PODCAST – EPISODE 5 OUT NOW!!!

Hi, everyone! Just an announcement that episode five of my podcast is now posted!

Here is the link: https://www.spreaker.com/user/eldeluigi/episode-5-nutrition-and-recovery

Hope you all enjoy! Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

xoxo

-E

​’Finding Elena’ NOW AVAILABLE

Well, here we are, my dear friends. I’m finally able to take a deep breath and say, “It’s finished! My book ‘Finding Elena‘ is NOW AVAILABLE.

OH, MY GOD. HOW COOL IS THAT? I AM BEYOND EXCITED FOR THIS RELEASE.

This book is a huge accomplishment for me. I have poured my life, my heart, and my soul into these pages and I am overwhelmed with excitement that it is finally published. The continuous work I have put in has finally paid off.

I am also very grateful to my family, my friends and my publishing team for all of their support, love, and efforts to make this book possible. I could not have done it without them. My family has been there for me every step of the way, and I could not be more in debt to them for everything they have done for me. My friends have been there for me and shown me so much love even when I was down, and I am grateful for their kindness. My publishing team has been diligently working hard to make sure my standards were met and that the book looks amazing.

I am just so thankful to be able to do this, and so blessed to be able to share it with all of you.

So here it is. ‘Finding Elena.’ My heart and soul splayed out on white pages for you. My everything in the grasp of your hands. Get your copy today!

Finding Elena is available on Createspace. Soon to be available on Amazon and Kindle. Here is the link: https://www.createspace.com/7164582

xoxo

-E

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Hey, everyone!!! I have an announcement to make. I have decided to start my own podcast. Super exciting!!! I hope you’ll all tune in when I post the link to my very first episode. I can’t wait to share it with you.

This podcast is going to be based on self-love and compassion for one’s own body; as well as some current struggles and accomplishments going on in my life. I will talk about recovery. I will talk about eating disorders and mental illnesses. I will speak of life and the journey through it. I will talk about what you want me to talk about. Hint! That’s where you say, “Hey Elena! I’d like to contribute a topic to your podcast!”

This podcast is going to be a bit of a learning experience for me since I have never done one before, but I promise to do my best and make it as smooth and enjoyable as possible for you guys. More details coming soon as well.

So, is everyone ready for the first episode? Who’s excited? *Raises hand* All of you! Good, I’m so glad. I can’t wait for it too.

-E

Self-love and Acceptance

To love your body for what it is and what it does for you is something that many people struggle with. In fact, I have only met one person who is okay and happy with themselves in my entire life. This is something that pains me because as a beautiful and talented human species, we should love ourselves for what our bodies are able to do.

Self-love. The act of loving your own person without question or judgment. Acceptance. The act of knowing what your body is capable of, and understanding what it is not able to do, and being okay with that; whatever that is.

For me, self-love and acceptance of myself have been a major struggle throughout my entire life. I never liked how I looked or what I wore or how I was. I still don’t. I look in the mirror and cringe at the fat that hangs from my stomach because I can’t control my binge-eating disorder.

My relationship with food has never been a good one. Ever since I was little, it has been a constant battle between eating the right foods and having control of the portions on my plate. It has also been a humiliating experience. Family members telling you to stop eating because you’re getting fat, family members taking food away from you because they know you’ll eat it. Family members saying you got bigger and need to lose weight. Family members always saying something about your weight or the food your eating or telling you to exercise or looking at you funny and lying to you about how you look. Yes, I have had it all.

I’m crying as I’m writing this because it is so painful. I have so much self-hatred for my impulsivity and lack of control with food. I have such a hard time admitting to myself and others that I need help with this. Although, just because I need help with it, Does NOT give people the right or the ability to say something to me about it. Those words that those family members said stung like acid in my eyes.

I know I have to accept myself the way I am at some point but I don’t know when that will be or how it will happen. I guess I’m just going to have to play the waiting game on that one. For now, I think I’m going to focus on self-love. I have a book about it, so I’m going to make an effort to read it and try to follow some of the suggestions that might be written in this book. I have yet to even crack it open and look at the inside cover. Not a good start but I’ll get there at some point… At least I hope I will.

To love yourself is a beautiful thing. I wish I could love all of me, but so far, I have only just started accepting minor imperfections of myself. I won’t go into details but accepting these imperfections is a HUGE step for me. I am so proud that I am able to be okay with these little perfect mistakes that are part of me and make me who I am.

Below are some photos that I believe are a fantastic start to spreading awareness about body positivity and self-worth.

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.” – Wear Your Label

I have shared these images previously on social media to convey a message that it’s okay to not be a size zero. It’s also okay to have cellulite and stretch marks. It’s all okay. And if you are a size zero and everywhere in between, I want you to know that it’s okay too. You are beautiful at any size. I am not a size zero, and I will probably never be a size zero, and that’s okay! I have friends that are a size zero, and I love them with all my heart. I also have friends that are not a size zero, and I also love them with all my heart.

For me, self-image is a large part of my insecurity, depression and social anxiety (thanks for that, BPD). But even though I don’t like what I see in the mirror, that does NOT negate the fact that I have beautiful qualities. The same goes for you. You are beautiful even though your eyes and your brain are trying to tell you that you’re not.

SO DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. THEY’RE BOTH LIARS.

