During the past week I had to go without taking anti-depressants due to my prescription running out. I thought I could handle a few days on my own, but I guess I'm still a little shaky. I definitely felt the urge to snack more and, well, I did. Actually, I'm snacking on slice of bread with raisins and peanut butter plus a cup of soy milk hot chocolate as I 2:30am....

I know I've mentioned before that I'm scared that this disease, this disorder will follow me throughout my life. Times like this always reawaken those fears. In all honesty, nothing terrible has happened over the past seven days. I mean, I practically scarfed down an entire family-size bag of Frootie Tooties on my own, but aside from that I've been maintaining myself fairly well. Dr. Spigorelli has told me countless times that one day I'll be able to look back and not remember the last time I binged. I think I'm slowly getting there, but honestly, I just want to get to a point where I can eat like a normal person for a day, or at least feel "normal" for an instant.

My biggest problem is that I often allow objects or opinions to determine my happiness.

I'm nervous for my future and frustrated at myself. Healing physically is one thing, while healing mentally is a completely different ball game. I guess that's what I'm scared of, never being able to recover mentally from this disease. I've always had my insecurities, but I've allowed this eating disorder to make mountains out of molehills. 

I'm certain that one day I will be in a better place.
I'm just not sure who I'll be when I get there.
Or how long it will take. 


Yesterday I talked to girls from my church young women's group about my eating disorder. I tried to emphasize just how grateful I was for this trial in my life. Of course, during the middle of this disorder I couldn't find anything to be grateful for in my life; afterall,  I hated myself, my parents, and my God. I realize now that I was able to survive this ordeal because I tried to focus on the future, rather than the present. Nothing lasts forever and a bright morning will always follow our darkest nights.

I remember during this time I said some of my strongest and most powerful prayers. Despite my anger towards God, I never wanted to turn my back on Him. I knew He was my salvation. I can remember instances when I would cry myself to sleep and feel a physical hand upon my shoulder. The warmth that came from that hand was beyond expression, I knew someone was there.

I used to go to the temples in my hometown and cry to God for help. I felt him the strongest there, and as a result, I often found myself in earnest conversations with the Lord. At times, I could feel His direct responses to my questions and worries. While I was there, I never felt alone or misunderstood. 
Although no specific instance caused me to turn from this disorder, or immediately become healed, I felt as if they were my stepping stones to recovery and resurrection of testimony.

I can testify that my prayers were answered throughout this trial. The answers, of course, came in the Lord's time not my own, but answers did come. God always gave me options and inspiration. I knew that He wanted me to heal more so than I wanted to become healed myself. 

I guess the big idea that I'm trying to share is that during our time on earth, we feel abandoned and alone at many moments throughout our lives. Sometimes our trials seem too heavy to carry and often misunderstood by those around us. I want to bear my testimony that we never walk alone and that no human has ever walked alone upon the face of this earth. 

Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven are always walking beside us.

Christ had to walk alone during his tenure on earth, and personally, I don't think he wants anyone to feel as alone as He did while walking the hill to Calvary with a cross upon His back. 

He loves us, He knows us, and He is more than willing to save us. 


I minorly binged today and I'm not sure why.
Ah, c'est la vie....even though it shouldn't be.

A word to the wise: 
Muffins, raisins, ramen, bread and milk don't go very well together.


A friend of mine in my single's ward mentioned today that "you never realize how fragile life is until it is broken".

After hearing this, it caused me to look back on moments in my life when the very ground I stood on seemed to collapse below me. The winter of my Junior year was definitely one of the darkest and hopeless times of my life. My reality of being 129 lbs. and "beautiful" was completely gone. I had focused my life, my goals, and happiness around a number; once it changed, who I thought I was shattered before my eyes.

I attempted to piece my emotions back together by using food as "glue" to contain my inner-self. For brief moments during binges, I felt happy. I was carefree. Of course my insecurities never left, but for a moment I was distracted from who I was and what I was doing. I was a broken individual for a long time. I tried my hardest to keep up appearances and to plaster a smile on my face. I guess I didn't want to shatter whatever image those around me had of who I was or used to be either.

Harder times came whenever I would relapse and go back into my self-destructive habits. My vision of progress would disappear and the ugly reality I had been living would resurface. One experience that almost crushed the remaining shards of my existence happened during a choir trip to San Francisco this past spring.

