Gain Life Over Losing Weight!
by: Lindsay Gemmell
What I lost while struggling with an eating disorder:
During Anorexia, I lost my sense of self. I lost relationships with my friends, my family, my ability to go to school, my ability to work, to dance and to think clearly. I lost all goals and dreams within my life. I lost a lot of weight, my joy and my health. I lost my voice. In total, I lost myself.
How my eating disorder has shaped me:
Struggling through the depths of an eating disorder, and coming out of one healthy, I have become a determined, courageous, passionate, brave and loving woman.
The best part of recovery is:
The best part about my recovery has been gaining back my life- my ability to feel happy! Relationships, recreation, family gatherings, MY VOICE! The ability to make my own decisions and live my life on my own terms.
What I am doing now:
I am the founder of Project brEAThe – an Eating Disorder awareness, prevention, and recovery campaign. I am hope for those struggling with an eating disorder, and their friends and family, that recovery IS possible! I am also in an amazing relationship with my boyfriend, Mark, and we are moving in together in a couple of weeks. I am applying for many jobs. My future looks bright!
How does Project brEAThe work to spread awareness of eating disorders?
Project brEAThe was inspired by my own recovery. Once I began to heal, my vision started to evolve - and now project brEAThe has grown into a great success.
I run a support group during the school year at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute in the Ottawa region. I do public speaking presentations at high schools, colleges and Universities, providing guidance to professionals wanting to learn more on how to support their students and patients. While people are on wait-lists for treatments, I am a support contact and eating disorders recovery coach. I have also designed Project brEAThe T-shirts, which are sold to raise money for the Eating Disorder clinic at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, Ontario and Homewood’s Eating Disorder program in Guelph, Ontario – both of which helped save my life. I also run an online support group for the campaign.
I chose recovery because:
I chose recovery because I was no longer willing to ‘live’ my life with an eating disorder. I chose to fight for recovery rather than give up on life, because I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my family behind to mourn my death. I chose recovery so that my life would equal my message to the world.
“Gain life over losing weight! An eating disorder doesn’t happen by choice but recovery does.”