Posts Tagged ‘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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Am I “Sick Enough” for Eating Disorder Treatment?

A woman looks at her reflection in a wall mirror

People with eating disorders will often ask themselves, “Am I sick enough to deserve treatment?” There is something dangerous buried in this question—something that implies eating disorder behaviors are not serious or that people with eating disorders are not deserving of care until a certain point. It suggests that you need to be sicker than you are in order to “truly” have an eating disorder. None of this is true.

Unfortunately, this type of thinking comes easily in a society that is obsessed with dieting, weight, and body shape and size. It is common in a culture like ours, which encourages people to restrict food and view other eating disorder behaviors as “ok” or “not a big deal.” Moreover, if you do have an eating disorder, you likely have a high level of judgment about what you should and should not be doing related to food and body. These thoughts, combined with the pressures of our social reality, can make it easy to wonder whether you have an eating disorder and delay your decision to seek help.

The truth is this: If you think you have an eating disorder, the odds are likely that you do. And if you do, there isn’t a line at which you are “sick enough.”

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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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