I’ve written quite a bit about cooking over the years.
From the days of meal planning post-rehab (that lasted all of a month) to New York small apartment cooking (that also lasted approximately 22 days) to Grub Hub’ing (more often than not) to cooking meat for the first time (disaster) to present day Hello Fresh meal plan subscriptions, I’ve phased through it all – which led me to this post, and a comforting realization.
Saturday morning, I woke up in one of those frenzied moods, shoving the comforter back so forcibly that my dog jumped up in fright.
I HAVE X, X, AND X TO DO, I announced aloud, leaping up to brush my teeth – as though I was about to set out to save the world from the Bubonic Plague (or Trump.)
For the sake of the headline, I left out the ‘read AND listen to‘ because it seemed too long. (It’s the public relations career in me.) So, to clarify, I thought it might be handy if I put a little list together of resources I’ve seen circling around the web this week, speaking to eating disorders and recovery.
I asked some of you who follow my Instagram to provide suggestions as well, so below is a group of responses. Please feel free to comment your own pieces as well! Continue reading “What To Read RIGHT NOW During National Eating Disorder Awareness Week”
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”
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.
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:
“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.
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.
Here’s the truth about eating disorders: we are often uneducated as to their risks.
Sure, we “know” they are detrimental, but when I struggled for 8 years I had no real awareness as to what type of bodily harm I inflected on my organs.
I noticed the physical effects: thinning hair, sallow eyes, and stress fractures from running. I observed the light-headedness and fainting spells, but I never took time to explore what that meant internally, especially for my heart.
Now in recovery from my eating disorder, I spent time speaking with cardiologists and medical professionals around the country to learn more about the harmful effects that eating disorders can have on your organs – specifically, your heart.
Here’s what they had to share: Continue reading “5 Things You Need to Know About Eating Disorders & Your Heart”
I’ve been trying to write this post for months but the truth is I detest writing about binge eating.
Anorexia? Bulimia? Drunkorexia? Sure thing. I’ll write about that till the cows come home ’cause a year and a half into recovery doesn’t change the surge of pride I still feel when I write about the lost days of thin.
Perhaps I’ll always have a twisted sense of validation when I write about the ”success” of anorexia. It’s like the boys baseball coach who’s still talking about his “1976 glory days” even though they’re long gone.
I worked hard at being thin; I spent hours feeling the bones in my shoulder as some sort of ritualistic celebration- so subconsciously I still have a tendency to talk about it with the same kind of nostalgia that Hemingway wrote about the Parisian Jazz Era.
As shameful as it “should be” to admit that I stuck my fingers down my throat, it’s actually far more vulnerable to publicly acknowledge the aspects of my eating disorder where I felt the opposite. Sure, I’ve made quips here and there. I’ve joked about binge-eating gallons of ice cream, but I’ve never talked about it in a way that mirrors honesty because it’s embarrassing to me.
And frankly, binge eating is not attractive… so we rarely talk about it. Face it: our culture LOVES looking at anorexics like they’re Madame Medusas with snakes for limbs.
Happy Sunday, y’all!
Since it’s the beginning of NEDA’s 2015 National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (2-22 – 2-28), I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and provide some stats that I’ve received via my work with Project Heal.
Often, I feel as though people still don’t know where to place eating disorders on the spectrum of mental health issues- so I think it’s beneficial to take it back to the facts on occasion and put the disease in perspective.
Take a look:
– 10 Million: The number of men struggling with an eating disorder
–30,000 (!): The average cost per month for eating disorder treatment
-81: The percentage of 10-year olds who are afraid of being fat
-30: The percentage of 18-24 year olds who cut food calories to replace with alcohol (Drunkorexia)
-10: The percentage of of women and men who actually ever receive treatment for eating disorders*
-1: Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder.
50% of women in America use unhealthy weight control mechanisms such as fasting, skipping meals, and purging.
Think about it. Think about the people in your life.
Treatment was a blessing, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the women I shared those hospital gowns with– and how many of them could not afford to stay longer because their insurance crapped out and they simply didn’t have that kind of money.
The insurance system for eating disorder coverage is bullshit. Google “eating disorder treatment costs” and you’ll find a slew of negative articles about the “loopholes” of the mental health coverage in this country.
I watched countless times as women packed their bags sobbing in the hallway of our facility.
I do NOT forget those tears.
They were deemed “healthy” by an insurance system of people who had NEVER seen- never spoken- never given a second glance- but merely ”stats”- and turned back out to keep fighting a battle they weren’t equipped to win. This, in turn, perpetuates a system of relapse. It perpetuates a whopping 85% chance of relapse for eating disorder patients.
For more on our bogus insurance check here:
Let’s keep fighting where we can. And by fighting- I mean talking. Because nothing changes without awareness.