This picture was taken at Pacific University, where I was an insecure grad student desperately in love with books and hopeful about writing one someday. Little did I know that less than two years after I got my MFA, Pound for Pound would be published by @harpercollinsus, my dream publisher.
Now that I’m a mom, I definitely wish I held back on some of the stories in that book (oh Dear Lord why did I have to go into studying abroad in college?) but I suppose that’s why I wrote Pound for Pound when I did. I wrote it for the high school and college girls who feel alone and terrified and depressed behind a shiny, smiley appearance. I wrote the story I wished I could have read during the hardest most confusing time of my life.
This smile here, it’s real. It’s the smile of taking a risk and betting on your own heart and letting go of what people think and writing what you have to write, even if it isn’t pretty.
Pretty is overrated anyways. Real. That’s what I’m after.
Ps @katiemartin726 I love you forever.
Shout out to the women who go above and beyond to support other women. And when I say “shout out”, I mean: Praise you thank you hallelujah you are magical.
We’ve been going out to eat a lot in Los Angeles (kitchen is still not unpacked) and the other night we were at Noah’s favorite restaurant: Olive Garden. Typically he is quite content with his meatballs and breadsticks, but every once and a while, he loses it.
On this night, our waitress dodged pasta and toy cars and a tampon 🤦♀️ Noah somehow managed to pull out of my purse. The poor little guy was sick and overtired and in a mood to cry and throw things.
So I tried to get out of there as quickly as I could. And as I deeply resented the man who was giving me dirty looks from across the room and refrained from giving him a piece of my mind and took deep breaths and comforted my baby and paid and packed our things to go, the waitress made it a point to come over and say, “You are doing a great job. It’s so hard sometimes, isn’t it? I’ve got two boys of own.” Then she handed me an entire bag of mint chocolates and smiled as if to say, we’re all in this together.
It was Saturday night. She was super busy. She could have said nothing. But she chose to say something and it mattered. I walked out of that restaurant high on girl power and thrilled about some chocolate and ready to conquer bath time.
Little words and little gestures of kindness are such a big deal. Thank you, dear waitress. You are right. We are all in this together. 🎇
PS I’ve eaten most of the chocolate so this is all that is left right now ❤️
You probably have many questions about how it is possible that my family can move so much. I do. It is truly baffling. Just after I memorize and address it seems we have a new one!
But the good news is that I think we are finally settling down. Here we are back home in California (though Bella and I must have brought Seattle with us because it’s been raining nonstop and everybody, especially on the LA freeways, is freaking out). We are freaking out a little, caught between pure joy for our thirsty forests and pure frustration that we moved back to Cali for some sunshine and have yet to see it. But I know the sun will come. It always does around here ❤️ Grateful to have made some lifelong friends in Seattle, and to have reconnected with a dear friend I adore. Life has been very good to us, and we will forever be grateful for our year in Washington!! If you are looking for our address, feel free to text or dm. I know we are hard to keep track of!! Happy holidays to all, we love you!!
My mom, sister and I got to meet @kristasturgeon, author and founder of Mira Alto Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to assuring that people who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum are treated properly while in eating disorder treatment.
Since December 1st, the night of the @projecthealseattle Gala, was World AIDS Day, Krista discussed how both AIDS and Eating Disorders are diseases of shame. Krista led us in a moment of silence for all those suffering from Aids and Eating Disorders, and in my mind, this was the most healing and important moment of the night.
I'm hopeful that, thanks to brave people like Krista Sturgeon, we can all continue to stand up to stigma and shame, while also honoring the dignity of every single person battling an eating disorder. Her nonprofit and @projectheal are helping to pave the way.
To learn more about Miro Alto Foundation, visit: miraaltofoundation.org
#eatingdisorderrecovery#lgbtq 🌈 #lgtbqcommunity#lgbtqrights#lgbtqrightsarehumanrights#mentalhealth#stigma#shame#recovery#edwarriors#edfamily#pride
I spent the day in Portland meeting with professionals who are working to help children with eating disorders.
I spent the day thinking about how the worst thing in my life has somehow given a precious gift: the ability to look into a child’s eyes and tell her that full recovery from an #eatingdisorder is possible.
I spent the day thankful for @eatingrecovery ‘s commitment to not only save lives, but to reduce stigma and to support the work of aw-inspiring nonprofits like @projectheal.
Major gratitude to @emahlea for founding the @projecthealseattle chapter, and to @arwengillett for helping that chapter to raise 10,000 with its first event!! It was an honor to be a part of it, and I feel fueled with hope for the future!
