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A heartfelt thanks goes out to Emily for sharing some insight into her path of recovery, including a journal entry at the completion of her time at Oliver-Pyatt Centers. We hope this provides encouragement to those working toward recovery, strength to those struggling, and a reminder that you can do this.  

For the longest time, I was my body’s worst enemy. I was constantly consumed by my thoughts obsessing over my body and food. This began when I was fairly young. I can still vividly remember being in 2nd grade when I was forced to wear a dance costume for my recital that consisted of pleather pants and a hot pink fuzzy sweater. To this day, I can remember how much I hated my body in that outfit – the thoughts were inescapable. That was the first time I became aware of how much I disliked myself.

I grew up thinking that hating my body was normal; I truly believed that everyone was struggling with the same thoughts. I started to live my life convinced if I lost some weight, all of my problems would disappear. I would be happy, popular and live a life people would be envious of.

I was 15 when I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, but it didn’t hit me that it was a real problem then. It wasn’t until last year when I spent the holidays in panic over the food that I realized things were not okay. Needless to say, my eating disorder had taken over my life. On some days, I was able to recognize things had gotten out of control, but a majority of my days were spent listening to the thoughts that shouted I wasn’t sick enough. I believed them because I never thought I was enough. Sick enough, pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough – it was never enough.

A few days after ringing in the New Year, I found myself having had enough of my eating disorder. Ironic isn’t it? I sat in my therapist’s office and agreed that maybe it was time to really recover. She mentioned Oliver-Pyatt Centers (OPC) might be the right fit for me. I looked at her like she had four heads, ME, in residential treatment? My eating disorder panicked and I went right back into denial. I swore I was fine even though I was the furthest thing from that.

I did not understand how this could happen. How did I end up with an eating disorder? How did it get this out of control? Why couldn’t I stop?

Everything felt like a blur. I very reluctantly agreed that to go. I packed my bags and began my journey. I left New York City and went home to my parents the days before I boarded the plane to Miami. I cried a lot – I was leaving my favorite city, my beautiful family and my eating disorder. I knew logically there was no reason to miss something that was killing me emotionally, physically and spiritually. But we had spent so many years together that I did not know how I’d survive without it.

I will always remember the devastating feeling I had walking away from my family at the airport to fly to Miami by myself. I landed in the MIA airport and was greeted by one of the OPC recovery coaches. She tried her best to comfort me about being there and reassured me I had made one of the strongest choices I’ll ever make in my life.

I walked into the Verde house where I would spent the next few months and took a deep breathe. I tried my hardest to remember why I was there. Not just to lose my eating disorder, but to gain back my life. I, of course, missed my family, but something told me I had just found my new family. The way I was embraced in hugs with girls I barley knew, and staff that only wanted the best for me – I felt at peace for the first time in a long time.

It is so hard to put into words the experience I had at OPC. The five months I spent there were unforgettable. I became Emily again, and god it felt so good. I think the following journal entry when I ‘graduated’ from residential is the best way to share how much it meant to me. I will always remember sitting outside in the tranquil backyard of the house reading this to all the girls I had been with on this journey and crying. Not because I was sad, but because I was so happy about how far I had come.

May 17th, 2015

I can hardly believe this day has come. That all my hard work has paid off. The past three and a half months I spent in treatment here has meant the world to me because I feel so differently than I ever have in my entire life. Prior to getting here, waking up in the morning felt like a never ending nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. I was emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted. I was miserable and living a life filled of shame and pain. The most awful feeling in the world was wanting to call my body home but never having the strength to.

I dreaded each day knowing I would have to deal with the tiring dialogue and war happening inside my head. What is so special and rewarding about spending time here at OPC is that I’ve regained my life back. I realize now that there is not enough time for hating myself. There are too many places to go, to see and people to meet. There are too many things to make. It’s time for me to go live my life. A vibrant beautiful life – filled with joy and sometimes sadness.

I realize now that there is nothing more important than being happy and healthy. I realize now that there is nothing more precious than learning to embrace the skin and body I live in. Waking up excited about life and it reminds me how beautiful this process is. I am becoming the truest version of myself the one I had been looking for for so many years. I can look in a mirror now and recognize that I am so much more than just my outward appearance and accomplishments.

