The New Year marks almost two years that my blog has been online. 2012 saw a lot of new visitors, and as I did last year, here are some of my favorite posts of 2012!
1) January 13, 2012: Smash Your Scale (And Anything Else Holding You Back!)
One of my favorite posts, and also one of my favorite stories to tell. The avatar for my blog (the smashed scale up in the corner) isn’t some stock photo – it’s actually the scale I smashed back in 2005 behind the alley of my first apartment.
“I can’t really understate how good it felt to smash that evil contraption. It was one of the biggest enablers of the eating disorder, and there was no way I could pretend that I was going to get better and still keep it around.”
2) February 6, 2012: Reasons for Recovery Blog Series: Part 2
For the month of February leading up to National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, myself and a bunch of other writers did a blog series about Reasons for Recovery. You can check out all the posts by following this link.
From the post:
“A lot of people with eating disorders struggle with negative self-talk. I think this is one of the most important things one can do: to counter it with a correction and remind oneself of what’s true. The eating disorder makes you say, “I can’t do this! It’s impossible!” but we counter that with, “I’m having trouble doing this. It’s very hard for me, but it is not impossible.”
It’s almost like learning to speak a new language – the language of recovery. The eating disorder inserts its own voice into your mind and thoughts, masquerading them as one’s own. It has a very limited vocabulary, consisting of words and phrases to make one feel bad about themselves. You could almost say we get tricked into speaking this language, engaging in negative self-talk and focusing on arbitrary numbers like weight or caloric information instead of how we feel. The language of recovery, though, has no room for self-deprecation, negative self-talk, or the futile effort of measuring self-worth with a scale.”
3) March , 2012: Matt Ryd Testimony
Definitely check this one out. Matt Ryd is a musician from Chicago who made this really touching video about his struggle with eating disorders. The music in the video is his own, and the whole thing really draws attention to how eating disorders aren’t a women’s issue or a men’s issue, but a public health issue. Watch it!
4) April 21, 2012: The Unlikely Connection Between Punk Rock, Sobriety, and Eating Disorders
If it wasn’t for punk music and a subculture that was anti-substance use, my recovery would have been a whole lot harder. I think it’s important to consider the way substances (especially alcohol) can affect our well-being since they’re so common in our society and so socially acceptable.
“When I developed an eating disorder in college, I believe now that if I hadn’t been disinterested in drinking or doing drugs that I would have been a lot worse off, as I would have had one more way to numb myself from how horrible I felt. When anorexia was in control, I hated myself and the entire world. I don’t think I would have found the motivation and will to seek recovery if I had been open to drinking, and I’m eternally grateful for the factors and people in my life that led me to being able to verbalize something I had always felt but never felt welcomed to express among my peers, that I just had no interest in using intoxicants.
What do you think? Substance use, peer pressure, and societal acceptance/encouragement of things like drinking and dieting can make your head spin and I always think about how they impact recovery. How have these issues affected your life or recovery?”
5) May 24, 2012: In Remembrance: Reanna’s Story
At the Spring 2012 Lobby Day with the Eating Disorders Coalition, I met Tracy Smith, the mother of a girl who died from her eating disorder. With her permission, I shared her testimony from the EDC Congressional Briefing. It’s an all-too-important, heart-breaking reminder that eating disorders are life-threatening diseases which desperately need more research, prevention, and education.
6) July 2, 2012: Fit, or Fitting In?
It’s 2013 and I’m still sick of this “fitspo” crap. Appearances can be deceiving, which couldn’t be better illustrated than by Sarah Robles, the strongest womanperson in America. Despite being an Olympic athlete, she struggled to get an endorsement and could barely pay her rent. If you passed Sarah on the street, you might assume she was “out of shape” due to the size of her body, but in reality she’s actually an extremely accomplished athlete!
It’s proof that this fitspo crap is really just an endorsement and idealization of a specific body type. You don’t need to be a certain weight or even look a certain way to be healthy or “in shape”, no matter what anyone tells you.
7) August 13, 2012: Skin Deep: Eating Disorder Recovery Tattoos
My most popular post to date, and with good reason – the stories and art that readers shared are incredible! Even behind the simple designs are stories of courage and hard-fought battles back to health. I’ve had a few inquiries about doing a follow-up post, so if you have any recovery tattoos you’d like to show off, email me at EDsNoMore@gmail.com!
8) September 10, 2012: Secular Spirituality, Atheism, and Recovery
Faith-based recovery programs are great for people who come from religious backgrounds, but what if you don’t have a faith tradition or stumble over the G-word? Here’s another one that got a lot of you talking and thinking about how toown your recovery when you fall outside of the conventional approaches.
“…It makes me wonder how religious language and faith-based programs influence recovery – particularly if you don’t regard the word ‘God’ as a proper noun. Have you ever found yourself held back when the G-word gets dropped, as though someone hit the breaks and suddenly you feel completely out of place? How have you dealt with it?“
Those are my favorite posts from 2012. Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing links, and keeping the conversation going about body image and recovery. In 2013, how will you think about your self, your health, and your well-being without thinking about things like weight?