Through Twitter, Facebook and life in general I come into contact with a variety of people who have stumbled across this website, and have enjoyed that simple message, and told me so. The website, and my Ramblings have either encouraged and motivated them to aspire to just that, such as Team Dogface, or it's helped some one who has already done that and I endorse their reasons and needs to actually rise to a challenge; especially to benefit others. Some catch me unaware and address an issue I don't often speak out about, such as eating disorders, something I suffer from.
I think it is wonderful that people take the time to acknowledge this. It is like a testomonial that I am doing something right and makes the whole reason for pouring my heart and soul into something I am so passionate about, so necessary, so real, so needed.
I will share with you All the initial contact I had recently from Imogen, and then a subsequent follow up at my request, to share her story.
I just wanted to drop you a line or two after I stumbled upon your website via the nakd wholefoods facebook page.
I was really inspired to see how passionate you are about training, pushing your body (or rather doing what it was made to do) and raising money for such good causes. Currently I'm in the midst of preparing for a 254 mile walk home (from Nottingham to Devon) because I'm raising money for b-eat; a charity which I am very passionate about following my own struggle with an eating disorder. Looking through your website has really encouraged me and given me a little more self belief that I'll be able to complete the walk/trek that I'm about to embark on with my boyfriend.
So thank you :) and good luck with your future adventures!
the warmest wishes of happiness to you and yours,
Imogen's story touched me. She is just an ordinary person, like me, overcoming a few personal dilemas, turning it all into a positive action to make life more beautifu fo rher and othersl. She is being totally honest with herself, and therefore at peace. She is also being a shining light to others who may be experiencinga similar dark spot, and making them realise they are not alone.
In response to my asking for more details about her herself, her cause, her event and how she has come through a difficult time, she writes -
thanks for the lovely and swift response! I wouldn't mind at all if you added my message to your website - I think that's a great idea to create a space for other like minded people to share their story. I've been fundraising on www.justgiving.com/imogen-curtis and have also written an article for my college magazine about what I'm doing.
I haven't really done anything like this before - to be honest the last few years of my life I've been consumed in bulimia and depression, I never really thought I could or would ever do anything great. But after a long recovery I've gained enough confidence to be able to say out loud that it's not okay. Lots of people struggle with eating disorders, and it's a taboo subject yet people need to talk about it. As well as raising money for b-eat I also just wanted to shout about eating disorders - I think the more people voice their own experiences of them, the more other people in that situation will be likely to get help, as well as breaking many of the prejudices against people with eating disorders which make it equally hard to get support and recover.
I'm sure you'll understand exactly where I'm coming from, having struggled with eating disorders in the past. It's very difficult to come to a place in your mind where you can mentally relax around food and exercise, but I believe you need to relinquish that 'power' that you let food and body image have over your life, in order to listen to what your body really whats and needs, and hence look after your body in a more productive way, that can also be a long-term solution. I am so happy to hear that you've overcome your issues with food, and that it's not impossible to be at peace with who you are physically (it seems these days that everyone has body issues, and is eternally trying to lose weight, or gain muscle, and fit an unrealistic mold of how a person should look).
I've been training at the gym since March to improve my cardio and blood circulation as it isn't great... although I hate training indoors, but I live in the city center and it's not much fun running outside with so many people and cars around. Also have been doing tons of walking over the last few months, I think I need to build up more motivation rather than anything else to be able to keep walking day in day out. But thankfully my very optimistic and cheery boyfriend Toby will be walking with me. We leave two weeks today! (21st June) and we're stopping off along the way at campsites, hopefully aiming to do it in 13 days with a day break somewhere in the middle to rest out tired feet! I'll most certainly let you know how we get on.
Please show your support for Imogen and Toby, and b-eat. Go to her just giving page and make a donation. Even send a few words of support. She and I share something quite common - but we have been able to up front and frank about eating disorders, and honest with ourselves. That takes courage and ownership there is a problem!