VIDEO: NEDA Denver Walk Keynote Speech – Woo!

A quick, simple post to thank so many, including  The Eating Disorder Foundation for asking me to give the keynote speech for yesterday’s Denver National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) walk.

As I stood up there, cold as hell, nervous, adrenaline-infused (as I always am before any public speaking), I had a momentary wave of peace.

There are times that what I do feels like a hashtag blessing. And there are times that I am truly conscious of that blessing. This was one of them – leading a crowd of people , and helping to hold a banner of awareness for a sickness many suffer from in some shape or form.

Stood next to a group of young ladies after the walk. We chatted for a bit; I pet their puppy:

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“Your blog helped us,” one of them said. “You make people feel like they can talk about this stuff and it’s not a big deal. Thank you.”

I teared up (my tears likely freezing into icicles cause IT WAS FRIGID): my words may make a momentary impact, sure, but choosing life outside of an ED is a powerful, intimate decision. And having a support group of friends who are doing it with you – how rad. These ladies inspired me.

Cheers to days like this.

How lucky I’ve been to take my experience – and magnify it to the point that it is no longer a shame for me to speak to, and about. How lucky I’ve been to find purpose and meaning in my life at 28-years old.

Thank you to all of you who have ever read a word I’ve posted. 

NEDAWALK

NEDA

 

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Reminder – Your “Back Fat” Is Not What’s Bothering You (Also, NEDA Denver Walk Speech: Please Critique!)

 

Posted the following message on Instagram, but felt like sharing here:

Had one of those nights last night where I had to sit at my kitchen table, moments before heading to the hot tub, and remind myself that damnit, it’s not your “back fat” you’re worried about – it’s the Denver NEDA walk speech you’re giving on Sunday.

It’s not your lack of working out this week – it’s the expectation that you would, and didn’t.

It’s not that you ate Qdoba for lunch and – OH CHRIST – the calories from a salad bowl (😱) – it’s that my ex read my blog post the other day about relationships, and was hurt. And now I’ve sat here the past 72  hours trying to reconcile the pain I’ve caused him for my misguided – at times – interpretations online. I’m dealing with guilt and a facepalm to my own face.

Continue reading “Reminder – Your “Back Fat” Is Not What’s Bothering You (Also, NEDA Denver Walk Speech: Please Critique!)”

A Reminder: Relationships Will Not Cure Your Eating Disorder

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Sitting at a brewery in Evergreen, Colorado.

I’ve got my dog with me after an unexpectedly lost 10-mile hike – and we’re recovering here: me with a beer, and Juno with a questionable water bowl that has other dog hair floating in it. (Sucks to be a dog sometimes.)

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Anyway, I write pretty frequently about love in recovery. Mostly, because I suck at it, so I write to make sense of what I do that always ends in heartache.

That being said, let’s cut to the chase: it’s been a rough weekend.

Between Hurricane Irma potentially wiping out my grandparents home in Sanibel Island, and my aunt and uncles home in Naples – there’s stress in my family.

Selfishly, my childhood summers are wrapped up in Sanibel. I spent a month or two there every single year from 9 months – 24 years, and the reality of that whole island being destroyed – as I write this – is hard to grasp.

The people who have been there forever – their homes. The ice cream shop “Pinocchios,” the Bubble Room restaurant, our bike paths, the lighthouse and the cafe near it with the same waitresses for the past 20 years.

I was never more content than in Florida as a teen – it became an expected concept – to have it. I brought my best friends there, my boyfriend.

The possibility of not having it reminds me how fleeting things can be: how you can have this sense of security and it can be taken from you in an instant. The whole construct of security, which humans crave, reshaped in a storm.

Don’t get me wrong: others have it way worse. I know that. I’m thinking of them. But, that’s not my reality at this moment. And my emotions are still valid.

I’m not attached to the things of this island – I’m attached to memories. In truth, I could give up all my stuff, my whole apartment today if we all became nudists and moved into log cabins – with just a twinge of resentment before utter release.

I don’t carry “things” with me, except memories. I don’t move with much. I just start over.

Maybe that’s in part due to my eating disorder – eating disorders have a way of disassociating you, and so I don’t know that I ever really formed an attachment to things because I was always self-absorbed and preoccupied with being sick.

But, I carry memories because they are associated with people. And I carry people around with me everywhere I go – too many to count.

Which leads me to this post.