I can't stop crying over how strong and brave my family is. My cousin, @abigail_harrington , gave birth to a warrior princess: Cora Hope. Cora's story is in the link in my bio, and we would be grateful for any prayers or donations you might send her way. Thank you for reading and for your love and support! ❤️
At the airport early and off to Portland. I’ve been on social media, reading about lost dogs and Service dogs and Victoria’s Secret and airbrushing and Kendall Jenner. It’s easy to glue to Twitter. Much harder to think about troubles or to think about nothing at all.
But. Aimlessly browsing social media drains me. Sometimes it makes me feel as exhausted as the days when I had an eating disorder.
Telling you the truth fills me up though, and that is the only reason I want to use social media from here forward. Well, to tell you the truth and to show you pictures of my sweet son and rescue animals. NO MORE AIMLESS BROWSING!
I will let you know how this goes, but for today, my intention is:
Praying for my precious niece and her family.
Being aware of my body and breath.
Finding joy in the ordinary.
Wish me luck ❤️😘 sending you love, friends. Let’s get off our damn phones and live!!
“I just didn’t know what love was or where it came from anymore. All I knew was that I wanted to be thinner,” Eleanor said.
⬜️ Amen, sister, is what I wanted to say, but instead, I just nodded and told her that I understood. As if I didn’t have eight years of intimate experience with this subject. As if some part of me didn’t still believe that love and a thin body were absolutely interchangeable. ⬜️ “I wish that when you’re young you could have the wisdom of having lived many years. Because by the time you are my age, you look back at how you hated your body, when really, it’s been your only constant companion on earth. And a good one at that.”
⬜️ I nodded again, unable to meet Eleanor’s eyes, reaching over to pet Lucy. She lifted her chin from her paws to blink up at me, the soft weight of her body pressing against my hand. -From Pound for Pound
Photo of Eleanor and Lucy. Photo cred: the infamous LC at @sdhumanesociety
Tonight, I was cuddling with my son in our bed. Which is a mattress on the floor in the middle of an empty room. Because we have just moved and our furniture is currently on a moving truck.
Noah and I were on our bellies next to each other, nose to nose, almost asleep, when all of the sudden, I feel this little hand on my back. He starts gently patting his mama, the way I pat him before he goes to sleep.
At first I thought it was just an adorable coincidence, but as he continued to do it, I realized that my dear son was communicating with me. He was saying, with the sweetest little pat on my back, I love you, mama. I love you.
I love you too, Noah Michael. You amaze me every day.
Such a little being. Such an enormous heart!
Diesel wraps himself up in his own blanket every night when he goes to bed. He is one special dog, and his life is full of the love that every shelter dog deserves.
My in-laws adopted him from @sdhumanesociety after he was returned twice. Today until midnight, your gift will be doubled when you donate to @sdhumanesociety!!! Every penny counts, and will save precious animals like Diesel in San Diego county ❤️🐾 visit www.sdhumane.org to double your impact! #givingtuesday 💗link in bio💗
Grateful to be able to be present and open and full of joy with my sister this Thanksgiving. It wasn’t always this way. The eating disorder wouldn’t let it be this way.
I hope I never forget how sacred and precious recovery is.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours ❤️😘 (Miss you mama, we will see you Friday!!) @heartwiththeocean
“The World Where You Belong”
At five-years-old, Joanna was bullied at recess. It was less about how the bullies screamed “fat!” and “four-eyes!” and more about the way they looked at her when they said those words. The bullies looked at Joanna like she didn’t belong. Like her very presence made life hard for them.
War is hard. Climate change is hard. Grief is hard. But a little girl’s presence is not hard.
Still, Joanna felt that way. She felt like she was a burden to her bullies and needed to disappear. Joanna’s small fingers gripped the loose material of her t-shirt as the bullies got louder and closer. She wanted to run, but she couldn’t move. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t speak.
Sometimes in life, you feel achingly helpless.
Sometimes it seems like the world, in the form of playground bullies or alcoholic parents or shiny magazine covers, has only one job: to convince you to run away.
At all too young an age, Joanna started running to an eating disorder.
Anorexia and bulimia began as innocent escape routes, but by the time she was in her thirties, the illness had destroyed her life. _
When Joanna checked herself into Eating Recovery Center, treatment turned her whole world upside down. _
The sun became the moon and the sky became the sea and food became healing medicine and scales became none of her business. Discomfort became a welcomed experience. The urge to run was a sign that she was meant to stay.
Now Joanna is stands in front us at an Eating Recovery Center Alumni Event in Sacramento. She says that recovery might not always make sense. It might feel foreign for a long time.
But someday, recovery will become the beautiful, tender world in which you know, undoubtedly, you belong.
Always, the most important thing in a yoga class for me is to feel safe.
Safe to cry.
Safe to rest.
Safe to confront the shame and deep sadness I still sometimes feel when I think of all the ways I used to abuse my body.
Safe to laugh.
