Topic Tuesday: Letting Go

“Letting Go” (By: Nephie Snider)

Food means so mNephie S Pictureuch more than just food. So much more.

Sometimes, all the meanings food has paralyzes you. Sometimes, they whip you into a frenzy. Sometimes, you softly smile down at your dinner and can finally see food—really see it—for what it is: sustenance.

Food can be simple. Food can be easy. Food can feel natural. Food can flow.

Sometimes, those statements can sound like bologna. I know because I used to eat and purge. I was bulimic.

Although I never had a perfect relationship with food (come on, who does?), my bulimia didn’t start until my junior year in college. I had been volunteering as an advocate for sexual assault survivors for two years and had transitioned into doing the work part-time on top of a full academic course load. Needless to say, I did not have enough time for self-care.

With each client I saw, my life slowly started to unravel. I had been sexually abused as a little girl and sexually assaulted at the age of fifteen. I thought those experiences were behind me but, they weren’t. So, I did the mature thing and stuffed my emotions into a little box and shoved it far back in the dark recesses of my brain.

I didn’t want to deal with the memories of the abuse. I wanted to keep working. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I wanted to be the person who was already healed. Plus, if I didn’t help these survivors, who would? I had to keep going. And if I wasn’t the type of person who helped these survivors, who was I? If people found out I wasn’t “healed,” would they take away my job?

So, I kept it a secret. I ate. I purged. I ate. I purged. I had nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks, chronic tension, chronic headaches. I had PTSD. I had Bulimia Nervosa. My mind was splintered. My body was ill. But, do you know what worried me most? Not being the person who helped people.

It’s really hard to come to terms with not being able to do something anymore. Especially when that something feels like its your identity. I know that “I can’t” is the most difficult thing I have ever had to say to myself. But when you’ve attached yourself to things that aren’t meant for you, the only way out of the pain is to let them go.

Letting go does something amazing. It creates space for wondrous things that are meant for you. Things that bring you peace, inspiration, and joy instead of stress, shame, and despair. After I let go of working with sexual assault survivors, I dove into my yoga practice. I recovered because of yoga and now, I share yoga with others to help them recover, too.

When I hear bulimia in my head, I know that I am feeling forced to take in something that I don’t want to take in. I am feeling stifled, suppressed, suffocated—like my choices aren’t my own. I am feeling overwhelmed, stuffed, swallowed—like my feelings aren’t my own. And when I realize that I am feeling this way, I WAKE UP and I change my life for the better. Trust me—if I can, you can too.

About the Author

Nephie believes that movement is a celebration of life! As a certified yoga and fitness instructor, she teaches zumba, barre, and yoga classes in Nashville, TN. She also offers private yoga lessons. For more information (and to access awesome free content), please see visit Nephie’s website: