dream catcher wellness

had the amazing opportunity to be interviewed by danielle at dream catcher wellness.  it is a start to what i’m sure is going to be a great company! check them out  on their Facebook page, and subscribe to their newsletter.  check out our interview  below!

OUR INTERVIEW WITH ALLIE:

DC: Why is being an advocate for positive body image so important to you?
AH: “For me, my eating disorder stemmed from puberty. I went through big changes becoming a woman basically overnight. I was bombarded with the idea of what a perfect body is. It starts early. My role model was Britany Spears. Should that be who I’m looking up to as a 6 year old?  I felt like as a woman, my job was to be beautiful, to be desirable. I felt like I had to be one sort of way. Now  I am so passionate about embracing imperfections and the beauty that comes from how different we are from everyone else.”

DC: What role does mindfulness play in making healthy food choices? 
AH: ”Having an eating disorder is very impulsive. It takes you over like a train going one way at 120 miles per hour. By practicing mindfulness, I give myself that 30 seconds to actually pause and ask myself, ‘Where is this coming from? Why am I feeling this way?’ You can then actually chose whether you will go back down the road you’ve been down a million times before, or chose recovery. Every day is full of choices, moment to moment. Being mindful helps me to chose well.

I also started developing rituals like writing a positive affirmation on my mirror. That gave me the moment to force myself to check in and be in that present moment. Taking a second to give thanks before your meal also really helped me to be present.
Now going to the grocery store is a meditative experience. If I buy things that nourish my body, and plan out my week full of healthy fun recipes, it’s super exciting and fun.
At thanksgiving this year I got really nervous. All the food and family around me were overwhelming. Being mindful allowed me to take a moment to remind myself of where I was last year. That moment in and of itself allowed me to relax and be present.”

DC: What are you doing now to share your story and inspire others to embrace their bodies?
AH: “I have my blog, misscaptainrecovery, and am currently writing another piece for mind body green (you can read her first published article here!). I also lead Eating Disorders Anonymous on a volunteer basis once a week. I really like them to drive the conversation of the group, but I also share my experiences and act as a mentor, someone who has been exactly where they were and is now living life on the other side.

I live what I preach, and I preach a lot! I’m very verbal about what my experience was. I’m very open about it. I think by not keeping it a secret, it allows other people to be open about it and find peace for themselves. Half the joy about getting up a mountain is having to fall down multiple times. Because once you finally get to the top, you know you made it yourself despite all the struggles. Then you can dance in the sunshine knowing where you came from. That’s why I will never forget or stop talking about where I came from!

DC: What is your best advice for developing a healthy relationship with your body and food?
AH: “I think it’s ultimately a realization knowing that your body is what it is. Your body is a temple, a gift. It is something to cherish and hold dear. Not everyone gets a fully functioning body. What was critical for me was to not separate from my body. One of my favorite quotes is “I am not a body, I HAVE a body, I AM a soul.” When I would start to feel negative about my body, I would start to view it as something separate from my mind. Being mindful allowed me to make that connection that nourishing my body is nourishing my soul. They are interconnected. From this point you naturally develop a healthy relationship with food. Nothing should be labeled “bad”. When you are open to everything, open to experimenting, going outside your comfort zone, and diversity without labeling things as good or bad, you eliminate the restrictions tied to food. When you take off the “I can’t have this because…” you liberate yourself and can fully enjoy life. Over time you naturally chose what your body needs to thrive. Everything in moderation!

For me, loving my body is hard. It takes work and it’s not something that comes naturally. And that’s ok! That’s where I am right now. I don’t wake up every day and love my body or sit down at every meal and have a wonderful relationship with food. It’s kind of like a pendulum swinging side to side! Someday I hope I have a loving relationship all the time. In moments of darkness, I remind myself of moments of positivity and a loving relationship with food. This allows me to bring myself back up into the light.”

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