I am a beautiful girl with likes and dislikes, with opinions and feelings. Who I am is never going to be reflected on my outer appearance. Who I am is never going to be dependent of the number on a scale. One of the most important things I’ve learned here is that I am a combination of what I love rather than what I hate in the mirror.

For the first time in my life I am loving and nourishing my body more and more everyday. I am able to accept love and compliments for the first time. I have never felt more honest and true to myself and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to learn how to do that. I can finally say I deeply and completely love and accept myself. The time spent here at the Oliver-Pyatt Center was worth every tear shed and every uncomfortable feeling I have had to sit through. I am becoming Emily for the first time and I am using my voice once and for all.

At the end of the day I am also grateful for my eating disorder because it helped me sit through the unspeakable. Even though the comfort of my eating disorder came with a heavy price, I am able to recognize how much I have learned from this illness. I can say now that I deserve more than dedicating my lifes work to losing weight. I feel no shame now for having used my eating disorder to cope with my life, because it doesn’t make me a bad person – my presence still can light up a room.

Thank you to everyone at OPC for teaching me how to love and live again. You saved my life.

I know thinking about going to treatment is scary, even terrifying at times, but I hope this reminds you what you could gain in the process. If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call Oliver-Pyatt Centers at 1-866-511-HEAL or visit their website for more information. I wish you well on your journey of recovery. YOU can do this.

This article was originally published on the Project Heal website. We thank them for allowing us to re-post and share with our readers. 

Posted in Recovery

Melissa_Orshan_Spann_withborderDirector of Admissions Dr. Melissa Spann, co-hosting with the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, will be exploring the spectrum of treatment options for trauma in eating disorders throughout treatment at a presentation tomorrow, Friday December 11th from 9:00am – 12:00pm in West Palm Beach, Florida. If you are interested in attending, please register here. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post. 

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.” 

In this presentation, participants will gain knowledge regarding specialized tools and techniques used to effectively engage clients throughout treatment. From an initial point of inquiry, clients with a co-occurrence of trauma and eating disorder require a specialized approach to treatment in all levels of care. Various treatment techniques and evidences-based practices have proved to have significant results for effective treatment of trauma; however, in the intersection of trauma and eating disorders, specialized consideration of nutritional, medical and eating disorder goals must be given prior to use of trauma techniques.

This presentation will address how to initiate specific trauma-informed therapies according to client background, eating disorder diagnosis, and stage of recovery. During an initial point of inquiry, the use of trauma-informed motivational interviewing provides the client with an opportunity to feel more connected, engaged and as an active participant of their own recovery. This presentation will highlight specifically tools of trauma-informed motivational interviewing as a means to initiate treatment and provide a framework to treatment progression. Additionally, the presenter will provide examples from other clinicians on most challenging trauma eating disorder cases and best practices used.

About Melissa Spann, PhD, CEDS
Melissa Orshan Spann, PhD, CEDS is the Director of Admissions at Oliver-Pyatt Centers. Dr. Spann has presented nationally on topics related to adolescent development, trauma and body image. Her clinical interests include experiential therapies, healthy body image, and women’s issues across the lifespan. Previously, she served as a primary therapist at OPC, The Renfrew Center and Life Counseling Services. Dr. Spann also worked with Moving Traditions, whose premier program, Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! is dedicated to proactively building for health. She received her doctoral degree from Drexel University, Master’s degree from University of Miami and undergraduate degree from University of Florida.

Event Details
Friday, December 11, 2015
9:00 am – 12:00 pm (8:30 am – Light Breakfast and Registration)
West Palm Beach Event Hall | 2223 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard #101 | West Palm Beach, FL 33409
3 Free CEUs and Light Continental Breakfast!

Registration Fee
In lieu of a registration fee, we are requesting a donation to benefit our organization and the free services we provide community wide.

