February 26th-March 4th is National Eating Disorders Awareness week....a very important week for me to share and get involved. Did you know that thirty million Americans struggle with an eating disorder? That's not including the millions of Americans who battle a difficult relationship with body image, fitness and food.
Part of me becoming a Self Love Coach is because I struggled with an eating disorder for many years. I am now almost 35 lbs healthier then I was in 2013. This weight goes back and fourth a few lbs but I've never been so happy in my life to be at a healthy weight with a healthy mindset. NEDA's theme this year is, LET'S GET REAL.
People who have eating disorders did not grow up wanting this, it's an illness that has a negative inner dialogue daily controlling you. My eating disorder started because my mother had bad body image issues and she was my role model. I never felt beautiful or enough so food was the only control I had. I was in a toxic relationship and lost myself in it. I constantly told myself horrible things everyday and believed that I was nothing. Everyday I thought suicide was the only way I could win this battle. My eating disorder controlled my life for many years which lead also to anxiety, lack of confidence and depression.
When I finally came out about this to people and social media I shined light on something I was ashamed of. I started the conversations that needed to be talked about and this gave others the courage to speak up about there eating disorder to me. How can people heal or get help if they are too ashamed or scared to come out about it?
The people you love and care about might have an eating disorder but won't talk about it because it's a scary thing to say out loud. How can you get involved? Expand the conversations and start them yourself. Do research and talk about it on your social media. Let people know that you care and they are not alone. You never know how much your words can impact others and who is reading or listening to what you say.
I've gotten many people on the path of Self Love just by speaking my truth and sharing my story. Check out www.nationaleatingdisorders.org to find about other ways you can get involved. They have many events and walks in your area!
If you are struggling with an eating disorder I promise you are not alone so please reach out, speak up and send me a message.
Here is some tips if you have an eating disorder, depression or anxiety.
1. What is your inner dialogue? That voice in your head who you listen to everyday. Are you constantly telling yourself that you are not enough? Are you negative and hard on yourself? Do you call yourself names? (stupid, failure, you suck)
- Write down your most constant thoughts about yourself. If your inner dialogue is more negative then positive, start changing that language you speak to yourself.
I am not enough = I am enough
I suck = I am amazing
I can't do it = I can do it
These simple shifts make the world of difference. I was in a yoga class when I first heard the words "You are enough" , I went home and cried because I did not believe this but I decided to tell myself this until one day I did finally believe it.
2. Move your body
We hold stress, trauma, pain, anxiety and so on physically in our bodies. By moving and breathing you are able to release this.
I started doing yoga, meditating, rock climbing, running, pilates, dancing, boxing, surfing, pyrolates, barre, bootcamps, kettle bell ....you name it i've done it. In fact I became a yoga teacher and started teaching most of these. I'm not saying you have to do all of this but moving my body became my therapy and was a huge part of my healing process.
I was once weak because I only starved myself and didn't build the strength to do these physical things but I nourished my body, trained and built the strength to do anything I desire now.
3. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and lift you up. They say your vibe attracts your tribe and my tribe was not good for me. I let go of all the toxic people in my life and this created space for the loving amazing people I have in my life now.
Take time to notice who you spend most your time with. Are they people who are good for your soul? Do they make you happy or are you more down on yourself after you spend time with them? Careful because there are a lot of people out there who do not have the best intentions for you. Protect yourself from those people and remember YOU decide who get's to be in your life.
4. Read books and listen to podcasts
When I was at the lowest of my eating disorder I would listen to self help podcasts and read books that inspired me.
5. Choose one thing you DO love about yourself.
Just one thing! You don't have to love everything but can you think of one thing? Your legs give you the ability to run or walk. Your arms and hands give you ability to pick things up, hug people or cuddle with your animal. Start thinking of your body parts in a way that they are an amazing thing that give you the support to do what makes you happy in life.
Self love is NOT selfish. If you have no love for yourself then how can you have love for others? The most important relationship you can have is the one with yourself because at the end of the day you will always have you. If you are happy then others will be happy around you. You will attract other loving happy people and put that love into the world to make others happy.
6. Speak your truth! Say what you feel, speak what's real and embrace your amazing authentic self.
These are just some tips but at the end of the day I'm here to remind you that YOU ARE ENOUGH just the way you are. I believe in you so it's time for you to believe in you too.
Let's be real, spread awareness about eating disorders and find more love within ourselves!
xoxo Kayla McCord