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Eating/Food

Eating Disorders/Healing, Eating/Food, Guest Posts

A Binge To Remember

December 1, 2016
binge

TW: This essay discusses eating disorders.

By Jenna Robino

I am 20. I live in a one bedroom apartment all by myself, right next to LAX. I’m practically a terminal I’m so close. It’s my sophomore year at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. I am a theater major. No minor. I have no idea what I want to do after college, I just like acting and playing different characters. In high school my graduating class voted me “most likely to be on SNL,” so I decided I’d stick with it, and here I am.

Let me close my window. They’re double-sided because of the noise from the planes. Yeah, that black stuff is from the exhaust. I’m sure it’s going to cause some sort of health problem down the road.

One of the reasons I live here, by myself, is because I have a problem. At night, I turn into a food hungry monster and no one’s food is safe. When I had roommates, living in the campus dorms, I would sneak into their rooms when they weren’t there and steal food: handfuls of cereal, candy, a granola bar. If there was one of anything, of course I didn’t take it. I was a thoughtful thief. Whatever I scored, I’d bring back to my top bunk, stick in a container and hide under my pillow. Continue Reading…

Eating/Food, Guest Posts, The Body

Nearly

October 27, 2016
weight

By Gavin Colton

173lbs. I just played my final collegiate game. A heavy feeling of “what now?” sinks in in the shape of tears and lingering hugs with players and coaches.

*

187lbs. I lean over the open refrigerator door and stare at the food, healthy and unhealthy, through a teary glaze. Winter break has always been heavy for me, emotionally and physically. My teammates, athletic trainer, and coaches would joke about how much weight I would gain over the break. It was always in good fun – everyone knew from past seasons that by the end of January, I would be back at my “fighting weight” and aesthetically ready for the beaches at our Spring Break destination. But this January feels different. Continue Reading…

Eating/Food, Family, Guest Posts

Starved

July 8, 2016
weight

By Vincent J. Fitzgerald

A week prior to my father’s arrival for his annual ten day visit, I am stricken by a plague of hyperawareness about my shape, and as much as I long to see him, I fear judgments to come. On the day of his arrival I am bloated with turmoil while I drive to pick him up from the airport. I have failed to reach his weight expectations, and a glance at my belly hanging over my seatbelt distracts me. At 44 years old, his approval of me maintains its pricelessness, and bearing extra weight is the same as presenting him with a subpar report card. To discern which way best hides my shame, I alternate pulling my shirt down, then rolling it up while I wait for him to exit the terminal. He struts out the door all swagger and smile while I suck in my gut until spleen hits spine. He scans me from afar, leering at my midsection, and I feel objectified.

My kiss on his cheek is a lone dividend of a childhood marred by paternal detachment, and I am grateful for it. When he pulls back to assess me, I cover my midsection with his carry on, and wonder how much baggage he brought with him this year. Body weight has become his obsession in recent years, but the central focus is my weight, not his own. He executes scrutiny the way narcissistic parents do, baking criticism within supportive suggestions, and belching health warnings to induce fear. On the ride back to my home, I try to update him about my kids, career, and impending nuptials, but zone out to complaints about his wife and professed love of his dogs. The conversation takes its inevitable turn towards all things gastronomic, and his saltiness seasons our dialogue at random intervals for the ensuing ten days. Continue Reading…

Eating/Food, Guest Posts, Young Voices

The Sweet, The Bitter, and The Wise

May 25, 2016
eating

Note from Jen Pastiloff, founder of The Manifest-Station. This is part of our Young Voices Series for Girl Power: You Are Enough. We are always looking for more writing from YOU! Make sure you follow us on instagram at @GirlPowerYouAreEnough and on Facebook here.

By Raisa Imogen

For a long time, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be happy. This seemed like a distant and shimmering answer, and something people couldn’t question. If I said I wanted to be a writer, people would ask me, rapid fire: What kind of writing? Do you want to go to grad school? That’s nice, but I meant what are you going to do for money? Saying I wanted to be happy could mean writing, or it could mean a white picket fence in the suburbs, or traveling the world, or eating granola in my bed. Whatever was underneath “happy,” it remained mine, and no one could question it.

