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  • Writer's pictureMallory Fuller

Madison Auge: The Blossom Revolution

Hello again! I hope this day meets you with joy and peace. With the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, I know that life still feels anything but normal, but I hope and pray that today you can find the sunshine among the chaos.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I have had the AMAZING opportunity to team up with women across the country to advocate for those struggling with mental health disorders. One of these women is the incredible Madison Auge. Madison is currently Miss Corridor and will be competing for Miss Iowa later this year. Today, she is sharing her story of battling disordered eating, how she has overcome her struggles, and what she does to help others facing the same issues. Her story is incredible, and I am SO excited to share it with you all!

 

For a really long time, I was too afraid to share my story.


I didn’t have pictures that made me look emaciated. I never was inpatient. My struggle, though real and valid, didn’t come with a hospital bracelet or a price on my life. 


So what I was doing wasn’t an eating disorder. Right? Everyone hates their bodies, everyone looks at the mirror when they are wearing a bathing suit and tries to claw themselves free of whatever prison they think is held in the rumble of their stomachs.


Right?


I grew up in a house of dieting. We moved to a new town when I was ten and I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was bullied. I was diagnosed with scoliosis and had to wear a big clunky plastic brace through the end of my junior high years. Any of these on their own could cause some disordered eating behaviors or body image issues, but talk about a perfect storm.


When I was studying psychology in college, we learned about a theory of how some disorders came to be. Imagine that a certain disorder, like an eating disorder, is a glass. Maybe your glass is already partially filled because of genetics. Your mom or dad suffered, so you’re already predisposed. And then, you top the glass off with experiences during your formative years. I’m already pretty optimistic, but when I write down what I went through, I can see how full my glass was. But I still had this notion: other people have it worse


So I didn’t speak. I didn’t see anything wrong with having a net intake of 0 calories per day, and wondering why I wasn’t losing weight. I didn’t see how much time I wasted by tracking every sliver of almond from my breakfast in MyFitnessPal. I was wondering why my body felt constantly in flux, why I was so tired, why it seemed so easy for everyone else to just eat what they wanted, and have it never seemingly matter what they did. 


I was asked the other day if I had an AHA moment during treatment. Honestly, no.


It took a long time, and many relapses, for me to figure out that my body couldn’t thrive because it was just trying to survive. It happened slowly, kind of how fall tends to sneak up on you while you’re savoring the last dregs of summer. Before, I had slowly dipped my toes into recovery, cherry picking the things I wanted to keep from my disorder. Yes, I could eat pizza, but I could also make up for it by eating an entire meal of nothing but kale, right? Or skipping dinner because I wasn't hungry. Truly. Right? These picking and choosing coping mechanisms unraveled when I was forced to face my body in the mirror in a swimsuit. It was clear when I had the most visceral desire to claw my stomach that what I had previously been doing was not good enough. This was going to require me to dive in, headfirst, cannonball style.


I created recovery boards, fully committed when the last relapse left me passed out during a hot yoga class. That night I closed that door and threw away the key. I ordered a pizza and ate it in the living room. A roommate came by and said, “Ugh. I wish I could let myself eat pizza. I guess I just care too much about treating my body well.” I ate another slice. This WAS me treating my body well. I will forever remember those meals in my townhome kitchen, in front of all seven of my roommates. Whether they knew it or not, this was me winning the long battle with my body.


Slowly, I started adopting these tenants of recovery and didn’t think twice about them. I moved joyfully, intentionally. I focused on strength instead of loss. I was gentler with myself and found a soft voice when my friends would comment on food. When I started sharing my story, quietly, to those that I trusted, I was met with an overwhelmingly similar response. Every single young woman said that something similar happened to them, but they didn’t think twice about it. Everyone hates their bodies, everyone starves themselves, everyone limits their calories to the diet of a toddler. Right?


That’s when I realized that the 30 million Americans who suffer from an eating disorder was largely underestimated. I started to understand that diet culture was the norm, that women are raised with the number size 2 and 120 pounds ingrained in them, and that bones are the height of beauty. When you factor in the stigma associated with asking for help, the fatphobia that has been terrorizing our society for decades, and the 70 BILLION dollar industry of dieting that profits off of your failure, it is a wonder how anyone speaks out. It is a wonder how anyone can unlearn those behaviors and become comfortable in their body. Right?


Wrong.


I started thinking about our society’s largely reactive nature to treating eating disorders that lead to more harmful behaviors. Instead of being reactive, why aren’t we proactive? By the time girls are 9, 50% are already worried about being fat, but eating disorder curriculum isn’t generally taught until high school. I created an organization that seeks to prevent eating disorders by giving young men and women the tools I learned in therapy. I teach positive self talk, a healthy relationship with food and exercise, and peer support. I created a Girl Scout patch to walk young women through how to love and appreciate their body before the world tells them otherwise. The Blossom Revolution is a celebration of all things healthy, all things inclusive of exactly who you are. Let’s celebrate that.


By starting this and posting religiously for almost 2 years now, I have catapulted myself into unashamed recovery. My followers, my blossoms, require that I be authentic and transparent with them. I share the days that I struggle to eat and feel worthy. I share my successes, like when I was able to climb a mountain and overcome my fear foods. When I treat my body well by feeding it what it wants, whether that is pizza or broccoli, and moving in whatever way it wants, whether that is cycling or sleeping, my mind feels at ease. My brain and my body were so divorced for so long that their union again wakes me every day with a grateful heart to be given this body, this mind, and this voice to affect change. 


My brain and my body were so divorced for so long that their union again wakes me every day with a grateful heart to be given this body, this mind, and this voice to affect change.

If anyone who is reading this thinks that some of the descriptions above apply to them or a friend, I encourage you to reach out to a trusted healthcare professional. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA, neda.org) has an incredible screening tool that is safe and private for you to assess your own beliefs about food and exercise. 



If you just need a daily dose of light and body positivity in your life, follow The Blossom Revolution on any of our accounts:


Facebook: The Blossom Revolution

Instagram: @theblossomrevo1

TikTok: theblossomrevolution


And we will get through this together... Right? 

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