Never, never, never give up. ~Winston Churchill

Wise, wise words from an old friend of mine (at least I like to think we would have been friends back in the day), Mr. Winston Churchill.

One of the hardest struggles in recovering from an eating disorder is the frequent feeling of taking two steps forward and three back. Be it a rogue comment from a cashier, an overwhelming feeling of panic surrounding a meal, an unexpected life event can all send an individual with an eating disorder reeling and feeling like they are back to where they started, just when they thought they were making progress.

An eating disorder (ED) often grabs a hold of a one’s life slowly, and at first it can be so seductive, he (ED) eases his way in, “oh, wouldn’t it be great to lose five pounds”, “I think I’m going to try going (insert favorite diet fad here)”, “I think I’m going to start training for (insert exercise option here)”. For most, those statements wouldn’t be a big deal and after a five pound loss, or a shift in what the composition of your dinner plate looks like, or once a race is complete, it’s onto the next change, like putting a deck on the patio, planning that trip to Europe, or thinking about a career change. For others, it can be the start of opening the door just a crack to let ED in to their life, and once he’s got a foot in the door, it’s only a matter of time before he makes himself extremely comfortable in your house (a.k.a. your body) and he starts rearranging your life around his agenda and before you even know it, you’ve been taken hostage, ED is in complete control.

I really don’t believe anyone sets out to have an eating disorder. They are truly horrible and take up room in every ounce of your being when they are full blown. They make you miserable, sad, depressed, anxious, isolated, trapped.

Having ED move into your life is really like being in an abusive relationship – you never entered into it thinking every detail of your life would be taken hostage and controlled, but alas it happens, and though you want to leave the relationship, ED locks all the doors and dangles the keys in front of you and tells you there is no way out. But I am here to tell you, there is a way out ED, there is always a way out.

See as much as I don’t believe anyone sets out to have ED control their life, I also don’t believe ED attacks weak people, that is much too easy for him. He attacks those who have the most to offer this world. Those with a message, a sense of purpose, those who want to better the lives of others. ED wants to get in their way and stop the positivity and greatness that would be spread through those he attacks. So even in the darkest room, there will always be a glimmer of light for those trapped by ED and all you need to do is move to the light and chip away the wall until more and more light begins to break through. It may take weeks, months, years to chip away at ED’s barriers – after all, it took him that long to move in – but over time, the walls will be broken and light will burst forth for all to see and ED will have no choice but to get the heck out of there and let your light shine!

Insta-great!

If there is one single thing that scares me about raising a daughter in this world, it is how accessible the technological world is around her.

She is already a child genius when it comes to operating my iphone to play educational games that I have downloaded for her, and I am sure, at around age 5, she’ll likely be able to set up her own Twitter account to tweet all her kindergarten peeps about what mama packed her in her bento box at school today.

It’s absolutely terrifying what is posted on the world wide web these days, and with such ease. My three year old daughter already knows how to go onto You Tube and watch her favorite cartoon, I know it will likely only be a matter of time before she is coming across totally inappropriate material, just by chance.

That is why I am so grateful that companies like Instagram are including statements like this:

Don’t promote or glorify self-harm: While Instagram is a place where people can share their lives with others through photographs, any account found encouraging or urging users to embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or to cut, harm themselves, or commit suicide will result in a disabled account without warning. We believe that communication regarding these behaviors in order to create awareness, come together for support and to facilitate recovery is important, but that Instagram is not the place for active promotion or glorification of self-harm.

in their community guidelines.

Good for you Instagram. Let’s just hope the rest of the internet world follows in your lovely footsteps.

Please read the blog that inspired this post:

http://greatist.com/health/instagram-banned-hashtags#pane-node-comment-form

 

Hide the bump!

*SIDE BAR: This entry may be served with a side of sarcasm*

If there is one thing pregnant women and brand new moms definitely need to hear more about it’s how quickly we can lose the weight we gain in pregnancy.

Flip through any number of tabloid magazines and you will be sure to find an article (or three) that glamourize how quickly new Hollywood moms have shed those pesky pregnancy pounds, like they were evil baggage that needed to be cast away into eternal darkness. Heaven forbid anyone should think that a parent’s most precious gift in the world should cost you 25-30 healthy pounds over 9 months! No, let no one think you gained ANYTHING! Perhaps don’t even leave the maternity ward until you can fit back into your pre-pregnacy jeans. May I suggest a strict diet of green hospital Jell-O to return you back to skinny jean size.

Hollywood, how about writing about how new moms are REALLY doing? How about letting us into the post-pardom that new moms may be feeling? How about letting us know how those first few days of breastfeeding can bring a whole new kinda pain! How about those sleepless nights…..oh wait, there are Hollywood wet nurses for that right – you don’t know about those sleepless nights.

No surprise we are hearing about more cases of pregorexia, emerge as we continue to be bombarded with social media that wants to erase any sign that we may have carried a child for 9 precious months of our lives.

Find out more information about pregorexia and gain insight through one women’s story here http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/987779/pregorexia-eating-disorders-and-pregnancy

Life Without Ed

For those of you who have not heard the name Jenni Schaefer before, I would highly encourage you to get to know her name. She is an ambassador with with National Eating Disorders Association, a gifted singer and song writer, and a survivor of disordered eating.

In her amazing book “Life Without Ed” she writes short, concise chapters dedicated to divorcing oneself from an eating disorder – or “Ed”.

To think about an eating disorder in the context of a tumutulous, controlling, abusive relationship as Jenni describes in her book gives one a sense that they can say “no” to the voice of Ed in their head. Ed is persuasive, smooth, convincing, attractive, comforting and familiar – just to name a few characteristics; however, he is also oppressive, manipulative, lying, deceitful, vindictive and ultimately, deadly.

They say it takes an abused woman and average of seven times to leave her partner, with Ed, life may not be that much different for those that try to separate from him on their own. Yet, for those that have a “safe house” to run to, including a support system that includes family, friends and a team of eating disorder specialists and the self determination to divorce Ed and live the life they dreamed of, a life of freedom and fulfillment, it doesn’t have to take more than one shot at separating yourself from Ed. Yes, there may be setbacks, relapse and plain ol’ bad days, but ultimately, with diligence and an unwavering commitment to health, Ed can be left in the dust and life can be lived to the full.

Check out more of Jenni Schaefer at http://www.jennischaefer.com/