Continue reading “A Reminder: Relationships Will Not Cure Your Eating Disorder”

“It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’

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Had one of those moments today – sitting at my desk around noon.

My personal email dinged as I haplessly knocked buttons on my keyboard trying to make a press release for work sound remotely articulate.

I sighed, tabbed over to my gmail account.

A Paperless Post invitation appeared at the top of my Inbox.

I clicked on it – going through the whole masquerade of electronically opening the letter.

Like, cmon Paperless Post, it’s 2017. Envelopes are dying. You can’t trick us millennials with your virtual envelope rip. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

An invitation appeared to a friends house in a couple weeks.

Immediately intrigue followed by immediate dread as I opened the invitation and saw the two glowing little shitty words:

POT LUCK!

Pot. Luck.

I groaned –  audibly – bashing my forehead onto the keyboard.

…. Okay, dramatic. I didn’t do that.

But God I hate pot lucks, which leads me to this post.

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5 situations that I just ‘can’t even’ with my eating disorder. Let’s see if you agree: Continue reading ““It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’”

Is Netflix’s ‘To The Bone’ Triggering? Spoiler Alert: Yes, But Life Is Triggering

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Been seeing this Netflix movie ‘To The Bone’ anorexia debate flood my social media feed + inbox the past couple weeks, so I watched it yesterday and thought I’d type up a few thoughts.

I liked it.

As unpopular of an opinion as this might be for some, it’s easy to shit on eating disorder movies because there’s so many reasons why they occur. Not all can be covered in 2 hours. What I will say, though, is that I felt. And I appreciated the following attempts:

  • They cast a lead male with an eating disorder in treatment. This would not have been done 10 years ago. Thank you.
  •  Predominately showcased Caucasian females, yes, but they cast at least two minorities (one who identifies with LGBT) as leads with an ED. Thank you.
  • While I would’ve preferred better dialogue on ‘drunkorexia’ or exercise addiction outside of sit ups, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they cast a pregnant girl dealing with pregorexia, a binge eater, and showcased ‘chewing and spitting’. Thank you.
  • Miscarriage scene. Horrifying. It happens. Thank you.
  • They included reference to social media pro-anorexia sites. More people need to understand that they exist in masses, and their kids could be on them. Thank you.
  • ”Calorie Aspergers” may not be PC, but if you have a type of anorexia, you know what they’re talking about. Thank you.
  • They inserted a frustrated sister. Cliche, sure. But, many of us have heard the same from members of our family or friends. Thank you.
  • The movie depicts insurance issues. And the recidivism rate of eating disorders + treatment. Thank you.
  • They showed a group of family members fighting over what to do. Scared. Selfish. Tired of her. Feeling like they did this to their child. Tis’ life. It’s not true. But yes, it’s relatable. Thank you.
  • They exposed manipulations with food. The diet cokes. The smoking. Laxatives. The bags under beds, the sit ups, the arm ring, the cutting off of bread from the fried chicken. Sure, there’s plenty more they could’ve done, but it’s a movie and there isn’t time. Thank you.
  • The stubbornness of these disorders. The habits we create and repeat time and time again. The locked circle. Thank you.

Continue reading “Is Netflix’s ‘To The Bone’ Triggering? Spoiler Alert: Yes, But Life Is Triggering”

A Reminder: Your Eating Disorder Is Boring

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Coming out of a minor eating disorder relapse these last couple months, and I went to dinner with a girl who follows my blog this past week: “What made you go?” She asked. “To rehab? Did you have that moment?”

I sipped my wine: looked down at 2 tacos in front of me. Sometimes, I wanna have a big, juicy response for that question. Sometimes, I don’t know what to say.

I kinda chuckled. “I dunno if I have an answer really,” I said. “I didn’t have that moment – that big climatic scene in a movie. I didn’t have it, and sometimes I feel like I should make one up to feel relevant.”

Truth is, though: I’m not the girl Lily Collins is playing in some hyped up Netflix movie about anorexia. I’m not your dying girl on a feeding tube in a hospital.

I’m not the girl that people shook their head at in the street, and I wasn’t the girl who had a movie scene moment with an indie one-hit wonder theme.

I was just a girl with an eating disorder – and I was simply boring.

“I guess it’s that,” I said. “I was bored. I wanted a different story. Got tired of the one I was writing.”

I wasn’t dying, but what is being alive glass-eyed? Tripping over your feet? Unaffected unless it directly relates back to calories burned or food lost. Food doesn’t give you love.

