Who is Colleen?
Survivor. Runner. Dog-Lover. Wellness-Enthusiast.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Here’s a little bit about me and the purpose of my blog…
I am a Health Education Specialist for Recovery Resources, an AMAZING non-profit organization based in Cleveland, Ohio devoted to helping people with mental illness, alcoholism, drug and other addictions. On top of being a health educator I am also a Wellness Coach where I focus on Body Image Intuitive Eating Coaching.
I have my Masters in Public Health from Kent State University with a specialization in in social and behavior sciences. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in Public Relations with a minor in Health Promotion.
I am recovering from a battle with Anorexia Nervosa and Orthorexia that has consumed nearly 3/4 of my life. I was dually diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anorexia Nervosa at the mere age of 11. I struggled for quite a few years with my mental illnesses and was deemed “recovered” in middle school, then relapsed a bit, then recovered again… I put quotation marks around “recovered,” because though my weight was back to normal, I still struggled with food for many years.
I was never actually diagnosed with Orthorexia, mainly because I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me at the time, it is a very new disorder (still not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM) and doctors do not diagnose patients with it because of how new it is. But, I read about this disorder and realized that my extreme obsession and limitation of foods was not healthy and was indeed typical of an Orthorexic…
The day I deemed myself “recovered” from Orthorexia was on my 24th Birthday, when I had a cupcake for the first time in YEARS (haven’t had cake, cookies, white bread, or any other type of food I saw as “unhealthy”) and felt no guilt afterwards. I slowly started reintroducing my favorite foods that I had sworn from for so many years because they were “unhealthy” or would make me “fat.” It’s an ongoing journey through my recovery.
One of the main things that has truly kept me from relapse is RUNNING. Running has helped me realize that in order to be at my best, perform well and to be in shape, I need to nourish my body with my once enemy, FOOD. Running has also been a form of therapy for me.
I am currently writing a book based on how running has helped me through my recovery and has truly prevented me from relapse. I would LOVE to become a motivational speaker and carry my message about accepting your body the way it is, that recovery from an eating disorder is POSSIBLE, and that running can truly be part of healing.
Purpose of this Blog
In the more metaphorical sense, “My Marathon 2 Recovery” entails that recovery is not a SPRINT. You cannot be anorexic or bulimic one day and then the next be fully recovered. This is true for ANY type of recovery, be it alcohol or any other substance abuse or any type of physical or mental illness. Eating disorders are mental illnesses and they do not just simply go away. Instead, it’s a journey, it’s a MARATHON! Hence my blog’s motto:
“The road to recovery is not measured in pounds. It’s measured in miles.”
Part of the diagnosis of an eating disorder, such as anorexia, is based on a 15 percent below normal weight. However, once that person gains weight and is categorized as “normal” again, that does not mean they are RECOVERED. It simply means they have gained weight. Pounds do not measure recovery within the brain of an anorexic, or bulimic! Instead I use mileage to better describe the measurement of recovery because miles represent distance, how far one has come. That is what matters. This what my blog represents. How far I have come and will go.
My hope for this blog is multifaceted. I want those who may also be in recovery or in the midst of their battle with an eating disorder know that there is hope, that you too can experience the wonders of recovery! Another hope is to encourage people of all races, gender, sexual orientation, and ages to LOVE their body, no matter what society tells us! I want to start a revolution, a revolution of people loving their bodies and accepting themselves.
So, join me on my journey to recovery and acceptance, and hopefully you can reach it too!