National Eating Disorders Association
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Recovery

My eating disorder (”ED”), anorexia nervosa (AN), emerged when I was 12. Over time, like others, I learned to personify and separate the voice of “ED” from my own. “ED” constantly yelled at me, told me that I wasn’t enough, that I needed to count/restrict my calories, over-exercise, weigh myself, and sacrifice everything else in my life for the goal of being thin. EDs run in my family, and along with other disorders, genetically predisposed me to develop one. 

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Something monumental happened on April 5th, 2017: for the first time in my life, I spoke openly with my mom about my eating disorder. I had returned home after advocating on Capitol Hill for eating disorder parity and called my mom to recap the day. 

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With Easter can come some inevitable holiday stress. Whether it be interacting with difficult family members or remaining calm around the dinner table, managing self-love can be difficult for many. Here are seven ways to reduce stress and sit back and enjoy Easter and the memories that come with it. 

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Ciara Rae, an up and coming country artist based out of Nashville, expresses her strengths and self-love through her powerful lyrics. Having struggled with an eating disorder, she hopes to help others in the process of healing with music. At a young age, she began her music training with just piano and voice, but has now extended her talents to songwriting and guitar playing. Her talents range from jazz, pop, blues, country, and classical.

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While some of us may share an eating disorder diagnosis, every person’s eating disorder is different. Each one has different contributing factors. Each one started at a different time in our lives. Some people’s eating disorders go on for a long time before being diagnosed. Some people do not go to treatment for a long time if at all. So if every person’s process of developing an eating disorder, and having an eating disorder are different, then it’s understandable that every person’s recovery will look a little different as well.

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“Be sure to eat your vegetables.” For me, this saying was an everyday staple of my childhood, and although it has been nearly half a decade since I last lived with my parents, I still try my best to follow a healthy diet and lead a healthy lifestyle. During my freshman and sophomore years in college, though, I entrapped myself in this philosophy to the point that I was becoming withdrawn from my friends and creating a relationship with food that was devoid of enjoyment at both the social and sensory levels.

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BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! … It’s 5:30am and the alarm is going off. It’s Tuesday morning. My stomach does a flip when I realize what day it is. However, I’m not anxious about the dreaded morning weight circuit, like most of my teammates are, I’m anxious because it might be weigh in day. 

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For all of my childhood, I was considered "overweight." Whether it was my food choices or just genetics I'm not sure, but I was okay with it. I was a happy kid and I enjoyed life and everything it had to offer. As I started to get older, people like family friends, coaches, and peers would say things to me or my parents about my weight. 

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Resolutions aren’t really my thing. I am all for “clean slates” and “fresh starts” and any other similar optimistic metaphors that apply that help put us in a positive frame of mind where we feel motivated and can make meaningful progress toward achieving a goal. The issue I have, rather, is the word that lies at the root of resolution – resolve – that takes on a particular and, too often, intensely pernicious significance, that operates as a brutal code of self-monitoring, self-denial, and self-punishment for those of us who struggle with eating disorders.  

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This past National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness) was centered on raising awareness and showing that eating disorders can affect anyone, anywhere. Last week, NEDA asked people to speak out about eating disorders and show that community exists and is a powerful force. 

Don’t miss these 18 inspiring quotes from warriors who bravely shared messages of hope and recovery on our social media accounts!

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