Most inspiring stories have unlikely beginnings. This is true when you look at the running career of Danielle Hastings. This avid runner, also known as The T-Rex Runner, is a distinguished member of the Marathon Maniacs and is completing her goal of running a marathon in all 50 states. “I have finished 34 states and plan on completing all 50 states by June 2015.”
Hard to believe this is the same runner who quit the soccer team on the first day of practice because the coach made her run a lap. The sport has lead Hastings to and through so many places.
Hastings quit the soccer team when she was seven and remained a non-runner until after college. She shamelessly admits she gave running a try after seeing others running down the street and thinking they “looked really cool.” She further admits she got serious about running a few months after she married and it began to fall apart. “It got me out of the house during a rough time,” said Hastings.
The running pretty much won out, and she told us how running serves as her continued outlet for life’s struggles.
“I would say the biggest obstacle that I have (almost) overcome is my 11-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia,” she admitted. Running has helped her deal with the eating disorders that she has battled since age 16. Unlike many, running is not a trigger for the disorder in Hastings’ case.
“Running has been an outlet for my stress and anxiety and has helped me change the way I view food,” something is no longer Hastings’ enemy. She’s continually learning to see food as fuel. Admittedly, she explains it’s still a daily battle, but one she’s winning thanks to running.
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Researchers at Recovery Record have announced the creation of the first mobile app designed to facilitate the management of eating disorders in real time. Patients and doctors connect through a secure app to co-manage care, monitor goals, track progression, and even communicate.
This comprehensive platform, out today and available for iPhone and iPad, is not intended to take the place of in-person therapy sessions, but doctors hope the new technology will appeal to their core patients, the gadget-centric group aged 12-25.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, 10 in 100 young women will be diagnosed with an eating disorder this year. Many more will go undiagnosed because of the perceived stigma attached to sufferers and because some are simply too scared to ask for help. Those who battle anorexia nervosa or bulimia have the highest mortality rate of any mental health condition, yet only one in 10 sufferers receive treatment.
These are the shocking statistics that led researchers to create a better way to help patients feel more in control of their recovery, and also to convince those who have been suffering in silence to seek help.
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In the new book Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem, Dr. Jennifer Thomas (Director of the Eating Disorders Clinical Research program at Massachusetts General) and best selling author Jenni Schaefer explore a new definition of anorexic behavior, the “almost effect.”
Almost Anorexic is one in a series of books about The Almost Effect, written by faculty members of Harvard Medical School and other experts. This book, and others in the series, suggest that behaviors often fall short of meeting the criteria of receiving a particular diagnosis, but still fall outside of normal behavior. These are the people who often slip through the cracks and whose behaviors often develop into a full-blown condition.
Recently, I spoke with the bubbly co-authors about their collaboration. “When Harvard Health Publications approached me about the book, they encouraged me to work with a writer,” Dr. Thomas explained. “The first person I considered was author Jenni Schaefer. She added a great layer to the book.” Not only has Jenni penned numerous books about eating disorders, she knows about the disease firsthand.
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Eating disorders affect people from all walks of life, have varying symptoms, and can be easily disguised by those afflicted. Obsessive exercise, starvation, and laxative abuse are some of the most common behaviors of eating disorder sufferers. The reasons these symptoms are developed are wide ranging, but usually boil down to a lack of self-esteem and pressure to fit some imaginary societal mold.
Even the beautiful, rich, and famous suffer from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. We’ve compiled a list of celebrities—some surprising, some not so much—who have overcome eating disorders and managed to have a healthy relationship with diet, exercise, and themselves.
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If you’ve ever envied the bodies of slender singers and actresses and thought they had the perfect lives to accompany their perfect figures, think again. Yet another star has opened up her private struggle with an eating disorder. On a recent episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger revealed her eight-year struggle with bulimia.
The Hawaiian-born star and former X Factor judge revealed that her eating disorder began in 2003 when she felt pressure to slim down for the revealing outfits she and other members of the group had to wear for performances.
“I got my outfit, and my outfit was a bra and some underwear and some garters,” Scherzinger said. “I was sweating in the back room and I was like I can’t go out there. I can’t do this.”
Scherzinger, 34, recalled it was all new to her and she was incredibly scared. In addition, she was not comfortable with her body.
Other members of the Pussycat Dolls took note of her struggles early on and noticed that she didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. “She didn’t see a perfect figure when she looked in the mirror,” recalled one of the group members. “She said she saw thick thighs and chubby knees and she wanted blonde hair and different lips and a different nose.”
This initial breakdown triggered the start of a full on eating disorder that Scherzinger kept private for nearly a decade. “I guess it was like my addiction, right? I never did drugs, but kinda doing things to myself was my addiction. It’s like when I got offstage, I was on this high, and I’d come back to my room and I’d be alone, so I would just do things,” she said. “My bulimia was my addiction. Hurting myself was my addiction.”
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