Items Requested
Donations: Cash/Check Accepted (made out to The Alliance for Eating Disorders)
Gift Cards: Office Depot, Home Depot, Staples, Target, Publix, Amazon
General Supplies: Copy paper, Correction Tape, Clear packing tape, Trash bags-large black, Paper Towels, Tissues, K cups, Postage stamps, Tyvek 8.5×11 mailing envelopes

CEU Information
The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness is approved by the Florida Board of Psychology to provide continuing education courses to psychologists (Provider # 50-11298, expires 5/31/2016), Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (Provider # 50-11298, expires March 31, 2017) to provide continuing education courses to LCSW’s, LMFT’s, and LMHC’s, Florida Board of Nursing to provide continuing education courses to RNs, LPNs, and ARNPs (Provider # 50-11298, expires 10/31/2017), and Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition to provide continuing education courses to RDs, LDs, and LDNs. The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 3 credits.

For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers and Clementine adolescent treatment programming, please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram

Posted in Recovery

Melissa_Orshan_Spann_withborderDirector of Admissions Melissa Spann, PhD, CEDS sheds light on some of the most frequently asked questions received by our admissions department. Thank you to the admissions team for sharing these questions and allowing us to provide some additional clarity on the at times confusing landscape of insurance and admissions. The entire Oliver-Pyatt Centers team is here to help guide you through every aspect of treatment and to support your loved one and family on the path to recovery. For any admissions related questions, please contact us here or call 1.866.511.4325. 

Do you take insurance?
Yes! We accept and work well with most all insurance companies. One of our specialties is digging in really deep with every insurance policy to navigate the challenging nuances and come up with the best plan for each client.

We are thrilled to announce we are now in network with BCBS for our Clementine program at all levels of care and our adult programming at the IOP and PHP levels of care. We are also in network with Humana at the PHP level of care and Aetna at the IOP level of care.

What does it mean to be an out-of-network provider?
Different insurance plans have different plan options to choose from. For some insurance plans, even when we are not in network, we have still have the ability to work with your insurance through the use of your out-of-network benefits.

What makes OPC different than other programs?
OPC takes an individualized approach to every client. Our philosophy is one in which we are emphasizing comprehensive care through medical, clinical, psychiatric, nutritional and family support. One of the cornerstones of our model, daily individual therapy, allows clients to develop a deeper therapeutic connection; it is through this vital therapeutic relationship that clients are able to delve into treatment fully and deeply for healing to occur. Our multidisciplinary team uses a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model to treatment – meaning, identifying the core issues that drive the eating disorder and addressing all of the co-occurring issues that may accompany it. Our treatment philosophy is centered around the idea of “If not now, when?”

What makes Clementine different than other adolescent programs?
Clementine takes everything we know about effective eating disorder treatment and tailors it specifically to the unique needs of adolescents. The Clementine milieu is a small, intimate group in which both clients and families are working on recovery. The program provides the opportunity for adolescents between 13-17 to live in a beautiful, home-like environment in which they receive extensive medical, psychiatric, nutritional and therapeutic support. Additionally, clients are working on exposures, daily integrated educational needs, extensive family therapy and family programming, and mindful movement. Clementine was designed with the thought “If my daughter needed residential treatment, where would I feel comfortable?” From that, the unique and beautiful Clementine model was born.

How can I be involved in my loved one’s treatment even though I live in another state?
Your participation in treatment is critical to the overall process. We have weekly family therapy sessions via video conferencing, monthly family programming and as needed check-ins. For Clementine, in addition to all that was just listed, we also have family coaching, daily check ins, and bi-weekly family programming.

What can I do as a parent to advocate for my daughter’s benefits?
You are an essential advocate to your loved one’s treatment. There are so many ways in which family members play a critical role to long term recovery, navigating the challenges within our healthcare system is one. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has some incredible resources for parents on navigating our healthcare system, being an advocate, and articulating arguments to third party payers. I encourage every family to know their rights and advocate on their behalf. We are committed to helping you through this often challenging process.

For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers and Clementine adolescent treatment programming, please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram

Posted in Recovery

Galia

Thank you to guest blogger Galia Barkol for sharing her personal experience and journey of recovery. Please view her full story at ‘Then What Happens.

I had been hospitalized for three months at the best eating disorder treatment center in Israel, and I was finally out. I had a meal plan and my weight had reached what was defined as an ideal number. I was asked to come back every Wednesday to be weighed and to go over my eating journal. So here I am, sitting in front of the dietician, who reviews this week’s data. Apparently, I gained. “You can go down now,” she says. “Let’s put you on less calories a day and see how that stabilizes you.”

