Promote a Healthy Attitude About Sport and Fitness

EDCare recently designed an infographic that I believe very well describes 12 signs that an athlete or fitness enthusiast is closer to injury and illness than health and wellness–many of which are associated with eating disorders. It also includes tips for parents and coaches on how to spot signs of obsessive exercise and unhealthy eating patters. Thus, I was glad to have them share it in this guest post. Please check out the post by EDCare below, and at http://eatingdisorder.care/index for more information and resources!

Young athletes may dream of becoming the next Serena Williams or Tom Brady, but most know that it’s just that — a dream. They come to realize that top athletes are a rare breed. Even so, they press on. They still want to see how far they can go with their own physical abilities and mental stamina.

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Guest Post Sara Brekke Part II: Increasing Awareness

In the last Running in Silence guest post, Sara Brekke spoke openly and courageously about her eating disorder journey. In her original post (sarabrekke.blogspot.com) she made additional points about eating disorders that I felt were extremely important to share here in a post of its own:

1) Eating disorders are not reserved for self conscious girls who strive to have a body like those in the magazines. They affects all genders, races, and ages and don’t need to stem from a desire to be thin. In fact, I became extremely self conscious of my thinness. I feared being seen in a swimsuit or sports bra knowing that every vertebrae and rib in my body being visible made me appear more reptilian than human. To hide my emaciated body, I have worn two pairs of pants and baggy long-sleeves to hide my knobby elbows and jutting hipbones.

I did not develop anorexia because of the models in magazines. I was confident with my body up until sixth grade and ate anything and everything–never giving a second thought about the appearance of my body. While I do believe that society gives an incredibly detrimental message to young people, females especially, in what their body should look like, a full blown eating disorder for me was a combination of underlying mental illness and these societal ideals.

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Guest Post Sara Brekke Part I: Breaking Through Fear

Running in Silence reader and eating disorder survivor Sara Brekke made the bold move to share her story with the hope that it would encourage more of us to find ways to stop running in silence. She says, “I am thankful that I have gotten to a place of recovery after all of these years to be real not only with others about the illness, but with myself.  More than ever society needs voices to speak up about eating disorders and mental illness as a whole to better our understanding of other individuals and the disease.”
You can read her original post at sarabrekke.blogspot.com
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Posting this is terrifying.

Like, I was driving home from Madison by myself on a mild March day not too soon after getting my license when mother nature decided to unleash a spontaneous snowstorm. Before gathering awareness of the elements, I fish tailed off the road. After regaining control, I continued to drive at a measly 15 mph on the highway, but kept losing traction and decided it wasn’t worth it to keep going. I pulled into a side road, fully prepared to sleep in my car for the night–just as an ambulance came roaring by with its sirens blaring, soon followed by an oncoming car spinning completely off the road. The trip took three extra hours, but I eventually made it home crying tears of relief as I pulled into our driveway.

Posting this is still scarier.

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Facing the Stigma: Living with an Eating Disorder as a Man

I am honored to introduce Steve Sanders for our next guest post. Steve is a recovering alcoholic , writer, and blogger at Haven House Addiction Treatment. He lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys spending time with his family and on his motorcycle when not writing. He can be reached at oneroadtorecovery@gmail.com.

The typical image of a person with an eating disorder is a woman, or more specifically a white teenage girl from a well-off family. Almost all the popular information available about eating disorders is aimed at women and is about women.

But studies suggest that about 10 million men and boys in the U.S. will have an eating order at some point in their lives. In fact, while anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are more common in women, men are at greater risk of developing a binge eating disorder (overeating without purging or otherwise compensating for the excessive food intake).

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Guest Post With Megan Flanagan of Strong Runner Chicks: The Dark Side of Distance Running

I met Megan Flanagan through social media thanks to our interest in preventing eating disorders in the running world. With a similar mission of speaking about the topic, and encouraging those who struggle to speak up. I am excited to work with Megan in the near future, and I’m especially excited to share what she’s doing through  Strong Runner Chicks, a website dedicated to fostering strength in the female running community!

Strong Runner Chicks started as a way to inspire female runners to embrace their strength rather than cover it up; to embody the curves, muscle, and female bodies that we were given; to foster strength in the female running community and connect females of all ages, competitive and recreational runners alike, to an online space where they share ideas, tips, and personal stories on topics related to running, racing, strength training, fueling right and defining what it means to be a strong runner chick.

