The Truth Will Set You Free

I’ve been getting more and more people inquiring about my nutrition. I am flattered by these inquiries and I am looking forward to sharing my tips and secrets with you. But there is one thing that has been holding me back. So I thought I would take this opportunity as a segue to finally expose my truth. Here is the brief version and I will elaborate more in the near future.

I have battled an eating disorder for almost twenty years now. I am still fighting the good fight, the difference is now, I am finally winning.

It began when I was 13 years old and now I am 32. It ruined my dreams. Crushed my family and many of my relationships. Damaged my health. Made me mentally unstable at times. Created anxieties. Made me quit believing in myself. Told me I was worthless, fat, ugly, and unlovable.

It was even responsible for a gripping drug addiction, which I eliminated, without undergoing treatment, around 3 years ago. How did I manage to do that? I started practicing MINDFULNESS. Hence the name Mindful Jess. Yoga played a big role too. They are a great compliment to one another.

The drug addiction went away but the eating disorder remained and only became stronger because I wasn’t using anymore. So I was using ED instead.

I have undergone two rounds of in patient treatment and been hospitalized several times for my eating disorder over the years. For many of the last twenty years I had given up hope that I would ever be well. I thought that I would be taking this ED to the grave with me.

I have consistently been in therapy for almost all of the twenty years. I see my current therapist weekly and she has been invaluable to my recovery process. I am recovery FOCUSED. In a discovery mode. I am not sure that I will ever call myself recovered, I just don’t like to think in those terms. Recovery is a process and we are always learning and trying to improve ourselves. What I can say though, is I am the most WELL now, both mentally and physically, than I have ever been since the beginning of this ED hell nightmare.

Last year I was about to go back in for another round of in patient treatment. I was really sick and some days I felt like giving up. Yoga kept me going. It was the only thing that got me out of the house and it was the one thing I looked forward to anymore. My hair was falling out, my skin was breaking out, I was super depressed and stressed. I felt like I had lost myself, like I had lost my identity.

Well, I had! And that was a good thing because my identity was my ED. I had finally woken up!!! There is a lot of pain that comes with awareness… You can’t hide from your emotions and trauma anymore. You have to confront them head on. I had to sit with all these painful feelings and that was almost unbearable. But I made it! I pulled through and came out with a light that shined brighter than ever before. I remembered who I was again, the purest little girl, who loved creating magic.

Yoga got me through the darkest hours. Yoga and mindfulness changed my life. Saved my life really. I can’t wait to tell you more about how I finally freed my soul and found the LOVE and LIGHT within me once again.

I hope that by exposing myself here and being vulnerable with you that I help save others lives too. That it not only creates more awareness but also more honesty and openness in our communities around these difficult topics.

Jessica Branson