"Perhaps in spite of self-care’s vague description, wellness, and lifestyle businesses have capitalized on its more consumable qualities. Social feeds are inundated with advertisements for self-care products over the most recent holiday season... One-click checkout promises convenient and instant self-care...." Published 13 October 2023.
"How can we know if “clean” eating is harming our mental health? Only in being honest with ourselves. Are we losing sleep tracking macros? Are we paralyzed with fear for a dinner plan weeks or days away?" There's no shame in reaching out for help. Published 28 April 2023.
"So much of recovery is inward and personal, I hadn’t realized that many of my social behaviors were another facet of the eating disorder’s control. Only by letting go of the people-pleasing and the pressure of unrealistic expectations was I finally able to set my own priorities and boundaries. I like to say recovery gave me my life back but that isn’t entirely true; it gave me the opportunity to build a new one." Published 26 January 2023.
"I know now that there is no point in pretending like everything is “fine” in recovery... My support system was relieved I was getting healthy and growing back into the lively me they knew and loved. During this time, I had to sit with the irrational fears my eating disorder threw my way, trying to make me insecure and pull me back in. It criticized my new body and outfits. It told me I wasn’t doing good work." Published 29 November 2022.
"The eating disorder cost problem is two-fold: they are hard to treat, and are chronic in nature, with an average gap of six years between onset of symptoms and receiving care. I can’t say I’m surprised by this average, because myself and many others spent years convincing ourselves we aren’t sick enough for help." I wrote this 1 year and 3 months into recovery, and am proud to be published 2 years and 1 month along. Published 25 November 2022.
Flying to Dublin from Milan in Oct '21
I wrote this angry-at-the-world ending before it got published: "By focusing only on the physical we are missing the bigger point. There’s more to digest here. Socioeconomic divides make healthy food choices, access to doctors, and mental healthcare, an impossibility for many. Even for those who can afford it, they may face racial and social stigmas. Welcome to America, where the new Dream is to be “healthy” (malnourished and thin), in the land of the Free, the Fat, and the Mentally Unwell. Britain eating disorder warriors, do you have any tips for your not-so-star-spangled American friend?" Published 11 Nov 2022.
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"I love yoga. I’m all here for it. Comfy clothes, gentle poses. I love me a good happy baby, not concerned with my looks. I’ll let you decide what’s best for your movement regimen, but I want to talk about yoga discourse in eating disorder recovery." Published 22 September 2022.
"I didn’t think anyone could possibly understand that while I believed it was necessary to leave my eating disorder behind, committing to recovery was still a painful decision. I wanted to grieve my eating disorder, which in many ways had become like a best friend, albeit a very toxic and manipulative one." Published 21 September, 2022
A poem I wrote on a run (by whispering out loud over and over to remember the lines) in March inspired me to frame strength as what it means in recovery. "Without fear, Mental math... ED, let me be, I’m mesmerized by the new me... In the end, without my best friend, Numbers rewind, I can run again." Published 16 August 2022.
Promo for AKEDA's new IFT (intensive family care) program alongside UCSD. I may not be a parent... but... I know what it's like to make my parent fear for their child's life. The most rewarding responses to my essays have come from parents. Thank you all for supporting your wonderful kid. Keep going. Published 11 August 2022.
"I now accept that my mental illness is just that, an underfunded medical mystery. It’s not my fault, and certainly not a measure of my self-worth or strength... No longer am I bitterly willing to suffer for the sake of stubborn struggling. I am open to receiving help." Published 4 Aug 2022.
"Reconnecting with my dog was one of those heightened, wonderful, and shocking emotional moments post numb eating disorder haze... the ultimate sign I was doing the right thing in healing... and found it remarkably cathartic to see her get excited about every meal." Published 28 July 2022.
"You do you and your diet, your hot girl summer, your “nature’s cereal.” That’s your business, but I sincerely hope you aren’t doing it because you fear “fat.” Whether you are or aren’t, let’s not discuss it at the table. Instead, let’s pull up a chair for health at every size."
Published 11 July 2022.
"There are various ways... depending on your relationship. My family members were direct... I would still be their sister/daughter at the end of it. I’m grateful to them now for seeing how trapped I was in my eating disorder. But when I was sick...I wanted to protect my eating disorder because I couldn’t rationally comprehend survival without it." Published 13 June 2022.
Wellness has become a $1.5T industry globally in everything from sleep, mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, and appearance to health.
"The industry wraps diet culture in aesthetic packaging to distract from its often non-medical health advice and promotion of restrictive behaviors."
Published 10 June 2022.
"The eating disorder instills in us a set of beliefs and rules to be followed. As the disease progressed, my personality shrunk into a withdrawn husk of who I was before..."
"Honesty blooms the day someone admits out loud that they need help. The recovery battle requires constantly defying the eating disorder’s manipulation." Published 1 June 2022.
My eating disorder made me a person of many faces and created a secret life. Eating “normally” in front of friends, being “easy-going,” never talking about my anxiety, having impassioned hobbies, and more. But there was the other face, the one that hid, lied, measured, worried, obsessed, calculated, feared. This essay exposes that secret me. Published 6 May 2022.
"Because I and my partner had a difficult time finding resources to add perspective for ED survivor’s partners, I wrote you this letter." Thank you for really seeing me. Published 21 April 2022.
As an ex-athlete and anorexia survivor, I'm unnerved by the pandemic-driven boom in fitness influencers and social media trends (hot-girl-summer I'm looking at you). In recovery I've reconciled "how diet culture has poisoned the way our culture views self-worth in relation to food and body size." Published 14 April 2022.
In four years I've lived on three continents. Before that, during the first half of my decade long struggle with anorexia, I was constantly traveling for sports and family. Nothing gets me out of my head quite like being in an unfamiliar place, but that doesn't mean the anorexia goes away too. Published 12 April 2022.
Body changes and unspoken struggles of restrictive eating disorder recovery, published 28 March 2022.
During weight gain and waves of what felt like never-ending extreme hunger, teaching myself about these changes was instrumental to avoiding relapse during weight restoration.
Heading into remission, but coming to terms with the lifelong diagnosis. Eating disorders don't go away simply because we stop using behaviors. Dealing with stigma, education, anxiety, and the pressing need to address the rise in ED cases during the pandemic. Published 23 March 2022.
Op-ed on college life and varying cultures published 22 March 2020 after evacuating Hong Kong twice due to protests and the COVID-19 pandemic.
A letter written to myself to Keep Going on 6 month recovery mark (30 March 2021) published 5 Jan 2022.
"Recovery is all about feeling this fear and reconciling it, by naming it and doing it anyway. It’s these little rebellions against our eating disorders that separate us from it and eventually give us our lives back."
Sharing my journey to recovery, published 25 Feb 2022 in honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
I'm incredibly sad, distressed, and all the other feelings because NEDA has seen a 107% increase in calls since the pandemic began. Last year during NEDA week I wanted to express my solidarity for those going through an eating disorder. But I couldn't find the words to share what I was going through, how irrevocably it changed my life. This year, I was able to start embracing it.