Posts Tagged ‘Guest Bloggers’

The Road to Living, Not Just Surviving

Caitlin Ward

**Some guest stories may contain eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptoms. Please use your own discretion and speak with your therapist or support system as needed.

Caitlin Ward is a freshman at Bucknell University. She loves spending time with her family and friends who are there for her during every step of recovery. When she’s not busy with homework, Caitlin enjoys spending time with her dog and watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Perfection. Most people believe that being perfect is not realistic. That’s not me. I always thought I could be perfect. I was supposed to be the shining star of the family or the friend group, of everywhere I went. I tried my hardest at being perfect. I studied endlessly to get perfect grades. I always woke up early to put on makeup, put on a cute outfit, and do my hair even if I was up late doing my homework. It didn’t matter, I had to look like I was okay all the time, even if I cried myself to sleep because of my anxiety. The desire for perfection has always been a part of my life since I can remember. However, nothing I ever did made me “perfect” enough. I was thin. I was pretty. I was smart. I wasn’t thin enough. I wasn’t thin enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I felt like I lost control over my need to be perfect. I needed to regain control to become perfect.

So, I turned to food and exercise. I thought, you know what could make me more perfect, be the healthy one. Be the skinniest. Eat the least. Workout the most. So, I did. Most people would not be able to live this way. But, with everything I do I have such a high level of motivation to complete it with perfection. Restricting my diet really was not that difficult for me. Sure, I was hungry. I was tired. I missed out on a lot of social events. But, was I achieving “perfection?” No. I never achieved perfection. So, everything I did concerning food/weight/exercised needed to be controlled even more to make me more perfect. I would continuously cut down on calories and exercise more.

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My Story

Woman looking at skyline

**This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on the path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptom use. Please use your own discretion and speak with your support system as needed.

Jenny Osland is an advocate for mental health awareness and blog writer. She has taken her battles against anorexia and used them to become a strong bodybuilder. Her passion is to help others realize their worth by showing her strength of overcoming such a powerful illness and how others can too.

In high school, I went to get a physical and found out that I had lost a significant amount of weight. This led my parents to make me go out and “eat a big bowl of pasta” thinking that would help. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and never in a million years did I think I would end up like that. I was the one who could eat a whole pizza and then snacks right after. I was so scared.

It started when I was playing two sports at once. I became extremely cautious about how much I was eating and I was not sure why. I would find myself counting calories and watching serving sizes. There were times I would ask my mom what was for dinner and then sprint to the cupboard to check the nutrition facts, which would lead me to break down in fear. I would start crying and go back to my mom and tell her I didn’t like what she was going to make. “I didn’t like it” was the lie I constantly told. Truth is, I would have loved to eat the pasta but my mind was so strong it led me to say no to everything I once enjoyed.

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How Does Anorexia Nervosa Affect Your Bone Health

Woman's leg in cast

**Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab. He became passionate about being the best Wasilla chiropractor after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.

The relationship between anorexia and bone health is complex. To start, 40% of female anorexia patients have osteoporosis, a bone disease that arises from bone density loss. For anorexic patients, bone health is a major concern for current and future wellness. It is important to understand the full picture of how anorexia weakens bones, who is at risk and what management strategies are effective.

How anorexia weakens bones and leads to osteoporosis

Anorexia is an eating disorder that commonly involves an abnormally low body weight and a fear of gaining weight. Because the body is not getting the normal amount of nutrients, anorexia results in negative impacts on the body. In particular, bone health is a critical area of concern. Anorexia causes nutritional deficiencies, which makes the body run on limited resources. The nutritional deficiencies that anorexia causes may trigger the body to conserve resources for the most critical functions—to keep the heart pumping and blood flowing.

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Betsy’s Journey

Betsy Guest Blog Photo

*This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts or behaviors. Please use your discretion and speak with your support system as needed.

Betsy Brenner is a lawyer, married mother of three, tennis coach, and bereavement group leader and in Barrington, Rhode Island. She is passionate about her role as a recovery speaker and has shared her story at treatment centers in the Boston area. Betsy co-leads an eating disorder support group and mentors women who are struggling with mid-life eating disorders.

There are many factors that propelled me into a full-blown eating disorder in my mid-forties.  The first significant event was my parents’ divorce when I was 7 years old.  It shattered the innocence of my early childhood and began years of internalizing any and all difficult emotions.  My Mom continued as if nothing had happened.  I had no opportunity to talk about the divorce or its impact, no place for tears, sadness or anger, no place for feelings of any kind.

There is no doubt that my Mom loved me and I am very grateful for many happy childhood memories, but her suppressed emotions and undiagnosed mental health issues made her moody, rigid, and controlling.  Even with food, she controlled what I ate, when I ate and how much I ate.  I never learned intuitive eating.

I grew up feeling that the only way to make my Mom happy was to achieve success in the classroom and on the tennis court.  I felt so much pressure to meet her expectations of perfection so that she would be proud of me.  There was no place for questioning her ways or expressing my own needs and emotions.  While my tennis success was an important source of self-esteem, the tennis court became my sanctuary, my escape from the emotions inside I was unable to express.

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