Countdown to NEDA

I leave for the NEDA conference in about 8 hours.  I've rehearsed my talk numerous times, made sure there are no typos in my slides, and I've broken in my new shoes.  My suitcase is mostly packed, and I am just about ready to go.

My presentation is at 4:15pm on Saturday afternoon, which leaves me about 42 hours until I have to speak (not that I'm counting).  I am more than a little nervous.

Of course, because of my ED history, the nerves don't stop at my talk itself.  As I step out into the public as an advocate and person in recovery (which doesn't happen as often as some of you might think), I have all sorts of worries.  For one, I worry that people will look at me and think, "You? You had an eating disorder?!? You're way too fat to have been anorexic!"  And the issue of trying on clothes I haven't worn for a while doesn't make the body image issues any easier.

But I'm not going to NEDA to "look like" an ex-anorexic (if, indeed, an "ex-anorexic" can be said to look like anything...), I'm going to share my wisdom and re-connect with friends.  I'm going to make new friends and meet people I've only known through the internet.  These are not people who are going to be judging me.

It's nerves about travel and being in public and putting myself out there.  I'm packing lots of snacks and I have books and my phone, so it will all be fine.  Just fine.


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Danielle said...

Wow, that's great that you get to speak there! That's amazing! And you're not fat. Anyone can have an eating disorder. Anyone can gain all the weight back and then some, but that isn't a sign of weakness. That's a sign of strength that they've finally overcome their eating disorder.

Carrie Arnold said...

Thank you for reminding me of this. It seems more powerful to hear it from someone whose voice isn't always in my head! LOL

Crap, I have to be up in 5 hours and I need to finish packing!


HikerRD said...

Good luck! I came close to going--it looks like a great program, and Brooklyn is my native town. You'll be great!
Lori Lieberman, RD, CDE, MPH, LDN

EmilyH said...

ED knows no weight or size.

I so wish that I could be at that conferencing, listening to your talk while connecting with others who, like me, need to connect with someone. I feel so alone in this ED thing. The company I work for just sent out a mass email announcing the "Biggest Loser" competition that they've decided to do among the staff who want to participate. Are you kidding me?! No, I don't want to participate! Can we do a company-wide "Biggest Maintainer" competition as well? I could yell at them, but that would just make me feel more lonely.

What I mean to say is good luck. Your words are needed because people need to hear you. Please, at some point, think of me so that I can feel like I was somehow there.


Katie said...

Good luck Carrie, I hope it goes well! You are a fabulous spokeswoman for recovery. As Danielle pointed out, weight restoration is not a sign of weakness - I would tend to think that more judgments would be made by the general public/professionals about a spokesperson for recovery who was still underweight. You're the real deal ;)

Coco said...

best of luck! you'll be great :-)

Nicole said...

Good luck!!! You will be great :)

Jess said...

Good luck!!!! You're going to rock it! <3

Robyn said...

Carrie, you are stronger and more capable than you think. Go to the conference and be yourself. If you communicate to other in person like you do on your blog, you have nothing to worry about! Relax and enjoy the adventure of getting away from home for a few days, try some new foods and forget your worries.

hm said...

Jealous of all those lucky folks who get to hear you in person! (Do you ever have a reason to come out Chicago way?) Your message transcends this container you're stuck in- this body- and so does your spirit. You are worthy, meaningful, beautiful, perfect- b/c of your heart for people, your drive for understanding, your desire for truth. You rock.

Veronica said...

You will do great! Hopefully you will also blog about the conference?

Lucy Sparrow said...

I wish you the best of luck with your talk, I have every confidence that you will do brilliantly! Try to remember that you're sending out a message of recovery, not a message of 'this is how thin you need to be' size doesn't even come into the equation :)

Girl, in Progress said...

Best of luck, Carrie! What an honor. I just returned home from presenting at a national work conference as well, and there is nothing better than being positively received for your thoughts, ideas, and work. I hope you find this experience to be an enjoyable and motivating one!

Susy said...

It WILL be fine, go represent! :) Good luck you will be wonderful.

Jeanne said...

Remember ED isn't about looks - it's about thoughts and feelings and everything else we hide inside. Regardless of the body it's in.

You'll be more than fine. Believe in yourself - we all believe in you.

Have fun. said...

I wish I could go!! I haave to work this weeked. Good luck with your talk, im sure it will be wonderful!!!!

Dana xo

Ashley said...

Good Luck! You will do great!!! :)

Mandy said...

You're going to great! I hope to be in a place where I can attend the conference in the future. Good luck and go get 'em!! :D

Erica said...

You are gonna do great!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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