It’s so easy to miss the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. I know, because I had one for over seventeen years, and I was a master at not only hiding it from my family and friends, but deceiving myself into thinking that I didn’t have one.
Thankfully, with the help of God and my support team, I was able to get into a healthy place in my life and learn that it is possible to recover. And just as easy as it is to miss an eating disorder, it’s easy to miss loving yourself in recovery. I am a hard worker, and I love helping others, in fact, it’s one of the things that has helped me to recover. So in this VLOG for the Eating Recovery Roundup, I’ve decided to focus on #DontMiss loving yourself in recovery. Enjoy, and if you have any self love or self care tips you’d like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With love and gratitude,
Road to Recovery: Liza Kulimanova
By TJ Spencer
Project HEAL provides grant funding for people with eating disorders who cannot afford treatment. For many, this treatment has gone beyond saving their lives – it helps them save others’ lives as well.
Such is the case for Liza Kulimanova, a 2014 Project HEAl grant recipient who currently runs a website, educational YouTube channel and a blog dedicated to helping others overcome their struggles with bulimia.
For Liza, her 13-year struggle with bulimia began in her home country of Russia. She remembers being happy until around age 11, when she began dedicating more and more of her time to her studies and striving for perfection. After trying different weight loss centers and Chinese acupuncture to help cope with her struggles, she was prescribed Fluoxetine to help with depression – but it just wasn’t working.
Her days before treatment were filled with a routine of “dwelling on negative thoughts, zoning out, restricting, binging, purging…being extremely busy and ‘productive,’” Liza explains.
This routine was further perpetuated with she immigrated to the United States in 2010.
“I had no support in the USA and I was extremely isolated,” she says.
She then began searching online for scholarships for eating disorder treatment and discovered Project HEAL. With the grant, she was able to attend treatment at The New Beginning in Scottsdale, AZ.
“Treatment was hard and painful, but at the same time giving me relief and making me feel so much better. I am so grateful for treatment and I see bulimia as a gift now. It really allowed me to become a healthier and better person and grow tremendously from the inside,” she explains.
Today, Liza’s routine is filled with smiling, being more present and aware, checking in on herself, creating time for herself and being open to people, along with blogging and bodybuilding.
“I am very determined and disciplined, and willing to grow consistently,” she says.
This determination and discipline has allowed her to become an ambassador for bulimia treatment through her website, blog and YouTube channel.
“Believe that recovery is possible, because it is. Love yourself enough to get better — just take the first step and see where this journey will lead you. Let your life to unfold and let go of the control,” she advises.
About the Author: Second-year journalism and French double major at Seattle University, TJ Spencer is originally from a small town in California, but Seattle stole her heart. In her free time, she enjoys writing, reading and showing off her embarrassing dance moves at cardio dance class. You can find her around Seattle photographing anything and everything, or in her bedroom practicing her French by talking to her roommate’s rabbit.
Lieba Brownstein Makes Lemonade!
Lieba Brownstein received a Project HEAL treatment grant in 2015. Follow her recovery journey in a monthy vlog series where she shares updates on what life is like after eating disorder recovery.
JUST WANTED TO LET YOU ALL KNOW THERE WAS A HAPPY ENDING AFTER ALL AND THEY PASSED ME IN THE CLASS BECAUSE I USED MY VOICE AND ADVOCATED FOR MY NEEDS. Using your voice and choosing recovery even when life gives you those super sour lemons is the hardest thing in the world, but in the end it will help you grow the most. Eventually all those sour lemons become much more sweet because you have let them take there time and grow. Thank G-d I feel blessed to always be growing. I am rooting for you and remember that full recovery is possible. I have sat where you have sat and I thought I would be stuck forever, but today I choose to have a different reality. And don’t forget lemons take a long time to grow. I am Lieba “Boss” Brownstein. I am 100% in love with life thanks to the amazing blessing of Project HEAL and I beLIEBA in you! Yes you!
About Lieba Brownstein:
I am currently in social work school at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and am 100% in love with life. I have big dreams of changing the world one day and opening up the first Jewish eating disorder treatment center in America, which I plan to name EMET (which means Truth in Hebrew). The acronym stands for Everyone Matters Eating Treatment.
I live in Washington Heights with some fun people and I chill really hard. I am Lieba. I play softball. I go to improv shows. Project Heal saved my life. I eat burgers and fries. I drink beer and I am an incredible sister to Ilan, Natan, and Jessie. I have struggled with an eating disorder. I am recovered. I am not defective. I can burp the ABCs. I was addicted to diet coke, and like I said before, I am loving life thanks to Project HEAL.