BEDA Inspirations and Future Posts

It has been a crazy couple of weeks since the Binge Eating Disorder Conference!  I arrived home with a ton of exhaustion, but a whole bunch of new ideas to contemplate and soak in.  It has been over these past couple weeks that I have been thinking about everything that I learned, re-learned, and was inspired by.  Here are my favorites:

1. Graduate school. This seems to pop up a lot in my post-academic life and this conference reminded me how much I love learning.  I want so much to be able to go back to school, stay in the Seattle area (?!), and get a graduate degree in psychology.  I know what my passion is, but I do not quite know what it looks like just yet.  (If anyone does, please let me know!)

2. Exercise for enjoyment. One of the topics presented on was exercise and having a positive relationship with it.  It was reassuring to hear from more individuals (other than my providers) about the importance of shifting my focus from compulsive overexercising and punishing myself to the activities I love to do such as dance and football/soccer.  It inspires me to continue to fight my urges to overexercise and engage in the activities I love within the limits I am able.

3. We are not alone. I had an incredible heart-to-heart with another woman there who is a mother of a son who suffers from BED.  In her past, she similarly suffered as I did with weight stigmatizing remarks and bullying because of her weight.  It was so meaningful to share that experience with another person knowing that I was not alone.  In fact, there were plenty of other individuals there who had similar experiences.  It reminds me that none of us are alone in our suffering or in our recoveries.  There are others out there who know and who understand and that connection is out there.

I am also inspired to write a couple of posts.  I simply have not found the time… yet!  On my agenda is to write a post about the upcoming Seattle National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walk.  I know last year’s Walk was less than desirable and I want to touch on that as well as discuss openly what is going to happen this year because it will be so, so much better.  Also I have a very personal post coming up that I have yet to talk about and pretty much you will have to wait and see about that one.

Thanks for reading.  Remember: Recovery is possible!

 

My Life of Recovery

My life feels like a hurricane with mostly controlled chaos.  There is a lot to get done at the moment, but I am not shying away from what I have to get done.  Everything I am working on is dedicated to recovery and advocacy and it is the most fulfilling work of my life.  It is worth some of the extra chaos of figuring out how to get it all done!

If someone would have told me several years ago that my life would be the way it is today, I would have never believed them.  Throughout my childhood and in the early stages of recovery, I believed that I was simply not good enough, would not amount to anything, and that I would never be able to do what I truly wanted to do.  It is incredible the power of recovery and the drive that it gives you to persevere and work towards the things in life that truly matter to you.  Recovery allows you to discover that true part of yourself that you have denied or forgotten and believe in yourself again in order to achieve the things you want in life.

I am so grateful every day that I gave recovery a chance and I fought for it every minute, every hour, and every day.  Recovery has given me the ability to go to the NEDA Conference last October; go to the BEDA Conference this spring (April 24-26th); work on the Seattle NEDA Walk, which I promise will be so incredible; write in this blog; and finally have the chance to write for others including BEDA and PEDAW (so far…!).  Recovery has also given me the chance to heal, start to love myself, read and write again, have the ability to be active again (I love to dance!), and participate in my life!

If you are struggling, give recovery a chance because you never know what kind of things you can achieve with recovery.  Believe in yourself, fight for yourself, and know that recovery is possible.  You can recover.

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To support me in the Seattle NEDA Walk and help me eliminate eating disorders, please follow this link: Kristin’s NEDA Walk Page.

NEDA Walk in a Bikini: Seattle NEDA Walk Spectacle (2013)

Before you read this post, I would like you to remember that this occurred in 2013 and it was an isolated incident. I have spent the better part of the last year in contact and working with NEDA on making this year’s Seattle Walk and all walks better. Our Walk in Seattle this year will be awesome!

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Yesterday I participated in this year’s Seattle National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walk.  This year’s Walk was different from previous Walks and, sadly, mostly in not very good ways.  The Walk this year featured a group called Vulure Couture.

Vulure is a bathing suit company that specializes in bathing suits for small-chested women.  The entire group showed up in their line of bikinis, which  ranged from fashionable to scantly and sexy.  To add to the awkwardness, their documentary photographers and videographers were also present to capture the day.  This company had recently completed or is in the process of completing a documentary about two women wearing bikinis for 30-days for Eating Disorder awareness.

The Vulure group and a local nutrition counseling office group partnering with them made the Walk a spectacle and a condoned one at that.  The Walk coordinator on the board of NEDA mentioned the company and the swim line as if it were an advertisement.  This is not far-fetched though seeing how all three had been partnering together prior to the Walk even appearing on a radio talk show.  Each seemed to have an advertisement and an agenda and this Walk was their stage.  They even held up the entire Walk start time to be able to do it.

The overall feelings within myself and amongst my group and family was awkward and upsetting.  The Walk is relatively ‘safe’ environment where there are not triggers around.  Walk coordinators usually make sure the atmosphere allows for this type of environment as well as those people who attend this type of event.  We are all pretty well-aware that at eating disorder gatherings certain behaviors, clothing, talk, etc. should be avoided.  These two groups apparently did not receive the memo nor did the NEDA board member.  The bikini attire, especially the scantly, sexy nature of the bikinis was triggering and a spectacle.  At this type of event it is completely inappropriate.  Many of the Walk participants are still struggling with either behaviors and/or body image and to be bombarded at what should be a safer event is unacceptable.  This is not the time or the place to be promoting your company/business, swimsuits, or bodies.

I hope that there are others that were at the Seattle NEDA Walk that speak up if they felt the same.

Regardless of this happening at the Seattle Walk this year, I had a really good time.  The Walk is not about commercial crap, bodies, triggers, who raises the most (though my competitive demon would say otherwise..), the entertainment, etc.  The Walk is about coming together for a cause, raising awareness, and raising funds.  It is spending time with those you love and that love you for the morning or afternoon and enjoying their company.  Sometimes you have not seen these people in such a long time!  That is what it is about.  Everything else, whatever.  We do not even have to literally walk.