Muting the Voice of my Eating Disorder...
Updated: Oct 1, 2022
… and turning up the volume on my values
Where do I begin with my first blog post? I'm not much of a writer so bear with me! I really want to create a space where I can share my experiences - my struggles, my learning, my highs, and my lows. I want to create a conversation with all the people out there who are invested in some way in health and fitness. I want to create a new challenge for all of us to look at health and fitness with a more balanced perspective...
Yesterday I took these photos after 6 years recovering from Anorexia Nervosa. I've not been able to bring myself to take and keep photos of my body like this since I was 40kg and missing out on life. After nearly an hour attempting to take a photo that I'd be happy with and feeling the fear and resentment towards my body overwhelm my thoughts, I said fudge this! So, I sat down and took a photo of my stomach with its new tummy roll and paired it with one of me smiling. It took me the rest of the day and lots of tears to feel somewhat normal again, but I had some help to get me through the pain and grief of losing the 'sick' me...
My ED put pressure on my relationships; pushed away my dreams and aspirations; limited my achievements; and drained my presence, my physical health, and my mental health. However, it has also forced me to re-evaluate and finally acknowledge my passions. There are so many people who I couldn't have made it through without:
❤️ Roo - my boyfriend, best friend, PT and nutritionist has been challenging me to keep going no matter how uncomfortable recovery has felt. He knows exactly what I need even when I don't want to admit it and has unquestionably shouldered all the pain that comes with supporting a loved one through Anorexia Nervosa. He held me yesterday until I stopped crying and gave me the chance to give in to all the terrifying emotions.
❤️ My mum, my dad and my brother endured the trauma an ED can have on a family for many years and have loved me
every step of the way. I know I can count on them being there with open arms and a hug, teaching me that love doesn't care what you look like.
❤️ My friends who have stuck around no matter how distant or detached I've been
and who have shown so much positivity and
support for getting the Rachel they always knew back.
❤️ DanceArea Geneva put me in front of the mirror I'd been denying for too long by introducing me to Virginie Terrier, my nutritionist. Virginie pulled me back from the verge of having to stop dancing completely.
❤️ Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance was the place that let me nurture the person I hope to become. My two years of training at Rambert opened my eyes to how much more a dancer can offer when they learn to recognise their strengths.
❤️ My counsellor Martin Dewbury guided me through reliving all the painful thoughts and memories that have contributed to the relationship I have with food and my body. He helped me find the confidence to acknowledge and go after my true values and goals.
❤️ My HA coach Rory Brown gave me the wisdom and encouragement I needed to get my first period back after 5 and a half years... Many of which were spent wondering if I would ever be able to have children without hormone support/replacement.
If you're someone who has struggled with any form of disordered eating, negative body image, or exercise addiction please reach out. Reach out to me if you feel comfortable to or reach out to someone you believe will listen and hear you out. It may take some time to find that person, but they are out there!
Thank you <3