My Eating Disorder Documentary Went Live This Morning!

 

This morning, a lil mini-documentary about my eating disorder, and recovery aired on Barcroft TV, and what a unique moment in life.

There’s always something to note (like LOLZ on all the “looking into the distance” shots or HEY check out some of the laughable YouTube comments), but I’ll keep it simple.

A reminder today that:

Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. My story is common because I am a white, small, cisgender female who grew up engulfed by “diet and beauty” culture, and the insecurity and expectation that it breeds. That is not to be ignored, but there are millions out there who do not have the same background. Men, women, ethnicities, nationalities, class. I am not the sole representation of what an eating disorder looks like, and will never pretend that I could be or am.

You will never be “sick enough.” You deserve help, no matter your circumstances, religion, shame, or weight.

I had a strong support system when I went to treatment. Most don’t (or they do) and it still means that sometimes they go back to rehab a few times before they get their shit straight. I am still working on what that means in my own life.

Recovery is ever-changing, ever-evolving. That’s why it’s flexible.

It is okay to live with an eating disorder. Recovery is accepting its presence in your life, not ignoring it as “fixed.”

Thank you to my best friend Kim Dyer for being in this, and Kristina Doelling for watching it from her apt in Brooklyn. Thank you to my parents Joanna Byers Hall for putting themselves out there, and being vulnerable to millions as parents of someone with an eating disorder. Thank you to The Renfrew Center for inclusion in the documentary, and taking time out of their lives to participate. Thank you to the camera crew and the producer for not making this salacious. Thank you Bradley’s parents for raising a beautiful child. His life has been the inspiration for so much of my recovery. Shout out to my partner for helping me get through that day, and waking up at 6am.

I am feeling many things, as one does when they see their sniffling face on film. Mostly, I am grateful for the life I have led – in all its ups and downs and side doors and mirrors.

Film1

Advertisements

“You Must Eat Intuitively … But, Actually, Eat At Exactly 8am, 12pm, 3pm, and 6pm”: The Truth About ‘Intuitive Eating’ In Recovery

8years.jpg

This post has taken me a long time to write.

(What’s new? Generally speaking, everything I write takes me till the next half moon … but I think I like starting posts off by saying something declarative to build anticipation … probably some public relations gimmick. I’m a fraud.)

ANYWAY, this post is hard because I don’t have a solution.

Usually, if I’m going to blabber on about a topic, I like to have an end in sight – but this one is different because I’m not an intuitive eating coach.

I’m just a girl with an eating disorder that feels confused by ‘intuitive eating’ methods – vs reality.

It’s not that intuitive eating shouldn’t be an end goal, it should. In my humble opinion, we all deserve to chow down on Pecan Pie at 4pm on Thanksgiving and move on with our lives.

But, I still feel like 4 years into recovery – and I’m often asking myself “what the hell is intuitive eating?”

Continue reading ““You Must Eat Intuitively … But, Actually, Eat At Exactly 8am, 12pm, 3pm, and 6pm”: The Truth About ‘Intuitive Eating’ In Recovery”

Let’s Get Real: Are You A ‘Half-Assed’ Anorexic?

Well, are you?

Alright, so before you bite my head off in T-Swift “Look What You Made Me Do” fashion:

Let me explain.

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 3.12.43 PM.png

Continue reading “Let’s Get Real: Are You A ‘Half-Assed’ Anorexic?”

Boycott The #TransformationTuesday: Anorexia Is Not About Weight

#TT

Posted this on Instagram the other day, but thought it’d be a good Tuesday post here.

Just gonna say it: I am sick of the social media #TransformationTuesday “before and after” pics of eating disorders.

Continue reading “Boycott The #TransformationTuesday: Anorexia Is Not About Weight”

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:

bLOGGGGGG

“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

 

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!)”

“OMG My Vacay Is Perfect”: The Problem With Instagram And Vacation Filters

blog2

blog3

Blog1

blog4

blog5

blog6

 

Oye – vacations. 3 days in and I’m sitting here in Hawaii, already scanning for that perfect filtered beach pic.

What is it about social media that makes us wanna pull the veil over reality.

