May Good News: You Deserve a Little Bling! When you hear that statement, you may find yourself thinking everything from "what does that mean?" to "no


May Good News: You Deserve a Little Bling!


My stuffed dolphin models my homemade head bling.

When you hear that statement, you may find yourself thinking everything from "what does that mean?" to "no I don't!" to "yes I DO".

How we respond to this statement tells us a great deal about how often and well we treat ourselves with the same kindness and consideration as we would extend to even a casual stranger.

Don't get me wrong, this is not an easy skill to learn.

But it is both possible and essential for recovery.

While it can be tempting to assume you must wait to recover before you celebrate, the truth is that you have a LOT to celebrate right now!

For instance, you are here.

This means that, for yet another day, you are waking up, showing up, seeking support, and offering support to others as well.

For yet another day, you are sending yourself the message in every way but in words that you deserve to be here, you want to be here, and your presence here matters.

Now all you have to do is REALIZE it - SAY it - and CELEBRATE it!

With great respect and love,



This month in Good News:

Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia, and Ed)
Meet Shannon in Texas and Pennsylvania!
Learn More About "Beauty Undressed"
Book Must-Have of the Month: "A Return to Love" by Marianne Williamson
RSVP now for "Facing Ed with an Addiction Model" with Thom Rutledge
YOUR recovery questions answered!
Mentoring & Recovery Blog: "Self-Compassion in Mentoring"
Shop for a Cause in the Key to Life Store
Take Good News & Pass it On


Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia and Ed)

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...Even as I mourn the death of my old beliefs, my old habits, and the old eating-disordered world I have clung to for so long, I also celebrate the restoration of new hope, new life, and a brave new world that I have earned my rightful place in.

When there is no need to hide from myself, there remains no one and no thing to fear. And I am not afraid anymore, because I know that, underneath it all, I truly do want to live—and I will live! I do live! I am alive!

QUOTE from Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back


Shannon is presenting for the second time at the Renfrew Conference

Meet Shannon in Texas & Pennsylvania!

July 20, 2011: Texas Behavioral Health Institute Annual Conference, "Mentoring & Eating Disorders"

November 13, 2011: Renfrew Center Foundation Annual Conference, "Mentoring: An Empirically-Supported Approach for Facilitating Sustained Recovery Progress"


Learn More About "Beauty Undressed"

"Beauty Undressed" is a gripping multi-media event that delves down deep into the origins of our current "culture of thin" and emerges with surprising results!

A recent event participant shares his experience of "Beauty Undressed":

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Wherever you go, there you are”? The same could be said for our mentors. Shannon Cutts spoke to a crowd of several hundred students at Truman State University about body image and eating disorders. The truth she shared with students is that most of us simply don’t have time to stop and analyze all of the messages that come at us each day. Most of us don’t even have time to stop and notice that those messages are there. Yet they mentor us. - Sebastian Oddo, Author of "Excuse Me, College is Now"

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Shannon meets with students and staff during "Beauty Undressed" events

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Book Must-Have of the Month!

"A Return to Love" by Marianne Williamson

I am not finished reading "A Return to Love" yet but I am already recommending it to others.

To be truthful, my mentor has been (un)subtly nudging me towards this book for years now, but being a pair of avid readers, it was hard for her to catch me in between books.

Finally, I had a bit of a personal relational upset, and my mentor chose that moment to mention it again.

This time, I bought it.

Reading the relationship section alone made me cry. I felt like I was reading my own private diary, while simultaneously thinking, "I can't believe I"m not the only one who feels this way / struggles with this / can't let go of that!"

Which, according to Marianne, is a good thing.

I actually find "A Return to Love" and last month's book recommendation, "Who Would You Be Without Your Story?" by Byron Katie, to be sister books in every respect except the method of delivery.

While Katie takes a much more brass tacks approach to working with the thoughts in the mind, Marianne blends mind and spirit and focuses on the interplay between the two.

Depending on my day, my mood, and the degree of difficulty I am having with whatever new task lies before me, I may choose one or the other.

But both will give me exactly what I need, when I need it.

And that kind of guarantee is few and far between in the world today.

Learn more at


RSVP Now for MentorCONNECT's* "Facing Ed with an Addiction Model"

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Date: Wed, June 8th, 2011
Event: MentorCONNECT Teleconference
Topic: "Facing Ed with an Addiction Model: A Way to View Your Eating Disorder and a Way to Recover"
Open to: all - general audience
Cost: free*
Presenters: Thom Rutledge, Jeanette Henriques and Cheryl Kerrigan
Time: 8-9:15pm central time

Event Description: In this teleconference, Thom will once again be joined by Jeanette Henriques (on the MentorCONNECT Board of Directors) and Cheryl Kerrigan (author of "Telling ED NO!"), this time to discuss how an addiction recovery model can make all the difference in your work to separate from Ed once and for all. “My methods have always been based on my professional and personal experience with addiction recovery,”

Thom says: My clients who understand the similarities and how to use addiction recovery strategies tend to develop much stronger foundations for building the lives they want beyond their eating disorders.

