Thursday, April 28, 2011

Maryvale Preparatory School

Thank you to the Director of Counseling Cathy Cunnane at Maryvale Preparatory School for extending her congratulations to me and requesting that I speak with an outstanding group of young women about my history with eating disorders today. There is always a little trepidation about stepping into unfamiliar territory. Would they listen? Would they care if I wasn't an alum? Could I relate?

As promised, I was welcomed by a captive and extremely receptive audience. I was inspired by the courage they had to voice their concerns and ask questions. Thank you for making me feel right at home!

It made me realize that the issues regarding body image are not unique to the school we fact, they may be the universal thread in the fabric of just being a young woman in today's society.

These sessions are always just as powerful for me as they are for those I am speaking to. I find myself evolving and my lectures more engaging as my confidence builds and I see that what I have to say, truly resonates with them.

Today was especially powerful because I had disclosed something I had not shared before. A few months ago, I returned to Sheppard Pratt. I saw a few old habits creep their way back into my daily routine-- calorie counting in my head, restricting the foods I was eating and turning to coffee to curb my appetite. Now, I have regularly scheduled conversations with my psychologist and frequent meetings with my nutritionist that keep me on track.

I was embarrased to admit it and nearly cut it out of my presentation-- I felt like a complete fraud. I had spent the past two years, parading around the state, telling everyone I had overcome these terrible diseases. But there I was. Back at the Center for Eating Disorders. But there is great strength in asking for help. This is my reality-- it has been a long process and without continuing professional help, who knows where I would be today.

These struggles will always be a part of who I am, and I am OK with that.

The sunflowers are beautiful and have brightened up my apartment quite nicely! The fiery blooms remind me of the passion and joy I felt today, despite the downpoor heard roaring during the assembly. "After a hurricane, comes a rainbow."

All my best and I look forward to hearing from you!

Maryvale Preparatory School is an all girls’ college preparatory school in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Visit

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