Circumstances maintaining the virulence of eating disorders are in abundance: fashion magazines tout the ultra-thin, we’ve got a myriad of celebrity diets and pop-up ads declaring easy weight-loss without exercise, but the piece du resistance — pro-ana (pro-anorexia) sites celebrating and encouraging emaciation. In fact, when Caro died, it was a pro-ana site that posted her images with the tag line “die young, stay pretty.” On sites like this, recovery is the anti-goal.
Recovering from an eating disorder takes time, support, and patience. It takes acceptance of the fact that there will be good days, bad days, and days that fall in between. For me, it also takes the willingness to be transparent when transparency is usually not an option–this means I let someone know the tricks of the trade, so to speak, by sharing my “tells.” I have gleaned new ways and means of dealing with the lies my head tells me by being mindful about what I am feeling and thinking in relation to food. I engage in a loving-kindness practice when I eat, particularly when the day is rough. I regularly practice yoga, which directly brings my attention to my breath and body in a positive way. I share my experience, strength and hope whenever I can.
I’m deeply saddened by the death of Isabelle Caro. It reminds me of how precious our lives are and how invaluable it is to be healthy. Taking a step towards recovery has positive, life-changing consequences. Why enter another decade suffering needlessly? I encourage you to reach out, ask for help, and begin talking about what’s going on. I’d like to be able to look at Isabelle Caro as a beacon of change, not just a victim of this disease, her voice becoming a vehicle for awareness, encouraging us to get to a place of healing and recovery. Nothing is impossible!