There is an Asshole Living in my Head.

There is an Asshole Living in my Head.

  There is an Asshole Living in my Head.   I’ve got an asshole living in my head. Ed, the voice of my eating disorder, still inserts his ugly comments into my life sometimes and recently he has been particularly loud. I find myself comparing my body to other women’s bodies and to past versions of my own body. I think about wanting to lose weight and feel myself judging every curve of my stomach. I am anxious about wearing bathing suits and certain dresses. If I just work out more and lose a few pounds before my trip to Nicaragua I’ll be happy, right? I shouldn’t look like this. I didn’t used to feel this uncomfortable in my own body so I must be failing, right? Ed’s voice can be so convincing…and the whole thing pisses me off. No! My body is not fat, Ed! No! I do not need to have six-pack abs to have fun at the beach. My body should NOT look like my anorexic eighteen-year-old body. I do not need to compare myself to other women with their own body types and body image issues. I am twenty-five-years-old with the body of a twenty-five-year-old woman who does not have the time to look like a fitness model and who finds fulfillment in other areas of life than only the physical. My happiness is not determined by the size of my body! I am beautiful and sexy and gorgeous and amazing…and I am tired of thinking that I am not. I do not want to live my whole life looking back at old pictures thinking,...
Year in Review – 2017

Year in Review – 2017

  Zoe Vlastos’ Year In Review   A New Year!  A quarter century of life! And 2017 was a blast!! I cannot fit all the amazing times I had into one blog post but I have created a shap-shot of my 25th year of life to give you an idea of what I’ve been up to!   December 2016—May 2017 Base Home: Boulder/Denver Colorado   Denver Children’s Home As a Youth Treatment Counselor at Denver Children’s Home I spent more time than I ever have before in a K-12 classroom. In the Day Treatment Program school at the facility I worked with students ages 10-18 who had experienced trauma, abuse, and/or neglect. I greatly enjoyed working with underserved populations, loved being around the kids all the time, and learned lots of group management and counseling skills. I also got to work with some amazingly dedicated and passionate people. Although I did decide to leave DCH due to a draining and unfulfilling schedule, I am extremely grateful for the experience!   Eating Disorder Foundation Gala Speech and Performance In April I spoke about my recovery from Anorexia Nervosa and provided a piano performance in front of an audience of 400+ fancy-smancy guests at the Eating Disorder Foundation’s annual Gala fundraiser. I am beyond honored to have had the opportunity to share my story with so many people while raising funds and awareness for eating disorder prevention and recovery support. Furthermore, I had the privilege of sharing the speaking podium with my amazing mother who spoke about recovery and the experience of a parent of a child with an eating disorder....
Interview with 9News Denver!

Interview with 9News Denver!

  On November 15th, 2017 I was on TV for the first time! As part of 9News’ Addiction Week series I was interviewed as a survivor of Anorexia Nervosa. I shared my story of struggling with and recovering from an eating disorder in conjunction with an interview with Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani (MD CEDS, FAED) who spoke from the perspective of a medical professional in the field.   You can see the interview here. Please share!   I am extremely proud to be an advocate for recovery in such a powerful way. I have an intimate understanding of eating disorders. However, many people barely know what an eating disorder is, much less how to recognize an eating disorder in a loved one, have an awareness of the factors that can contribute to the development of an eating disorder, or what signs could mean that they are struggling with an eating disorder. My hope with sharing my story is that more people will know a little bit more about these terrible illnesses and that those who are struggling will know that recovery is possible.   I am also excited to share my story because these illnesses feed on isolation. By sharing my story I am breaking the silence around struggling with an eating disorder. I believe that moving out of the darkness facilitates healing…not only for the individual struggling or in recovery but also for the stigma surrounding mental health in our culture. I hope that by sharing my story others will be inspired to move into the light so that we may stand together, united and strong.   Below are some...
A Beautiful Mind, an Under-Toad, and Constant Vigilance.

A Beautiful Mind, an Under-Toad, and Constant Vigilance.

Spoiler Alert! This post contains plot information from A Beautiful Mind. It is an amazing movie! If you have not seen it, go watch it and then come back to read this post.     A Beautiful Mind, an Under-Toad, and Constant Vigilance.   In the movie A Beautiful Mind the main character, John Nash, sees characters that are his schizophrenia manifested in “human” form as hallucinations that only he can experience. It takes John (and his audience) awhile to realize that these seemingly real figures are actually figments of his imagination. These people he sees and has complex relationships with have been created by his mind to cope with his reality. Towards the end of the film Nash says, “I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them.” With these words Nash is showing not only that he has developed an awareness of the hallucinatory figures but also that he now understand that he has the power of choice. John knows that although he may be unable to eliminate these characters from the landscape of his mind, he can choose whether or not to engage with them. He has realized that he can ignore the hallucinations; he can deny his demon’s power.   I have a character in my life similar to John Nash’s hallucinatory friends. His name is Ed. He is like a shadow I never asked for, who burgeoned in my late teens and attached himself to me for life. Mostly, Ed is a voice of abstract thoughts and beliefs. However, when I imagine him in a physical form he...