Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorder Recovery’

Five Reasons to Share your Recovery Story

Three people talking and sitting on stairs outdoors

At The Emily Program, your story matters. We believe that it has the power to heal, inform, connect, and inspire, and sharing it at a safe, appropriate time can help you and others. Here are five reasons you might consider sharing your recovery story.

1. Reclaim power.

“My voice is what matters, not Ed’s, and every time I share my story, it empowers me and strengthens my recovery.”

Your story is yours alone to share. Once free from the secrecy and shame of your eating disorder, you may find power in your ability to share your experience on your terms and by your rules. While you did not choose your illness, you chose recovery—and now you can also choose why, when, and how you talk about it.

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Before You Hit the Gym in 2020

Yoga mat, exercise ball, and resistance band

Gym season.

It’s the season after the holiday season, when resolutioners and regulars alike commit to new fitness goals, squeeze in crowded studios, and take advantage of no-joining fees and discounted memberships. Retailers slash prices on workout apparel, the media insist we make exercise resolutions “stick,” and Instagram basically functions as a fitness tracker.

Those experiencing and recovering from an eating disorder often have a complicated relationship with exercise. Many have used it in their illness to influence their body size, shape, and diet, while others have resisted it altogether. A component of many recovery plans is establishing a relationship with exercise rooted in health, self-care, and enjoyment.

In the midst of this January fitness craze, let’s discuss exercise and gyms in the context of eating disorder recovery. Here are some things to consider before visiting the gym this time of year:

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Out with the Old: Revolutionizing Resolutions

City scene with fireworks at night

Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat “healthy.”

These resolutions seem as synonymous with the New Year as the midnight ball drop and fireworks display. Amid popping corks and clinking glasses, we hear the same tired promises each turn of the calendar year, as if they’re verses in “Auld Lang Syne” themselves.

As New Year’s marks the passage of time, so too it shows our sociocultural pressures and values. In the most popular resolutions, we see society’s expectations—the “goods” and goals worth pursuing in the name of personal betterment.

In a culture preoccupied with weight and food, it is no surprise that New Year’s resolutions frequently reflect these obsessions. Striving to lose weight—arguably the most popular resolution each year—is to affirm our cultural fixation on thinness and view of weight loss as a universal good. And while exercise and eating patterns can indeed influence health, many resolve to make these changes with the primary or sole goal of losing weight. Weight is mistaken as a proxy for health.

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Running Free Now: Living Authentically in Eating Disorder Recovery

Emily Sigrist, Photo by Kendra K Photo / kenrdakphoto.com.

Photo by Kendra K Photo / kenrdakphoto.com

**Content warning: Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Emily Sigrist is a graduate student in Seattle, Washington, pursuing her Master’s in Counseling Psychology. She is a psychotherapist in training focusing her work on the need for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, healing, and preventing eating disorders. She hosts a podcast called Get Together, writes music with her partner, and shares words on emilykei.com and @emily.sigrist.

When I was in middle school, I started running, and then, I couldn’t stop. What began as my first exercise routine quickly turned into an eating disorder that would follow me for nearly a decade.

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