Saw fields and mountains and beaches for years n’ all I thought was how long I could run them – till every calorie of food was gone.

Look at pictures and remember events in my life by what I ate, threw up, or didn’t eat. “Ah yes, that picture. I had just hidden grape leaves in my back packet. Smushed them later in the car when I sat down. Smelled rank.”

“I guess I just eventually got bored enough to ask myself ‘what else is there?’ I ended up saying. “And that was enough for me. Eating disorders are boring. People grow tired of you. You get tired of yourself; sit in the same 8-10 revolving thoughts all day. I was just … I was tired of feeling nothing.”

I wanted something else to live for. I wanted to cry again; like big ole’ tears. And laugh the most genuine of my 7 laughs (still have them). I wanted to have shit days and joyful ones – and love affairs that wouldn’t last, and anger. I wanted to go on dates and road trips n’ eat camp food because it’s there. Party till 2am or sit in a lazy river. I wanted to run around at a hot springs or laugh at a meal with girlfriends. I wanted to gossip. Dance. Try some blues moves. Read a novel. Fuck up.

I just wanted to be a person who no longer found the word ‘boring’ an acceptable meaning for a life.

A lady who lives out of a suitcase – than motionless in a box, eyes wide open – feeling nothing.

‘Cause honestly, what woulda’ been the point otherwise? I reminded myself that then: biting down into my tacos – what else is the bloody point?

6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse

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Haven’t written in awhile.

Mostly because —  I’ve lost weight — And I don’t know how (nor want) to talk about that.

How do you talk about the reality that’s occurring – and less about the past you can reflect on? (Writing about the past is so much simpler.)

What does it mean when you’re generally “okay” and yet — not being okay?

How do you write for the people you know that read this — put yourself out on the gurney —  and still make it human?

It’s hard to maintain a sense of transparency about your life – while also worrying about what other people will think.

So, I write in this way. In numerical values like this headline — because it seems easier to own.

6 “real” signs of a relapse.

I’m in one – but I’ll dig out of it.

And, I think, while I’m in it — it’s worth shedding light on the little manipulations we use in order to get away with it. Continue reading “6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse”

Sugar N’ Spice N’ Everything Nice? Naw: Holidays With An Eating Disorder

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Christmas Eve – and… donuts? 🍩🎄❄️️ ((or otherwise known as a time of general food anxiety, fear of weight gain, and constant body checking))

Such a balancing beam between the holidays we are born into believing in – and the reality that takes place when you have an eating disorder.

Went on a run this morning with my partner. Ran straight past a Dunkin Donuts. “Let’s get donuts for my family,” he said. “I got the dog; you go in and pick it out.”

I. Fucking. Cringed.

Continue reading “Sugar N’ Spice N’ Everything Nice? Naw: Holidays With An Eating Disorder”

“Trump”ing Eating Disorders: Guest Post for My Blog in Light of 2017

“She looks old and wrinkled.”

“She was hotter sick”

“Someone should’ve told her she looked bad sick.”

“She’s so pretty.”

“Poor girl.”

“SHE’S AN ALCOHOLIC NOT A DRUNKOREXIC.”

“This girl be FUCKED up.”

“I’d fuck her.”

“She got an ass.”

“So tired of hearing about sorority girls with eating disorders. NEXT.”

“Someone should give that bitch a real problem to cry about.”

“I think she’s beautiful.”

“She has a nice smile.”


Oh, the internet.

A place I liken to “seeing someone else puking so you start puking and then everyone else starts puking” 2016.

Thanks for the line, John Oliver.

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Continue reading ““Trump”ing Eating Disorders: Guest Post for My Blog in Light of 2017″

“So, Does The Camera Make You Gain 10lbs?”: Being On Television With An Eating Disorder

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2 days ago, I did an interview with CBS New York talking about eating disorders, drunkorexia, and recovery.

Throughout the interview, I felt calm, I felt poised, I felt eloquent.

I win at life, I thought. Woo – I got my shit TOGETHER!

Lolz.

Flash forward 4 hours later and I see the following picture:

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!!!!!#)&@#(^@(!_%$!

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING, I thought immediately. NO. My ASS. My THIGHS. NOPE. NO-NO-NO-NO.

That is NOT going in the segment, I hissed at my poor friend nearby. Not to millions of people.

My panic heightened.

Continue reading ““So, Does The Camera Make You Gain 10lbs?”: Being On Television With An Eating Disorder”