“The body is a sacred garment. It’s your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with; and it should be treated with honor.” –Martha Graham
How can you honor your body when you don’t love your body?
I learned to how to love and honor myself. You can, too.
As a child, young adult and woman in my 20s, 30s and 40s, my drug of choice was sugar. I had friends who experimented with pot and liked to get drunk on weekends. Not me. I remember eating rolls of sweet tarts throughout the school day, needing the “sugar high” to take away the anxiety of a test or the lonesome feeling of not being included when friends were making plans.
I lived my life constantly comparing myself to others and striving to be “better than” someone else. I now understand that my addiction to sugar from a young age, and all those feelings and emotions that went along with craving my next sugar fix had set me up for a lifetime of deprivation and pain.
I never felt “good enough” and had tricked my mind into believing that when I “arrived” at that “good enough” place, I would then be happy…I would meet the perfect guy…I would then have the perfect life. This never happened! It sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and stress to get just one more thing done, skip a few hours of sleep so that I could work more. I went into a cycle of binging and purging food in a desperate attempt to lose weight. At my worst point, I would head over to the store, pick up a bag of M&Ms, a 3 Musketeers candy bar, a box of laxatives, and then also snag a slice of pizza on the way home. After stuffing all of this food into my body, I would realize I had eaten way too many calories, tell myself how stupid I was and use the laxatives to purge my system. This vicious cycle controlled my life for years.
I continuously told myself that tomorrow would be better…but that better day never came.
What did arrive, however, in the summer of 2000, was an experience that changed by life forever. While playing tennis in Central Park with a friend, I nearly passed out because my body was completely out of balance. I was dizzy and sweating profusely. It was the first day that I realized I had a serious problem. I was destroying all parts of myself in a quest to be perfect. I honestly don’t recall leaving the tennis court or boarding the bus to head home. But I do remember arriving back on the east side, standing on the street corner dialing the number of a therapist and leaving this message: “I think I have an eating disorder and I need help.”
Thus began my recovery from bulimia.
I am so grateful for the love, care and support I received from my therapist. And I’m especially grateful she didn’t laugh at me the day I sat on her coach and said, “I just don’t know what to east. I think about candy all day long.” She referred me to a holistic practitioner and to this day I refer to these two women as my “dynamic duo.” Along with therapy, I learned about goji berries, chia seeds, why I would benefit from a gluten-free, dairy-free diet (think: inflammation), the food-mood connection (think: cravings) and so much more!
I ate healthily and felt better than ever. I began to love my life and lost the 20 pounds I was desperate to lose (without dieting). I loved going clothes shopping because I didn’t hear the negative self-talk in the fitting room (“your butt is too big”). I felt confident at work, especially standing in front of a board room of powerful executives I respected and admired.
I am thankful that I was able to get the help I needed, so I could not only heal myself, but also work with others on their own personal journeys to better health and nutrition – to living a fulfilled life. I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition/Columbia University (IIN) and learned from leaders in the field of functional medicine.
When I am not working with my clients, you will find me at a hockey game or enjoying a live dance performance, spending quality time with my husband in the Berkshires, knitting, or playing the role of tour guide for my nieces and nephews when they visit New York City.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Now read about what Mary Poppins and I have in common.