PRESENTER BIO: Thom Rutledge is the author of several books, including Embracing Fear: How to Turn What Scares Us into Our Greatest Gift. His INTRApersonal Therapy methods are used extensively by out-patient and residential eating disorder treatment programs in the U.S. and Australia. Learn more from Thom's website,, and please join Thom on Facebook


Upcoming 2011 Teleconference Series Events Include:

July 13: "Navigating Insurance for Treatment" with Lisa Kantor, JD
August 10: "Choosing the Right Level of Treatment for Your Needs" with Jennifer Nardozzi, PsyD
Sept 14: Thom Rutledge with Cheryl Kerrigan & Jeanette Henriques


*MentorCONNECT is a registered 501c-3 nonprofit corporation and DONATIONS ARE WELCOME


Your Questions....Shannon's Answers


This month's questions include:

* Making peace with impatience
* Learning how to feel "okay"
* Dealing with the fear of losing a treatment team member
* How do I establish a balance in recovery?

and more!

CLICK HERE for Shannon's responses


Self-Compassion in Mentoring

Recently my mentor sent me an interesting article called Self Compassion: The Most Important Life Skill.

Of course I had to read it right away.

This urgency comes from the fact that I have quite literally lost count over the last few months of the number of folks who have responded to some random comment or other that I have made with the words, “You are too hard on yourself.”

I know this.

But somehow being reminded doesn’t make it any easier to stop.

I don’t know if being too hard on yourself is a learned trait, a genetic trait, or (most likely) some combination thereof.

What I do know is that, once begun, it becomes habit-forming.

Not unlike having an eating disorder or turning to the bottle or some other equally inconveniently convenient means of temporary relief, somehow mentally flailing away at yourself over time starts to seem like a reasonable approach to those oops! moments in life, regardless of how ineffectual it has proven itself to be.

Equally interestingly, the article touches on an issue I have often mentally wrestled with – the untested belief that extending to myself a bit of human kindness will somehow make me lazy. Or soft. Or otherwise inert. According to the article, this untested belief has unfortunate and far reaching side effects:

Due to our ever-increasing competitive societies, researchers speculate the tendency to choose self-punishment, rather than self-compassion, is on the rise. People often believe that punishing themselves will keep them in line and ultimately keep them safe. Unfortunately, self-criticism can lead to generalized hostility (toward oneself and others), anxiety and depression; these are problems that can handicap people from reaching their full potential.

Conversely, according to Mark Leary, a researcher at Duke University, offering ourselves compassion has just the opposite effect .... to read the full blog post, click HERE


No-Fee Mentoring from Eating Disorder Survivors

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Shop for a Cause in the Key to Life Store

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Key to Life Shop Keeps the Recovering Person in Mind

From "Beating Ana", the first book about connecting and mentoring for recovery, to the "Circle of Hope" pendant that is a constant reminder that none of us have to face hard times all alone, the Key to Life shop has something for all of us. Enjoy beautiful original music written by Shannon, write down your thoughts in the "Beating Ana Journal", and much more!

*Browse the Key to Life Shop now*


Take Good News & Pass It On!

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Good News is meant to be shared.

Do you know someone who could benefit from an ezine like Good News or a recovery community like MentorCONNECT?

Is your organization looking for a powerful speaker who can empower whole audiences to get excited about tackling personal limitations as opportunities for growth?

Then take one helping of Good News...and pass it on!


About Shannon

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Shannon Cutts is the author of Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back the first book to address the importance of adding a recovered person, or mentor, to the treatment team. She writes extensively for, the Huffington Post, and others. Her work has most recently been profiled in Glamour and Woman's Day.

She is also a college circuit speaker who has traveled the country presenting her popular campus program, Beauty Undressed.

Currently Shannon serves as Executive Director for MentorCONNECT: Where Relationships Replace Eating Disorders. MentorCONNECT is the first global eating disorders mentoring community and a registered 501 c-3 nonprofit corporation. . She is widely recognized as the leading national advocate for the value peer mentoring adds to the eating disorders recovery process.

In her free time, Shannon continues to rewrite her own recovery story by enjoying all of the gifts recovery brings, including spending time with family and friends, taking chirping lessons from her pet bird Pearl, soaking up the beauty of nature, listening to STING (and trying to find a way to meet him), and taking extra-special care of her body, mind, heart, and spirit.

For more information about Shannon, please visit her at

Until next time...remember this:

There is always a reason to have hope! If I could beat my eating disorder, then YOU CAN TOO.

See you next month with more Good News!




Good News is grateful to our sponsors!


Credits, Reprints & Subscriptions

REPRINTS: Would you like to use any portion of Good News in your newsletter, blog or website? You’re welcome to share, but when you do, you must include full copyright permission as stated below:

©2011 Shannon Cutts & Key to Life

Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery is a free outreach service of MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders mentoring community. MentorCONNECT's founder, Shannon Cutts, recovered from a fifteen-year battle with anorexia and bulimia to become the leading proponent of the importance of adding a recovered person, or mentor, to the treatment team. You are welcome to contact Shannon and her team at or online at or

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: Information contained in Good News is NOT meant to replace the supervision and care of a qualified medical professional, and should never be construed as such. Shannon Cutts, the MentorCONNECT Leadership Team and Key to Life can NOT be held liable for any activities undertaken as a part or result of receiving or participating in these online communities.

ABOUT YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: Good News is sent by invitation and subscription only - if for any reason you believe that you have received this e-newsletter in error, or you no longer wish to receive it, please use the link provided below to let us know. Peace.


The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else. -E.E. Cummings

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