Sh*t Rehab Never Taught Me: Part One

In December 2013, I was gearing up to go to treatment in Florida after 8 years of living in the eating disorder cycle.

In my mind, I had this notion that rehab was gonna be this all-knowing descent into radical self realization.

More or less, I expected to come out of it being Basic B*tch Gandhi… or at the very least, Mother Teresa’s sinful pseudo-daughter. Meditating on the reg – zen-like in feeling, and – of course – still thin because in my jacked up head I thought the weight I felt was “extra” was only there because I binge ate about as much as I starved.

L-O-L.

Continue reading “Sh*t Rehab Never Taught Me: Part One”

CURRENTLY SCHEDULING: Interested In Receiving Recovery Coaching 1×1? Or Tips on Blogging? Let’s Talk!

I’ve been a slacker on the blog this past month and some. Tis’ true.

I’d love to make 100 different excuses as to why (and will totally take this as an opp to shamelessly plug the fact that my partner and I are engaged as of a week ago!) but the truth is I have really just allowed myself to overextend commitments.

Whether it’s recovery meet n’ greet coffees or planning recovery speeches or my 9-5 job or traveling for my 9-5 (and recently for a recovery speech) I am at the point where I can no longer give a present (and meaningful) amount of time to any one email, Instagram direct message, or phone call.

Someone told me once that I needed to create boundaries in my advocacy work or I would get burned out and be of no help to anyone, least of all myself. I ignored this for another two years.

Of course I can, I told myself. I cherish ALL conversations and emails. (I do.)

But, it’s dawned on me since that that person had a point.

While I cherish all connection, I also cherish the privilege to show up and genuinely give my invested time, energy and presence.

I simply cannot do that in unstructured ways.

Over the last year, I have received daily emails that range in various needs: from assistance in finding local resources to treat eating disorders, to starting a personal recovery blog, to general recovery coaching, to parents asking about how to talk to their children.

Continue reading “CURRENTLY SCHEDULING: Interested In Receiving Recovery Coaching 1×1? Or Tips on Blogging? Let’s Talk!”

“New Year, New You”: Post-Holiday Body Image Meltdown

We are 6 days into 2019, and here I am – brimming with possibility, opportunity, a new job, dreams:

And, like clockwork, a post-holiday body image crisis steaming Titanic-force ahead.

#Bliss.

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Maybe it’s the fitness Instagram ads peppering my feed, or the insidious amount of leftover sweets positioned as a shrine on our kitchen counter, haunting my waking hours.

Or the return to schedule after 15 days of nonstop travel and eating out.

Or maybe I’m just basking in the blooming guilt of what I ate over the holidays.

Whatever the reason, it happens almost every January.

Continue reading ““New Year, New You”: Post-Holiday Body Image Meltdown”

“But Red Wine Has Antioxidants”: Navigating Alcohol And Anorexia In Today’s World

Every time I sit down to write about eating disorders, I ask myself “what needs to be said, that most are unwilling to share?”

Sometimes, that leads me down a rabbit hole with an unclear end. Occasionally, a seed of perspective develops.

More frequently, a truth emerges (or reemerges) that I’m conveniently escaping.

This share is one of those, and took me two months to write.

Continue reading ““But Red Wine Has Antioxidants”: Navigating Alcohol And Anorexia In Today’s World”

Do You Struggle With “Leftover Anorexia”?

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First things first – I think I’ve coined this whole “leftover anorexia” term and I’m feeling called to take a moment here to chuckle at my own irony. (Is it irony? Leftover? Like … leftovers. Like, food. Get it? Oh God, I know. Lame. Possibly insensitive.)

But, it’s another one of those eating disorder topics that seems to be difficult to acknowledge – though my guess is quite a few of us struggle with it.

Continue reading “Do You Struggle With “Leftover Anorexia”?”

Eating Disorders Unveiled: The Truth About Weekend Anorexia

Have any of you  – out there blogging in the universe – ever noticed how bloody difficult it is to start a post?

This clearly has nothing to do with what I’m about to delve into, but I noticed that I spent like 30 minutes trying to come up with some “catchy” intro – only to land here – admitting my utter defeat to the intro paragraph.

I lothe introductions and pleasantries. So, Happy Sunday – all the jazz. Hope it’s been a good one. Etc. Etc.

Now, let’s proceed:

DISCLAIMER: I’m covering a topic today that I’ve never seen mentioned in the eating disorder world, and I’m interested to see how you respond. Bash it, critique it, relate to it, I’m open to all feedback (except, like, hateful 1,000-character rants. Then, I’ll just stop reading and repeat over and over to myself “people will love and hate you and none of it has anything to do with you.”)

