As many of you know my husband is a nurse (I promise this has everything to do with Jill), and the conclusion I’ve drawn about nurses is this. They are incredible and selfless and they ask and answer really difficult questions with the same casual demeanor that I talk to my best friend whom I’ve known for years. Literally. Nurses are the perfect balance of authentic and candid and that is why interviewing Jill, a pediatric nurse for Couch Chat was a dream.
Jill lives in Texas with her husband Caleb. As if she isn’t selfless enough, when she isn’t working as a nurse she works as a personal trainer and blogger. Her blog, The Recovering, chronicles her recovery from Anorexia and Bulimia. Knowing how difficult it can be to blab about something so personal I asked Jill why blog, and more specifically why blog about something so challenging? She said, “I wanted to open up about my struggle because I learned through experience that keeping my eating disorder a secret kept me sick”. Yes. Eating disorders thrive in secrecy, yet every time I publish a new post, or read one of Jill’s posts suddenly the cheeseburger I’m having for dinner doesn’t feel like the death of me.
“I wanted to open up about my struggle because I learned through experience that keeping my eating disorder a secret kept me sick”. Yes. Eating disorders thrive in secrecy.
Whenever I interview someone for Couch Chat I’m always intrigued by how they find balance (probably because my life feels so incredibly off balanced). When I asked Jill she said, “I find balance by listening to my body. If I’m hungry I eat. If I’m tired I sleep. If I’m sore, I take a day off from the gym. Before, I was such a perfectionist that I would push myself to my limits just to check something off my list”. What Jill speaks to is a concept I mull over in my mind constantly. Our body is not our enemy. When did it become trendy or acceptable to show up for life starving, exhausted and sore?
Before I took the plunge and messaged Jill I remember scrolling her Instagram and thinking to myself, “Is there a type of fitness this girl doesn’t do?” The answer is no. Jill is one of those people who can go from triathlon, to CrossFit, to marathon all in the same week and comes out looking more energized then before she started. How? Honestly I think she is just a badass, but it’s also because she fuels herself properly and is intentional about doing so. She says, “I don’t restrict, and of course I still let myself indulge when I have cravings. No food is off limits”.
Although today Jill is beast in the gym and wears a wet suit better than anyone I’ve ever met, she is also very humble about the process of getting to this point in her life. She speaks candidly to how she had to step away from fitness completely in order to fully recover.
Not to digress, but Jill is spot on. For me, the hardest part of eating disorder treatment was being told I could no longer exercise. Truth is, after several weeks I felt completely liberated. Why? Because for years my mind equated exercise with food, specifically what I believed to be “bad” food choices. The treadmill screen became my obsession as I made certain the calories burned matched the calories consumed for that day.
For me, the hardest part of eating disorder treatment was being told I could no longer exercise. Truth is, after several weeks I felt completely liberated. Why?
When I chatted with Jill about this she said, “don’t force yourself to follow a certain workout plan or strict diet just because someone else is doing it. That is what’s great about fitness and nutrition. You hate running? That’s okay, go do Zumba. You hate Zumba? That’s okay, try a spin class or CrossFit”. These days everything can be modified to fit where we are at in our life, whether your in recovery from an eating disorder or not.
What I love about interviewing people is all the women I chatted with (so far), are so vulnerable and honest in sharing not only what they’re doing really well, but also their insecurities. Jill said, “A lot of times the insecurities I feel aren’t even accurate. They are seriously a thought I have that gets played on repeat a thousand times in my head and gets blown out of proportion”. Her go to when she is struggling with insecurity and needs inspiration? Her sister Lauren (who also runs an amazing blog might I add). Jill says, “If I have insecurities that are real, talking about them helps”.
A lot of times the insecurities I feel aren’t even accurate. They are seriously a thought I have that gets played on repeat a thousand times in my head and gets blown out of proportion.
I ended my conversation with Jill by asking her what moment in her life she was most proud of, and her response is humbling. “It’s not a specific moment but my whole journey of eating disorder recovery. There were times I thought the eating disorder would literally kill me. But I fought it, and I consider myself fully recovered”.
Endless gratitude to Jill for her time, her voice, and her journey. She is a brave soul, a fighter, and someone I’m thrilled to have met.
Visit and enjoy Jill’s blog, “The Recovering” at: http://www.therecovering.net