Archive | July 2013

Last Day- Reflections

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As I have readied myself over the last few months for this walk across America, I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by an army of loved ones. I truly could not have prepared for this incredible journey on my own…I would have been lost. So many people have reached out, offered services, assistance, advice, time and love…it’s been absolutely breathtaking. What a beautiful thing to know that I’m never alone!

All this support really reflected on my goal in trying to help others, in hoping to let someone else never feel alone in their battles with eating disorders. What a full circle we live in…how connected we all are as human beings. Life is amazingly beautiful!

Today is my last day at home before I fly out, first to Chicago tomorrow, then to Philadelphia on Sunday where I will begin my 2,613 mile walk. I believe that my efforts have been recognized by all of you…my supporters, my cheerleaders, my loved ones, those that I walk for…I don’t even have words for the extent of my gratitude.

After struggling with my own eating disorder demons for 10 years, my goal is to fill my recovery in helping others. Treatment can be obtained, but sometimes a bit of help is required. So let’s stand united and lift each other to wellness and wholeness.

Thank you for your support, your words of encouragement, your messages, your comments, your donations, your love! 2,613 miles, here I come!

Please donate today: http://www.youcaring.com/raewalksacrossamerica
100% of the funds raised will be given to the Eating Disorder Recovery Support, a California-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting community awareness of eating disorders, professional education and collaboration, and providing treatment scholarships to individuals that need financial assistance for treatment.

Just a few of my loved ones, supporters….some freakin incredible people!
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My Support System

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In the years of battling my own eating disorder gremlins, I was so lucky to have an amazing support system who never tired of me, never gave up on me…my family. During this time period when my mind was telling me lies about my body, and I was sucked into these distortions, my mom was my biggest cheerleader and champion. Though we had no easy access to formal treatment (inpatient, specialized therapy, day programs, etc), my mom helped me build an array of cognitive tools that would strengthen me in the fight against ED…tools that I still utilize today.

In my recovery my goal is to help others overcome this lonely and, often, lethal battle. Why should anyone have to walk this path alone? I’ve been incredibly blessed to have such a strong support system through my darkest times…something that probably prevented the destruction of my life. I want to share that support with others. I fiercely believe in reaching out a hand and walking together…let’s ALL walk together!

My hope is to raise $5,000 to help struggling individuals receive the treatment that may be the difference between life and death. I will walk 2,613 miles across this country just to raise less than $2 from YOU for every mile that I walk…Let’s change the world together! Together we are strong!
Please donate today: http://www.youcaring.com/raewalksacrossamerica.

We Are Strong Together

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Recently, a very good friend of mine shared some words that really resonated with me and with my goals:

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble…A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Is this not so true with all struggles? How much harder do we have to fight if we walk the journey alone? Instead, why not help and lift each other up! I find that in my own eating disorder recovery the more I do in devoting my time to others, the stronger I am. Eating disorders, like all mental disorders, come with such negative stigmas. They are embarrassing and frowned upon. We are “not supposed” to talk about them…they are taboo. However, if we keep our struggles, our triumphs, our recoveries to ourselves….what good will it do for that person sitting right next to us who may be experiencing the very same challenge?

I’d rather not have my years of battling ED go to waste by keeping my mouth closed. I choose to talk about the agonizing demon that I will never let win. I choose to try my hardest to help as many people as I can. Why not hold hands and walk together? We’re in this life together after all!

Please help me in my efforts. Together we can help someone struggling with ED achieve the relief of recovery. My goal is to raise $5,000 to assist in someone’s treatment. I’ll be walking 2,613 miles across the United States in an attempt to bring awareness to this lonely and lethal disorder…That’s less than $2 out of your pocket for every mile that I walk…I think that’s a pretty good deal!! 🙂

Thank you all for your support and encouragement…Let’s change the world together. Donate today: http://www.youcaring.com/raewalksacrossamerica.

The Logistics

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I’ve had people ask lots of questions about my upcoming walk: What kind of gear am I using? Do I have a support vehicle riding along? Am I packing a gun? Am I seriously walking the entire way?? I figured I’d devote a blog with all the juicy details! 🙂

I AM walking (hiking actually) the entire 2,613 miles. I’ll be carrying a hiking pack which will act as my “house” for the next four months (just call me Turtle Rae). There will be no support vehicle in tow (wow, that would be the most boring job EVER!). Actually, I have been blessed with an incredibly knowledgeable Logistics Officer (my best friend :)) who is researching gear, routes, water stops, etc. and ensuring I come back in one piece…and with minimal pain along the way! He’ll be helping me, remotely, every step of this journey!

As for some of my gear: My Deuter Aircontact Light hiking pack has proven awesomely successful during the training process. It’s curves lay nicely along my spine and is made with special sweat wicking material to keep my back cool (which will be amazingly beneficial during the heat of the summer in the humid Eastern states). Salomon XR Mission trail running shoes have been the ultimate BOMB.COM! (hahaha…I didn’t just say that!) But seriously, my blister-free feet speak for themselves! Weighing in at 2lbs, 2oz the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 is going to be a great addition to my gear. Super lightweight and packing down incredibly small, this tent will by my home-away-from-home for the next several months!

Food! Don’t forget about the food questions! I’ll be packing around a camp stove to boil water, which I’ll be able to make up some super tasty (and lightweight to carry) dehydrated meals. Additionally, I’ll have high calorie protein bars in my pack and will be able to make stops at places like Subway and grocery stores when available.

Regarding the gun…there will be no gun in my pack. Knowing me I’d end up shooting myself in the foot, which would be totally less than productive. However, I am packing appropriate safety measurements to keep myself safe!

Would you like to know more? Don’t hesitate to ask! Also, don’t forget who this walk is really about: In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, 2011) Treatment is incredibly expensive. I know from my own personal experience, that many people can not afford it and their disorder may go untreated. My goal is to raise $5,000 to help someone suffering from this agonizing battle and increase their chances for recovery.

Please donate today! http://www.youcaring.com/Raewalksacrossamerica