Anorexia & Ramadan: A Muslim Convert’s Recovery Journey

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The first time I started fasting for Ramadan, I wasn’t even Muslim yet.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about my anorexia.

Disclaimer: I am not here to speak for everyone with an eating disorder, nor all people with mental health issues. I am not here to extort a plethora of Islamic inspiration and pretend like recovery is so easy if you just strengthen your faith in Allah’s plan.

Calling All Moms in Eating Disorder Recovery: You Are Not Alone

TRIGGER WARNING: The following content mentions eating disorder symptoms and may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.

My husband and I were in our mid 30s when our first daughter was born. Although we were elated to become parents, we were also shocked into broad sweeping life changes. We both had successful careers, a vibrant social life, a variety of athletic activities that we enjoyed together and individually, and practically no limitations on our time. Now, as parents, our hearts and lives were changed forever.

ED Recovery, en pointe

The link between the ballet world and eating disorders is fairly well known— articles about problematic and harmful practices are in abundance. Several clients have told me how ballet directly contributed the onset of their ED (be it due to body image issues, themes of perfectionism, weight/shape bias in the professional sphere, and so on). Suffice to say, for some folks living with an eating disorder, ballet has painful and/or harmful association. This got me thinking: what can we, as folks in the “eating disorder world”, do to facilitate re-claiming ballet?

Writing My Way Back to Control

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How many tools do you use to cope? I don’t know about you but I use many. Depending on the situation I may journal, call a friend or support, distract, confront; I take walks climb trees, draw, color, and play games. However I would say the thing that has been the most help to me is writing.

Self- Love

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I used to feel betrayed by my body, like she was constantly trying to undermine every effort I made to change her. I always thought that if my body loved me, and was working for me, then why wouldn't she do what I wanted her to do? Why didn't she look the way I wanted her to look? I was never taught that she was on my side.

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