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Posts Tagged “Guest Bloggers”

December 16, 2021

Finding Moments of Light this Holiday Season

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Katie Price is a registered nurse and yoga teacher whose understanding of what it means to care for bodies—both hers and others’—has been shaped by her recovery from anorexia. She cares deeply about walking alongside those who are struggling with eating disorders and hopes that by sharing her story, she can offer hope and support.

I spent Thanksgiving this year in an eating disorder treatment program. Laminated index cards with encouraging phrases like, “You are enough,” “Recovery is worth it,” and “One bite at a time,” decorated our long wooden table. When we sat down to eat, each person shared an intention for the meal: “Stay present,” “Ask for help if I’m struggling,” “Just get through it.” Then a timer started and forks were slowly lifted. Legs jittered beneath the table. We talked about funny family holiday traditions. There was some conversation, some laughter, and then long silent pauses. The internal battles being fought were almost palpable. Some battles were won. A young woman looked at the girl sitting beside her and asked, “First bite of dessert together?” And they sunk forks into pumpkin pie in unison. But others were lost in their struggle. Wide eyes stared frightened at stuffing and turkey. Tears welled up and fell silently. I know this battle well, when you sit down at the dinner table and your body reacts with panic like it needs to run away from a bear. I remember how it feels for your hand to shake with anxiety as you lift a bite to your mouth and how the food seems to expand on the plate as if the portion could continuously grow. But now, working for the program as a nurse, I don’t think too much about the food; my mind is present and my body is relaxed. I have recovered from my own eating disorder, a grace I am endlessly grateful for and do not take for granted.

December 2, 2021

How Grief Triggered My Eating Disorder

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

By Roisin Doyle

At 16 years old, I lost my best friend, my grandmother. She lived with me throughout my entire life. She was an angel on earth who was kind and caring. She loved me and wanted nothing but the best for me. Once she passed away, I gained what I thought was a new best friend. My eating disorder.

November 1, 2021

P.R.E.P. for the Holidays

As the season changes to fall, our attention is drawn toward the upcoming holidays. Often marketed as the “most wonderful time of the year,” the holidays can be an especially challenging time for those dealing with disordered eating and eating disorders.

Now is the time to prepare for this approaching holiday season so you can feel the greatest level of support for your recovery efforts and create the opportunity to engage in what can be enjoyed or appreciated. Here are a few tips on how to P.R.E.P. for the holidays.

October 27, 2021

The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Mid-Life: A Q&A with Betsy Brenner

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptom use. Please use your own discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Betsy Brenner is a high school tennis coach, bereavement group facilitator, and a retired hospital attorney. For many years, she worked as a hospice volunteer and speaker on grief and loss. More recently, Betsy has been an eating disorder recovery speaker, peer support mentor, and support group co-leader. Her recovery story has been shared widely on many eating disorder blogs and websites. Originally from Rochester, New York, Betsy and her husband Jeff have resided in Barrington, Rhode Island for 30 years and are the proud parents of three grown children. 

Here Betsy tells us about her memoir, The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Mid-Life, how healing from trauma doesn’t have an age limit, and how sharing your story can be incredibly empowering.

October 15, 2021

How Coping With Another Diagnosis is a Big Deal in Recovery

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

While navigating her own recovery journey at The Emily Program, Teresa Schmitz discovered a hidden gift in being known as a great listener with a compassionate heart. Being earmarked as an IT Leader who was more into the people on her teams than the technology they were building, she realized her purpose was beyond her title. She connected the dots and soon realized her purpose was to help empower others. She pursued her dreams of becoming a coach and launched her own coaching business, My Best Self Yet.  She now helps women feel empowered to navigate the journey of loving themselves unconditionally. She also empowers others to know and use their character strengths in the In It Together group coaching program. Learn more about Teresa’s story and follow My Best Self Yet on FacebookInstagram, and her blog.

Grief. We usually associate it with what happens when someone passes away, especially someone near and dear to us. It’s “normal” for people to grieve in that situation. We send cards. We call them up. We tell them how sorry we are to hear about their loss. We expect that they will need time off from work. We expect that they will cry and be sad. It’s a given. It’s grief after all.             

Did you know that grief can also show up when navigating a new health diagnosis during your eating disorder recovery journey?

I didn’t recognize this was the case until a recent appointment with my eating disorder dietitian. I’d been diagnosed with heart disease after a calcium CT scan in early February revealed that I have significant calcium built up in my left ventricle. This ventricle, if blocked with enough calcium build-up, can lead to a fatal heart attack since it’s the main artery. It’s why they call it the “widow maker.”

August 31, 2021

Breaking the Silence

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

This blog was submitted anonymously by a person in eating disorder recovery.

I do not know if I remember how to speak. My voice still cracks, I still stutter. I think my heart broke alongside my throat. I miss the ways I could sway people. Now all I hear are disjointed sounds mimicking someone incompetent. I watched as my body grew and my emotions and soul shrunk. It’s hard to breathe now, without a throat to swallow the oxygen to fill parched lungs. Words won’t come out right, but I am learning, re-teaching myself how to speak.

My first ever therapy session went smoothly. She asked questions, I answered them, and that was that. Our second session did not go as well. I was quiet. Not the quiet type who does not speak loudly. No. I was the type of quiet that barely said two words. I was a closed book with a chain wrapped tightly around it, locked with an iron latch. She patiently waited while I learned how to shape my mouth into words. Over time, I began sharing more information but remained mostly silent.  

Get help. Find hope.