I thought that I had finally reached a level point in my life. I knew I was still walking a tightrope, but I felt I was finally balancing my cravings and the disorder.  On one of the last nights of our trip, my choir friends decided to go swimming in the hotel pool. I was so ashamed of my body that I didn't even bring a swimsuit with me on the trip. So, while everyone was out having fun, I locked myself in a room. I ended eating not only my food, but the food of my roommates as well. I felt so sick afterwards, spiritually and physically. I was embarrassed that I had stooped so low as to steal other people's food. I was mad that I was so weak after all of the progress I had made. I was lost on what I should do, and how I should feel. I eventually broke down and left our hotel room to cry on the outside staircase. It was terrible night.

I called my mom for help, and I think that if I hadn't I would still be in a mess today. As I was sobbing to her over the phone, she listen to my fears, my complaints and my tears. One thing she said still sticks out to me to this day. After I finished telling her what had happened, she said, "Alyson, this isn't you". Although I was still upset over what had happened, that comment had been an answer to my silent prayers that night. I was scared that I had become an eating disorder. However, I knew my mom was right. I was person, I had values, and I had worth; an eating disorder wouldn't ever be able to change my soul.

I wish I could say this instance was my last bingeing episode, but it wasn't. It took months after my trip to San Francisco to pick myself up and feel confident in my progress again.  Although I haven't had a "true" binge since June of this year, I'm still fragile and I'm still broken.

I've decided that this is one of the hardest battles I am ever going to face in my life.

But in the end, I won't be the damsel in distress...I'm going to be the hero.


While living on-campus at BYU, I've started to wonder where healthy practices turn to obsessions or societal pressures. Mormon culture can be difficult to explain when it comes to body image. We claim that everyone is a child of God and that as His children, we are all equals among each other. We also seek to become the best that we can be while we're on this earth. Unfortunately, in many Mormon societies, a massive emphasis is placed on physical appearance rather than spiritual equality. In fact, Utah is ranked as one of the highest states for superficial beauty as well as being known as one of the largest plastic surgery industries in the nation.

In all honesty, its no wonder that so many girls (including myself) have low self-esteem. We expect too much of ourselves, and we can't accept our realities as good. "Expectation is the root of all heartache."

Whenever I walk to my classes, a football game, to the store, or even to my car, I see at least one girl on campus running. I have to admit, I am a little jealous that they have the motivation and time to even exercise! However, for some girls it becomes an obsession. A performance that they want other people to see. Rather than the campus being academically competitive, many focus on keeping it physically competitive. ("Dress-Sized")

I've heard girls from out of state tell me that boys in Utah are really finicky when it come to girls. She has to be a certain way, and more so look a certain way. I'm certain this isn't true for all LDS boys in the state, but again, at least on campus, appearance is everything. Their ideal girl seems to be 125 lbs, long hair, clear skin, and petite.   

During my experiences battling my own insecurities concerning my body, I've had many chances to contemplate the value that I have as an individual. Obviously, I don't fit the standards of today's world, or even BYU society. What am worth if I can't fit in?

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
Samuel 16: 7

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 
1 Peter 3: 3-4 (New International Version Bible)

Whenever I reach my lowest points, I try to remind myself that:

1. I like who I am.
2. My body was a gift.
3. I must be worth something, because my Savior died for me.

Sometimes it can be really hard to see yourself as God does, rather than what society thinks of you. Every soul is beautiful, we just came to earth in different packages.

I struggle everyday with my appearance and trying to see the beauty that is within me. I'm grateful to have the trial of an eating disorder in my life, it has refined me and how I see the world.

I may never fit the standards that society has set, but why should I care? The only opinions that matter are mine and the Lord's.

I know that when I follow His standards, I am never inadequate.


Having gone from being an extremely restrictive eater to a binge eater, I still find myself subconsciously counting calories and fighting urges to eat everything in sight, despite the progress that I've made over the past two years.

I've been told that an eating disorder is a form of disease that, with help, can be cured. However, I feel like I'm never going to be completely separated from this demon that seems to follow me everywhere I go...I've learned that medication and determination can only take me so far.

I really believe that an eating disorder can physically be cured, I consider myself living proof;
but, I don't think that I'll ever be mentally cured.

These disorders will haunt me for the rest of my life and relapse will forever be on my horizon.
This is more than a disorder or a disease, this is my personal demon. 


Gosh, I can't believe how much love I've been able to feel today. For years I was scared to tell anyone about what I was going through, I was ashamed of myself and embarrassed at who I had let myself become.

I guess I just didn't want people to see me as an eating disorder, rather than a person.  I didn't want to become a rumor or a charity case.

