National Eating Disorders Association
Blog
Recovery

My best friend and I have always been candid about our eating disorders. We've known each other for 20 years, and when we met, we were in the midst of anorexia. Our eating disorders were similar: there was no magic moment when either of us announced we were in recovery, not even when I went to in-patient treatment. 

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Having both an eating disorder and codependent traits, I am a professional at people-pleasing. From the time I was little, I never really got a fully-informed education in setting boundaries. I have been conditioned to accept what was happening, given excuses, told to “respect my elders,” and assume that they knew what was best for me, even when what they were doing was harmful. 

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Saturday evenings were gym evenings.

The wind of the air conditioner beat down on my bare shoulders like rays of sun, the fluorescent light glaring above. Most of the time, I struggled to eat three meals, but didn’t want to miss out on going to brunch in the East Village with friends. I worked out constantly to compensate. Still, a nagging voice in my head told me it’s not enough

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Dr. Lesley Williams is a certified eating disorder specialist, family medicine physician, and positive body image advocate. She co-owns Liberation Center, an eating disorder treatment facility, in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Williams is dedicated to ensuring that all women and men who struggle with eating and body image issues receive the help that they need to overcome and live happy, healthy lives.

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When people think of summer, certain words may come to mind, such as “sun,” “heat,” “beach,” “relax,” or “vacation.” While many of these words may be positive, that doesn’t mean that we can’t feel stressed or overwhelmed by the change of seasons! We’ve compiled a list of things to do or keep in mind to help you navigate the rest of this summer with A+ self-care.

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Every August, my family takes a vacation to Cape Cod. It was something I looked forward to every year, but in the years my eating disorder was in control, I started to dread it. 

Vacations are supposed to be about fun and relaxation, but for me they became a huge source of stress. Not knowing what we would be doing or eating next was a huge challenge to face without anxiety, and it took time and practice in my recovery to learn to let go and truly enjoy myself. 

Here are some strategies you can try to help combat stress and negative thinking on vacation:

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I’ve always known that I was a writer. I was the kid with an overactive imagination and a knack for weaving my thoughts into convincing stories, and I was so hopelessly in love with writing that I could see no other way to live. I am writer, utterly unfit to do anything else. 

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Dr. Lesley Williams is a certified eating disorder specialist, family medicine physician, and positive body image advocate. She co-owns Liberation Center, an eating disorder treatment facility, in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Williams is dedicated to ensuring that all women and men who struggle with eating and body image issues receive the help that they need to overcome and live happy, healthy lives.

Read more >

Growing up, I always wanted to say that something would “unthaw” when my mom would pull it from our freezer for dinner. It was one of these words that I always used in the wrong context; I was always saying “unthaw.” Thinking about my life now, it was some sort of foreshadowing.  

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Ah, summer. No school, no deadlines, and no obligations. In their place: cookouts, pool parties, beach trips, vacations, etc. Life is easy-breezy, a two-month-long, Instagram-worthy holiday. 

But—what if your summer isn’t this? What if your summer is actually a story of unstated (but ubiquitous) pressures? The pressure to be easy-going, fun-loving, and spontaneous. To socialize all the time. And of course, to show off that mythical “bikini-body.”

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