It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and we have chosen to feature STRONG, EMPOWERING, and RESILIENT women who are courageous enough to share their stories about ED’s and more, and offer their own experiences with the hopes of helping others.
Sarah Back has been a part of the Glow Crew since we opened our doors in 2016, first on the front desk and teaching our kids yoga classes, and now as a main part of our teaching CREW as a Power and Vinyasa Flow Teacher. She is positive and inspiring, and constantly uses her life lessons as a guide to lead her classes. Sarah’s story, we are sure, will resonate with some of you. Thank you Sarah for your brave and honest post, and thank you for seeing us. XO
Dear Resilient Sister,
I see you.
I see you holding it together.
I see you fitting the pieces of the puzzle.
I see you caring for others first, and yourself last.
I see you having the back and forth conversations about your body and what it should, or should not look like.
I see you rising when the odds are stacked against you.
You see, I too have risen.
This Is My Story-
In the days following my final varsity basketball game, as university graduation was in my near future, I developed a complex relationship with my body.
One day I decided I would count my calories, and the next thing I knew restricted eating became my new best friend. Then came the over exercising. I had now found an unbelievable pair; restricted eating and running. Naturally, the runs became my new obsession. Each run had an agenda, to loose the weight I believed I had gained. When that pair no longer worked the way I wanted them to, I introduced bulimia. Ah ha, that was my perfect trifecta.
Fast forward two years. With the worst of my eating disorder and a move across the country under way, I knew I had to make some drastic changes. I Googled for help, as one naturally does, and what I typed across the keyboard surprised me; “Yoga Energy Exchange Programs in Edmonton.” What? Yoga? I had never even done a yoga class before that Google search. To my luck Moksha Studio (now under a new name) was hiring. I applied, I got the position, and there I was, three days a week, two bus rides to the studio and two bus rides back to my apartment, changing the course of my life.
Yoga became an integral part of my resilience program. I felt the connection to my body that I had once lost. I felt purpose, I felt challenge, and was often humbled by just how damn hard a downward dog really was.
I stepped out of my competitive world as an athlete, and stepped into a world of acceptance, community, and intention. My story of resilience is not unique. I have seen firsthand the women in my circle persevere time and time again. Not just from eating disorders, but from what life has thrown their way.
These Are Their Stories-
My three dearest, and closet friends have all lost their fathers to cancer.
One friend, at the age of 22 walked into the hospital one morning, where she worked as a nurse, and twenty minutes later was admitted as a patient. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. For over two months she was using a tracheostomy to breathe. She lost mobility in her arms, and legs due to the disease attacking her nervous system.
I have witnessed a family member stand up for her actions while others attacked her character. A friend who is a new mother had sleepless nights, and moments of doubt as she navigated her new purpose. I stood in solidarity as a friend held space for loved ones who suffered from addiction. I have watched my friends get through heartbreak in relationships and divorce.
I attribute my resiliency to my mother, who at the age of 28 became the primary caregiver to my father who suffered a debilitating stroke. She spent her days caring for her husband, and raising two young boys, all the while working full- time as an elementary school teacher. Today, she is still my father’s caregiver. She is my hero.
Through adversity these women, my family, and I, have begun the ongoing journey of recovery.
In closing, this post is for the badass women around the world who everyday put one foot in front of another. The women who show resilience all the while surrendering to the fall apart. The women who recognize the strength in showing their emotions. The women who have the fortitude to keep going.
I want you to know this— I see you, and I am damn proud of you!
Alongside you on this journey,