Posts Tagged ‘Recovery’

Strategies for Grocery Shopping in Eating Disorder Recovery

A person selecting produce in a grocery store

The average number of products in a grocery store tops 28,000, according to the Food Marketing Institute. It’s enough to overwhelm any shopper. For those with eating disorders, the tremendous selection can further heighten difficulties with food and make grocery shopping an errand that is anything but enjoyable.

Food is a common preoccupation and trigger in eating disorders of all types, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and OSFED. Thoughts of food often consume the day, as do rules of what, when, and how much should be eaten. The abundance of food at the grocery store can exacerbate these thoughts, sparking significant anxiety, fear, and distress upon entry. Factor in the store aisles awash with food labels and fellow shoppers commenting on food, and it’s no surprise that the grocery store is a highly stressful environment for those with eating disorders.

In this article, we provide several strategies for grocery shopping in eating disorder recovery. Learn how to navigate the shelves in person or virtually, and ensure you check out with items that serve your recovery.

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Recovery Conversations: A Q&A with Melanie Stephen 

Melanie Stephen

**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.

Melanie Stephen is a wife and mother to two beautiful girls. She obtained her graduate degree in social work in 2020 and began pursuing a fulfilling career in the field of eating disorders. She has volunteered her time as a mentor and support group leader, while also working as an Inpatient Clinician for those struggling with eating disorders and co-occurring illnesses. She is pursuing a life that is full of adventures, opportunities, and possibilities that allows for self-growth, passion, authenticity, and genuineness.

Through her recovery, she has learned to be true to herself, scars and all, and to allow the world to see that it’s realistic to be perfectly imperfect. She has earned her certification as a Certified Eating Disorder Recovery Coach and Certified Eating Disorder Peer Mentor, as well as certification in Expressive Therapy. She also plans to continue advocating for the Eating Disorders Coalition and become a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. It is her deepest hope that with her personal and professional experiences, she will be able to help others in their journey to recovery and be free from disordered eating.  

Recovery Conversations is a question-and-answer series that features voices and stories of eating disorder recovery. Melanie Stephen joins us today to reflect on the “roller coaster ride” of her recovery and the lessons it has for others currently struggling.

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Episode 54: Building Body Trust with Holly Toronto

Holly Toronto

Episode description:

Holly Toronto is a Certified Master Level Coach who specializes in body image. She has five years of experience helping people stop prioritizing other people’s expectations of beauty, belief, or behavior so that they can live their life from a place of wholeness, fully aligned with the truth of who they are. Holly joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to explore factors that impact our relationship with our bodies, as well as some strategies to improve it. 

Holly first unpacks how purity culture shaped the way she learned to relate to her own body. Messages about sexuality contributed to body distrust and triggered negative body image at a young age. Her body shame increased as she grew into early adulthood and experienced acne. She adopted a “pure food” diet meant to clear her skin, but lost weight and received validation for that instead.

Though it seemed normal and even “healthy,” in reality, the highly restrictive diet was taking a serious toll on Holly’s mental and physical wellbeing. And then came a turning point. Holly shares how finding intuitive eating impacted her life and career by challenging misguided ideas of health and set her on a path toward food freedom and body trust. She dispels common myths about intuitive eating and describes how she walks alongside her clients who adopt it. Emphasizing the importance of body trust and partnership, she offers tips for anyone seeking to heal their relationships with their bodies.

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Written from the Heart

"Your soul is beautiful" by 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 FacebookInstagram, and her blog.

Before treatment, I’d been searching for a lost soul.

I looked for her in everything I did and in everyone around me. I chased after my career as if I’d find her there—as if my soul and my work were one and the same. I chased after other people’s lifestyles because I thought their lives were better than mine, especially if their bodies were smaller than mine.

I could not find peace within myself because my eating disorder had convinced me I wasn’t worthy enough. If you keep chasing, you’ll eventually find her is what my eating disorder convinced me. We can’t find our souls in a job or another human being (I know this now), and I was exhausted from years of trying. By the time I entered treatment, I was exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally.

It took months of treatment to peel back all these layers and to realize (and believe) I was worthy. On a summer night in June, seven months into treatment, I felt a sense of peace wash over me and words poured out of my soul as if I’d discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I took time to write a poem to myself. It went like this:

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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 53: Social Media and Recovery with Maddy Walters

Maddy Walters

Episode description:

Maddy Walters is a psychology student passionate about eating disorder research and advocacy. She brings her passion and personal experience to this episode of Peace Meal to help us examine the intersection of social media and eating disorder recovery. We explore what it’s like to share your recovery online and to engage with others sharing theirs.

Maddy reflects on what she’s learned by creating a recovery Instagram account and how her recovery has evolved in the time since she did. Highlighting the key benefits and challenges of participating in an online recovery community, she offers insight into both the rewarding and tricky parts. She emphasizes the importance of protecting and prioritizing recovery—online and off—and leaves us with practical strategies for others trying to heal in a social media world.

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