily Formea

**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, or symptom use. Please use your own discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Emily Formea is a writer and coach passionate about eating disorder recovery, food freedom, and self-love. She is the author of Gaining a Life: The Untold Story of My Eating Disorder & Recovery and the host of the To The Girl podcast. To learn more about Emily, visit her website and find her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Here Emily tells us about her memoir, Gaining a Life, and the gifts of eating disorder recovery to which its title alludes, and shares with us one of her favorite excerpts.

Tell us about Gaining a Life!

I wrote Gaining a Life only four months ago and it has probably been one of the greatest achievements of my life! As someone who recovered from her own eating disorder of 10 years, I wanted to showcase that it was not only possible to recover, but also WORTH it! As a blogger and online influencer around eating disorder recovery, I hear daily how so many people want to desperately recover from their eating disorders! They want to stop struggling with food or their bodies! They want to eat freely and stop thinking about or worrying about their plates, BUT… and it’s always a big ‘but’ because it was the same for me for a decade…. BUT they don’t want to gain weight. They don’t want to have their body change at all! They want to leave their eating disorders behind, but they don’t want to leave their control behind with it. They don’t want to accept that they may gain weight, their bodies may change, that they may not know how long their recovery will last, etc. and that was the exact reason I wrote my book! 

Sure, I gained weight, but I also gained an entire LIFE! My book is split into three parts. The first half of the book is very vulnerable. It’s me detailing my true decade- long struggle with food to you. I wanted my reader to understand how bad I was with food and my body image to make them feel not so alone, to make them realize that if I could recover, so could they! And to make them aware of how my eating disorder affected my ENTIRE life, not just my body or my diet, I wanted the reader to really know about my background to connect us more! Then, moving into the second half of the book, it is all about how I healed! How I did recover, the process, the pain, the abundant joy, etc.! I explain how I chose to live my life off the scales and calorie-counting apps and how THEY can do the same!! The final few pages are actual exercises to help the reader shift their mindset around food, their body, control, perfectionism, and more to make recovery tangible and long-lasting!

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Recovery Conversations: A Q&A with Olivia M.

A woman on a couch speaking on the phone

**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, Olivia M. opens up about seeking help and staying motivated, the resources helpful to her healing, and advice for others in recovery.

When and why did you decide to seek help for your eating disorder?

I knew I needed help when it became clear to me that my eating disorder was affecting more than just me. For a long time, the selfish part of the eating disorder had me believing that I really wasn’t hurting anyone or that I was only hurting myself. I honestly didn’t understand why my parents and friends were so concerned about what I ate and wished that they would just leave me alone. Sometimes I even thought that they were jealous or something, so that shows how powerful an eating disorder can be. But the longer it went on, there were more moments when I sensed that my parents were not angry or annoyed with me but actually sad and worried that my health was going to get worse. I didn’t want to hurt them, and that was a big motivator early in my recovery.

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A Letter to College Students and Others in Eating Disorder Recovery

A college student holding books

By Shannon Brault

As we enter the hot summer days where there is still a virus keeping us from having a “normal” summer, some are preparing to (hopefully) be on campus in the fall either starting or continuing their college careers. While there is so much to learn and everyone is experiencing this time differently, there is no doubt that being in recovery from an eating disorder can make these times extra difficult and lonely. 

Starting college (or any new chapter of your life) can also be extra difficult living with or being in recovery from an eating disorder. You could be away from everything you’re used to and feel out of place in this new environment. It may feel easy to fall back into symptom use when you get stressed, lonely, or overwhelmed, but there are things you can do to be proactive and stick to your recovery. 

Starting college or any new chapter of your life can be scary, lonely, and exciting all at once. Whether you’re going to college, starting a new chapter of your life, or continuing life once this virus lifts, here are some things you can do to help aid your recovery. Recovery can be difficult and requires your full attention sometimes. While it can be difficult, it is possible and it is crucial in order for life to be the way it should be, with food as fuel for your body and not an enemy.

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Emancipated Love Junkie: A Q&A with Rachel Wilshusen

Rachel Wilshusen

**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.

Rachel Wilshusen is a dynamic and vibrant writer with liberal arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, University College London, and the University of Cambridge. After an extensive battle with anorexia, including admittance to an eating disorder center, Rachel wrote Emancipated Love Junkie to embolden others to follow her path toward recovery. Coastal runs with her husband and jumping into ocean waves are her favorite ways to spend sunny mornings in Del Mar, California. Learn more about Rachel via emailInstagram, and her website, rachelwilshusen.com.

Here Rachel tells us about the purpose and process of writing Emancipated Love Junkie, a memoir about her recovery from anorexia. 

Tell us about your book, Emancipated Love Junkie!

In 2016, I reached a breaking point with my anorexia and admitted myself to an eating disorder center. During my time in treatment, I devoured memoirs, self-help books, and mental health resources to uplift my spirits during the most challenging time of my life. Although various writers touched my soul and inspired change, I never found what I was craving: an inspiring story with actionable help that exuded a “You got this, girlfriend!” vibe. Consequently, after treatment I toyed with the idea of writing such a book based on my experiences to provide others wrestling with their own disorders with a warm and optimistic literary hug. Four years later, which included a year of intensive writing sessions, I’m thrilled to share Emancipated Love Junkie with The Emily Program and ED community. The title is meant to emphasize the book’s proactive approach to recovery; I hope to encourage readers to release their inner critics and do the tough stuff to embrace a life of health and happiness!

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Poems of Recovery: A Q&A with Ananda de Jager

Ananda de Jager

Photo © Linda Merkens – normaalgesproken.com

**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.

Ananda de Jager is the author of Poems of Recovery, a collection that provides an intimate and honest look at her eating disorder recovery. She openly shares her thoughts and feelings about healing her relationship with herself and food in the book and on Instagram. Learn more about Ananda on her website, anandadejager.com.

In this Q&A, Ananda reflects on the healing value of writing, sharing, and reading poetry and shares excerpts from her book.

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