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When you think “female distance runner,” what image comes to mind?

Thin? Lean? Wispy? Emaciated?

Likely, the word “strong” doesn’t appear first in your head, if at all.

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Brittany Burgunder is BACK–and With a Book!

I was honored to star Brittany Burgunder as a guest back in September 2014 as she was preparing to get her book Safety in Numbers published. The book is here at last, published this past January. After I read the book, I wanted to connect with Brittany again to hear more about the impact this book has made on her life as well as on the lives of so many others.

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1) How did you feel when you first got a publisher for your book?

I was extremely excited and nervous. It was a dream come true that I was actually going to embark on the journey of turning my story into a published book. On the other hand, it was terrifying knowing that my most vulnerable thoughts would be on display. I think a part of me believed I’d never publish my story, or that I would never go through with it. Once I got a publisher, reality suddenly struck me in the face–I was really going to do this.

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Race Against the Stigma of Mental Illness: Interview with Suzy Favor Hamilton

Suzy Favor Hamilton–US Junior Record holder in the 1500m; three-time national junior champion in high school; winner of nine NCAA Titles, 32 Big-Ten Championships, and seven USA National titles; American Record holder and a three-time Olympian.

And back in 2012, outted as a high-end escort in Las Vegas.

As the Olympic “sweetheart” of track and field, many were shocked by the news of Suzy’s “second life.” Amid the chaos of the reveal, Suzy began therapy to understand the reasons for her behaviors–and in doing so discovered she suffered from bipolar disorder.

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Guest Post: Dean Robertson on Addiction, Chasing the High

I contacted Dean Robertson about half a year ago, and ever since have been so grateful for her help in editing my manuscript and navigating the publishing world. I appreciate not only her advice and wisdom with book publishing and editing, but also her honesty with the struggles she has overcome herself.

I am a recovering alcoholic, drug addict, compulsive overeater, and bulimic. Before I stopped drinking and drugging at the age of 40, my favorite legal drug was a mug of room temperature Guinness stout with a chaser of vodka from a bottle my favorite bartender kept in the freezer for me. My favorite illegal drug was marijuana. I never snorted cocaine, smoked crack, or dropped acid—mostly because the opportunity never presented itself at a moment when I was drunk enough to say ‘yes.’ My favorite legal drugs, other than alcohol, were prescription medications. I believe the unattractive term for me is “pill head.”

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Mom Speaks: Her Thoughts on My Eating Disorder Journey

We love food in this family. My husband and I look forward to meals and plan out fun things to eat for days at a time. We go out a lot. We shared our love of food with our daughters as much as possible. We were always encouraging them to try new things and laughing because we were all physically active and did not need to watch what we ate and communicated this clearly with the girls.

My mom couldn’t have explained our family’s attitude towards food any better than that. I grew up in a household where food and the love of it was encouraged. We ate everything in moderation. We weren’t banned from desserts. We had a healthy portion of processed food with healthy whole food dinners. I would say that perhaps the bad attitude about bodies/physical shape in general came more from the similar attitudes society had towards overweight individuals: “Fat,” “looks bad in that dress,” and “lack of discipline and control” were not uncommon phrases heard inside and outside of the home.

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Guest Post: Brittany Burgunder’s Battle

I came across Brittany’s blog about a year ago and found her eating disorder struggle similar to my own. Certainly Brittany’s drastic weight fluctuation in a small amount of time is relatable to me as well as many more of us, and shows that the problem lies not in appearance, but in our attitude toward food. Just like me, Brittany is also in the process of getting a memoir published about her eating disorder experiences. I’m so glad Brittany was willing to share her journey as well as the struggles she still encounters on a daily basis, as I believe eating disorders should be monitored even in recovery.

My name is Brittany and I want to let you all know no matter what you are struggling with that there is always hope for a better life. For me, my major life struggle was with my weight and appearance. Growing up I was constantly bullied and teased and I never had a close friend; only acquaintances to say hi to so I didn’t seem like a complete and utter loser. I was always a great student and a very talented tennis player and horseback rider to top it off, but that didn’t matter. My self-esteem was nonexistent and every day I wondered what was so wrong with me that I didn’t fit in like everyone else. Instead of realizing there was nothing wrong with me other than I was shy and insecure, I turned my anger and sadness inward.

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