I’ve spent this year studying abroad in Italy. It’s been a whirlwind of churches, fruit stands, and little old women dressed to the nines. I’ve lit a paper lantern and let it go across the Adriatic Sea. I’ve been invited in for coffee by a nun. I’ve walked through the underground city of Naples.

I was also in Paris during the terrorist attacks. I got bed bugs in Rome. I went through a breakup. I do not mean to present the highs and the lows as a balanced equation (I am well aware it would be a very, very privileged equation). I mean only to point to a few moments to say I have experienced extremes.

A year ago in my university’s newspaper, I wrote, “I conquered an eating disorder.” What I meant was that I didn’t use the margins of my notebooks to tally calories anymore. I could live with myself on the days I didn’t run six miles. I could eat an entire slice of cake on my birthday without wincing.

What I should have said was: I conquered an eating disorder once.

After Paris, I was anxious, all the time. I ate cartons of cereal instead of actually feeling sad. When I went grocery shopping, I bounced back and forth between milk brands and brightly stacked vegetables, disoriented, as if on a scavenger hunt without any clues. In between all of this, I was drinking espresso in Venice, watching sunsets, and coasting through the hills of Bologna on a Vespa.

I had little to no patience with myself- if I wasn’t happy now, in Italy, when would I be? How could I be re-facing an eating disorder when I had so many days here where I was not just happy but ecstatic, and overcome with gratitude?

You’d think re-facing something means that it would be a little easier to look in the eye. But this version of an eating disorder is different from the one I experienced at sixteen. It is both deeply familiar and also completely foreign. I have had to re-learn it. I have had to carve a new space.

Shame is what pulls you under. When my mom came to visit me in Italy, I said, I’m still struggling. Sometimes I’m scared. It was strange to be having this conversation in a hotel in Italy, a better version of the conversation we’d had four years ago in our living room in Chicago.

At the end of it, my mother said: I just want you to be happy. The sentiment was beautiful! Who doesn’t want to be happy? Who doesn’t want their parents to want that for them? For the record, my mother is incredible. But I was mad as hell. There is something unsatisfying and hollow about the word happiness. It’s impossible to pin down. It doesn’t capture much.

And yet, a big part of me wanted to say, “But I am happy.” It wasn’t a lie. Overall, I didn’t not feel happy, even while during the conversation I was crying and my face was covered in snot.

My mother wasn’t wrong in perhaps referencing the fact that I didn’t seem at peace. But why did I feel shame at admitting things were sometimes not so easy? Why was it so hard to admit that yes, I wasn’t always happy?

I think we are taught that happy means good and sad means bad. But in the Welsh language, the word “happy” first meant “wise.” “Satisfaction” comes from the same Indo-European root that gives us “sad.” Disorder, of whatever type, can co-exist with “goodness,” and illness can co-exist with health. Maybe some difficult things never go away, but we learn how to re-greet them, to pay attention, to maybe be a little bit more compassionate towards ourselves. Contradictions don’t equate to lies or hypocrisies. We can be kickass students, amazing friends, artists, athletes, parents, and partners, and within the context of being those things, we can struggle with what is painful, dark and difficult.

As the Italians say, Non ha il dolce a caro, chi provato non ha l’amaro. To taste the sweet, sometimes you must try the bitter. Meaning, you can have moments of light in a year of suffering, or moments of suffering in a year of light. You can wake up in Italy, or Spain, or Senegal or Chicago (or wherever you are) and see something painful rise within you, something you thought you left behind many places ago. Hardship, in however it manifests, can be a part of well-being.

We can be in awe of the world around us (and active participants) while also deeply in pain. Bearing witness to ourselves and all of our contradictions, learning to greet (often more than once) our struggles with compassion, and allowing room for pain is, sometimes, a lot of work. A lot of hard work, and often excruciatingly difficult. But it is worthwhile, and important, and worth stopping in the midst of our very busy lives to make space for and observe.

Raisa Imogen was born in Portland, Oregon, grew up in Chicago, and is currently studying at the University of Bologna in Italy. Her poetry can be found at www.raisaimogen.net and at The Kenyon Review.

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Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany Sep 17-24, 2016. There are 5 spaces left. This will be her only international retreat in 2016 and is her favorite retreat of the year. Email barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com asap. More info here. Must email first to sign up.

