Every time I watch My Cousin Vinny, I’m convinced that it explains everything I need to know about life. Ok, maybe not EVERYTHING, but enough to give me a jumping off point to dive into the world of eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image, with you.
If you’ve never seen the movie, run don’t walk. One, because you will laugh so hard your abs will be sore tomorrow, and two, because if you don’t watch it now, heads up you’ll have heard all the best lines by the end of this month 🙂
I’ve had two really good names for this February’s Eating Disorder Awareness blog series, both borrowed from Marisa Tomei’s character (she is my absolute favourite).
Picture it: “What? They didn’t teach you that in grad school eitha?: The real deal behind ‘mental’ eating and body image.”
Because in-my-not-so-humble-opinion there’s a disconnect between what they teach you in grad school about eating disorder support and treatment, and the reality of what’s going on (more on that later in Feb).
But I didn’t go to grad school, and I don’t really know if what I’m about to share is taught or not.
Next? I was leaning toward this title: “Famous for your mud. 29 food and body image stories to inspire.”
Another favourite line that is totally applicable here.
Because when things get out of whack in life, it’s cuz one kind of mud or another gets caught in our [proverbial] wheels and throws us off balance. We all get stuck in the mud sometimes. (Such wisdom from a simple Alabamian townsman.)
And it’s our mud, our stories of hard times that we rarely share. Yet when we do, inevitably someone else goes, ‘Omg! No way! Me too!’
And then what? Neither one of you feel so bat shit crazy anymore.
You’re connected. Instead of feeling shame about what you’re going through, and staying stuck in your mud, you can find a way out together.
There is healing power in sharing stories. Trust me. I learned the hard way by NOT sharing for years, and the turning point was once I did.
So yes, I’ll be sharing my mud with you, which I may or not end up famous for, and which they may or may not have taught you about in grad school.
But I wasn’t convinced on this title either, which meant, there had to be a third option.
I love third options. The way out from black and white thinking. The answer that reflects your truest self without any reason to hold back.
And I finally found it.
There’s a scene in My Cousin Vinny when he’s sitting there, head down, looking forlorn and Vinny admits….
He’s scared. He might f*ck it up.
And Marisa Tomei crouches down to his level, shows some empathy, and says…
“You know what I think? Honestly? I think, that once you’re out there and you’re doin’ your thing, I think you’re gonna be really great. Really great.”
And sure enough, when he was out there, doing his thing, he won the case.
What I see at the core of an eating disorder, is forgetting to go do our thing.
We get so caught up in a pile of mud that tells us we gotta do it like everyone else is doing. We gotta wear the suit, take out the notepad, carry the briefcase, just like the guys with the qualifications and proven experience behind them do (at least that’s what Vinny thought).
Your version might sound different than his, but we all have moments when we feel we’ve gotta prove ourselves. Because we think we’re not enough just as we are.
Which is why the truth Marisa Tomei speaks stayed with me.
Just go do your thing.
So in this blog series, I’ll be doing that thing I do (another favourite movie of mine and yes, sometimes I wish I looked like Liv Tyler.)
And while I’m doing mine, I hope you’re inspired to go do yours. Maybe that’s connecting with others by sharing some mud of your own, or stepping into that thing you do best whatever form of self-expression it is…. writing, poetry, art, music, debate, knitting, cooking, building fish farms, performing surgery, cracking a case, changing a tranny (I had transmission not transvestite in mind, but I guess that’ll do too).
I don’t care what it is.
Just go do it. Go be your quintessential self.
And, it’s ok if you f*ck it up 🙂
So, long story kept long, my 3rd option is to call it like it is: Bulimia Uncovered. Because I’ll be sharing my stories of how I got to, and got out of bulimia, and lessons I learned along the way.
And while doing so, my hope is that by following along, you’re inspired to go be your quintessential self.
One ask, if by reading this series you get the urge to share; either my story, your own story, or a form of self-expression that you may not usually let others see, then please go do it. And if you’re sharing on social media, tag me and use the hashtag #bu29days so I can follow along.
Thank you + Love