I FOUND THE HEART OF A LION, IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

I wrote an article for the Sunday Times Magazine in Western Australia which ran last Sunday, and was syndicated nationally via The Australian. I am very proud of the response the story has received and am humbled by the courage I’ve found to share the journey that I went upon.

Photo by Stef Mitchell

That courage, clarity and honesty are testament to the two women who have been working with me on the topic, not only of disordered eating, but the disempowered thinking that accompanies so many women on their passage through adolescence and well into adulthood. What began as an essay sent to me by my best friend, written by a woman I’d never met, became the seed of a book. All that was needed to germinate that seed was ‘YES.’

I was moved by the essay written by de Vie, now co-author of the book we are co-creating. Her stark honesty about the realm she called ‘Eatingdisorderland’ inspired me on that day in New York as I crossed a street to my apartment. I suggested via email that we co-author something on the topic with my friend Libby, an utterly passionate advocate of health and wellbeing, and the woman who had shared the essay with me.

Their response was a resounding ‘YES.’

Image by Erica Ruby via MYSTICMAMMA

Approximately four years later, the seed is sprouting leaves, its flower yet to bloom. I am so very grateful to these two courageous, inquisitive, focused, impassioned women, without whom this soil may have been left untilled. Now we have planted a garden, and the delight it brings to others is its gift and legacy. From the ashes, a phoenix. From the rain, a silver lining. May our message inspire you towards a life filled completely with love, joy, peace and fulfillment.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“I couldn’t keep it up any longer. Anorexia had given me a sense of stability, now it was eating me alive. I didn’t feel vital. Certain organs in my body had completely shut down. I didn’t menstruate for years. Acknowledging I had a problem was the first step out. I realized that my appearance was not worth my health, nor my sense of self-worth.’

“Like countless others, I’d been swept away by the beauty myth, the promise that we could just be better – or even perfect – if we bought this or looked like that. What I didn’t know at the time was that the images I struggled to emulate were airbrushed to the tune of an unattainable ideal. I’d bitten the apple and fell under the spell. It was good advertising. But I was smarter.’

“Yearning for some other model of wellbeing, I paid attention to women who had broken the spell, some of them ex-models. These women made a huge difference in how I saw the world and my potential place in it. It took immense courage to step beyond the confines of the tribe I was in, to leave its members for new horizons.

“When we take this step with an authentic desire for something different, we can begin to seek alternatives to the prison we have locked ourselves into. In the end, I had the key the entire time. Only I knew how to release the lock.’

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ONLINE HERE.

** The title to this post is a lyric from Grace Potter & The Nocturnal’s song ‘The Lion, the Beast, The Beat’

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3 Comments

  1. Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    I only stumbled across your website today but your writing is beautiful, original and connects me with me on a level beyond my conscious. You are so courageous for being able to reflect back and write on the subject of your eating disorder and I am sure you will help many a person out there who struggles with their own eating. I have many friends who have gone through this battle and I always faltered with words when trying to help them. I think your description of a ‘prison’ is so suitable and your acknowledgement that you have the key is something I will always try to communicate to my friends. It resonates with all struggles, beyond the sphere of eating disorders, and is a metaphor we could use to find strength.

    x Eva
    http://www.elm-evamarie.com

    • Sophie
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      Thank you Eva :)

  2. Susan Kwong
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Go beautiful Sophie, go forth dancing free! Much love, Susan x x x

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