Posts Tagged ‘Guest Bloggers’

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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Surfacing from an Eating Disorder’s Depths

surface of water

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, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

Lisa Whalen, a former Emily Program client, teaches writing and literature at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Her writing has appeared in a variety of literary journals and edited collections, including An Introvert in an Extrovert World, The Simpsons in the Classroom, Adanna, and Writing on the Edge. She is currently submitting her book, Taking the Reins: A Memoir of Hunger, Horses, and Hope, for publication. Learn more on her website, or follow her @LisaIrishWhalen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

My computer’s cursor hovered over an icon labeled “publish.” One tap of my finger on the mouse would broadcast a secret I’d kept for years. Would I follow through this time?

My finger had frozen a few times prior to that afternoon in July 2018, when fear prevented me from initiating the click that would make my website go live. During the preceding weeks I had enjoyed the challenge of learning new software and the creativity of designing a website to help launch my writing career. Maybe I had enjoyed it too much. Once the site’s content was set, I kept playing with layout and links, feeling free to experiment as long as the site remained offline.

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Goodbye ED

Lexie with dog

*Some guest blogs may mention eating disorder behaviors or thoughts. Keep in mind that everyone has a unique road to recovery and that this is one person’s story.

My name is Lexie Chambers, and I have bulimia nervosa. Although I was only diagnosed as of May 2019, I have practiced eating disorder, or ED, behaviors since 2012. Over the years, I have developed an unhealthy relationship with my eating disorder, letting it control my life. However, after seven years, I am ready to say goodbye.

Dear Eating Disorder,

It has been an exhausting journey to say the least. Throughout the years, ED, you have infiltrated my brain with negative self-talk, body dysmorphia, and a false sense of self-worth. You have broken me down to the point where I couldn’t see a life without you.

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Shannon’s Story

Shannan Callahan lifting weights

Shannon Callahan is a full-time public defender who in her work, gives a voice to the voiceless. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys using her voice, as part of the GRRRL Army, to help teach women non-judgment, to understand and embrace that we have a positive impact on the world, and to further the global revolution of body acceptance.

I grew up with a mother who didn’t love herself or her physical appearance, so naturally, I learned what I was taught, I learned what I saw. I was parented but not shown love or nurturing. I grew up being told what I could and couldn’t eat and what I should and shouldn’t eat. I grew up being told things like, “you don’t get to leave the table until you drink all of your milk, this isn’t a restaurant; you eat what you’re given or you don’t eat at all…” I was never taught what balance and moderation were nor was I given the tools for a healthy relationship with food. If I ever asked why I was met with “because I said so” or “because I’m the parent.” I grew up without choice.

It all started with I was 11. I think I so desperately sought connection with my mother that I would do anything to bond or spend time with her. I wasn’t going to get that connection from my father who, I found out at 19 when I overheard a conversation my mother was having, didn’t want me and resented me for just being born; for existing. The way I was able to connect with my mother was through dieting and weight loss. When I was 11, she introduced me to the Atkins diet. This type of diet fed my perfectionism; I had to do everything “right” or not do it at all. If I did not I failed. This applied to everything I did: school, sports, dieting.

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