Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Interview with Alysai Keller Author of Finding Faith in the Battle

Finding Faith in the Battle was sent to me for my honest opinion but as I started to read the book I found it hit to close to home. Have been struggle with an eating disorder for many years. Reading about her battle brought up many emotions for me personal and I thought an interview would be better than my personal thoughts on the book. 
Eating Disorder happen at different times of out lives mine was triggered thought a learning disability as well an anxity.  I have been finding help though a 12 Step Program as well as therapy.  I have to give a shout out to Alysai for being willing to share her struggles openly. I hope more women will come forward and realize it isn't something to be a shamed of and be willing to share their struggle and realize it is ok that we are not all Wonder Woman.

  I was able to interview Alysia Keller the author Finding Faith in the Battle. 

Interview with Alysia Keller.
People always assume if you have a eating disorder it is all about food. Many times I have heard personally that I just need to sit down and eat a meal and everything will be solved. What would you say to people who think Eating Disorder is all about food? It's not about the food. Just like I describe at the beginning of my book, it's more than food. It's a psychological state that takes over your mind and you really become someone other than yourself. It turns into a game with emotions and control. 
How do we change the mind set of individuals who think eating disorder is a simple fix? I don't believe you can change the mind set of others but more less explain to them what your mind goes through, the daily troubles you have to cope with each day sometimes just to even be existing. The more you are able to explain I think the better they are able to understand but will never be able to fully understand. There will always be questions on why do you do this to yourself? Why don't you just eat? And that's where it can be difficult with the pressures and tensions of others just wanting you to "get over it". 

How do you handle people who find eating disorders as in a why a joke. For example when someone says "I wish I had your problem or I wish I could just not eat like you? First out of recovery this was hard to handle. People still did not understand the extreme rehabilitation that I had just went through for a mind eating disease. When talking to one individual in particular, He asked how I was doing, My answer was, "I am okay, just taking it one day at a time. It's been tough." His reply, "I'm anorexic sometimes, I will just drink coffee in order not to be so hungry for lunch when I want a big dinner." This just disturbs me to have people automatically relate to you when it is a completely different struggle. During these times, I wish I could have eaten but the guilt that came afterwards and the torture of self harm are unbearable to handle. So, I would give in and not eat in order to feel I had that sense of self control.

As a fitness and wellness coach how do you handle someone who is exercise bulimia\anorexic? What are some ways they can still be fit without losing themselves in the disorder? I enjoy working with these individuals. It makes me feel so good to be able to help others on a one to one first hand experience bases. We have an instant connection and I feel as I am some what of a security blanket for them. They are able to open up and tell me things they are not comfortable with telling others. I will teach them proper nutrition along with the adequate exercise for how much they are taking in daily. We have non scale victories, it's the best feeling and a great way to lean off of always having to find comfort in a number on a scale. 

How do you explain the high someone gets when they don't eat? I didn't get a high. It was more of feeling in control and having power over something. 

Do you feel the media plays a role in Eating Disorders? If Yes why? In No Why? Yes, most definitely. Social media seems to put so much pressure through magazines, models, TV shows, movies, etc. You see nothing but skinny girls and size 0. Very unrealistic. I am thankful for the celebrities that take a stand to show off there curvy bodies and love themselves for who they are and not afraid to say they want to eat a pizza. Demi Lovato is someone I admire! She has been open with her eating disorder and struggles. Shows that even individuals with fame can still lead a path of light. 

Some people feel anorexia serves as a distraction or a way of coping with life events that are uncontrollable or  unmanageable feelings. Other feel that Anxiety, depression, OCD and other mental disorders are the trigger.  What do you feel triggered your eating disorder?If you feel that parents are the cause of Eating Disorders? If Yes Why? If No Why? No, parents are not the cause but can play a major role into feeding the disease. Such as mine for example. My parents divorced when I was 4. Growing up, they did not portray a healthy parental relationship for us to see. Fighting and arguing through my sister and I, cursing, angry all the time. That puts a lot of stress and pressure onto someone who does not really understand and cannot say anything to stop the nonsense. Feeling of no control, having PTSD causes anxiety and depression. That would be the base of how it started but you do not realize until you dig deep later on and see how the role plays out and the feelings come to play into it which causes the mind to really have a mind of its own. 
How would family and friends address someone about an possible eating disorder? It should be addressed not by anger but more of love and concern. Having an individual who struggles with a harsh reaction to it can make them feel attacked and that will only make matters worse. 
If you are a parent what are some of the warning signs you would look for? I would look for change of behavior with food, and anxiety or depression? Calorie counting, sudden weight loss, etc. 

How much has God helped influence you and your eating disorder? God was the foundation to where I was able to rebuild my life. For that, I will be forever grateful and continue to praise him daily. A verse that I came upon while in rehab, "With your help I can advance against a troop, With my God I can scale a wall" Psalm18:29 - This is my favorite. Speaks truth and is what I would lean on each day. 

Have you ever tried a 12 step program that has helped those with an Eating Disorder that has worked?  I have not done a 12 step program. I attended Remuda Ranch in Wickenburg , AZ for 90 days then for 3 weeks after I was in the Remuda Life program. More of a step-down house. 
Where have you found peace when you eating disorder tries to take control of your life? I pray, breath and think positively about whatever the situation might be. As long as I can pray and talk my self down, it makes it easier to handle. If it seems to strong to where I feel I may have an anxiety attack, I will lean on my husband for support. He's a great listener!
Do you feel there is a "Cure" for someone who suffers from an eating disorder? I believe there is a "cure" but it is something that will always be in the back of my mind. Even now, I wake up wondering what I am going to eat and how much, but it does not affect me to where I am counting all the calories around me. I eat healthy most of the time so it makes it easier. I am not afraid to have some fries here and there with some ice cream :) And also seeing my Remuda sisters posting about non scale victories or even pregnancy photos in swimsuits brings so much more peace of mind knowing that we are going to be okay. We are living life as we should! 
Do you feel open communication is the key to understanding eating disorders and the cause of them? Or do you feel it will cause others to develop eating disorders? I do not feel it will cause others to having eating disorders. It may trigger someone who is currently struggling but open communication is the greatest factor in recovery. You cannot keep hiding from the reality of this disease. Action needs to be taken. 
Is there anything else you would like to add? People who have worked with who you have helped? Positive stories that could inspire those who see little light in their struggle? I still take the time out of my daily life to meet up with younger girls to speak with them. I've had parents reach out to me about there child or concerns' and it makes me feel good knowing that I come to mind to be an option to be able to help an individual. It keeps me going and makes my heart happy.

Thank you so much for your time Alysai and I hope this will bring insight to those who struggle with an Eating Disorder.

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