Listen to me right now, at this very moment, you are the oldest you have ever been. You are also the most beautiful and developed that you have ever been. Do NOT let your mind wander to negative self-talk. Control your mind to think good thoughts about yourself and do NOT relapse. This is where the real work comes in. Loving yourself is hard work! Put in the time and do whatever you need to do to feel okay with yourself. You will not regret it, I promise.

Xoxo

-E

Because I am Continuing

To all of you who have diligently followed my everlasting journey with me, thank you. You give me the courage and the strength to write in an expressive way so others may understand the daily struggles of someone with a mental illness.

To those of you suffering, I am with you. I understand, and I am here. I am fighting for freedom and sanity along side you and I will not give up. I will support you with all of my beings; from the tips of my toes to the top of my head.

To my loving family, thank you for every sacrifice you make for me. I am forever in debt to your kindness and gentility towards me.

And finally, to my own self, keep going. The light at the end of your dark tunnel is just around the corner.

-E

Shame

She stuffs her face until she can’t breathe anymore. The food is barely chewed, more so swallowed in large amounts and in quick motions to try to finish it before someone sees her eating. She hates when people watch her eat. She feels like they’re staring at her and judging her. The more she eats, the more she craves. The more she craves, the more self-conscious she gets. The more self-conscious she gets, the harder it is for her to accept herself the way she is.

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“Binge eating disorder is a severe, life-threatening and treatable eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating. It is the most common eating disorder in the United States.” (National Eating Disorders Association, 2017)

Binge-eating. It’s an eating disorder that I have struggled with over the past year now. I was in remission from an episode of binge-eating a few years ago, but I have unfortunately relapsed into my old ways of self-destruction. This is a very sensitive topic for me to write about. It hurts me to the core of my being to share this, but I feel as though many other people who struggle or have struggled with an eating disorder would be able to relate.

I hate my body. Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to change it to look as perfect as a model’s. That’s my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in one of its many forms presenting itself inside my mind. But because of this total self-image distortion, I have continuously had a rough time with food. It is my greatest and most difficult vice to get rid of. No matter how much I try, I am not able to get rid of it forever. It keeps coming back, sneaking up on me when I least expect it; especially when I am triggered and find myself crippled by my emotions in an episode.

I cannot tell you how much this hurts me to say, but I have no self-control when it comes to food. I’m cringing at the fact that I just wrote that. This is what I hide behind my smile and my laugh every day. This is what hurts me deeply; slices right through my core and binds me to self-hatred. This eating disorder paired with my BPD has made my life almost unbearable.

I want to get better. I want to be Binge-Eating Disorder (BED) free. I want to be able to not have to worry about what people think of me as I eat in public. I want to be able to choose the right portion of food for my stomach so that I don’t over-indulge in foods that I should not regularly be eating. I want to have a healthy relationship with food.

Some of you may be thinking, ‘All this talk but no action.’ I know. I’m trying my best. Getting rid of an eating disorder is harder than it looks. You can’t just stop; sometimes you don’t even realize you’re in an episode and do it; it’s a mental reaction to pain; it takes years to overcome; many people have it.

IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.

To my fellow sufferers, we will get there. We will overcome our eating disorders. We may relapse, but as long as we get back on track, we will be okay. Do not be afraid, I accept you and love you for who you are, flaws and all. I am here suffering with you, and I will not let you down.

Xoxo

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Below are some statistics are taken from the National Eating Disorders Association website that gives a vivid description of how severe Binge-Eating Disorder can affect people:

  • “A 2007 study asked 9,282 English-speaking Americans about a variety of mental health conditions, including eating disorders. The results, published in Biological Psychiatry, found that 3.5% of women and 2.0% of men had binge eating disorder during their life. This makes BED more than three times more common than anorexia and bulimia combined. BED is also more common than breast cancer, HIV, and schizophrenia.
  • When researchers followed a group of 496 adolescent girls for 8 years until they were 20, they found: 5.2% of the girls met criteria for DSM5 anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. When the researchers included nonspecific eating disorder symptoms, a total of 13.2% of the girls had suffered from a DSM-5 eating disorder by age 20.
  • Combining information from several sources, Eric Stice and Cara Bohon found that
    Between 0.2% and 3.5% of females and 0.9% and 2.0% of males will develop binge eating disorder. Subthreshold binge eating disorder occurs in 1.6% of adolescent girls.
  • Research estimates that 28.4% of people with current BED are receiving treatment for their disease. 43.6% of individuals with BED at some point in their lives will receive treatment.
  • BED often begins in the late teens or early 20s, although it has been reported in both young children and older adults.
  • Approximately 40% of those with binge eating disorder are male.
  • Three out of ten individuals looking for weight loss treatments show signs of BED.”

“BED is one of the newest eating disorders formally recognized in the DSM5. Before the most recent revision in 2013, BED was listed as a subtype of EDNOS (now referred to as OSFED). The change is necessary because some insurance companies will not cover eating disorder treatment without a DSM diagnosis. The formal diagnostic criteria are:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    -Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.
    -A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).
  • The binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    -Eating much more rapidly than normal.
    -Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
    -Eating significant amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
    -Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
    -Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
  • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
  • The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.” (National Eating Disorders Association, 2017)

-E

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Source: National Eating Disorders Association. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder.