MY JOURNEY - RECOVERED
Disordered eating, depression, anxiety, and a body we loath are not life sentences. If you struggle with these, like I have, there is so much here for you.
As Esther Hicks said perfectly in her 3 part interview series with Oprah:
“hope is burdensome when made heavy by its companion = fear of failing." So then what's beyond hope and fear?
Misinformed media and highly corporatized agendas have caused confusion about our most basic virtue: The right to feel confident in our own skin.
I've deconstructed how I healed and continue to restore my body//mind in the following 4 steps. Our paths will look different, it's a given, but you have a friend in me. We're in this together, I can assure you.
01. In the 80's & 90's people associated fat with weight gain and instead replaced it with really cheap forms of sugar. If not high fructose corn syrup then calorie free artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharine which have been linked to cancer. Simultaneously, fat & sugar were being strategically concocted into food products driving peoples addiction and corporate interests = make food more palatable, make more money. We were being blindsided by addictive convenience foods all the while being told not to eat them. Confusing much? I learned waywardly that to be healthy meant to be thin.
In my teenage years, blindly following this mix of messages, I forfeited soda, fried food and junk products and replaced them with things like tuna, egg whites and vegetables. I lost 25 pounds in a matter of 3 months. The stress and rapidity of the transformation caused my hair to thin and turn my skin vapid. I also stopped menstruating. I was thinner and more active than ever but I couldn't stop focusing on weight loss. I also began bingeing on huge quantities in private and isolating because of guilt and shame.
02. I learned a short time later that basic whole foods like almonds and olive oil could preserve my skin and hair without unwanted weight gain. I also learned that food made a greater impact on our health, and the future of our health, than our genes alone. I started to embrace fat as an essential nutrient. I felt revived and enlightened. Health was becoming a real priority. However, changing *what I ate wasn't everything. I continued to shamefully mask my deeper suffering because fear was still dictating my thoughts and behaviors.
Despite my growing awareness, I began bingeing and purging. I committed and recommitted to a new path every few days because I was afraid of what I was becoming. Beneath the obsession and self sabotage lived a solution I knew was there but felt two inches beyond my reach. Can you imagine the frustration? I was stuck in my own self made web of confusion and I felt guilty and responsible for creating it.
03. Eventually I took to 12-step programs, the Hoffman Institute, outpatient treatment, Yoga, Ayahuasca, Peyote (plant medicines) and therapy - lots and lots of therapy. My period returned, my mood slowly stabilized and I gained a better understanding of how the body orchestrates thoughts, feelings and emotions. I began to formulate that optimal health may not only be about the food we put in our bodies but the metaphorical implications of the person we bring to the table (I think I was on to something).
Diet may be the foundation of a stable, health-infused prosperous life, but without humility and surrender our actions become shallow.
When I moved to Hawaii I became a certified yoga instructor and private chef. I began teasing through the kinks of my very own limited thinking by way of my work. I put my healing in motion. The warplane and battleground of my mind became a smooth playing field and a sound place to retreat. I was finding safety in myself.
It takes time to find this kind of respite in our vulnerability and practice confidence when we have none. I continue to practice and teach yoga, play with food and use my career in Marriage and Family Therapy as a therapeutic approach to address systemic, familial and generational patterning. I look at the whole person, who is greater than the sum of their parts, because I too had to believe that my own fragmented tendencies were merely being dictated by thoughts I could change.
I am so much more than my struggles - and so are you. I am a product of not one but many many different approaches to healing (not to mention years of success paired with futility). We can try and recover in isolation but there's no real growth in that, I promise, I've tried. We need others, support and the modesty that rises from admitting we don't always have the answers. We are simple beings with complex problems. Healing is simple, we were born and bread for it...
Mental health is incredibly reliant upon stable nutrition. To focus purely on the physical benefits of diet misses the point of sustainable health and happiness because what we put into our bodies greatly impacts how we feel mentally & emotionally. It's been proven scientifically.
I found salvation in my lifelong search for truth, answers, credible science and ultimately an intuitive connection with my body and its needs. What I thought I knew about food in my younger years was muddied with fear and judgement and I learned to move beyond it by moving through it - by eating, teaching myself to cook, observing other cultures and becoming self aware in the process.
I found a more contented version of myself when I started buffering from other people's prescriptions and "labels." I found intentional eating which is to happily select and nourish myself with foods that are whole, unadulterated & unmanufactured and eat them in ways that are aligned with my hunger cues and hormonal needs. Which is why I include a list *here* that shows ways to support your body during your cycle. If nourishment is at the root of a sound body//mind then hormones are the glue that keeps it all together. They're that important - don't neglect them!
I've been chipping away at who I am and what I have to offer. This is a representation of that. My journey provides me with many of the tools I have the opportunity to use and implement today. I am a forever student.
Gratitude is my god.