July 2009 Archive
Mindfullness introduces online consultations and support for eating disorder recovery. Need feedback about how to beat your eating disorder? Do you want to better understand the role your ed plays for you? Looking for ways to stop bingeing? Are you worried about a loved ones restrictive eating, binge eating or body image concerns?
These questions can be addressed by using an online video conferencing system through Mindfullness, offered by Dr. Tippen, a clinical psychologist specializing in eating disorder and weight concerns. Contact her now at email@example.com to learn more.
Every 2-3 weeks I have been posting a new recovery spotlight along side my blog post. The spotlight chronicles the courageous journey of recovery from an eating disorder, offering hope and firsthand narratives of recovery experiences.
The recovery spotlights highlights what the process of recovery looks like (think rollercoaster versus straight line)! It offers valuable insight about what has helped others navigate the choppy waters of ed recovery, emerging on the other side.
As always, I welcome your thoughts. I would love to hear from all of you, in various stages of recovery to keep this feature going. Please feel free to submit your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have struggled with anorexia, bulimia, and over exercising for most of my life (I am 27 right now). When I was in high school I over exercised a lot but it went unnoticed as a problem. I flew under the radar for years and I had no idea myself that I had any kind of eating disorder. However when I was 24, I started restricting and working out like crazy. I did that for 2 years until I got so hungry that I started binging and purging.
Last year, I found myself in the hospital after an intense trail running race. The week prior to the race I had really intense behaviors. I was so depleted nutritionally before running such a race that afterwards I had nothing left physically, emotionally, or mentally. Laying in the ER getting IV fluids was the point that I realized I had to do something or I would probably take my own life. One week later, I found myself entering a residential eating disorder facility as a patient. My first (and last) time in treatment besides outpatient therapy.
I was at the center for 6 weeks. I learned a ton about myself as well as skill sets to help me recover. I think you are right when you state that, “What I have noticed is that there is not a lot out there about recovery from eating disorders, certainly not a lot of information about what recovery looks like and what things help people get there.”
As I entered the final weeks of treatment, I had a lot of information and my therapists telling me that recovery isn’t perfect. I didn’t really understand how in the midst of wanting to have a behavior or even having one how this information was going to help me push through. And what do you mean…recovery can’t be perfect? I am going to make it perfect (of course right?).
Well, I have to tell you, that recovery isn’t perfect and that it is ok for it to not be perfect. I am finding that despite it being almost a year since I was admitted to treatment, that I have come a really long way. I am a very driven person. Give me a challenge and I will rise to it. I used this energy to be very “good” in my eating disorder. However, I have learned that this energy can be transferred into recovery instead of my eating disorder.
As far as recovery goes, the things that have helped me are as follows:
1. Staying in therapy
2. Trusting and practicing what I learned in treatment. Even if I fail a few times or most of the time…
3. Being really open and honest with my friends about what I need from them.
4. BELIEVING IN MYSELF!
5. Saying affirmations until I believe them…even if I believe them a little bit.
6. Journaling about my life, emotions, and how I am feeling or if I feel like engaging in a behavior, picking it apart in my journal before I decide to engage or disengage in the behavior.
7. Being honest about my failures
8. My faith in Jesus. Knowing that I am created and fashioned in Him. I was created for a purpose.
9. Mentoring high school girls through Young Life…GREAT ACCOUNTABILITY they have no idea they give me!
10. Just trying…a little effort really does go a long way. Then keep trying…until the healthy option feels ok and the unhealthy options feel yucky.
11. I live in the mountains. I feel very blessed and connected with myself and God when I open my front door every morning. This helps me keep the big picture in perspective, especially on days where I wake up “in my disorder”.
Thanks again for your website and all that you do for those of us striving for recovery and healthy lifestyles.
I hope you can feel my energy for life and recovery!
I was thrilled to receive a copy of Shannon Cutts new book, “Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder & Take Your Life Back.” In Shannon’s book, she illustrates a new way of approaching recovery from your eating disorder by adding the support and guidance of a mentor to your professional treatment team. As Shannon illustrates and many in recovery know, fighting your ed can be a lonely and isolating experience. She illustrates the power of personal connection discussing how RELATIONSHIPS REPLACE EATING DISORDERS.
Shannon’s book does more than discuss how mentoring can help in the process of ed recovery, it shows you. In fact, the book is a carry along companion to recovery. It addresses the many ups and downs associated with any eating disorder recovery and provides helpful exercises to navigate the slippery slopes. The book is compiled with communications Shannon has received and sent to women she has mentored. As you read, you feel a part of the relationship, learning and growing with Shannon and those she has helped.
A favorite chapter for me was “Eating is Not Optional” It reminded me of the temptation many in recovery report- skip a meal, skip a snack, no big deal. Everyone else is doing it, right? Wrong! As Shannon eloquently writes in her book, “Eating is not optional. Skipping a meal for someone with an eating disorder is just that- skipping a meal.” She offers recovery exercises to challenge this thinking and uses the metaphor of a car low on (or overflowing with gas) to remind us how to fuel our own bodies.
Here is an excerpt:
“Does it boggle your mind- the thought of driving on an empty tank, refusing to refuel, and still expect your car to take you wherever you go? (Similarly, how likely would it be that, if you were to fill your tank to “full” and then keep on filling it, that the excess fuel would find a way to fit inside usefully, rather than spilling over the sides to create a potentially hazardous condition for you?) So then why do we so often over or underfill our tank when it comes to “fuel” we want to put in our body, when in the very same way gas is fuel for our car FOOD IS FUEL FOR OUR BODY.”
Read tomorrow’s post to hear first hand more from Shannon in the first Mindfullness online author interview. I specifically asked her more about this mantra and others that can help in your ed recovery. Stay tuned!