#WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY with Project HEAL

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Project HEAL has been asking a weekly question related to eating disorder recovery. For this week’s #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

What’s one thing you wish people would stop saying to you?

Here’s what you shared:

1. “I wish I had your problem, then I could lose weight” – Leslie M

2. “You look so much better now” – Jessica S

3. “If you just eat healthy and exercise, you can stay skinny” – Callie A

4. “I wish I had your ‘willpower’” – Presley G

5. “You don’t look like you have an eating disorder” – Danielle M

6. “Think of all the victims of the hurricanes/floods/earthquakes out there. They’d give anything to have one bite of the food you have and here you are starving yourself” – Kristi S

7. “But you’re better now though right?” – Katy S

8. “Are you sure you want to eat that much?” – Katie G

9. “Just eat” – Alisse B

1o. “You look like you’ve lost weight” – Kelly S

11. “I wish I had your problem” – Ailene M

#WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY with Project HEAL

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Connecting with others can help recovery feel more hopeful and even inspiring. Whether it is accomplished through face-to-face contact or through reading things like poetry, other kinds of writing, watching speeches, etc., having someone else who’s going through something similar can really help us to not feel alone. Project HEAL has been asking a weekly question related to eating disorder recovery. For this week’s #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY we asked you:

What’s one quote that helps get you through a tough time?

 

Here are the quotes you shared with us:

1. “The key to not buckling is to not be defined by the situation.” – Condoleezza Rice, submitted by Jennifer D.

2. “Healthy doesn’t mean a salad. Healthy is not a measure of weight. Being healthy involves your mind, spirit and heart just as much as it involves your body. Each person’s version of healthy is different. Sweets don’t make you unhealthy but sadness will.” – Lauren M.

3. “Be willing to believe that something else is possible.” – Jen M.

4. “Leap, and grow your wings on the way down.” – Les Brown, submitted by Heidi L.

5. “Just keep swimming.” – Dory from “Finding Nemo,” submitted by Anna D.

6. “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” – Julia S.

7. “In the midst of winter I found within me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus, submitted by Raemia D.

8. “The best view comes after the hardest climb.” – Charlotte S.

9. “You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired from the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.” – Adrianna R.

10. “Feel the fear. Do it anyway.” – Diana B.

#WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY with Project HEAL

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In recovery, we learn many things along the way. We want to know some of the things you’ve learned. Project HEAL is asking weekly questions related to eating disorder recovery. For this week’s #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

What is one life lesson you’ve learned through recovery? 

Here’s what you shared with us:

1. “That it’s a process. I have times where things are going really great, and others where all I think about is how I look, worry about what I am eating, etc. It is all about awareness for me, to recognize when it is happening and why and remind myself that I am still doing great, I am taking care of myself.” – Melissa H.

2. “That I’m so much more than just a body, I have a lot to offer. Also, I’m learning to thank my body for all the things it does for me.” – Nata S.

3. “That I don’t have to disappear. I am allowed to let myself be seen- in the way I dress, the photos I post, the events I attend, the things I say, and I am allowed to share my talents without self-deprecation.” – Mirjana V.

4. “To persevere. Even when things are tough…. Even when I don’t want to… but to keep moving forward in spite of setbacks and challenges.” – Rachel F.

5. “That I am not a burden & am worthy & capable of happiness. Although some people may not understand, there are those who will stand beside you without judgement. You just need to find your tribe & allow yourself to be vulnerable, even if that is extremely hard for you.” – Emily A.

6. “That even though I’m feeling a certain way I don’t have to act on those emotions.” – Andrea C.

7.I had to identify the meaning or purpose of why I wanted recovery. It could not be to please someone else. When I finally took ownership of my recovery and found my reason that is when I developed the courage to make significant and lasting changes. It helped me to truly internalize what my treatment team had been telling me all along. My reason is what sustained me and helped me to persevere through the fear and discomfort of change.” – Beth G.

8. “You have to keep trying. No matter how difficult or impossible to overcome a situation, you must try. A problem is something you can survive and overcome. And you’ll realize you’re stronger because of the things you’ve been through.” – Mitz N.

9. “If I need help, I should ask for it. If I’ve received help and need more, I have to communicate that, too. Just keep asking!” – Megan A.


We want to hear from you! Submit to the Project HEAL blog here.

#WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY with Project HEAL

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Learning how to separate the eating disorder voice from your own can be tricky. Telling the difference between your voice and your eating disorder voice takes time, but is 100% achievable. We want to know how you did it, or how you’re working on it? Project HEAL is asking weekly questions related to eating disorder recovery. For this week’s #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

How did you learn to separate the eating disorder voice from your own?

