Eating Disorder Awareness Week


In case you’re unaware, this week (February 24-28) is Eating Disorder Awareness Week, so I thought I would take some time to update you guys on my progress.  For those of you who don’t know, I was diagnosed with an e.d. almost two years ago.  Click here to read my story and how I came to realize that I had a problem.

Since then, it’s been a battle.  There have been many ups and downs, in particular not qualifying for life insurance (to read that one click here).  And to be completely honest, every day is a different type of struggle.  There have been days where I wonder if it would just be easier to go back to obsessing and if it’s really worth it.  In the end I remind myself how miserable I was and how obsessed with food being my enemy I was. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned over the last two years.

  1. Eat what you love and love what you eat.  I spent so many years telling myself what I could or couldn’t eat, or going by what experts or doctors said was good for you that I didn’t really know what I liked anymore.  There always has been and always will be a stigma around certain foods and it’s been hard to scoot around that in my mind, but I’m learning.  Diet food is not always diet food, sometimes it’s just food that’s good for you that got labeled diet food.  On the same token, some bad foods aren’t necessarily bad for you.  It’s all about learning what you like and moderation of both the “good” and the “bad”.
  2. Dress for success.  I’ve learned to develop my own personal style (although sometimes in small town Maine I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb) and I use that style to make myself feel better about what I look like.  I’ve gone shopping a few times, and although I sometimes hate the number on the tag (and in the beginning I would grab two sizes and not look at which one it was when I was trying it on so that I didn’t have to know the actual number) as long as what I’m wearing looks flattering and fits my style, it will drastically help the confidence factor.
  3. Appreciation is key.  Over the years I’ve totally taken my body for granted.  I’ve pushed it to extremes, bruised, beaten and berated, and never once did I appreciate it for all that it can do.  Until now.  I’m learning to treat my body well, both inside and out.  When I’m sore or exhausted, allowing a break.  When I’m restless, enjoying some action.  And when the stress feels overwhelming, I know it’s time for some yoga to relax.  I’ve also been treating myself to a massage or facial or even just a haircut more often as a thank you to my body and mind for all it does.
  4. Hobbies aren’t just for fun.  They do more than just give us something to do.  Hobbies help take our mind off of things and help us come to terms with other things.  For me, I like doing things with my hands.  I took a stab at making jewelry, which was fun, but messy and I didn’t really have a place for it.  Then I realized how much I loved playing with makeup, so I’ve turned that into a hobby as you can tell with this blog.  And reading which allows you to leave one world and briefly enter a different one to experience all sorts of emotions.
  5. Put judgments aside.  When I first began to tell people about my encounter with e.d. I was surprised by some of the responses that I was met with.  Some were encouraging, uplifting, and supportive.  On the other token though, some were nasty, assumptive, and flat out rude.  Its human nature for people to place judgments.  Its learning how to take those judgments and either learn from them or set them aside and not take them to heart that is one of the hardest parts to do for anyone.  And with something so personal it becomes even more difficult.  But being able to do that really frees you from passing return judgment and allows some peace of mind.

I could go into great depth of the ups and downs, the mental roller coaster that never ends or I could talk about the aggravations or the foods I had to re-taste to learn if I actually liked or hated them, but that doesn’t necessarily help anyone better themselves.  Although if you’re interested in a post like that let me know and I’m sure I can come up with one or one thousand…


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Comments (3)

  1. Jenn

    I was looking at your Oscars post and just happened upon this one that I missed. What a GREAT post. SO proud of you! While our recoveries are different, much of what you’ve learned rings true for me as well. It’s a process for sure, and I’ve also had my share of ups and downs. Thankfully, they say nothing about our progress 🙂 I’m so glad we met by chance! One of the lessons I’ve personally learned in recent years is to surround myself with phenomenal women. Let’s meet up soon – It’s been too long.

    • LaurenRenee

      Thanks! Yeah, I’ve learned that I kind of have to roll with the ups and downs and not fight them. Just like I wouldn’t fight the ups and downs of a roller coaster ride. We do definitely need to get together soon, maybe painting place in Portsmouth or something. I’ve always wanted to do that and I saw yours looked AWESOME! Maybe during spring break?

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