March 2nd, 2017 How did I wind up with thoughts and values that aren't my own? Why do I question when people tell me I'm beautiful? When people tell me I'm worthy of love? Why do I believe that my happiness is determined by a number on a scale, or the width of my waistline?... Continue Reading →
July 21st, 2020 To Whom It May Concern at [Anonymous Real Estate Firm]: My name is Isabella Florence, and I was born and raised in [Anonymous City and State]. On Saturday, July 11th, 2020, I opened a section of the [Anonymous Local Newspaper] devoted to "Home, Design, Garden, & Real Estate" and was altogether shocked,... Continue Reading →
First, some background: Julie Lea, Founder and Captain of the Krewe of Nyx - a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade established in 2012 "to unite women of diverse backgrounds for fun, friendship, and the merriment of the Mardi Gras season" - has come under fire lately for using the phrase “All Lives Matter” in a... Continue Reading →
Today, this blog has a new boundary. From now on, in order to read a post, listen to a recording, watch a video, leave a comment, or engage with the website in any capacity, you must first subscribe to Nicole Cardoza's newsletter, Anti-Racism Daily.
The best time to challenge racism was 600 years ago, before christopher columbus - whose name I will not capitalize - invaded the land now falsely referred to as the "United State" and established a culture of white supremacy, a culture in which people of color, including the very people he stole the land from, don't matter. The second best time is now.
For the past 3 years, I have been “out and proud” about my relationship with anorexia. But there’s another part of my disease that I’ve been less “out” about - food addiction. I have struggled with food addiction since before I turned one year old. I probably "came out" about my anorexia first because it... Continue Reading →
The Healing Power of Imagination https://soundcloud.com/user-486908167/open-letter-to-corona-march-2020 Click here to listen on SoundCloud March 22nd, 2020New Orleans, LA As I type, it is 79 degrees in sunny New Orleans. I'm lying on the porch of my childhood home, left leg in pigeon pose, surgical mask and nitrile gloves shielding my skin, in case I carry the... Continue Reading →
An Academic Perspective on Eating Disorders - April 2017 When considering eating disorders, the obvious cause is vanity: an insecure teenager girl peruses Cosmopolitan and starves herself to look like the model on the cover. More often than not, however, an eating disorder is a coping skill for deeper pain. Focusing on one’s exterior distracts... Continue Reading →
Every night before I went to bed, I’d plan when to work out the next day, and every morning when I woke up, it was the first thing I thought of. If the treadmill became hard to access, or if I hadn’t had my workout yet, I’d be touchy, agitated, bristly, and hard to talk to. I was like an alcoholic, but rather than needing a drink, I needed the treadmill.
You are what you eat. I want to eat lesbians. I want to taste the rainbow, to eat sexual skittles. I want to be gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, forever. But what if I'm not? What if I'm bi? I have no doubt that my lesbian identity was truthful, but what if I've outgrown it? What if it's too rigid for the person I am now - the whole, expansive person I am now?
Among other definitions, anorexia is a disease of the relationship between the mind and body. It erodes trust between the two, hindering our ability to accurately recognize, interpret, and honor our body's messages. To recover is to restore this relationship.
When we choose recovery, we choose a new way of living. We choose new ways of harnessing our energy, replacing hurtful tactics with helpful ones. We look at the qualities our addictions monopolized - determination, persistence, drive - and we channel them into new outlets. I chose writing. Writing keeps me healthy as a horse.... Continue Reading →
Anorexia is a sneaky disease. It will take you, and it will own you. It will erode your self-trust. It will erode your self-esteem. It will erode your sanity. It will twist the words of those around you, turning wisdom into toxicity. Have you heard the saying, Less is more? If you speak the English... Continue Reading →
Dearest Bella: As the title suggests, this is a letter from yourself, to yourself, to endorse yourself for the enlightened being that you are. Just kidding - you're not enlightened. Not yet anyway. But stay on this path, and you'll get there. You'll get there.
I am learning to love myself and take ownership of my happiness and health. I'm beginning to realize that I'm more than my external motivators: more than my accomplishments, more than my activities, more than exercise, and more than food.
Dear Nonna: I do not know your favorite color, so I've chosen to write in red, as it is fierce and strong, like you. I too, Nonna, am fierce and strong, though I'm not sure you truly saw this, as there was a wall between us during your time on Earth. However, now that you've passed from the physical world to the spiritual, I trust that you can see me clearly, and I, in turn, see you.
To truly detach, I have to humble myself by admitting I don't know what is best. I have to believe that everyone lives their lives as perfectly as they can - that they have something specific to learn from their experience. And I have to give them the dignity of learning it.
We've all heard the saying, "it starts in the home." This is often applied to behavior of children in school. In this case, my body is my home, and the planet is my school. How I treat my body reflects itself in how I treat my environment.
Using my voice keeps me healthy. It is the difference between sickness and health. When I let go of my eating disorder, I knew I had to replace it with something of meaning. I had to cultivate a space where my voice was at the center. So, I started a blog to tell my story.
I’m writing about a scene from Rocketman. About “Take Me to the Pilot.” I have always loved Elton John. I grew up on him. First the Beatles, then Queen, then him. Rock entered me young. While I met the Beatles in the womb, Elton did not enter my life till later—let’s say 9. My dad... Continue Reading →
I notice that I feel scared that I will never make it in life. I remember this fear is irrational because I have already made it because we have all already made because there is no such thing as making it or not making it because I have already been cast in the ultimate dream role, myself.
Food is a part of my narrative - that I can't deny -but my journey with it has shaped me for the better. Had I not gone through my journey with food and my body, I wouldn't be in recovery, I wouldn't be writing this blog, and I wouldn't be living the amazing life that I am living today.
I thought about saying something to this woman, about using it as a teachable moment, but I didn't. I felt too reactive. I didn't want to come at her from a negative place. I didn't want to accuse or attack her. I didn't want my subtext to be "shame on you." In short, I didn't trust my motives.
This post is dedicated to the Elle Woods of my own understanding. Imagine a day in the future when you're free from your eating disorder: I live in New York City, in an apartment-style dorm in Greenwich Village. I spend my days studying theatre, communications, art therapy, psychology, nutrition, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese, and I... Continue Reading →
“You’re not working hard enough to get you’re period.” Does that make sense? Is my period something I can "work" to control? No matter how well I care for my body, I'll never be able to push a button and make myself bleed. So how much merit does that accusation have?
No boss, no employer, no parent, and no police can ever tell you who you are. To think our fate lies in the hands of a college admissions person or an FBI agent or a potential superior is FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. That's just the game we're playing in this lifetime. The World Wide Web is the theme of the video game that is this century. It's challenging, sure: but we all can handle it.
I am ready to receive my menstrual period. I allow my body to safely produce healthy menstrual periods. I always nourish myself lovingly and intuitively and am rewarded with consistent periods.
A boundary is a boundary, no matter how small. Last night a friend drove me to a recovery meeting. Actually, I drove. They rode in the passenger seat. They weren't attending the meeting with me; they were dropping me off. I drove because I thought we'd be faster. I pulled into the lot in front... Continue Reading →