Mandy‘s Story of Bulimia and Body Acceptance

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CW: Eating Disorder

In this episode, we talk to @curvyknockout, Mandy Reilly. She shares her story of battling disordered eating since childhood. Mandy remembers the first time she was ever called fat and the impact it had on her. She attended weight loss programs as a child, and later developed bulimia. Mandy takes us through the ups and downs of living with an eating disorder. We discuss using the word “Fat”, negative self-talk, and the power of sharing stories.

Topics Discussed:

(0:00) Introductions

(3:10) Her childhood: Mandy recounts the first time she was ever called “Fat”, and the beginning of her eating disorder at the age of 7. Mandy started dieting, and joined a weight loss group when she was still in elementary school. She was an overachieving teen with a great sense of humour, but held herself back in many easy because she didn't want to draw attention to herself. Mandy went away to college for one year, but returned home early to help care for her ailing grandmother.

(12:36) Bulimia: Mandy met her husband online, and got married young. She experienced her first bout of bulimia, just before finding out she was pregnant with her son. During this time, Mandy was at her thinnest physically but also at her least mentally stable. Mandy says that finding out she was pregnant saved her from her first bout with bulimia. After a series of traumatic events, Mandy found herself once again struggling with bulimia. Trying to find herself, and feeling out of control, bulimia became a coping strategy. Mandy tells us about the moment that she knew she had to quit for good.

(46:44) The word “Fat”: Mandy is not trying to be the best version of herself in a healthy way, finding joy in movement, learning to be comfortable in her own skin, and empowering others. We talk about how much power we give words, and Mandy shares a story about somebody calling her fat online, and how she responds now.

(58:14) Negative self-talk: We talk about how we are so critical of ourselves, and talk worse to ourselves than we would ever talk about somebody else. Mandy describes how far she has come, but still has moments of self- doubt along the way, as part of the human experience. We talk about finding people who support the real you and being authentic online.

(1:07:30) Influence?: Mandy claims that she is not an influencer, but likes to inspire people to be the best version of themselves, by sharing her story to try helping others.

About Mandy:

Mandy Reilly is a full-time working mom that runs on faith, Diet Coke and to-do lists - not necessarily in that order. She and her Jersey boy of almost 16 years, Blake, are parents to the handsomest of handfuls (Cristian, 13 going on 30). Armed with her late Sicilian mother's sarcasm and Mexican father's temper, this Enneagram 2W1 is always trying to make the pieces of her puzzle fit. Always in need of a margarita and a nap, she is constantly trying to figure out how to make the two happen simultaneously. After 30 years of being at war with her body, Mandy has realized she can be a masterpiece and a work in progress all at the same time.

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Email: nowwhat.podcast.info@gmail.com

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