Safe to roar.
Safe to take a lion’s breath.
Safe to stay in child’s pose.
Safe to be be curious about the mind.
Safe to fall out of balance.
Safe to grieve.
Safe to strive.
Safe to love.
Safe to be me.
No yoga teacher has made me feel more safe than @juliabcanfield.
No yoga studio has meant more to me than @balayoga.
I will miss you so much.
Endless gratitude from my heart to yours.
Oh my God. I got a message on my phone that google had made a video entitled, “They grow up so fast”. I didn’t know Google did such things. I opened the video. I watched. I’ve been bawling for fifteen minutes. (This is just the first minute!) #plssendhelp
Our family is family is donating to the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), which works with local emergency agencies and responders to help people and animals in times of crisis. They are all-volunteers and provide education, emergency shelter, and evacuation and rescue to communities affected by the disaster. During the Camp Fire, they handled over 3,000 calls for service, and currently, have 1,365 animals in shelters. If you’d like to donate, visit:
Every Friday, I send an email to my sisters and brothers braving eating disorder recovery. It is the most meaningful part of my week, every single week.
To join our Braving Recovery Email Chain, simply email BravingRecovery@EatingRecovery.com and write "New Member" in the subject line.
A sample from a recent email:
Question of the Week: “I’ve recently discharged from treatment. How do I continue to protect my recovery?” 💫
This week at an Eating Recovery Center alumni event, we made lanterns with sea glass. Only recently did I learn that sea glass is essentially trash…glass bottles thrown in the ocean and broken into a million pieces. But then over time, the ocean softens those jagged pieces into something that is smooth and precious.
The ocean is like my friend Dominque, who I called last night when I started to hear the voice of my alcoholic father in my head. The ocean is like my therapist. And the people who were in my eating disorder support group. And my dog.
These souls/oceans don’t ever leave me feeling sharp and jagged and broken. They soften me. They remind me that I am lovable and precious and exactly where I need to be.
Eating disorders often make us feel like trash, like we are something to be thrown out. Sometimes they mask themselves as a friend or safe space or protector, but the comfort and protection eating disorders provide is fleeting, followed by immense shame and guilt. Eating disorders are the ultimate bully.
I believe the most important thing we can do to nurture and protect our recovery is to make a decision to not fight the bully alone. We must enlist help from our oceans. From compassionate and loving people who support our healing and softening process. We must seek out a treatment team to help us move closer to the truth and away from the bullying voice of the eating disorder.
My suggestion would be to protect your recovery by refusing to recover alone. Your therapist, dietitian, ERC alumni support groups, doctors, and loved ones can fight this illness with you. Whenever you feel broken. Whenever the eating disorder makes you feel less than. Reach out to your support! Reach out to your oceans.
Reminder. We’re not meant to walk through life alone. Find your people (and pups). Ask for support. Support them. Ask for love. Love them. Together, we can recover from anything. #youarenotalone#findyourpeople#findyourpups pic: @expandingintelligence ❤️🐾
My friend and I have been going a little nuts since the 2016 election. Pretty positive I’m not alone in this. We made a pact tonight, for our own mental health and well-being, that we would turn off the news at 8:30. And I did. And she did. And I was damn proud. The idea was to then practice selfcare and go to bed.
But of course I got on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and now it is 9:30 and I’m spinning.
But I’m recommitting. To mental health. To sleep. Right now.
In recovery, we learn the mantra “Progress not perfection.” I’m making progress on my social media/screen addictions. I’m making progress (verrry small progress) in coping with Trump. I’m making progress in taking action and standing up for what I believe in.
Tonight our country is making progress by electing 40 women and 19 women of color. (So far!)
These women are my heroes.
Everything is not perfect.
In myself or in our country. There is much work to be done.
But the progress matters. Let’s remember to honor it.
Officially signing off ❤️
If you have struggled with an eating disorder and are looking for support, please tune into my third Braving Recovery Webinar with @eatingrecovery tomorrow night at 8 pm EST. You can also join our Braving Recovery email chain and get an email from me on Fridays. In this email, I try to address the group's weekly questions and provide you with support and resources. To join, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and put "NEW MEMBER" in the subject.
Eating disorders thrive in secrecy and isolation. They cannot survive truth-telling and community. Please find your community and safe places to share your truth. Please keep healing, knowing that you are not alone. Recovery is possible!
Link to tomorrow's free webinar below and in bio ❤️ https://eatingrecovery.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1mnlldEvRMSD2sdUkEVi1A
SoulPaws volunteer extraordinaire, Izzy, may no longer be here with us in the physical form, but his spirit is still sharing so much awesome love and wisdom! Please rock the vote today! I did and made Izzy proud 💙🐾 #voted @soulpawsrecoveryproject