 

Join founder Jen Pastiloff for a weekend retreat at Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts Feb 19-21, 2016. Get ready to connect to your joy, manifest the life of your dreams, and tell the truth about who you are. This program is an excavation of the self, a deep and fun journey into questions such as: If I wasn’t afraid, what would I do? Who would I be if no one told me who I was? Jennifer Pastiloff, creator of Manifestation Yoga and author of the forthcoming Girl Power: You Are Enough, invites you beyond your comfort zone to explore what it means to be creative, human, and free—through writing, asana, and maybe a dance party or two! Jennifer’s focus is less on yoga postures and more on diving into life in all its unpredictable, messy beauty. Note Bring a journal, an open heart, and a sense of humor. Click the photo to sign up.

beauty, Eating/Food, Guest Posts, Self Image, Self Love, self-loathing, The Body

Weightless

January 1, 2016

By Kara Waite

Birth control didn’t make me fat, but the teacher who confiscated my pill pack said it was probably to blame for my weight. I wanted to tell her I hadn’t needed a prescription to pile on the pounds. Instead, I said nothing and went back to the county health department after school for another free sample. I needed it because my boyfriend, with whom I’d not yet had sex, said he didn’t like condoms. This was not, at the time, a red flag.

Even at fifteen, I was still, in so many ways, a little girl. Actually, I was never little. I burst out of my mother and into the world at a substantial weight of 7 lbs. 9 oz. (22 inches long), and save for a few periods of alarmingly rapid shrinkage, I’ve been growing ever since. In fact, these days my ass is easily twice the size it was back then – back when what I saw when I looked in the mirror was not “slightly pudgy” so much as Jabba the Hut.

The first time I went on a diet, I didn’t know it was a diet. I just knew that, instead of enjoying those shrink-wrapped slices of Velveeta out in the open, I needed to do it in my bedroom closet. I remember the way they melted and stuck to the roof of my mouth, the way they felt sliding down my gullet in un-chewed lumps after I’d wrapped them around filched Hershey’s Kisses and swallowed fast because I thought I’d heard someone coming.

My grandmother was the one to inform me that my weight was problematic. “You need to watch what you eat,” she told me. This made some sense because, unlike the mouth she was always telling me to watch, my food was at least something I could see without looking in the mirror. So I took her advice literally and started making artwork with my lunch. I’d bite my crackers and turkey into shapes – Christmas trees, my initials, a basketball and a hoop. I watched and I watched and I watched. I squinted and studied and nothing happened.

Well, except that I, of course, ate my creations and got fatter.

It wasn’t just that I was fat. I was tall, too, but no one cared about that. The day we got weighed in P.E. the entire class gathered round the scale, watching the nurse slide past eight-five, past ninety, past ninety-five, not stopping till she hit one hundred and six. It was of no interest that I was taller than any of the boys, taller, in fact, than even the nurse. No one wondered or worried about the view from five-foot-two. My weight, on the other hand, was the source of much preoccupation and discussion.

“One hundred six divided by two is fifty-three,” said my best friend, “you’re two of me.” It didn’t occur to her that this was the wrong thing to say and it didn’t (fully) occur to me either – not then, anyway.

The next week, the circus came to town and we went with her mother and my grandmother, two women who wore their bony asses like Olympic medals. They bought us each a bag of peanuts and, because I was ungraceful in addition to chunky, I dropped mine. I begged for another bag, but my grandmother said no. I asked my friend to share, but, being eight-years-old, she also said no. Continue Reading…

Christmas, depression, Eating/Food, Guest Posts

Winter

December 18, 2015

By Nicole Gibbs

I pulled my dirty, fifteen year old mom van into the farthest corner of the parking lot. The same spot where years ago I’d waited for my connect, and later where I’d waited for people who were willing to buy my bad dope at a jacked up price. I turned the car off and glanced around, those old instincts on full alert. I reached down and brought the brown paper bag into my lap. I pulled out the greasy “Siracha Burger,” the box of curly fries. I made sure no one was looking and I tried to ignore the tendrils of guilt that teased at the edges of my consciousness as I bit into the spicy, salty burger.

Halfway through the guilt won out for a few moments and I paused, taking some deep breaths, my throat tight with food.

