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How I Learned to Love Food in Eating Disorder Recovery

How I Learned to Love Food in Eating Disorder Recovery

Most people who know me today know that I’m a food enthusiast — I love food in eating disorder recovery. When those people become aware of my past and try to reconcile those two experiences, they tend to be confused. How can someone both be enthusiastic about food and also have suffered an eating disorder? From my perspective, this is actually quite a natural progression. Though I may have some anxiety around food, my eating disorder recovery taught me that confronting that anxiety head-on and embracing food as nourishment is part of recovery.

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My 24-Year-Old Self Had An Eating Disorder (Part 1)

My 24-Year-Old Self Had An Eating Disorder (Part 1)

Roughly 10 years ago this week, I was moving out on my own and attending graduate school. Many other big changes were happening at the same time in my life, but looking back, I can honestly say that those two had the biggest impact on my eating disorder spinning out of control around that time. It is no surprise that major life changes or transitions can, unfortunately, be triggers for a number of events or conditions in one’s life, including eating disorders.

Here’s a bit about my experience on this and how it related to my mental illness.

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Writing and Talking about Eating Disorder Recovery

Writing and Talking about Eating Disorder Recovery

I often say, and write, that my eating disorder never defined me, not its diagnosis, nor the stigma attached to suffering through the illness. Even today, I’m open about the fact that I deal with food anxiety and no, I’m not ashamed of that either.

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Giving Back in Eating Disorder Recovery

Giving Back in Eating Disorder Recovery

Not a day goes by without me feeling grateful about being able to share with you on this blog my lived experience with an eating disorder. The concept of giving back to others who stand where I once stood makes me very happy and truly helps me maintain my recovery.

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Let’s Talk About Your Eating Disorder. Say What?!

Let’s Talk About Your Eating Disorder. Say What?!

Very often, I’ll come across guidelines explaining or offering guidance on what to say or not to say to someone suffering from an eating disorder. Though these guidelines are useful and important in order to give those who are not familiar with eating disorders a frame of reference, they can still lead to awkward or hurtful interactions, simply because these kind of conversations surrounding eating disorders and mental illness are never easy to have.

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Should I Tell People I’ve Been in Eating Disorder Treatment?

Should I Tell People I’ve Been in Eating Disorder Treatment?

On Tuesday, I started studies for my Master’s degree.  (In expressive arts therapy, if you were wondering.)  And around the country, schools and universities are returning to session and one of the most common “get-to-know-you” questions is “What did you do this summer?” If you were lucky enough to go to an eating disorder treatment center during the summer months, or during a school break, you might be able to make something up. But what if you’re in a career and just had to take off three or six months for eating disorder treatment? How do you explain that?

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What I Wish My Parents Knew About My Eating Disorder

What I Wish My Parents Knew About My Eating Disorder

In my case, I never really had a formal sit down discussion with my parents about my eating disorder. I started eating disorder recovery in my mid-twenties, long after I had moved out. By then, I had graduated from law school and the time felt right. I told each parent separately about my eating disorder (they are divorced), and as uncomfortable as the conversation was, surprisingly, their reaction was one of relief. All along, they had known something wasn’t quite right regarding my eating habits and body image, and they also knew I’d had my gallbladder removed a couple of years earlier. So to them, as much as I tried to hide it, they knew something didn’t add up, but they just didn’t know what. (read: How To Tell Your Parents About Your Eating Disorder)

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How to Tell Your Parents About Your Eating Disorder

How to Tell Your Parents About Your Eating Disorder

I’m often asked about how to come out to parents and family members about our eating disorder. If you haven’t told your parents about having anorexia or bulimia, this week’s video may prove to be helpful.

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Why I Write About My Eating Disorder Under My Own Name

Why I Write About My Eating Disorder Under My Own Name

Every so often, I am asked why I decided to write about my experiences with anorexia under my own name.

The simple answer? Because I refuse to be ashamed.

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Should You Disclose Your Eating Disorder? Yes, No, and Maybe

Should You Disclose Your Eating Disorder? Yes, No, and Maybe

I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when I was forty-two, although I’ve wondered if I didn’t have at least vestiges of the disorder when I was a young adult. For a long time, I tried hard to hide my condition or at least deflect concern about me onto others . . . anyone, as long as people didn’t guess my secret: that I was anorexic.

I should have saved myself the trouble, because the majority people I knew figured out what was wrong with me long before I would even admit it.

I often wondered what would have happened if either:

a. I had talked to someone when I first began restricting at the age of eighteen, or
b. If I had chose to keep silent about my eating disorder.

I know — two different scenarios.

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