I've decided that my high school years were an almost impossible time to be myself, it's almost like a social prison. I didn't want my past to be stamped on my forehead until I graduated and I didn't want to become a prisoner to my peers.

 College is seriously the best, its a fresh start, a clean slate.

I want to take the time to thank my high school friends for all that they've done for me. Most of them probably had no idea how much they raised me up and gave me a reason to keep living. All of them reminded me that I wasn't alone.

My dad once told me the successful in life surround themselves with the best people. I know the main reason I was able to heal was because I was truly surrounded by the best people during one of the hardest times in my life.

I know my trial is far from over, but at least now I know that my eating disorder doesn't define who I am.

However, my friends do.

Doodles and Depression

During one of the hardest stages of living with an eating disorder, I tried to find ways to cope with my emotions other than turning to food. I have always loved to draw, but I just stopped in middle school; It must have been one of those "If I want to be popular I need to conform to the crowd" moments.

As I began to draw, I surprisingly got better, and better. I put my emotions into my work, which helped me find purpose in what I was doing. In all honesty, the only thing that can completely calm me down and distract me from the world is drawing.

I think it is so amazing that I was able to harvest a talent during one of the most trying times of my life. I like to think of it as a tender mercy given to me by my Father in Heaven.

From something terrible came something incredibly wonderful...I guess that's life. The good and the bad usually come hand-in-hand.


Well, I actually survived high school; in all honesty, it was a longshot. Senior year was definitely better than Junior year, and for that I'm glad. A few months ago, my therapist, Elaine Cheung, introduced me to Michael Spigarelli. Mike was the answer to every prayer I've had over the past few years. I don't know why things clicked with him, but I think part of me knew that he was my last chance for help. He's seriously a great person, I admire him so much. He definitely isn't afraid to talk your ear off, but the information he gives you is worth way more than a missing ear. I can't say that I'm 'cured' yet, but life has gotten easier. I still overeat occasionally, but the binges are pretty much ancient history. I'm not trying to count my chickens before they hatch, but I know that I've changed.

Before I thought I was a worthless individual. Throughout middle school and high school I placed value on a scale that weighed beauty. I thought that I was at my happiest when I went on a restrictive diet and lived off of celery sticks and crystal light. In all honesty, that was such a miserable time in my life. I didn't value who I was as a thinking human being, but rather as an object that everyone could/should admire. My motto seemed to be, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels". Now that I look back, I've realized that the only thing that dieting will make you feel is hungry.

I'll admit that I would seriously love to naturally be a size 4 and have no reason to feel insecure about my body. However, I need to accept who I am eternally, and in the present. Numbers don't determine your worth, but your actions towards others do.

Throughout the past years, I haven't been able to let go of an experience I had after I had lost weight.
I probably shouldn't name names, but In ninth grade (before I lost weight) I had a massive crush on this guy, B. I thought he was amazing in every single way (mostly because I was overlooking his faults). He showed some interest, but the next year when I had starved myself down a few pant sizes, everything changed. He told me I was beautiful, that I dressed well, that I didn't need to lose the weight--but I look great now, he serenaded me with songs while he played his guitar, he texted me, he tried to be around me, he blushed when he saw me,  and he even attempted to ask me to be his girlfriend.

I thought about him all the time, I really grew attached. Sixth months later when I gained 50 pounds, he was gone from my life. No more smiles, no more compliments, nothing.

I hated myself. I hated who I was. I hated him. I hated every boy who had ever lived on the planet.They were all selfish pigs who couldn't overlook a girl's weight. I kept telling myself that if I lost weight again, he would be back in an instant. I told myself that this was my fault, that I was a failure, that I didn't deserve to be loved since I wasn't worth looking at.

My brother-in-law once told me that it's always good to be served a slice of humble pie and I can't agree with him enough. Bouncing from both ends of the eating disorder spectrum, helped me widen my view of the world and of myself. I felt like I had shattered into a million pieces and there was no way to put myself back together. Ultimately, I was the only person who could pick myself off of the floor and become whole again. During the healing process, I had to examine each piece of myself including the good, the bad, and the straight out ugly. I'm actually grateful for this experience, it helped me realize who I was, what I valued and what I stood for. I want someone to love me for me, not for how I look at a certain moment in life. Afterall, humans bodies only get weirder when we age...

Raven Simone was recently complimented on losing weight by being told that she was "beautiful". Raven responded "I was always beautiful, now I'm just thin."

I am valuable. I have worth. I like who I am now.

I am beautiful, and no one can take that away from me.