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Faith in Yourself Is the Key to Recovery

What does a young African girl walking 8 miles to and from school every day have to do with you recovering from your eating disorder? Read on and find out.

No matter what stage of recovery you’re in, you’ll learn a great deal about how to move forward in the face of adversity and succeed by watching We Will Rise (www.cnn.com/shows/cnn-films-we-will-rise), a documentary which highlights Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn Initiative to help girls in poor countries get a decent education. Narrated by her, Meryl Streep and news anchor Isha Sesay, the film interviews girls from Morocco and Liberia to find out what it takes to persevere when all odds are against you.

It turns out that the keys to success are the same no matter what the endeavor:

  • Perceive adversity as a challenge not a barrier: Each of the girls who spoke about fighting for educational opportunity, as well as some celebrity narrators, described the way in which overcoming hardship and barriers, including poverty and sexism, made them stronger. They did not see rough times or initial failures as confirmation that they could not move forward. Instead, they saw them as temporary obstacles to get over or go around or through. Walking 8 miles to and from school was simply something that had to be done to achieve an education.
  • Look to yourself for motivation: These girls were not looking to others to get them what they wanted. Many realized early on that they were not in situations that encouraged education. In some cases, their families were supportive and in some cases, not so much. The girls knew that success was up to them. In terms of recovery, you can attend therapy, join support groups, even spend time in rehab, but none of those activities is going to matter if you don’t have faith in yourself.
  • Push your limits: The narrators promoted the need to be uncomfortable and to push our limits in order to succeed. One girl talked about being a science student, a rarity for girls, and how she was teased by boys in her class. Honestly, it didn’t seem to faze her. In terms of healing from an eating disorder, pushing your limits means not complaining that it’s uncomfortable to feel feelings, that you can’t find time to cook nutritiously or exercise, that your family isn’t supportive, or that change is hard. Pushing your limits means being uncomfortable because it’s part of change.

Sometimes we need to be inspired to be our best selves. The narrators, all success stories, inspired these girls to educate themselves. And all of them can inspire you to do more to help yourself recover from your food and body image problems.

What Are We Really Afraid of in Becoming Fat?
Hating Ourselves May Make Us Hate Others

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