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Posts Tagged “Guest Bloggers”

October 18, 2023

Misery Loves Company

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Natalie Colehower (she/her) is a 23-year-old Auburn University graduate currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. After her experience at Veritas Collaborative’s Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Atlanta, she has a calling to share her story and encourage those struggling that they are worthy just as they are!

Examining Your Relationship With Food

Have you ever considered your relationship with food? Is it positive, negative, a combination of both, or neutral? You could be rolling your eyes reading this and say, “Natalie I don’t think about food, I just eat what I want when I want and it’s not a ‘relationship,’ it’s food!”

That’s great! That is what I would call a positive relationship with food because it is joyful, and not bogged down by the food rules of society. That is where I strive to be one day.

I’m speaking to those of us who see food in not such a joyful light. Like a bad relationship, maybe your mind uses food to gaslight you, guilt you, scare you, or shame you. Maybe the strict food rules that have been drilled into you since childhood have slowly become rules that you live by—believing them to be the key to a “healthy” diet. This is the experience that I’ve had, but since I cannot speak for you, that’s where we will start.

August 17, 2023

Disentangling from the Eating Disorder Identity

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Isadora G. (she/her) is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she studied psychology and sociology. During her senior year, she worked at an all-female residential mental health facility, which solidified her passion for working in mental health care. She is a recovery peer mentor for ANAD and has been in eating disorder recovery for over three years.

July 31, 2023

Always Striving for Better: Advocating for Expanded Access to Eating Disorder Treatment

Elouise Cram is a therapist at Veritas Collaborative’s Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. She obtained her MSW from the University of South Carolina in 2020. She was thrilled to join the Veritas Collaborative team in 2022 after working at an eating disorder treatment center in the Midwest. She appreciates bringing the values of curiosity, willingness, and collaboration into her therapeutic approach with adults and adolescents in the Charlotte program. When not at work, she can most likely be found listening to Maggie Rogers or cuddling with her poodle, Poppy. 

Every clinician is familiar with the exciting, empowering, occasionally frustrating “rubber hits the road” moments we see in early and sustained eating disorder recovery. We hold space for, push for, and model not just wanting recovery but actively moving toward recovery every day. We are holding space for the people we work with to not just “talk the talk” of recovery, but also “walk the walk” of a recovery-oriented life. When I am struggling to hold both (for myself and for others) of talking and walking at the same time, I’m reminded of a principle of dialectical behavior therapy: individuals are doing the best they can and individuals can always do better.

July 28, 2023

BIPOC Mental Health Month: A Q&A with Veritas Therapist Chelsea Brown

Chelsea Brown, MSW, LCSW, is a PHP therapist at Veritas Collaborative’s Charlotte, North Carolina site. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology at East Carolina University and pursued her Master of Social Work from there as well in 2017. Since starting in the field, Chelsea has gained training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Chelsea worked on her clinical social work licensure from 2017 to 2019 and has utilized her supervision to gain knowledge around clinical and behavioral diagnosis while in the field.

Chelsea has worked within diverse socioeconomic groups that have helped foster her person-centered approach to treatment and building therapeutic rapport. She has mainly worked with the adolescent population in addressing behaviors and coping skills, as well as with parental approaches to increasing support and guidance in parenting skills. Chelsea has also worked with young adults through their transitional phases from adolescents to adulthood.

In this blog, Chelsea shares her perspective on BIPOC Mental Health Month, offering valuable insights into the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues within the BIPOC community.

May 16, 2023

Grasping for the Light

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

KP Pauly (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary person recovering from anorexia. They enjoy writing, reading, meditation, yoga, and spending time outside. They are passionate about eating disorder recovery and disrupting diet culture.