Anyway, there’s this cultural mantra we live by: “80/20 dieting.” Goes something like  – you eat “clean” (i.e. arbitrary set of often mishmashed food rules) through the week, and then you can go ape-shit on the weekend and eat whatever mounds of processed crap you feel like consuming.

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Continue reading “Eating Disorders Unveiled: The Truth About Weekend Anorexia”

This Is Why Your Eating Disorder Is Boring

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My partner and I have been arguing lately.

Likely because we’re at that point in a relationship where our “quirky” personality traits have lost their lusty splendor, and humanized into regular, every day irritations –

I was clearing the table after dinner last night.

In my view (which is, of course, the only one), I’d been helpful. The loving, easygoing girlfriend.

“Shit, did you clean this pan with soap?” I hear from the far side of the kitchen.

The aforementioned monologue in mind, I gripped down on the white plates that now peculiarly resembled killer frisbees:

“Yes.”

An exasperated sigh. “Damn, okay. This one can’t be cleaned with soap or it ruins the bottom.”

He stared at it like a child grieving ice cream that just fell out of the cone.

I lost it in that beautiful way people sometimes do. Slowly, subtly, and then with a rip-roaring bang.

It’s always easy to consider ourselves even-tempered, until we’re not.

Continue reading “This Is Why Your Eating Disorder Is Boring”

Think Your Friend Has An Eating Disorder?: 4 Tips On What The Hell To Do Next

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So, your friend has an eating disorder. 

Or, at least, you think she/he does.

You don’t know because it’s not like they’re telling you. I don’t know anyone that just goes and is like “I’m gonna vom now for the x time today. Will you hold my coffee?”

You just sense it.

I say I have eating disorder telepathy. I can watch someone from a mile away, and have this intuitive knowledge if they struggle.

Maybe, that’s the majority of the country and I’m giving myself too much credit.

But, it’s the way I watch their discomfort unfold around food. The way their eyes narrow; breathing appears tighter.

It’s the way they avoid looking at food – or talk to someone a mile a minute to escape having to actually eat.

It’s the slight comments “Oh! I ate before I came.” “I’m not hungry – I’m on a diet.” “I can’t eat that!”

Nobody is the same, so I’m generalizing here.

But, I just … I know.

Possibly ’cause I lived it. Possibly cause someone’s discomfort automatically makes me uncomfortable (It’s the empath in me, I’ll say – as I pat myself on the back for being such a “giver.” lolz)

Anyway, so you think your friend has one?

Now, what the hell do you do? Continue reading “Think Your Friend Has An Eating Disorder?: 4 Tips On What The Hell To Do Next”

“I’ll Never Let Go, Jack… Er, ED”: Is Anorexia Your Forever Love Affair?

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The other day, I saw a Facebook picture of a person I will forever define as “a lifetime love affair.”

… Okay. That’s a lie. I went purposely creeping through his Facebook page, dug past his borderline-conspiracy-theorist-Facebook-belief private settings – and ended up clicking over to his current girlfriend’s page – ogled over her natural European thinness – and tried to find remote evidence of her ‘plain’ personality via a couple pics.

We all have a few of these people – sprinkled throughout our lives – like quicksand dissolving through our fingers.

She seems ‘right’ for him. I said it aloud.

We ended as we were meant to, I reminded myself.

She loves him. I don’t wanna know.

You don’t know that person anymore.

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As I laid back on my pillow, there was a picture I noticed on her notably less privacy-clad page (she must be strong-willed, I decided, to ignore his constant conspiracy rants) – and it was the two of them on a Scandinavian mountainside. A black spaghetti strap falling down her tan shoulder, a black t-shirt clinging to his stomach from wind-blow. They had backpacks on, surrounded by friends who seemed equally as attractive and ‘mountain-approved’ by an REI commercial.

A flicker of angst: “A life that could’ve been mine, and wasn’t.”

Continue reading ““I’ll Never Let Go, Jack… Er, ED”: Is Anorexia Your Forever Love Affair?”

When You Miss Anorexia: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before A Relapse

Last Sunday, I gave the keynote speech at the Denver NEDA walk.

It was meaningful, full of women and men I got to meet in person versus online.

I felt a lot of connection and intimacy – and an environment where people understand each other.

I also felt lonely.

Continue reading “When You Miss Anorexia: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before A Relapse”