What was I doing?

I was a vegetarian!

I was on a diet!

Oh jeez. Quit being so uptight, I told myself. It’s one goddamn burger. It’s not the end of the world.

I didn’t want to keep eating it. I hated myself more with each bite. But it tasted so good! I couldn’t stop.

What was wrong with me?

What was the difference between this and the drugs? I mean, of course I wasn’t going to abandon my kids and go live on the streets so that I could eat Jack in the Box all the time. That would be ridiculous. But really, at the core, what was the difference? I used to sit in this same parking lot, watching the same city bus roll by, the Mexican families sitting at the Mc Donald’s across the street with too many kids running around, the same dirty street, the same fear of being seen, the same war going on inside of me, the same self-loathing afterwards. On a scientific level it’s all the same too, I suppose. I put this stuff into my body that’s really bad for me and it lights up all those dopamine receptors and I feel good for a minute and then I feel bad and want more. Continue Reading…

Eating Disorders/Healing, Eating/Food, Guest Posts, healing

Tales of a Food Restrictor

December 10, 2015

By Anne Falkowski

At 45, I made the decision to face my disordered eating. It was a dark creepy crawly which followed me around for more than half my life. (It’s not unusual for women in their 40s or older to have untreated eating disorders for twenty, thirty or even forty years.

I decided it was time to let go.

I could do this. But I needed help.

I called the experts and landed in an office the color of fog and ocean. The colors of healing. This was a place for anorexics, bulimics and eating disorders not otherwise specified (like myself).

There was a large rubber plate of fake food next to the tissue box. On this fake plate was a mound of beans, a thick slice of bread, a pile of broccoli and an unidentified piece of meat. I liked to run my fingers over the beans and feel their lumpiness.

It was in this ocean room, while I fingered the beans, when Mark, the therapist, told me I was a food restrictor.

“Are you sure? Wouldn’t I be thin if I did that?”

As always, I was hyperaware of my body which refused to be the size I wanted it.

“Well, not necessarily.”

His hand reached up to touch his tie. Mark always wore a shirt and tie. He was twenty years younger than me. At first his youth threw me. How could a clean cut baby-faced twenty something counsel me, a middle aged woman, who had been dealing or not dealing with disordered eating probably as long as he had been alive?

He told me that we cannot pick the bodies we want.

I wanted to be slim, slender, thin, and bony.

“It doesn’t work that way. We don’t get to choose our bodies.” He held my gaze. Continue Reading…

Eating Disorders/Healing, Eating/Food, Guest Posts, Self Image, Truth

The Skinny on Mary.

January 3, 2015

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By Teri Carter.

Mary is skinny. Mary has a trick. Mary shows up late for lunch, which means she has no time to order or no time to eat. Both work. Mary’s just turned 50 and she is always talking food: You would not believe what I stuffed in my face at that barbecue! Your bag of Cool Ranch Doritos is in danger. I’m ordering a cheeseburger and fries! But Mary, who owns an investment firm, is an expert at moving her food around a round plate and she always gets a to-go box for her barely-touched burger and fries. Can’t wait to pound this down at midnight. She thinks we believe her, so we pretend we do. We all have our tricks.

In an August 2012 article for Forbes, Lisa Quast quotes a research study: 45 to 61 percent of top male CEOs are overweight, compared to only 5 to 22 percent of top female CEOs. Then, in her closing paragraph, Ms. Quast goes inexplicably blasé: “As for me, I’m off to the gym with my husband for weight training and a two mile run. Then I’ll probably have a veggie salad for dinner so I can keep my body mass index at the low end of the normal range. As these studies demonstrate, thin is in for executive women – although I’d prefer to think if it as ‘healthy’ being in.” Her ending leaves me cold. I go back to the beginning.

Continue Reading…

Eating Disorders/Healing, Eating/Food, Guest Posts, healing

You’re so Beautiful, But…

March 25, 2014

You’re so beautiful, But…By Erin Jay.

A while ago, I was having dinner with my dad.  This is an anomaly in and of itself, but it happened.  I remember that night clearly because I cried.  Crying is a rarity for me; especially in front of people.

