I’ll admit they giving the world a peek into what my deepest insecurities + admitting the reality of what my biggest fears were was uber scary at first. If you think about it, when you’re challenged with something that feels embarrassing or intimidating you probably don’t go around telling your boss, neighbors or the people that live the next town over about how you really screwed something up or if you did something you’re not exactly happy to report about. Am I right? 😉
But then again what if you could set your ego aside + what if you knew that sharing those insecurities + airing the dirty laundry you once felt was ruining your life because you knew it could save lives of other people just like you? What if talking about your once biggest setback in life could help families and give others the hope they need to get through a similar struggle or save the life of a young person, or a mom, daughter or friend? That is exactly what I felt my calling was once I fully recovered from my battle with anorexia, bulimia + addiction to exercise.
This May I was featured in an interview segment diving into the topic of eating disorder awareness on Channel 12 News here in Phoenix. The segment covered interviews with myself as well as others who have overcome their own personal battle with an eating disorder. (Shout out to Rosewood Ranch Alumni + alumni recovery coach, Shannon Hershkowitz)! The interview was a very up close + personal look inside the life of someone battling an eating disorder. I must say that some of the things I shared were a little deep for the 6 o’clock news + I didn’t expect the reporter, Kevin Kennedy to hold such a focused interview honing in on primarily the trials I endured through my journey. I answered very personal questions about my eating disorder + the thoughts and behaviors I engaged in fighting the disease. I spoke about the real thoughts I had of hating my body, battles that I braved eating meals + what it was like struggling with mental illness when nobody around me could relate. All I wanted was for someone to understand me … + I wanted those people to understand the fact that it wasn’t just about the food. It was the most difficult time in my life + I SO wish that I had more resources for myself, my roommates, my parents + family to help me get through that challenging time.
Fast forward to where I’m at now, I strive to inspire others to love their body each day! It was challenging to get to a place of recovery + it didn’t just happen in the blink of an eye between paragraphs like this. It look lots of tears, doctor appointments, therapy, meeting with specialists + it took willingness from me to actually change the way I thought + the actions I had been practicing for years.
Interviews, instructing seminars, speaking at conferences, meeting with families + patients struggling with eating disorders is a part of my life now… except I’m on the recovered side. I’m no longer in a hospital gown + I’m not seeing my treatment team of doctors on a weekly basis anymore. Now, I fight to break the stigma that mental illness and eating disorders have in our culture. I want the jokes to stop about someone needing to “eat a cheeseburger” or when a comment is made that someone looks anorexic. For the sake of all of the people struggling with eating disorders + mental illness I want to educate others about what it’s like to battle this disease + how to help others recover in a supportive manner. I’m passionate about helping families, friends and loved ones getting the information they need to know to support the person in their life battling an eating disorder just like I did. ❤
When I speak out in a workshop, at a seminar or on air in an interview setting I’m no longer fearful of what others will think. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to share the challenges and difficult times I’ve endured in my past. When I have an opportunity to speak out to create awareness now, I jump at the opportunity to share what my experience was like in hopes that someone else can find the courage to ask for help or make that change for them self.
My challenge to you today is to ask yourself if you are caught in the game of comparison. Are you too concerned with what others are thinking that you’re willing to give up your own happiness or health to make an impression you hope for? A few paragraphs ago I shared that I used to be afraid to air what I thought was my own dirty laundry. I didn’t want anyone to think I was a failure if I told someone I was struggling or needed help.
Now that I’ve broken down that barrier, that same dirty laundry is now hanging out for the world to see + I’m happy to blog about it, Instagram about it + post it on my Facebook wall. I’m even comfortable sharing it on the 6 o’clock news… because I’m confident my journey will inspire others to ask for help when they need it. I challenge you to find the strength to be a little more “you” + a little less “socially acceptable” today (whatever that might look like). Let your true colors shine + cast your goals + fears out just a little bit today. You might be surprised where they lead you!