June 29, 2022

Make Small, Gradual Changes in Anorexia Recovery

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Yvonne-Anne is an anorexia survivor currently residing in the UK. While caring for her family members, Yvonne also went to university for a Health and Social Care degree and graduated in 2016. Yvonne’s passion is providing coping strategies with a mix of self-help for those suffering with an eating disorder. She is also seeking literacy representation for her book, The Kaleidoscope Influence, which has recently been published on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

I would firstly like to congratulate those who have recovered or are still recovering from an eating disorder. My journey began when I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at the age of 16. The treatment, or lack of treatment, that I received would be considered unethical compared to the treatments available today. I had no choice but to navigate recovery on my own and find alternatives that worked for me.

In this blog, I will be discussing my recovery journey, including how I dealt with some of the physical and emotional effects that can come along with it.

June 16, 2022

Are You Sure It’s Just Picky Eating?

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Farheen Ahmed is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying Neuroscience on the pre-medical track. She is originally from Virginia and spends almost half of every year in Houston, Texas. In her free time, you can find her working at her research lab, volunteering for Rock Recovery, hanging out with her friends, or reading romance novels. Farheen struggled with an eating disorder throughout her high school years and can proudly say she is a recovered survivor.

For the longest time, my friends had me labeled as a picky eater. To them, I didn’t like pasta, I hated pizza, and I’d rather not eat at all than eat anything with cheese. Some excuses I told them were that cheese hurt my stomach, dairy made me break out, and ice cream hurt my teeth. All of this was nothing but lies. I was trying to cover up my fear of most foods. To my friends, I was just a picky eater, which is how I justified eating the same foods every day. I called myself “a creature of habit,” but in reality, I was simply living my life in fear of foods that didn’t deserve to have any sort of power over me.

May 11, 2022

A Journey to Healing Is Never Easy, but It’s Always Worth It

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Alisha Hana is a bulimia survivor and Surgical Tech in Columbus, Ohio. Writing has always been a passion of hers and has given her a healthy outlet in her recovery. As she continues her journey in healing, she hopes her story can help others and remind them they aren’t alone.

My eating disorder began as a thought, then morphed into a response to an idea that progressed to fear and eventually extreme restriction.

April 19, 2022

Recovery Isn’t Linear

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.   

Rachel Smith is a college student studying sociology. She has recently been interested in studying eating disorders alongside her own experience as someone who has struggled with bulimia.

When I was in middle school, I learned about eating disorders in health class. Among the things I learned were specific eating behaviors, and I am now a firm proponent of better-quality eating disorder education in schools. I know that I and many people like me have learned disordered eating behaviors from the institutions that were supposed to protect us from them. I’m confident that there is a healthy way to teach about the symptoms and hazards of eating disorders without having to go into details that are negatively affecting real people.

March 29, 2022

Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys: A Q&A with Charlotte Markey

Charlotte Markey, PhD, is a world-leading expert in body image research, having studied all things body image and eating behaviors for her entire adult life (25 years!). She is passionate about understanding what makes us feel good about our bodies and helping people to develop a healthy body image. Charlotte loves to share her body image wisdom with others and is an experienced book author, blogger, and professor at Rutgers University, Camden. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her son Charlie, daughter Grace, husband Dan, and their dog, Lexi. 

Here Charlotte tells us about her new book, Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys, why discussions of body image and mental health need to become more normalized for boys, how parents can help their sons build a positive body image, and more.

March 22, 2022

When Exercising Goes Too Far

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Farheen Ahmed is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying Neuroscience on the pre-medical track. She is originally from Virginia and spends almost half of every year in Houston, Texas. In her free time, you can find her working at her research lab, volunteering for Rock Recovery, hanging out with her friends, or reading romance novels. Farheen struggled with an eating disorder throughout her high school years and can proudly say she is a recovered survivor.

March 3, 2022

Recovery is Not an Overnight Thing

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.    

Leah Appel is a senior at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minnesota. She was born in Florida but moved to Minnesota when she was about three years old. She grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Her father moved to Florida when she was in middle school, so traveling has been a big part of her life. Leah loves to shop, spend time with friends, and explore places and stores around the city.