Sunday, 23 November 2014

Recipe for Recovery: Now an Ebook!

I have some EGGciting (get it?!) news! 
 
I'm so blessed to announce that my book, Recipe for Recovery, is now available for purchase as an ebook! http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/recipe-for-recovery-i-battled/9781771231664-item.html?ikwid=recipe+for+recovery&ikwsec=Fallback+Home&ikwidx=1
 

If you like to read on the go, prefer to use your phone or computer for reading, or own a Kobo or similar reading device, this is definitely for you!  Remember that educating yourself about ED is one of the best ways in which you can make a difference! Recipe for Recovery is also a great resource to have if you are working in the healthcare field and need to learn more about eating disorders. If you are suffering with ED, this book will help you overcome challenges and learn how to stay strong in recovery. If you are caring or supporting someone with ED, this book will help you understand what the person is going through, and how you can help. And don't forget: the book is loaded with delicious and berry funny (haha!) food puns to keep you smiling and laughing along the way! 
 
Thanks once again for all your support. This book would not have been possible if it were not for all the love, kindness, and care I have received from all of you!
 

 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Watch me on TV: Using My Journey to Help Others!

Last month, I was called by Rawal TV's (an international TV channel) manager, who heard my story on CBC and saw my book. He told me that he was very interested in having me appear on one of the shows on Rawal TV called 'Our Canada, Our Home'. I was more than delighted to help out!

This interview segment is about my struggle with ED, and why I decided to write my book (a special note of thanks to Namal, the lovely host of this show!). Many people hear about ED, but they don't quite know WHAT it is, why it is so deadly, and how to help someone with an eating disorder. There are also many questions around how to prevent EDs, how to provide support for those struggling, and how to speak with one's family and friends about EDs.

When I was ill in the ICU, I thought I was going to die because of the ED. I was scared, tired, and hopeless. Even through recovery, I was frustrated. I never thought that I would ever see the day when I would be healthy and happy again. This is why I decided to share my story, to start this blog, and to write my book. I want to make it clear to the world that EDs (and mental health) is not something to be ashamed of. The more we know and educate ourselves, the wiser we will become. This will help us to not only help ourselves, but to help others....to break the stigma, to provide care and support, and to get treatment for whatever we need help with.
Please take the time to watch my appearance on this TV show, which you can find on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSQ3k8wODG4 (My part starts at 20:20). If you have Rawal TV as one of your channels, you may watch it there as well. I hope you enjoy this interview, and that it helps you or someone you know learn something about ED or mental health, food, recovery, etc. I also hope that it teaches you about how to approach food in everyday situations. Finally, I hope my message is clear: EDs are life-threatening illnesses. But with proper prevention, identification, and treatment, recovery is 100% possible. This is the same with any illness. Never lose hope. And remember: health and happiness always go together!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Published Again! Why Have Faith?

I'm very blessed to say that once again, my work has been published on Fr. Anthony's website. This post is about faith...and why it's important. http://franthony.com/why-have-faith/

What purpose does faith serve in our lives? Sometimes, circumstances in life become too difficult for us to handle. We feel overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated. We see no hope or end to our struggles. At these times, when nothing seems to be helpful, faith can carry us through. Trust in God and belief in His mercy is all we need. When you feel so down and alone, remember that God is there. When you feel that nothing in the world can help you, remember that God is Almighty.

Please take some time to read this post and leave a comment here and at Fr. Anthony's website. Thank you all for your support. I can't tell you all how much your kind words, supportive thoughts, and prayers mean to me!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Emotions and ED behaviours

We all know that emotions are a natural part of everyday life. We are human, and we all have feelings! Sad, happy, scared, anxious, frustrated. excited, angry, etc...all of these are emotions that we may feel at one point or another.

How do you express your emotions? Some people are verbal, telling others how they feel. Others keep their feelings to themselves, but you can 'see' their feelings based on how they are acting or appear. Now, we've all had days when we feel frustrated, angry, or sad. And sometimes, we want to tell others how we feel and 'let our feelings out'. However, sometimes, we feel so down or drained that we simply don't have the energy or motivation to speak to others about how our emotions. And that is okay. But what happens when we don't have ways in which we can cope with our emotions or experiences?

Emotion regulation is a phrase used to denote how we handle our emotions. As mentioned, negative feelings can be dealt with in many ways. Some people prefer to talk about their feelings, others use relaxation tips or meditation, while others play a game, write in a journal, or read a book. In patients with ED, negative emotions can be quite difficult to manage. Feelings of anger, sadness, stress, and frustration can make the patient feel isolated, scared, and anxious. This can lead to ED behaviours such as purging, binging, or restriction (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/erv.2183/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false).

As you can imagine, this can become a dangerous and repetitive cycle. If a patient with ED feel sad or angry, he or she may restrict the next meal. Then, the patient feels bad about not eating, tired and weak, and scared. What happens at the next meal? The patient doesn't eat because of these negative feelings as well. Now, the patient is caught in this cycle: negative feeling, don't eat. Feel even worse? Don't eat. Feel tired, weak, and fat? Don't eat.

What is the solution? Firstly, helping the patient recognize and express emotions is critical. Talking about emotions is a great way to release them and draw upon the support and care of others. Even those without ED can attest to the power of speaking with a caring individual. Other outlets such as writing, singing, playing, reading, etc. are also helpful. Along with stopping ED behaviours, adequate nutrition, and weight maintenance, it will become easier for patients with ED to identify, express, and handle negative emotions. With recovery, someone who struggled with ED will notice that even when they feel down or angry, restriction or ED behaviours are simply not an option. By expressing emotions or dealing with them in a positive way. the individual will be able to maintain an optimal state of health. Try it out yourself, even if you don't have ED. Try expressing a negative emotion such as anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness. Talk to someone who cares, write it down on a piece of paper, or practice deep-breathing. How do you feel after? Although the problem may still be there, you will likely feel better - and perhaps even strong enough to consider how you will  deal with the situation. When we are able to regulate our emotions, we are able to think clearly and be healthy.