Here’s what you shared with us:

1. “My ED clinician gave the greatest analogy. She said that everyone has a set of CDs in their life collection. Think of it as every CD is a different voice of reason. So one CD is your mom self, one CD is your friend self, your family self, your goofy self, and another one is your ED self. She said the ED CD is just a part of your collection and the goal is to eject it from your life CD player every time it says anything negative to you, or tries to make you feel bad. You may never get rid of the CD, but over time, once you eject it enough, it won’t appear as often and one day it will be stored away under a pile and covered in cobwebs. You want to always have your mindful self CD checked in, and when you catch your ED talking just eject the cd (catch yourself talking negative and associate it with being just a CD that you need to stop playing. It’s hard at first but it does work. You catch it very often). It’s helped me tremendously.” – Olivia D

2. “Time allowed to figure out who I was. When something in my head didn’t line up with that, I knew it wasn’t my true voice.” – Erica N

3. “Every time a negative thought about my weight, shape, size or self-worth crossed my mind, I contradicted it with a positive one. I did that even if I didn’t fully believe it. Eventually, I was able fully separate ‘me’ from ED.” – Sonia K

4. “If I could logically piece together that it would harm me in the long run, I knew it wasn’t myself talking. I’ve been fortunate in the fact that I always was able to know actions have reason and consequences after years of remaining positive and learning self-awareness. But if I think ‘You don’t deserve that food’, I have to ask, ‘Why don’t I? Is it going to hurt my body? Why can others have it?'” – Megan R

5. “If it’s something I would never say to a friend and mean it, I know that isn’t my own voice saying that, it’s my ED. If I hear ‘you don’t deserve to eat that’, I know I would never tell that to a close friend, and therefore it’s ED’s voice, not my own.” – Allison R

6. “I learned through the help of my friend and visualization. Each time I would come to her for some help because I couldn’t distinguish which voice was which, me or ED, she would sit me down and act out two different people. One was an eating disorder and the other one was me. When she was done acting out the two parts she would ask me which one is the more logical one and sounded more like me, and which one was my ED. Obviously the one who insulted me and made me feel worthless was the ED, and the one said comforting things and gave me encouragement and validation was the real me. When it was all acted out for me, and I could see the two different sides, it became easier for me to learn on my own which voice in my head was my ED and which one was actually me, the voice that actually wanted to live.” – Kaidie J

 

We want to hear from you! Submit to the Project HEAL blog here.

#WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY with Project HEAL

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Defining the term ‘recovered’ can be difficult, and may vary from person to person. Depending on where a person is at, maybe in the beginning, middle, or what they may consider to be the final and closest to ‘recovered’ stage of their journey, nobody has the exact same experience and therefore have different views on the term. Project HEAL is asking weekly questions related to eating disorder recovery. For this week’s #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

How do you define the term ‘recovered’ for yourself?

Here’s what you shared with us: 

1. “When you are able to fight off disordered thoughts and use coping skills instead. It’s been 5 years since I’ve been in treatment and I feel like I’m mostly recovered. I still have days that are tough and negative thoughts but in able to fight them off and counter the thoughts with positives. I’m able to look at things with a healthy perspective and see the negatives of an eating disorder which I don’t want to go back to.” – Heather M 

2. “When you find reasons to keep living every day and understanding that even when tough things do happen, it is not something I need to worry about. I also define it is as continually fighting my disordered thoughts and realizing I have so much to live for and using those reasons every day to get through.” – Elizabeth G

3. “For me ‘recovered’ means being stronger than your thoughts, your negative thoughts, and that you are able to live a normal, healthy, happy life. I think that an eating disorder is a chronic illness in most of cases, so you won`t be completely free of thoughts. But you can get so much better, free yourself and kick the disorder in the background. You should rule your life, not the ED and you are worth it!” – Sandra S

4. “For me, recovered means having the ability to reframe ED thoughts into genuine criticism and positive self-talk. Recovered means that I take the bad days for what they are, and am honest with myself and others that it’s a bad day. It means going out of my way to change my perspective on the bad days. It means taking the time to invest in loving myself, taking the time be honest with where I’m at with my relationship with food and my body. For me, recovered means acknowledgement, acceptance, and perseverance.” – Holly M

5. “I think that being in recovery and being recovered are vastly different things. To me, being recovered means that I have a completely healthy relationship with food and my body. That eating disorder thoughts aren’t there at all, and even when life gets tough, trying to manage my problems by using behaviors doesn’t even cross my mind. That putting in the long, hard work while in recovery has the best payoff for the rest of my life. I think recovered means that the eating disorder is past tense, plain and simple, and I think it’s possible.” – Kaitlyn M

6. “Recovered to me is when negative self-talk doesn’t dominate my brain. It’s watching the negative thoughts come and go without it affecting my food, self-worth and self-compassion. Recovered is about riding the waves of emotions without using anorexia to numb out. Recovered is when food takes proper perspective in my life and eating the food is about nourishment, enjoyment and social connections- not constant calculations. Recovered is when my soul self is so strong that it no longer has to battle an ED/critical self. Recovered is when my identity is not based on a diagnosis but rather who I am as a unique individual. Recovered is being able to stand up and tell people that I once HAD an eating disorder and there is hope for you too. Recovered is REAL.” – Musia D

 

We want to hear from you! Submit to the Project HEAL blog here.

#WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY with Project HEAL

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Sometimes asking for help is really hard or can seem pretty scary. It can be difficult to even just ask the question out loud. Deciding who to confide in and figuring out how to phrase everything can take a lot of courage. Sometimes it’s harder for others to choose how and who you want to ask for support. Project HEAL is asking a weekly question related to eating disorder recovery. For this week’s #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

How do you ask for more support?

Here’s what you shared:

1. “I find it easiest for me to write down what I need help with.” – Lyssa Avalon

2. “Just ask, talk and tell my history to someone and I look for a good therapist” – Reyna Bonilla

3. “First I must swallow my pride and accept the fact that I need help. After which I narrow my problem down best I can so that it is easier to communicate my specific need to those I reach out to for assistance.” – Lisa Saltsman

4. “I ask for it BEFORE I need it. I make sure it’s there to call upon.” – Say Carnahan

 

We want to hear from you! Submit to the Project HEAL blog here.

Introducing #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY with Project HEAL

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When first entering recovery, there are so many unknowns. You cannot possibly be prepared for all that it involves. Looking back, you may be able to identify some lessons you learned and may feel like those things would’ve been helpful to know at the beginning of your journey. Project HEAL will be asking a weekly question related to eating disorder recovery. For our first #WEWANTTOKNOWWEDNESDAY, we asked you:

What is something you wish you knew when you first began recovery?

Here’s what you shared:

1. “Recovery is not a 100-yard dash; it’s a marathon.” – Jessica F

2. “That leaving treatment doesn’t mean you are fully recovered. I struggled a lot my first year out of treatment. And now, 6 years in recovery, I can look back on that journey and see how strong it’s made me. My bad days now aren’t nearly as bad as they were back then. No matter how low you feel now, it can only go up from here.” – Michelle T

3. “That accepting help is not a sign of weakness. Some people genuinely want to help improve your quality of life and will not judge you in the process.” – Lisa S

4. “That you can’t have it all. You can’t have recovery and keep the “sick” body. You have to surrender. You have to trust. And you have to want it yourself…100%.” – Stephanie C

5. “That you can’t do it on your own. A support system is crucial; not only your treatment team but also a close friend or family member you can confide in. I made it through the 1st year of recovery with the support of a very good friend. We met up for meals, coffee/snack etc., texted, and talked on the phone. She kept me sane and was the voice of reason as I battled my ED thoughts.” – Liz A

6. “That eventually, through many struggles, you DO get there.” – Grace S

7. “I wish I had known that it wasn’t “go into groups and in a few weeks you’re healed.” It’s not like that at all. I wish I had known that recovery isn’t perfect, and it has its ups and downs, and is different for everybody! I’m so grateful that I have learned these things, though. It’s helped me not compare my recovery to somebody else’s! Every person has their own journey, and they are all different.” – Lindsay M

8. “That you’re going to accomplish so much more in life without your eating disorder, even though your eating disorder wants you to believe otherwise. Your future and your relationships are going to flourish once you leave your relationship with bulimia.” – Alyssa B

9. “That you will lose friends, but your true friends will be there to support and love you throughout this process of learning to actually live your life.” – Krissey A

10. “I wish I knew how truly free I would be upon recovery. I would have moments where I would step back and realize how far I’d come, but then a few months or a year later I would realize how I had come even further. And here I am 4 years later, because it’s a slow and challenging process, more body positive, more liberated and more ME than I even knew I could be. Never underestimate the power or possibility of recovery. It’s always worth it.” – Morgan B

11. “You have to wake up and choose it every single day.” – Bailey G

12. “That it’s ok to have bad days and hard days. A hard day or a bad day in recovery doesn’t mean you are failing or that you can’t do it; it means you had exactly that: a bad day in recovery. I’m almost 5 years into recovery and still have bad days, which I’m so grateful are no longer bad weeks or months. I learned early on to celebrate the small victories. Don’t let a bad day discourage you. People years into recovery still have bad days or weeks. They continue to remain in their recovery and fight hard.” – Shira L

13. “It’s worth it. It’s really worth every moment, every tear, every ounce of everything.” – Audris F

14. “That it is a process, not a place to get.” – Adriana G

We want to hear from you! Submit to the Project HEAL blog here.