I don’t remember what brought on the statement.  I don’t remember what led into it.  All I remember is sitting there, across from the dad, eating some chilli, and my father spoke these words to me, “If you just did something about your weight. I don’t know what I did to deserve two daughters, two beautiful daughters – your sister and you… I don’t know what I did to deserve you.  You’re both so beautiful… but if you would just lose some weight…”

Just lose some weight?

As he said this, I fought the tears and nodded my head in understanding like a good little girl. You have to understand, quick delivery is not in my father’s repertoire; I wasn’t sitting before him shamefully fighting off tears for the short amount of time it took you to read that sentence or took me to type it.  And whatever he meant is not what I heard.  Or maybe I heard exactly what he meant.  Or maybe he didn’t even know what he meant.  But all I heard was “you would be so beautiful if you lost some weight”.

I was afraid to take another bite of food during that meal.

I was already struggling with an eating disorder.  I’d developed erratic eating in high school; my best friend and I would commonly walk up to the store at our lunch period and buy nothing but clodhoppers and diet Pepsi, or packages of Fudgee O cookies; three or four nights a week, I made and ate my own dinner before either parent was home from work because I had to be at my karate dojo for training at suppertime, which for me meant Kraft dinner, pizza, soup or fries.  This disordered eating worsened when numbing the pain of the next chapter of my life seemed to only be possible while using food to gain a sense of control.  By the time this comment was made, I was caught in a vicious cycle of binging completely on sugar then starving myself for days. Slowly my weight crept up.

My father had never commented on my weight.  Home had always been a safe place for me as far as that went.  I was heartbroken.  I was embarrassed. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to say things that I would never say to my parents, in tones I would never dare speak to them in. I wanted to ask him if he knew how much I thought about how I looked; how those thoughts had completely overtaken my mind on an hourly basis.  Or if he knew how healthily I tried to eat.  Or if he knew how impossible it seemed to be to lose weight.  I wanted to tell him that he was the worst kind of father, to say something like that to his daughter, who he is supposed to think is beautiful regardless.  I wanted to be angry at him, but I was just ashamed that he was so disappointed in me.

I still don’t like eating in front of my father.

Erin

Erin Jay is a jack-of-all trades with seemingly endless opportunities to take on “odd jobs” including photography, writing, hair-styling, pet-sitting and tutoring. She is a soccer fanatic and Starbucks addict who could never live far from the water. Erin is the co-founder of uglyducklingsinc.com a podcast co-host and kindness lover who aspires to become a proper adult.

Jennifer Pastiloff is a writer living on an airplane. She’s the founder of The Manifest-Station. She’s leading a weekend retreat in May to Ojai, Calif as well as 4 day retreat over Labor Day in Ojai, Calif. All retreats are a combo of yoga/writing for all levels. She and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. Check out her site www.jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up is Costa Rica followed by Dallas, Seattle and London.

She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

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Eating Disorders/Healing, Eating/Food, healing, Inspiration

F*ck You Devil. The Diary of an Anorexic.

August 2, 2012

“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” ― Charles Baudelaire

Looking through my old journal I find myself at a set of train tracks which if I choose to cross will take me to the dusty town I used to live in, filled with nights of pressing my ribs to make sure they still protruded and days of heavy eyelids from not sleeping. If I choose to cross the tracks I can go back to the barren land of self-abuse and hatred with it’s county jail filled with only one occupant: me.

If I choose to cross the tracks I will meet again with the devil and shake his hand firmly, look him square in the eye and say politely: Fuck Off.

So, here I go. I am at a set of tracks and I will cross them and go back to that dusty little town so I can take back what I left there. So I can grow and expand and share with anyone what is truly possible in terms of healing and discovery.

I will not go back to that town and live there. I will go back and reclaim what was mine.

I will share what I found with you, there in that old cowboy town.

8/2/1995
 

I am already dreading waking up tomorrow morning because I wake up so depressed. Tomorrow I will NOT wake up depressed. I refuse! I am in control of my life. Of my emotions. No more waking up depressed, no more binge eating. I am the only person in control of my life. No more feeling sorry for myself. 

Tomorrow I will not feel guilty for all the food I ate tonight. I will MAYBE eat some fruit. I will not be sad. I will not obsess. I will get in shape and lose weight. I won’t night eat anymore. I am certainly in control. I am NOT fat.

