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Ambitious Kitchen Wellness Series Episode 2: From an Eating Disorder to Finding Balance

In Episode 2 of the Ambitious Kitchen Wellness Series Monique shares her story coming from an eating disorder to finding balance in her life.

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It’s finally time for Episode Two of the Ambitious Kitchen Wellness Series in partnership with Under Armour Women.

First, I’d like to say, thank you for the overwhelming positive response to my first episode and thank you for continuing to read my blog.

monique walking on train tracks

This episode is all about the power of food; how food has the capacity to nourish, overwhelm, exhaust, heal and comfort us. Some of us gather around the table every night or enjoy dinner out with friends without thinking about how much we’ll eat or when our next meal will be. For me, this has never been the case. I’ve thought about food my entire life.

Admittedly we’ve discussed this before on the blog, but what I never realized until the past year is that SO many women (and men) have a rocky relationship with food and often struggle with their body image, eating disorders and an obsession with healthy eating.

I still find today that there are limited resources online available to those who have struggled or are struggling with eating disorders. When I was first battling with my eating disorder, I had nowhere to turn. I didn’t know what to Google, who to call, or how to know that I needed something. I told my friends and mom, but no one can understand what it’s like unless you’ve experienced it.

What I do want to say is that there is hope waiting for you out there. A life full of happiness, joy and comfort outside of worrying about food or what you look like.

I personally no longer believe in counting calories. It’s never been a good mindset to me because I can easily get addicted to the numbers. Same goes for the scale. What I do believe in is eating nourishing food and practicing portion control, which is often easier said then done.

No one starts off by choosing to have an eating disorder, but rather it happens because of stress, diets, life changes, traumas and our environments. It’s important to realize that eating disorders are not just about food, but rather about what’s happening psychologically. My eating disorder started because of the obsession with calorie counting, but continued because there were traumatic events in my life that felt beyond my control, including losing my Dad. There were also emotions and feelings that I didn’t know how to express. I channeled this through food, the one thing I felt I could control.

For me, the best option was to choose to see a therapist who opened me up to so many beautiful mindsets I hadn’t had before. Here were some life-changing things I learned from her:

+What if food was just food? That there was no good or bad, but that you practiced eating all kinds of foods.

+The weight of your food choices weighs so heavily on you that it’s like carrying around a backpack of bricks all day, every day. What if you could take off the backpack and simply be free to live your life without so many rules?

+What are the foods you don’t allow yourself to have? I want you to have those foods. Just see what it’s like for a day, or a week. See how you feel. 

+What if you loved yourself and your body for what it was capable of doing, instead of punishing it for what it looks like or what you ate the day before?

+What if you had a conversation with your eating disorder as it was separate from you? What would you say to your eating disorder if it was a person?

These simple reminders helped me more than anything. I also read self love and self help books because I needed a better understanding of my core and who I was as a person. The journey of self-discovery and healing is wonderful.

If you are looking for resources related to eating disorders, here are a few I recommend:

1. Project Heal

2. National Eating Disorders Association

3. Emily Program (only in MN, DC, PA and OH)

4. F.E.A.S.T. (resources for families)

5. Eating Disorder Hope (general education / awareness, treatment centers, etc.)

Finally, here’s the episode! I hope you all love it as much as I do.

Thank you to Under Armour Women for being an amazing partner. I love you guys.

Video: Gray Duck Creative

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