Friday, 24 April 2015

Watch My Latest Presentation: What Future Doctors Need to Know About ED

One of my greatest blessings is being able to use my story to help others. My hope is that my experience with ED can teach others about mental health, ED, treatment, prevention, and identification. My book and blog have been instrumental to this, as they allow anyone all over the world to learn about my journey. The interviews that I do are another way to advocate. And a few months ago, I was asked to give a presentation to medical students at McMaster university. (Note that this presentation occurred in November 2014, but I have only just now had a chance to post it!) The focus of this presentation was to share my journey and shed some light on EDs.

This was a wonderful opportunity. It strikes me how sparse education on EDs is in the healthcare field. In my presentation, I highlighted the signs and symptoms of ED, diagnosis information, treatment goals, and the process of supporting recovery. Although I have this presentation to future physicians, the information in it is also extremely valuable for all doctors, nurses, etc to know. It's also good information for anyone in general to be aware of.

I hope you enjoy this video (! I received feedback from the medical students that this presentation was very helpful for all of them to have - some even told me it was more meaningful than other lectures on ED because it came from a survivor of ED and as a nurse...someone with personal experience with ED - as well as someone who is the healthcare field! It's a blessing to be able to use my journey not only to advocate, but also to educate others. This is proof that recovery is 100% possible. If you or anyone you know can benefit from the education in this video, please watch it and pass it on. Knowledge is power - learning about ED is the first step towards raising awareness, preventing ED, and supporting others.  I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

FOUR YEARS OF RECOVERY! - and a Look Back on 'Brain Changes' Posts

I have written many posts about ED and brain changes, and I know that many of you are interested in this topic (as am I...).

This blog post summarizes all the posts I have written thus far on ED and brain changes. Feel free to click on one of the links below and learn more about what I have written!

PS. I LOVE this particular post because reading through my past posts has helped me realize many things. First, I can see how far I have come in my recovery since 2012. Second, I can appreciate how much I have learned about ED and brain changes. I have also reread all the comments, and am so touched by everyone's ongoing support thus far. In addition, reading these posts makes me appreciate that when I was ill with ED, I was suffering from a real illness - I wasn't trying to be a 'difficult patient or person', I wasn't looking for attention, I wasn't being stupid for staring myself, and I wasn't lying when I said that eating was extremely difficult or stressful for me.

I hope these posts teach you something new, and remind us all that EDs are mental illnesses. I hope the research cited in the posts below allow society to realize that EDs are life-threatening illnesses - and not choices. They are not cries for attention, or a result of the need to feel 'in control' or rebel against parents....or whatever crazy theories there exist. Simply put, an eating disorder is a mental illness that makes one feel anxious about food and weight, obsessive about maintaining a certain weight, altered food intake patterns, etc. BUT EDs are also 100% treatable - through sustained and constant nutrition, love, therapy, support, care, and more.

Enjoy browsing through these posts - and feel free to comment on what you learned from these posts, how this changes how you view ED as an illness, etc.

1) Why starvation 'feels good' or is 'easier' for patients with ED than eating
2) Portion Distortion! and Servings sizes of food
3) Always feeling full
4) Starvation = reward for individuals with ED?
5) Food and Mood
6) Why Eating in Recovery is STRESSFUL!
7) Desserts and ED Brain Changes
8 General Overview of Brain Changes

P.P.S - thank you to all my family, friends, and readers. Looking through these posts has truly made me extremely thankful for everyone's support. All your words, love, and care are truly what has gotten me this far and strong in my journey. This month marks my four year recovery mark - four years of solid recovery, full nutrition, health, happiness, and freedom. I wouldn't have made it here without God and without all of you...and without yummy food (like chocolate. Did I mention I love chocolate?) THANK YOU!