Why do I hate myself so much? Why am I so self destructive? Why do I feel so down and unworthy? Why do I feel so ugly? Why do I obsess over food? Why do I have such a fucked up relationship with food? 

Well… No More!

I am so bloated. I am not eating anything else today. All week I ate so much. Pasta, potato chips, Indian food. Raisins! My new diet starts today. My does my face look so fucking ugly? 

I don’t want to be this way. I want to be normal.

From now on I can deal with hunger. I’ll eat my own hunger.
 

~~~~

There is nothing alive in that town anymore. There are some cobwebs and old bones and skeletons. I took back any leftover parts of me that remained back in that town on a dirt road on the other side of the tracks. I have crossed back over an cobwebbed brought back with me those pieces I would like to share in the name of What Is Possible.

So what is possible? 

~Joy.

~Healthy relationships.

~Eating without feeling guilty. In fact, eating with bliss!

~Looking back at old diaries and not recognizing them, as if you are reading fiction.

~Waking up happy.

~Not determining your worth by your weight.

~Letting go of old broken mind tapes.

~ Inspiring others to heal.

and so so much more.

I found this paragraph in the same entry form 1995 and I thought it was very hopeful as it is an utterly true prediction of who I am today, in 2012.

8/2/1995
 
I want to be happy and secure and not worry and have friends and enjoy life. I am the only one in control of my life. I, not anyone else, am the only person who can make myself happy. I am the only possible person who can be in control of my life.

~~~~~~

That was a small glimmer of what was always inside me, even back then in that dusty town in 1995, a small glint of light appeared if only for a moment as if reflected off the back of car. It may have taken me 17 years or so to trace the source of that light but I can safely say I have captured it, bottled it and am reproducing it here for you.

You can heal. Whoever you are.

In 1995 I wrote I am the only person in control of my life. Maybe I read it in a book, or maybe I really wanted to believe it, who knows. I certainly didn’t believe it at the time. I didn’t live it.

The devil, not me, controlled my life back then.

So Fuck You Devil. Fuck You Anorexia. Fuck You any voice in the head that says You will always be this way. You will always be stuck.

The devil tries to come back every now and again, sometimes in disguise. But I am armed now. And ready.

He cannot trick me into thinking he doesn’t exist anymore. I have seen him.

And I have beat him down.

 

Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, and more. Jen leads her signature Manifestation Retreats & Workshops all over the world. The next retreat is to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: SeattleLondon, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Tucson & The Berkshires (guest speaker Canyon Ranch.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

Eating/Food, poetry

Things That Break Easily. More on Anorexia.

July 22, 2012

I wrote this when I was 19. Clearly I was in the throes of anorexia.

                                    Things That Break Easily

What is Inevitable: The window men having to come and install a new window to replace the shattered one.

They smell of bacon but are kind and helpful. They ask no questions.

They Have Seen It All.

In and out, noiseless as shock.

They cart away broken shards, slinging glass like water ,

Commenting: close those tree branches come close to your window,

good glass like this could scratch easily, even break with wind.

