I have been writing an awful lot lately about my battle with anorexia and depression.
I got this email today and it came as a gentle nudge from the Universe saying Keep going Jen, keep doing what you are doing.
This is Allie, one of your yoga students at Equinox South Bay. Thank you so much for allowing me to approach you this morning with questions about your recovery with an eating disorder.
My struggles with anorexia and bulimia began when I was 15 years old.
I am now 25 and consider myself about 85% recovered. I’ve actively been working in recovery for years and I am so proud of all the progress I have made, but I am not going to settle for living a life only 85% recovered from an eating disorder. I can go about life like this and be okay, but I want more. And I know that I am capable of being more.
As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, ” Do you want to be ordinary or do you want to be extraordinary”? We are all extraordinary and deserve to realize this and live life as extraordinary beings.
I don’t believe I am the eating disorder, nor will I ever allow the eating disorder to define me as I once did. I believe that I used the eating disorder as my disguise. Growing up in the persian culture, I found it extremely difficult to develop a sense of identity because of limiting cultural expectations of what a woman should be, act, etc. Thus, growing up I identified myself with an eating disorder, with an obsession with thinness because being thin and beautiful was what was idealized. It became the only thing I thought I was worth… Beauty as defined by thinness.
Now I have the power to be me, to embrace my inner perfection and uniqueness. Sounds like an amazing realization, but it’s actually very scary.
What if I don’t like myself? What if I’m not strong enough to manifest my true calling? The eating disorder responds with “well if you keep me around, if you suck at everything else at least you will still be thin and beautiful. At least you won’t be a failure and fat.” Isn’t that disgusting?
As I am sure you know, living with an eating disorder is very limiting and disempowering. I admire you so much because you have overcome this. You are a walking example of what I have always envisioned full recovery to look like for myself. You fully believe in yourself. You are spiritually so strong. You seem as though you fully embrace who you are and enjoy such a rich life. You found the courage to replace trust in an eating disorder with self-trust. You trusted in yourself that you have what it takes to manifest your darma and to live a life fulfilled- a life full of passion, joy, and happiness. This is so inspiring to me.
I really appreciate your willingness to meet with me next week to share about your recovery. Does next Tuesday after class still work for you? I find you so inspiring and I can’t wait to hear more about your journey of healing 🙂
Thank you again,
Allie 🙂~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hi there lovely,
It’s S. I am sending my request out into the Universe (the “I want to go on Jennifer’s Maui Retreat request!”) and hoping it is meant to be. I am registering for the 2013 Winter YogaWorks teacher training, however the dates have not been firmly set (they suspect January or February – I am crossing my fingers for late Feb).
Again, I’m glad to have met a friend and inspirational soul such as yourself. In my junior and senior years of college I began to write about my battle with anorexia, for the first time, and I received mixed reactions. So many people are confused and simply can’t wrap their minds around the disease and just say things like, “Well…why didn’t you just eat?” Some remarks are cruel, some are simply perplexed, and some are heartwarmingly, overwhelmingly amazing (as you well know, I’m sure). I feel it is a calling of mine to write about this. To communicate to society that eating disorders HAPPEN. They’re nothing to be embarrassed about. They’re diseases. We can at least provide preventative treatment as a society. I could go on and on. I just want to thank you for the support and for being the brave voice that you are, because your MindBodyGreen piece is what led me to you. And you have had a profound impact on me thus far.
Sending you light and love, sweet one, be well!
~~~~~Hi Jen,We spoke briefly after your class at Marina del Rey last week. I take your classes at all of the different Equinoxes around town. I wanted to thank you so much for your writing and teaching. I’m currently struggling with an eating disorder and reading your posts and hearing you talk about your struggle and how far you’ve come has really helped me to see that there is a light at the end.
Thank you again for all that you do!!!
With permission I am sharing these below so you understand how very important and powerful it is to follow what you feel to be your calling, your purpose. Your work.
Let that work be your love.
Let that love carry through your days even when you are feeling small or unsure or like you have a devil on your back.
Let it be.
it must feel amazing to inspire people, to witness your actions transform others’ perspective. wow.
It really really does. xo
This fills my heart with joy.
I have had two sisters that have (and are) continuing to suffer from eating disorders, so your posts bring me hope and joy that maybe recovery is possible. Thank you!
Sending healing thoughts and the belief that all things are possible xoxo
You’re an amazing healer, and I’m so grateful for your impact on my life.