Full Recovery from Eating Disorders
Sarah Canney is a believer of full recoveries—recoveries that give you complete freedom. When she was diagnosed with anorexia and then later bulimia, her belief that she could be free from either gave her the strength to battle for nine challenging years.
“I did not believe I was born for an eating-disorder life,” says Sarah, “That’s where the belief for complete recovery came out of.” She says that claiming recovery is part of the recovery process. Knowing that you are working toward that final step of declaring your full recovery is powerful. And once you do, that declaration gives you strength as well.
Today Sarah leads running retreats for women while raising three kids and blogging about running, motherhood, and life challenges. Her mantra is to “Embrace the Hill.” Keep reading to see how she has done just that.
Group Therapy Isn’t for Everyone
Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous have done wonders for people struggling to overcome addictions. Building self-awareness, finding support, and developing communication skills can all help to overcome eating disorders. When we see someone else going through something we are, it helps us internalize and understand ourselves better. Receiving and giving support strengthens us.
Be that as it may, everyone has a unique path. While the support of friends and family and the expertise of a professional therapist is crucial, finding the right professional and group of loved ones can take work. Do not give up if the first therapist doesn’t seem to work for you. Look for someone that has the same goals and beliefs as you.
For Sarah, having a good therapist was crucial, but group therapy did not help. “When I was in group therapy, it was so easy to fall into the comparison trap” she says, “I felt like it dampened the flame of self-belief.” Seeing people continue to struggle after decades didn’t lift her spirits.
If you or a loved one has an eating disorder, remember that each person is unique. While we can’t navigate this world alone, surrounding ourselves with the right people is just as important as having people there for us.
Your Overarching Path
Whether it’s a challenging eating disorder, a running career, or raising a family, occasionally stepping back to see the big picture can keep us moving forward.
One great way to visualize your overall journey is to keep a journal. When you are feeling down you can look back a month or a year to see how far you’ve come. Write down more than just your day-to-day activities and record your feelings and thoughts of the day to create a more meaningful memory.
Every journey to success has small failures. While we may only see a positively curated world on social media platforms, between every flawless photo there are dozens of imperfect moments. It’s great to focus on the positives, but also be willing to share real life experiences and know that others are going through similar things.
Sarah’s Social Media Rules
Sarah has two simple rules when it comes to following others on social media. First, follow joy and positivity. This doesn’t mean you should only follow those that put on airs of perfection. In fact, quite the opposite. Follow people that share real life events, whether easy or hard, in a positive light.
Second, if Sarah begins to compare herself to others, she changes her social media habits. Sometimes this means unfollowing someone and other times it just means taking a break from social media. Social media fast can be extremely healthy, and you don’t need to announce it to the world to do it.
Big Goals AND Family Life
Overcoming an eating disorder, leading others, running competitively and raising three kids takes careful prioritization. “I like to think of it not so much as a balance but as an ebb and flow,” says Sarah. “Sometimes my running and personal goals are a higher priority and sometimes I’m just all in focused on my family.”
She tells listeners to give yourself grace. Be flexible and don’t work on perfectly balancing everything you are doing, rather give things priority when they need it.
What are your takeaways from this podcast? Will you take time to see the big picture in your journey or maybe try following more positivity on social media? Find something that applies to you and give it a shot. Give yourself grace and embrace the hill.
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Thank you to Sarah, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.