While many of the health effects of binge eating on veterans are similar to what has been found in civilian populations, it is clear that the disorder doesn't affect them exactly the same.
The truth is, for the better part of eight or nine years, I've managed to hide a rather ugly secret. Not totally -- I'm not the slickest person on the planet, and I've been known to leave behind chocolate-coated fingerprints and cookie crumbs in my wake -- but well enough.
Learning that I am more than the size of my body is allowing is about learning to love myself from the inside out through thin and thick times.
By reducing my fat intake to zero and running for an hour at a time, I knew that I'd destroy every fat cell that existed in my body. I had commenced an all-out attack on the demon inside me that made me feel that way: my homosexuality. With the strategy that combined running and starving, I was sure to waste away and starve the gay within.
I was set to get married to my fiancé in less than two months and all I could think of at that moment was, "I am going to be a newly-married bride with one breast hacked off."
"You're not fat," he said, answering a question I hadn't asked. "You just need to tone up." I stood in my bikini at the lake's edge and froze. I wished I could sink into the sand and never re-emerge.
Are you willing to embrace the weight of valuing yourself from the inside out and give up valuing yourself by your body weight which is merely a number on a scale, which can not tell you anything about your true worth?
The truth is, I still struggle. But, I'm happy to say that there are more good days than bad ones now. As they often say in AA, it's about "progress, not perfection." I have made progress.
My hunger, my appetites, my longings, my skin, my bones, my size are mine for the taking. I take back my worthiness, my belonging in the world of beautiful and diverse beings. I live without apology for the straight lines and curves, living tissue, vulnerable heart that hold my living, breathing manifested story.
Because fat girls aren't supposed to take pleasure in our bodies or even consider showing other people what they look like, there is a lot of sh*t that can hit the fan. Mostly caused by other people not knowing how to handle someone as sexy as me owning it.
Many parents have wondered whether their teen has an eating disorder and it's often not easy to tell. Eating disorders tend to develop gradually and the signs and symptoms are often vague. There's no telltale rash or fever and, the truth is, people with eating disorders can be quite sly and secretive -- which can be a hallmark of adolescence in general.
Our bodies affect our minds as much as our minds affect our bodies. To maintain good health and wellbeing, we need to realize their interdependence and take care of both. The practice of mindfulness can help to reconnect the body with the mind, and specifically, eating mindfully can help ward off some of our autopilot stress responses related to food.
Before I was diagnosed with an eating disorder and spent time in treatment with people facing all sorts of affliction, I, too, was one of those people who thought mental illness only happened to those people.
Dance is a complicated world. It's a world where your body is your canvas, and that canvas is supposed to look a certain way. And sadly, that standard doesn't just exist in dance, it's everywhere. But thankfully, the world is changing.
Three-way mirrors are soul-crushing windows into the depths of hell under the best of circumstances; put a pregnant lady wearing an ill-fitting tankini in front of them and expect nothing short of a full-scale nervous breakdown
Be mindful: People will comment, "Ooh, you look so good!" which is physically painful to hear because you'd really rather they did not comment at all on your body. Many people will assume that because you look "better" you are better. When, in fact, this is terribly incorrect.