That day something cracked. I lost my belief in answers, in solutions.

I was heartbroken. How can this be? I sacrificed the body I was comfortable with, the eating habits I was used to, and for what? For another set of restrictions? For having to always watch it and call it “normal” and “recovered”?!

I left the center and never came back. I rushed back to Paris, where I lived at the time, to catch up with the last days of my film studies and even made it to the final exams. At the same time, I worked equally as hard on getting rid of the weight I’d gained in treatment and on resuming my familiar routine. I was so ashamed to be seen the way I was… this body didn’t belong to me; it wasn’t me. I was equally as miserable as I was before, only heavier. I couldn’t accept it.

It has been ten years since then. During the period that followed, I found a way to maintain the disorder – being slightly underweight, slightly obsessed with and intimidated by food, slightly limited in my ability to be with others and be spontaneous, and slightly unhealthy. But it seemed like the ideal compromise. I was functioning after all, and I liked my body, which was a pre-requisite for me to be able to live in this world.

People thought I’d figured it out, and others who didn’t know about my issues would just compliment me for my slim figure. But I remember hearing myself say at a support group meeting: “I can feel I’m at the most dangerous place. It doesn’t hurt as much anymore; I could go on forever. And I suspect the price I’m paying is life itself.”

But life has its way of nudging us out of those comforting danger zones. So, a couple of years later, I started getting injured frequently. My orthopedist suggested it was related to my low weight. Right around the same time, my physician explained to me I couldn’t go on without getting my period; that it affected my bones. I was terrified. It suddenly dawned on me that I wasn’t a kid anymore and I realized no one else would take care of me. I had to make a decision. That day something shifted and I started feeding myself better.

My plan or my hope was to reach a healthy weight and stop there, at the minimum of my BMI range, but my body had other plans. After a few months of feeding myself properly, I was back at the point where I had been at the treatment center ten years before: my body told me once again that it wanted to be at a higher weight than the bare healthy minimum, and that I had no business controlling it. This time I had to listen because I understood there was no sustainable alternative, that the only way to be free was to let go and see what happens.

Being in that space is a spiritual practice. I had to bring myself to focus on the intention while letting go of the results. I had to dis-identify from the image of who I thought I was, and to believe that who I was in my core could never be affected or destroyed by anything conditional. This wasn’t a smooth ride. In the past two years, I have died a little every day. I have cried almost every day and was reintroduced to life again little by little – to the wonder, the mystery, the pleasures, the human connection, the humor, the transience, the complexity and simplicity of being alive and belonging to life.

For 18 years of battling with my body image and eating disorder, I have always wondered if I would reach the point where I get to the other side and write a book such as “Here’s How I Beat This!” I don’t know if there will indeed be a day where I feel completely free inside my body as I used to be before it all started. Thinking about this makes me sad and even angry. But at the same time, I recognize the sacredness of being “in between” – in that state of prayer, of openness to how things play out. In a world that offers so many finite answers, I feel peace remaining in the infinite domain of the questions, as a more truthful reflection of life, which honors my individual path.

I recently wrote and am currently crowd funding for a feature film about that place. The film – THEN WHAT HAPPENS – is not specifically about recovery from body image and eating disorders in the same way that it’s not about its protagonist being a dancer who lost her ability to dance. My disorder taught me something about what’s underneath, about what we all share as human beings, which is what I’m looking to zoom into with this piece.

Whenever we face a challenge or a loss, we feel the impulse to push ourselves to skip the confusion and find a new sense of meaning and identity to cling to (such as “recovered from an eating disorder”). We call it “healing” or “overcoming,” and we associate it with strength and even sanity. But we are given very little time to dwell in uncertainty, which is just the place from which true insight and healing emerge.

To me, this is one of the hidden blessings of living through and recovering from this painful disorder – the ability to live in and contain what comes up in the spaces between, where life is most vivid.

Lastly, I’ll add that I was both unlucky and lucky in the sense that no treatment has ever worked for me. I tried them all and failed them all until I found my way (with the help of magic mentors, of course). I think something inside of me rebelled all those years because it knew freedom meant something else. Freedom doesn’t have a system and cannot be applied to everyone in the same way. Freedom already belongs to us and is for each of us to uncover in our own unique way.