Having a great trip – content. But, I still have those eating disorder thoughts and I still have body image hiccups, so in an effort to accept that and move da’ fuq on this week: here’s reality of vacation vs Instagram:

First pic: hair tie got tangled up during sunrise hike. Pulled like 70 hairs outta my head – grimaced through pain. Grimaced at that side shot. Wore backpack strategically.

Second pic: filtered for that “sunrise bright and alert” look. Sent it to the person I’m dating so as to remind them how “outdoorsy attractive” I am.

Third pic: left pic I posed strategically “casual” because I always feel like I have a tendency to pose with my legs spread eagle.

Fourth pic: soaking up sun with a beer in hand, big- grinning. Reality: it was freezing and raining n’ my brother and I sat perched on that rock for a solid 30 minutes. Drank 2 beers, felt like I was being vacuumed into my swimsuit. Worried about my cousin in Houston, stuck  in the midst of Harvey.

Fifth pic: paddle-boarded yesterday for the first time… with one of the boat crew helping. Also, flirted with him because I seek instant validation in swimsuits. He was 8 years younger than I am. My family made fun of me. Captain yelled “you’re not even paddling Cinderella.”

Sixth pic: scowled at my stomach n’ made my brother take another round of pics. I was not “in mid walk” I was literally just standing there.

I’m hiking without shirts, wearing bikinis. I’m eating coconut shrimps and calamari and fruity cocktails and beers.

Just confirmed to speak during the Denver NEDA walk.

I’m thinking about my cousin and his wife in Houston. They’re safe, but man that storm’s devastating.

I’m good and content. And I’m flexibly okay and pushing.

We’re all human. So the next time you’re scanning through “vacay pics” demanding a redo or a “different angle” – remember you’re not alone. We all do this shit 💛

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

BlogPostJuly

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”

“But, The Scale Says I’m Fine”: Gaining Weight With Anorexia

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 2.21.48 PM.png
“But, I’m like, fine now.”

The other day I’m on the phone with my therapist.

“How’s your eating?” She asked – after we covered the mundane and I had no other drama to manipulatively fill the time.

“Better,” I said. “I’m diggin’ outta anorexia part 2. I weigh XXX. Put on some pounds in Mexico on that bachelorette.”

I hear her *harumph* on the phone. (And if you don’t know that sound – familiarize yourself with it immediately.)

“That’s not enough.”

I feel that growing flicker of annoyance in the pit of my stomach. “It’s fine.”

It’s FINE. LEAVE ME ALONE. ALL OF YOU – LEAVE ME ALONE.

“And you were …. how much did you weigh when you were in treatment?”

I tell her. “I don’t want to still be that though. I wasn’t even active then. They wouldn’t let me do shit so it wasn’t fair to say that’s accurate – I knew I’d lose a little. That was 3 years ago.”

“Regardless,” she says. “You’re still xxx off.”

“Yep,” I agree – ornery as eating disorders can be. “Yep, maybe. You might just be damn right.”

WHATCHU GONNA DO ABOUT IT, I want to say.

Instead, I wait.

A chess play. Always a chess play with eating disorders.

“So, what are you gonna do about your meals this week, now that you’re not on vacation?” She asks – which irks me.

WAIT, thought I was CONTROLLING this dialogue.

“Dunno,” I say, nonchalantly. “Do what I’m doing.”

“Skip meals?”

“I’m not. I’m gaining weight. I’m figuring it out.”

“But you’re not making it a priority.”

“That’s fair,” I said. “I don’t care if I gain weight or not. I’d be fine if I stayed this forever.”

“But you know you can’t sustain that?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe,” she says. “Maybe isn’t good enough.”

“Maybe is all that I got sometimes.”

Alex
Mexico!

Continue reading ““But, The Scale Says I’m Fine”: Gaining Weight With Anorexia”

The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

Beforephoto.jpg

This sentence helped take away 8 years and 40lbs of my life – and I’m reposting it here today because in light of NEDA week, I think it’s a reminder to anybody searching for resources on the internet.

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

Such a simple few words. We say it all the time.

Continue reading “The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder”