——————————————- A pink, cute dress for my baby shower the end of March. Not even sure what I’m looking for, something feminine and fun. And under $40.00 Any suggestions?? ———————- The aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder. Thank you again to everyone that commented or participated in NEDA Week. This is such an important cause and we need to spread awareness; even after this week is over. Promoting a positive body image and self-love can help to give women and men the courage to fight this disease. I get a lot of emails and comments asking about my recovery. Did I have an “ah hah” moment, or was it a long battle. How did I overcome the negative self-talk and cycle of unhealthy behaviors? I don’t have one solid answer, I do know that it was a battle I fought for years. I got stronger over time. There are a few key things that stick out to me when I think of recovery and overcoming a negative self image. 1. Helping Others: I knew that this was the KEY in my recovery when I started counseling younger girls while I was in high school. I was still in treatment but it was very therapeutic for me to speak and inspire them to take care of their bodies and be healthy. They looked up to me and sharing my story while telling them how passionate I was about taking care of myself gave them courage. There are no words to describe how I felt when they expressed they wanted to be healthy too, and would no longer “toss out their lunch.” Over time this, and helping others helped me move forward inch by inch. This is why I am in the profession I am in today, hands down. It’s also why I blog. My passion is to help others feel good about themselves. My personal training style is unique and my focus reflects this philosophy of health as opposed to “weight loss.” 2. Evaluating personal relationships: Cutting off or distancing myself from relationships that did not make me feel good about myself. This was difficult, but extremely freeing. 3. Realizing it was easiest to find happiness in myself, otherwise, nothing else was going to ever make me happy. Once I was able to find that glimmer of happiness, I fell in love with the most incredible man in the world. I knew I had to continue to work on my own self-love because I deserved to be happy. I am so lucky that he is so caring, compassionate, loyal and so many other things that I don’t even have the space to write about. When it comes to body image alone, I will say he has never judged a woman in front of me based on looks or her body (and we are together all the time). He is so respectful of women and of me. His mother raised him right. My daughter is going to be so lucky to have a father like him. 4. Educating myself on healthy food: I was always under the impression as a kid that there was eating and there was dieting. No in-between. My parents did their best, but did not know as much about healthy eating as they do today. It was an era of processed convenience foods, and you either ate pasta, frozen foods, breaded chicken fried in a pound of oil or pork chops and boxed mashed potatoes or frozen veggies with butter. Soda and iced tea were on the table. Or you went on Slim Fast to drop a few pounds. I didn’t know about “being healthy.” The media also promoted emaciated models, so “healthy” wasn’t even “In.” I thought I had to avoid eating all together. The more and more I learned about healthy eating, the more food turned into a passion and not an obsession or symptom. This is why I think it’s so important to educate our young people about fresh, clean, healthy foods and balance. 5. Exercise: Again, a a kid I thought exercise was something you dd when you wanted to lose weight. Not something to do for fun or to be healthy.(I did play sports and did ballet for years, but gave it all up before high school.) Although exercise was once used as an unhealthy tool in my ED; it has also helped me in recovery. I had a time where I over exercised and obsessed about fitting in workouts 4 hours per day. I did this to the point of injuring myself so much that I still have problems today. Injury was one of the best things that happened to me because it made me realize the abuse I was putting my body through. It also made me slow down. The fear that came over me when I realized I could not keep the same workout schedule was indescribable. Once I got over that, I was forced to exercise more moderately. Low and behold I felt much better about my body and saw that my fears were silly because I looked and felt much better once I cut back. In the meantime, exercise turned into a passion and not an obsession. I never fret over missing a workout anymore. I know that I will get it in later and it will not make a difference in the long run. Changing my perspective was tough but it happened and I have healed because of it. Regular exercise helps me to feel good about myself, I feel healthy and I feel strong. The benefits are endless when you us it properly **If you haven’t already, check out my post about “ letting go of the log “ my favorite passage about recovery, which helped to give me courage and strength during some tough times** If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, please seek professional help. There are many great resources on NEDA’s website that can guide you to find the care that is needed.
—————————- Questions: What Spring Fashion Finds are you eying up right now? Are you watching the Academy Awards this weekend? Who are your picks to win? Favorite Free Workout Sites? ———————————————— Don’t forget to Nominate The Fitness Dish for Women’s Health Blogs We Love 2011 ! I would be honored if you did & love you forever xxoo