Guest Post: Lize Brittin’s Anorexia Recovery as a Runner Part 2

(Read Part 1 of Lize Brittin’s journey here).

After 20 years of struggling, my life started to feel different. Over time, I was able to find joy again. I could run again without having to force myself to be at the top.

During this transition, I noticed a strong correlation between my thoughts and my speech and how I was feeling. The more I switched my focus away from food, calories and miles, the more I could allow myself to be in the moment, and this was a way for me to temporarily forget that I was anorexic. I aimed at avoiding triggering statements like, “I feel fat” and instead tried to uncover what this symptom meant. Was I tired, afraid or lonely? Did this translate into feeling uncomfortable? Digging for the cause of the symptom rather than focusing on the symptom itself was essential to my recovery.

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Guest Post: Lize Brittin’s Anorexia Recovery as a Runner Part 1

I am honored to have Lize Brittin as a guest on the blog. She is the author of Training on Empty which chronicles her struggles with, and recovery from, anorexia nervosa as a runner. Rated one of the top mountain runners in the world in the 1980s, she has worked in careers ranging from teacher to chef to assistant manager of an art gallery, and has also hosted her own radio show.

When I first got the offer to write a guest post for the blog Running in Silence, I was both excited and honored. There are so many topics I would like to address, but I feel I should break the post down into a limited number of points I believe will help others most. Since I have already shared my story in my book, Training on Empty, I decided to give only a brief history of my career as a runner. The reason why I feel this is necessary at all is to show not just what I have survived but how my past played a role in both the eating disorder and my recovery.

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Eating Disorders Prey on Men, Too

If you can imagine how tough it is for women to be open about their eating disorders, just imagine how tough it is for men. I recently asked a follower to share his experience here on the blog. I encourage anyone who struggles with an eating disorder or disordered eating to speak up when you feel ready–even if it’s just by letting it out through this blog. Feel free to reach out to me at runninginsilence@gmail.com.

I found Rachael and her blog a year ago, and every now and then we’ve talked about our eating disorders, specifically in the realm of raw food and bingeing. Like her, I don’t particularly fit the descriptions of bulimia, anorexia, or binge eating. At this point in my ED, I sway between binge eating and orthorexia. The 80-10-10 diet is always my fallback after a long 1 or 2 week bingeing episode.

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A Mother’s Struggle to Free Her Son from Anorexia (Guest Post by Bev Mattocks)

I’d like to introduce a guest blogger Bev Mattocks. I first discovered her blog about three months ago, only to find out that it was a blog-turned-book. I was able to read Mattock’s book, Please Eat… A Mother’s Struggle to Free Her Teenage Son from Anorexia. It helped to see the struggle from the perspective of a parent, especially as my own parents have learned to deal with my eating disorder.

In the second chapter of my book Please Eat… A Mother’s Struggle To Free Her Teenage Son From Anorexia I describe my pride at watching my 15-year son, Ben, win the 1500 metre race at the school sports day in July 2009. At the time Ben (who lives in the UK) was into a whole range of sports, not just running. Then, over the summer of 2009, his sporting activities got even more intense. He was swimming, running, and working out at a local gym every day – and more. With this came a whole new dedication to ‘healthy eating’, especially fat-free food. Ben quickly became an expert at slimming down recipes, cutting out the ‘baddies’ from his diet, and examining the nutritional content of food packaging in microscopic detail.

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