Anorexia Unlocked, with JL Keez:
On a recent Causes or Cures podcast episode, I was thrilled to feature JL Keez, founder of Anorexia Unlocked, a powerful online program to help people overcome anorexia and eating disorders in general. This is a great and inspiring podcast for anyone struggling with anorexia, or any eating disorder, and anyone who has a family member struggling. In this podcast, JL shares a deeply personal story. She grew up in a hyper-religious family, had a family history of sexual abuse and cover-up, was bullied as a kid and then developed anorexia at age 15. Along with anorexia, she became depressed, was haunted by suicidal thoughts and suffered from depersonalization. She did not meet the person who could help her until she was in her mid-thirties. She describes what that person showed her, what her path to recovery looked like and her path to become a counselor specializing in Reality Therapy. She created a tremendous online program, Anorexia Unlocked, which I highly recommend for those batting an eating disorder.
JL was lucky to overcome her eating disorder and discover what truly helped her. She is now using her knowledge, experience and empathy to help others. Not everyone with an eating disorder gets the chance to recover and give back. They are powerful and dangerous illnesses that can drive people to their deaths. I know, because I struggled with bulimia for years. I also hid it for years. My bulimia started when I was a senior in high school. I was also a top soccer player and X-country runner, so no one assumed I was suffering from an eating disorder. I graduated first in my class and was recruited to play soccer at West Point, where I battled bulimia the entire time. To be honest, I don’t know how I survived. There were times that I went through severe binge and purge cycles, along with laxative use, that I don’t know how I didn’t suffer a catastrophic electrolyte event. I remember being in Kentucky for a field training exercise. It was 100 degrees, and I binged on three MRES, went into a porta potty and forced myself to vomit. When I returned to training, my body was tingling, I was dizzy and I couldn’t remember anything. It’s a mystery how I didn’t collapse. When I was on leave and visited my parents, I’d puke in garbage bags and then bury them in the backyard, so my family wouldn’t discover my bulimia. I have countless stories like that, some far more embarrassing than others. And while my road to recovery was a lot messier ( and more dangerous) than JL’s , I’m lucky to have found it. If you’ve guys read my book, Manic Kingdom, you know about the dangerous and bizarre situation I found myself in. Manic Kingdom, indeed.
Anyhow…I really enjoyed this podcast, because JL got me to open up about my struggle with bulima and what my recovery process looked like. I rarely talk about that stuff anymore, so it felt good. We also talked about love, relationships, and endeavors..all of those things CHANGE when you pull yourself out of the throes of an eating disorder. I think all of those things change when one pulls him/herself out of any addiction or damaging behavior. A healed you and a healed me makes much different choices and have much different understandings of things than a sick you and a sick me. We talk about all that in the podcast, along with how to cope with feelings of shame and the feeling of lost time. Lost time, in the sense that many years were lost to an eating disorder. I think the conversation will be helpful and relatable to those of you struggling. We both get it.
To listen, click here: Causes or Cures: Anorexia Unlocked with JL Keez
Please share, subscribe & comment too. I always appreciate respectful feedback.
Lots of people take medication for anxiety, but are they aware of withdrawal and how awful it can be? Click here for a cardiologist’s heartbreaking story.