Maybe someone should think about cutting that tree down.

~~~

What can a body achieve?

What limits can we really take it to?

I was a tree!

I stood all night looking in my own room

dipping on, the wind pulling me this way and that.

I watched neighbors drink and knit in my new tree body

as a pile of sticks curled and slept in my bed.

But even this, this is not much.

I couldn’t unearth myself,

I couldn’t slither out of bark

and into the apartment across the way.

I could not become timeless.

Or as heartbreaking as the man hunched over his piano with the random tufts of hair.

Not into my past or anyone else’s present,

I could only slip into the earth.

I could not fit my body in the head of the sewing needle.

Looking out at the world through nothing but a perfect steel slit. 

Perfection is Perspective.

Eating/Food, healing, MindBodyGreen

5 Ways Yoga Helped Me Beat My Eating Disorder via MindBodyGreen.

June 25, 2012

I love being a Wellness Expert on MindBodyGreen.

Please click here to read my latest about how yoga helped me heal from my eating disorder. This is an important post for me and I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share with anyone you who who is suffering or who needs hope.

Here’s an excerpt:

For many years I hated myself. It started much earlier in my life, but, once I was 17 and I discovered the addictive drug of anorexia, my self-hatred grew and flourished like a proud peacock. It was my badge of honor.

I couldn’t be with people. Someone would be talking to be and all I would be thinking about is: What did I eat today? What did I eat that? Why am I so fat? How will I burn it off? Maybe if I exercise for 4 hours I will be ok. I am a monster. I will not eat at all the rest of the week to make up for what I ate today.

Please click here and read the rest…..

 

A pic of me when I was very anorexic and lived on applesauce. Click to read post.

Eating/Food

Being Anorexic.

June 22, 2012

I found this poem I wrote when I was 19. Ain’t bad for a 19 year old! However, it is heartbreaking. I was severely anorexic and I share it again to provide hope to anyone suffering. The poem is about my eating disorder and how I wanted to fade away. I wish you all Healing. Please reach out if you need me.

Treeness by Jen Pastiloff age 19

Suspended by thin wrists, I hang,

swinging, branches snapping.

I can hear the snapping.

I am ready for it.

Its in my bones.

My feet don’t touch the ground, they dangle

soles slightly above the earth.

The branch: a thick arm, muscular,

strapping and mighty,

lets me grow into it,

to enter its treeness as I might enter water or age.

Casually it absorbs me.

My branch is bending, now closer than usual to the ground,

it aches to spring away from me.

I can feel it resisting, tearing to free

its weight from mine,

From my mass, this birch lurches.

Its veins, bulge out of its tree skin

Like little faces trying to press their way through wood.

It wants to pull away from me, from my arms

now covered with leaves and bark.

It sees my ugliness, realizes it is becoming part of me, I of it.

I am breaking it.

I am breaking.

For a while, I am still,

not yet rooted.

Feet still arched over the earth,

I talk to my tree.

You are lucky, I tell it, you can live on air.

The tree is tired,

And sags like an uneven breast,

One limb lies flat on the stomach of the tree.

My body attached to unflinching tree fingers.

Its humanness astounds me.

It wants to know if I’ll fall off soon?

And I will.

 

My bones too are snapping, I tell it, ready to break.

Pale and brittle: they lack me.

Somehow they can’t carry me.

Soon my own breast will drop heavy,

against me.

Slowly I am the cedar, willing myself to bark,

to puncture the earth, to push forward with no sense

of leaving or growing.

I will fall off like old cells, bracelets,

people trying to keep to a certain rhythm,

bodies on horseback.

Like them, I will fall out and off,

by accident, or at night while asleep, or without realizing it.

I will slip into the hole in the earth,

swimming through dark, wet mud,

stones, roots.

But while here I dangle

pendulous, I tell the tree what I am,

what has made me, why my bones break,

and why, suspended by thin wrists,

I hang.

Eating/Food, Inspiration, Owning It!, Self Image

If You Are Looking For Hope, You Must Read This.

June 14, 2012

How honest are you willing to be with yourself?

I am going to share some stuff with you from my upcoming book.

Some deeply personal stuff.

The reason I am going to share this deeply personal stuff is because I have become an Inspirational Speaker, a force of Positivity, a Mentor, and someone who loves themselves. I lead sold out Manifestation Yoga® Retreats and workshops around the world! And, I want you all to understand just how dark my life was, just how much I overcame to be exactly where I am right now, just how far I have traversed through very muddy terrain.

And where am I?

I am at a place called Happy.

It’s unsettling to look through these old journal entries and not be able to recognize any part of me, but it is also extremely exciting not to recognize any part of me. This looking through my past business is firming up my knowing that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

I hope it inspires you.

It certainly inspires me to see how far I have come.

I will be damned if I cannot provide hope for anyone suffering RIGHT NOW.

If I made it to the other side, which I indeed have, YOU can too.

I was severely anorexic and depressed for years on end. Please read this earlier post to understand more.

I hope that you read the journal entries I am about to show you from years ago and feel a surge of Hope. 

How can you not feel hopeful?

I want you to know how sad and unhappy and anorexic I truly was so you can really appreciate where I am in my life right now. How I got so un-stuck. 

You will, of course, have to buy my book…..

It’s hard for me to look at these old posts but I want to share them with you. There are pages and pages and books upon books of saying the same things over and over and over….

Look at me now.

I made it, guys.

I made it.