As Joseph Campbell said:

“You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential.”

 

Galia Barkol is an actress, writer and director living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Visit her website hereThis post originally published on Eating Disorders Blogs

For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers and Clementine adolescent treatment programming, please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram

Posted in Recovery

Vacations

Posted on September 24, 2015 by StayConnected

Sydney Keller, Mental Health Worker at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Boston, helps us wave goodbye to summer and welcomes us into the holiday season with a recovery focused post on vacations. While vacations, trips home, or experiences in new places can be fun and exciting they can also induce feelings of trepidation and unease. Sydney provides us her top six tips to support your recovery during times of travel. 

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Summer is the time for rest and relaxation, spending time outside, and going on vacation with family and friends. Wouldn’t it be nice for even one day, one week, one trip, to take a vacation from your eating disorder?

I recognize you might not be able to go on vacation because of the added stress that can interfere with recovery. However, for those who do, provided is a list of tips to utilize while you are away.

1. Be flexible. Just like your home life, vacation is not always on a set schedule. Planes can be delayed, weather is not always as we expect, and traveling can take longer than planned. Be prepared for these situations and have snacks that are both fulfilling and nourish your body. Remember not to let more than two hours go by without eating.

2. Journal. Journal to resist urges, create a dialogue with your healthy self and ED self, and to explore any feelings that may surface.

3. Do not be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. When traveling to a new environment, the foods you may typically have at home may not be available. That is okay! Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a part of life and so is trying new foods that you may not otherwise expose yourself to. Challenge yourself and try something new if you have the opportunity.

4. Don’t focus on your appearance in family photos, but rather the beauty of your surroundings and the incredible memories you are making as you partake in new experiences. To be in a new place can be both nerve racking and exciting, however, remember to take a moment and capture the beauty around you, rather than focusing and analyzing your figure in photos.

5. Reach out to others. Your family and friends are your main support systems. Lean on them in times of need, especially if you are struggling. It is vital to your recovery to reach out to your supports in order to gain a realistic perspective. This can be achieved in a variety of forms including talking, taking a walk together, or even simply, a hug. Use these supports and remember they will always be there for you.

6. Lastly, enjoy yourself and HAVE FUN! Vacations are a time to unwind, relax, and let go. While taking a vacation from your eating disorder during recovery is not possible, it does not mean you cannot enjoy this time with your loved ones.

For more posts from Sydney, please visit Eating Disorders Blogs where she has been featured as a guest contributor. To learn more about Monte Nido Eating Disorder & Affiliates eating disorder programs, please visit their website here

Posted in Recovery

On Being Recovered

Posted on November 13, 2014 by StayConnected

Founder and Executive Director Dr. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt shares her personal perspective on the differences between being in recovery and being recovered. For more articles from Dr. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt visit here.  

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Recovery is a process. Recovered is more like an outcome. Both are possible. They are connected, but they are different. On one hand, the recovery process begins to unfold when you have started to really develop the conviction that the eating disorder is no longer an option, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to recover. This is when the process of recovery really begins. However, you can also be in the process of your recovery, even before you have truly decided you have “had enough,” or when the conviction to recover has not fully set in; examples of when this may come up are when you are in treatment and are beginning to engage with another human being in a truly meaningful way, but are uncertain of your conviction to actually become recovered. Or perhaps you don’t really have the vision, the hope and the confidence that you can really become recovered; but you are willing to give it a shot, you are willing to step outside of your isolation and allow a new way, or new people into your world. During this phase you may have a lack of intention, or a lacking of strength to behave in a fully recovered way, but you are willing to engage in the process. In this case, you are in a healing phase, and you are recovering (even if you are very ambivalent about it!) 

