Erin Werner is a mental health administrator, student, makeup artist, and ordained minister who enjoys being present with her family, cooking, and baking. In this episode of Peace Meal, she shares her eating disorder experience, including the factors that contributed to her illness, her process of seeking help, and the power of mindful self-compassion in her recovery.
Erin recounts her struggle with multiple eating disorders, illnesses that were characterized by bingeing, restricting, and purging throughout her adolescence and into her 20s. She then explains how, with the help of her parents, she started therapy and learned to identify the factors and co-occurring issues that were masking and influencing these conditions. Over time and with professional help, she learned the skill of mindful self-compassion, which was critical to her recovery. She shares how she has developed better coping mechanisms through the practice of self-compassion and overall feels more at peace with herself, her body, and food. In addition to finding a passion for cooking, she can now see food for what it is, fuel for the body.
- How an untreated eating disorder can escalate through the years
- How therapy can help in identifying and working through past issues
- How self-kindness, not self-criticism, can be motivating in recovery and many aspects of life
- How comments about weight and body can inadvertently encourage disordered behaviors
- How learning to cook can help you connect with food
In Erin’s words:
- On recovery: “I wish I realized sooner that you don’t have to recover alone.”
- On practicing mindful self-compassion: “When you are coming from a place of such low worth and guilt and shame, and you’re almost at war with yourself, the idea of being kind to yourself is so unbelievably hard.”
- On learning to be nicer to yourself: “You have nothing to lose just trying to be as nice to yourself as you would to your best friend or partner or anyone else you care about. Try to turn some of that loving self-awareness to you.
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