Deanna Harder is brutally honest about her own struggles to free herself, and be a beacon of support and guidance for others. Today, she shares her experience with exercise dependence, eating disorders and body issues for over 20 years. She tells us what it was like in the depth of despair, how she hid it, and how she eventually overcame it. Deanna is now all about intuition, true health and...even a fine glass of wine. She reminds us that it’s never too late to get help, and that there is bravery in vulnerability and openness.
What You’ll Hear in This Episode:
- Her earliest memories of exercise dependence and severe calorie restriction, and how it went down a path to a full eating disorder.
- What body dysmorphia is, and what thoughts and actions typically comes along with the condition.
- Her all consuming battle with bulimia and exercise compulsion, and how she hid it from her friends all the way throughout high school to college.
- The chronic calculation in her head of the need to “earn” her food and calories.
- Her choice to enroll in the bodybuilding as a way to disguise orthorexia and obsession as dedication and success.
- How this hidden secret kept Deanna distanced from family and friends knowing the real authentic her.
- The turning point where Deanna found strength training and a community of other women, and saw a counselor for support in disorder.
- The healing breakup letter Deanna wrote to her eating disorder in counseling, and how it helped her get through the grief of shifting her entire life.
- The practice Deanna implemented of listening to her body and using her intuition to guide her in her own health and self care.
- The new love in her life - wine! Why she loves the culture, tradition and community surrounding wine, and how it helped her heal to savor and respect the experience.
- Her fitness regime of deadlifting, accessory days and movement meditation.
- How she now helps clients develop a lifestyle of moderation, intuition, and balance.
- The three messages:
- Know that you are not alone.
- It’s never too late to change your life around.
- Stop following crazy diets and unrealistic body types!
- “I didn’t want anyone to watch me eat, so I would eat in secret.”
- “When you want an addiction to thrive, you get really good at hiding it.”
- “No one on the outside would ever know.”
- “I would protect my eating disorder with my life. It was all I knew.”
- “I didn’t know it could be so easy to look good, feel good, and maintain your body.”
- “Follow women that are rising you up and make you feel better about yourself.”
Eating Disorder Network of Alberta
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