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  • Lisa Arshawsky

Eating Disorders

30 million people suffer from eating disorders in the US. 50 - 80% of those are thought to be genetic. That kills me to think my daughter has the potential for that path. I grew up in an upper middle class Jewish family with home cooked meals and no focus on my body yet shortly after I got sober at 19, my critical focussed turned on my body, I dove into many years of disordered eating and Dysmorphobia. I did anything to maintain my weight and became obsessed with working out and trying the newest diet. There is a lot of shame and secrecy that goes along with this underworld. Its so unglamorous to reveal it even now, but many people silently suffer while continuing to project a different image. When I got pregnant and found out I was having a girl, I swore that no matter what, I would never discuss my body in any negative way in front of her. And from that time to now, I began to heal my mind and way of eating. It is always present and takes a daily vigilance to not let my mind run towards self-hatred or a compulsion to fill the void.

Luckily I have been in sobriety, therapy and yoga since 1989. Since day 1 I have always had a deep yearning to know my layers. The moment I start to give voice to the escape is the moment I start to abandon myself. This is an opportunity to sit it through the discomfort I am running from, and it usually dissipates. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly but that discomfort passes.

This is a lifelong process and at times I am committed to the healing for my daughter and sometimes I do this for myself. But do this I must because whatever I turn to, to fill that void...whether its food or the obsession or giving voice to the cruel task master, it never fills me. It never completes. Its just an endless road of nothing. Its only when I stop and stare at the darkness that I have the chance for freedom. That's where my breath begins. I am grateful for the teachings I have been given.

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