Alternatively, a person may have full conviction, intention, and determination to recover, and they may even be certain they will recover. This does not guarantee immediate results. So often, patients and families are confused. We live in a society that says, “Just do it!” When we try this, we do expect results! Nothing can be more difficult than to have the expectation if we just try hard enough, and want something enough, we are going to be able to “do it.” Time and time again, patients, families, and even providers are attached to this concept. This can lead to very difficult and even dangerous experiences for a person with an eating disorder. A frequent time we hear this mindset is when a patient or family says, “I am going to college in the fall, the structure will really help me” only to find that the stress, the demands, and the nature of a potentially triggering environment make things worse not better. Another situation this comes up is when a patient is willing to do everything expected of them in treatment, but not all the components of recovery are not integrated. Perhaps they will do as they are told, they will try and try and try. But this does not mean the person is fully engaging in treatment, or that they are aware of, sharing, and/or confronting the struggles in their life. Intention to recover does not equate with a guarantee that you are in a healing phase, or that all of the pieces are intact to lead to being fully recovered (the person may in fact underestimate their needs in general – a hallmark of all forms of eating disorders, and may underestimate what they need in order to recover.)   

In some of my presentations I create a slide that reads: “Intention to Recover vs Healing Process.” What I am trying to point out is that one can have an intention to recover, yet not be engaging in a vulnerable and open relationship with others, or be developmentally able to process the emotions that leave them locked in the eating disorder and one can be in a healing process, even when they have very little, if any intention to recover.

Becoming recovered is when you have both healing process and intent operating simultaneously, to some extent. For me, personally, I became recovered when I was truly sick and tired of my eating disorder ways, and was willing to do whatever it took to recover. It was still trial and error, but I refused to be controlled by a mandated weight or size, and furthermore, I fully rejected the idea that restriction of my calories would ever bring me happiness, peace or fulfillment. I abandoned the pursuit of weight loss, and instead pursued the practice of mindful eating, and ultimately mindful living. I continued on the trajectory of healing, despite set backs and struggles.

To me, this is a little bit like learning to play the piano. When you first begin, you have to practice measure-by-measure, line-by-line, sometimes right hand alone, sometimes left hand alone. You mistake the F sharp for an F over and over, and have to re-do certain parts of the piece over and over. It seems like it will never work! This is the recovery process. The amount of time and energy this takes is individual to each specific person and their circumstance. What shockingly happens when you are committed to the process is the most amazing. Through this intention, and this process, eventually you play this music “by heart”…meaning no written music is necessary. Isn’t that kind of funny? When you master a piece, and play it without any music, we call it playing “by heart.” That is a little bit what it feels like to become recovered. Over and over you practice and fail at mindful eating. Just like over and over you fail to play that piece of music without errors. But you keep coming back to it. And eventually the song comes out of you, versus being forced. The piece is played without the written  music, and when you are playing it, you are not fighting your way through it. It flows.  

I think this is why it is so important to remember the distinction between the terms “recovery” and “recovered.” Here is what my friend, Carolyn Costin says about being recovered: “Being recovered, to me, is when the person can accept his or her natural body size and shape and no longer has a self destructive or unnatural relationship with food or exercise. When you are recovered, food and weight take a proper perspective in your life and what you weigh is not more important than whom you are; in fact, actual numbers are of little or no importance at all. When recovered, you will not compromise your health or betray your soul to look a certain way, wear a certain size or reach a certain number on a scale.”

A person may not yet have the strength, conviction, confidence or trust needed to leave the eating disorder paradigm. This process cannot always be “willed.” It is an uncertain and mysterious process for a person to develop a sense of trust with self and/or a connection to self that really allows you to be exposed and vulnerable, or be open to a new way of experiencing food (and life.) 

Recovery is when you are able to combine the process of recovering, with a willful intention to recover, and you are willing to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to train or retrain yourself to live a life guided by mindfulness. 

Being recovered means that I am not living my life based on weight, shape, or being focused on food. Being recovered is not “white knuckling” it. It is like playing the piano from heart. I am living life based on my heart, by intellect, and my “inner compass.” This also means I am not attached to outside approval, and am not wed to avoiding all conflict. I am thankful I stumbled across Mindful Eating/Intuitive Eating when I did in my life. Had I not, I don’t know if I would have ever recovered. What is most important to me now is that my attention and energy are actually available to me to live according to my values and according to what really excites me. Being recovered is not something I think about a lot – but deep down it is always something I have gratitude for.  

For more information about Oliver-Pyatt Centers and newly introduced Embrace, a binge eating recovery program and Clementine, a residential program exclusively for adolescents girls please call 866.511.HEAL (4325), visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram

Posted in Recovery
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