Out of Anorexia, On My Own Path
By Stella Koutri, Guest Contributor
My disordered eating behavior appeared after my adolescence, when I went to university. I started eating small quantities of food, and I now wonder where I used to find the energy to complete my daily schedule. I lived with this eating pattern until I finished my studies, and later during my master's degree, until I entered into the working world.
I started to realize that something was wrong, not with my body but with my whole self, my whole life. I had no periods, no friends, no social or personal life - and no desire to get any of these. I was isolated, counting calories, and weighing myself multiple times a day. Something was wrong with my life.
I found an excellent doctor, who encouraged me to look into the problem holistically. It was the hardest, most challenging task I've ever undertaken in my life. I had learned how to survive with very little food. I was missing a lot of nececerry ingredients in my body. I was totally disconnected with myself and everyone else.
And then Yoga appeared in my life. I started getting in touch with my physical body, what it's made of, and how it works. Working closely with my doctor, studying under the guidance of my yoga teacher, doing my daily sadhana (routine spiritual practice) and working on all aspects of myself, I felt that I was fully recovered at the age of 30 (with a couple of hard relapses before).
I completed my 500-hour Yoga Teacher certification and started teaching with a huge desire to help people have a strong and deep connection with their bodies. I practiced other disciplines as well (Pilates, dance, Gyrokinesis and Qigong later). But Yoga gave me a deep awareness of my physical body, a huge respect towards who I am, and valuable tools to distance myself from difficult situations in order to see them more objectively.
Yes, today I feel fully recovered in terms of my eating behaviour. I teach at my own studio, I love helping people to connect with their breathing, their muscles, bones, skin, and brain. There are periods of time I'm struggling with depressive mood, but I don't lose myself in it, and don’t allow the depression to burst into disorded eating.
I'm getting closer to who I am every day. I want to do things I love and be of value to other people. Now I am aware of this truth: anorexia was myself screaming that I was unhappy, that I was not doing what I love, that I was living without joy and inner satisfaction. Maybe for all these reasons I wanted to vanish myself through not eating. Today I try to hear my inner voice, the one that whispers who I am, what I want in life, which are my deep desires.
I want to keep walking towards my truth, every day. My wish is to be strong and courageous enough to help other people, too, find their truth in this life's journey...
About Stella Koutri
I'm a Hatha Yoga instructor. I live and teach in Greece. I also practice other movement disciplines: Qigong, Pilates, Gyrokinesis, Therapeutic exercise for musculoskeletal conditions. I love teaching kids yoga, as well! I find joy in reading and writing, theatre, studying the human body and mind! I hold a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and this scientific field has significantly helped me in studying and understanding the human body, both in structural and functional terms. I am amazed at how different fields of knowledge meet and interact to deepen our knowledge and widen our perception!