bipolar disorder

LU 060: Marya Hornbacher – Fighting the stigma of mental illness and eating disorders.

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Hey, lovely radicals… podcast time!

In today’s episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, I’m talking to Marya Hornbacher from Minneapolis, USA.

Marya is known for many things. She is an assistant professor of Writing Arts at Rowan University, she is an award-winning journalist and – as most of you might know – she is also a bestselling author, most known for her memoir on anorexia called “Wasted” (which was published when she was 22 years old). Ten years after that, she published a memoir on Bipolar Disorder called “Madness”, after which she came out with an acclaimed novel called “The Center of Winter”, followed by two books about mental health, addiction, recovery and spirituality; one called “Sane”, the other one “Waiting”. Marya has a lot more in the works, but we’ll talk about that – among myriad of other things – in our beautiful conversation. You’ll hear Marya talk about:
– When and why she became self-conscious about her body as a child
– How her parents related to weight
– What she was hungry for as a child (apart from food)
– Why we grow up with the idea that our various emotional hungers are unwelcome
– Why people with a sensitive nature are often prone to eating issues
– What her own journey of finding out about (and coming to terms with) her mental illness was like
– How she fell into the trap of identifying herself by her problems, issues, and chaos
– How she found out that recovery meant to go beyond that “black hole of trouble”-identity
– How, for many people (not all!), an eating disorder represents a symptom of a larger issue, rather than the problem itself
– Why misdiagnosis are so rampant when it comes to mental illness
– How she started to re-establish trust in herself and advocate for herself when faced with medical professionals
– Why educating ourselves is vital in the process of healing from our own personal issues
– Why the right sort of medication can make all the difference
– What the key pieces were for her to finally start her healing journey for good
– Why recovery (from anything) is so hard at times, bringing forth what a person has been running from
– Why the investment we put into healing is the best we will ever do for ourselves
– How she understands her own past eating disorder in retrospect
– Why she ended up becoming an alcoholic after her eating disorder was “under control” (aka: addiction transfer)
– Why she doesn’t believe in the theory of certain people “just having an addictive personality”
– Why what we’re all looking for is already inside us, and why our need to “feel in control” often leads us into the trap of “being controlled” (be that by food / rules / compulsions, or substances)
– Why it is crucial for the healing process to develop our own opinion and to advocate for our own truth instead of just following random popular people’s advice
– Why we all need to be careful with our social media consumption
– Why self-acceptance really is the key to become comfortable with who we are
– What she finds helpful on the path to finding out “who we really are”, and what brings us the greatest joy in life
– What she wants us to know about Bipolar Disorder (I and II)
– How she deals with her illness and manages it these days
– How we can accept and live with our own personal limitations without beating ourselves up over them
– Why it is our personal responsibility to step out of the game our society seems to want us to play
– How important it is to find our own tribe outside of the masses
– Why the key to finding “our sort of people” is to step out of comparison-mode ourselves
– Why making friends with solitude can be a key step on the healing journey
– What “resilience” means to her
– How not to fall for “Do THIS… and you’ll be happy!”-lies anymore…
… And so much more!

Check out Marya and her books:

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LU 013: Chris Cole – A man makes peace with his body, mind, spirit and food.

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In this episode of the “Life. Unrestricted.” podcast, I get to talk to Chris Cole from Boulder, Colorado. Chris is a life coach and works with clients in recovery from any number of addictions, mood or behavioral issues. He has been through quite a journey himself. In fact, it was such a rollercoaster ride that he wrote a book about it: It’s called “The Body Of Chris – a Memoir of Obsession, Addiction and Madness”.


Chris is a highly compassionate, positive force that helps people find their truth and their unique healing by offering an experienced perspective, a radical wellness orientation and an encouraging relationship that is crucial to sustainable growth. Listen in and hear Chris’ amazing story:
– What factors contributed to him feeling ashamed of his body in childhood
– Why early restriction only exacerbated his difficult relationship to food
– How being bullied and fat-shamed as a boy made him obsessed with losing weight
– How he learned to binge eat and the real danger of the concept of “cheat meals”
– How a personal trainer introduced him to diet-pills
– Why he didn’t realize the harm of them and quickly got hooked
– Why these “speedy” diet-pills turned out to be a gateway drug for him
– How his obsession with becoming thinner escalated into a whole range of problems
– When and how it became obvious for him and those around him that he was really sick
– What kind of harmful behaviors and habits contributed to his manic episode in college
– How manic episodes of psychosis typically present themselves and what it felt like for him
– How his deep body shame manifested in this peak moment of crisis
– Why his book is called “The Body of Chris”
– Why he is very passionate when talking about “The tragedy of the BMI”
– How he now sees that his alcohol/drug addictions are connected to his history of body shame and disordered eating as well as to his bipolar disorder
– Why he felt he had to numb out his sensitive nature
– What made him have liposuction at 17 and why that didn’t help him feel better about himself
– Why his body shame was the last and biggest hurdle on his road to full recovery
– Why he thinks recovery from any sort of destructive behavior is only the first step to dealing with the deeper problem that we tried to numb out from
– How vulnerability with his then-future-wife helped him take the necessary steps
– Why intuitive eating was so hard for him to learn
– How he deals with the messages that our weight-obsessed culture, TV and movies throw at us
– How meditation taught him to deal with his thoughts
– Why his current profile picture on Facebook represents what recovery looks like to him
– What having a body means to him these days and how he appreciates it, flaws and all…

… And so much more!

Check out Chris Cole and his coaching over at:
Here’s the link to Chris’ wonderful book “The Body Of Chris”:


********* Don’t forget!*********

Make sure to join my tribe and meet some of the most supportive, loving and kind people of all shapes and sizes, including great coaches and leaders!

We’re right over here at:

Please consider supporting the podcast with a donation by becoming a “Patreon”; so that I can keep producing it. Thank you! Here’s the link:

Please: Do subscribe on iTunes (Apple):
or on Stitcher (Android):

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