December Good News: You ARE Good at Recovery Recently I got a message from a Facebook friend. She asked a question I have heard all too often over t Header

December Good News: You ARE Good at Recovery


Sometimes we do things, not because we are so good at them, but because we WANT to get good at them, and because they matter to us.

Recently I got a message from a Facebook friend.

She asked a question I have heard all too often over the years - "What if I am just NO GOOD at recovery?"

The implication was clear. What if she simply wasn't made of the right stuff to pull this "recovery" thing off? What if she tried .... and failed?

I spent years thinking this way, worrying myself sick that I was no good at recovery, that I would never ever recover, that everyone would laugh at me for even trying (or already was).

But then I recovered.

You see, this is just how it works. We don't do these things because we are so good at them. We do them because they contain lessons we want and need to learn, and because they are worth doing.

Something deep within us - something far beneath the surface of our mind, has so much humility and says, "Well, I've never done this before and I will probably suck at it, but so what. I want my life to count for something and recovery matters, so I am going to suck at it and suck at it until I figure out how to do it and then I am going to ROCK."

You ARE good at recovery. You CAN do this. You ARE doing this, each and every day, and you are doing it the same exact way we all do it - one halting, difficult but so worthwhile lesson at a time.

Bravo! And Happy New Year, my recovery rockstar friend!

With great respect and love,



This month in Good News:

Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia, and Ed)
Meet Me in the Spring!
Invite Me to Speak to Your Group!
Book Must-Read of the Month: "Bird Sense"
RSVP now for a FREE teleconference with Jeanette Yates
Q&A: YOUR recovery questions answered!
Love & Feathers: "A Feathery Version of Miss Manners"
Mentoring & Recovery Blog: "Setting a New Year's Vision"
Participate in Vital Eating Disorders Research
Register for a Must-Attend Eating Disorders Conference in February
Take Good News & Pass it On


Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia and Ed)

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Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Managing the small stuff is not small right now—it is huge.

Do well with the little challenges in your day and they will add up to the point where the bigger challenges can pretty much take care of themselves. You must look at recovery as a cumulative series of baby steps that gather in power and strength over time.

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

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Meet Me in the Spring!

I would love to meet you in person if you are going to be in any of these cities while I am speaking there!

3/13/13: Mary Baldwin College, "Beauty Undressed" and Staff Training, Staunton, VA

3/18/13: Pensacola State University-Pensacola Campus, "Beauty Undressed", 12pm, Pensacola, FL

3/19/13: Pensacola State University-Warrington Campus, "Beauty Undressed", 12pm, Pensacola, FL

3/20/13: Pensacola State University-Milton Campus, "Beauty Undressed", 12pm, Milton, FL

*To inquire about scheduling Shannon's visit to your group, please click HERE


Invite Me to Speak to Your Group!

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"Beauty Undressed" is not your ordinary eating disorders event.

In fact, it is not really about eating disorders at all, but about how we as individuals and as a culture view and express beauty in the course of our everyday lives.

Eating disorders are serious bio-psycho-social illnesses that are estimated to affect up to 10% of the population. However, nearly 100% of the population (that is, us) struggles with unhealthy eating habits, body shame, and insecurity whenever we look in a mirror.

This is why "Beauty Undressed" is a program for all of us.

With "Beauty Undressed", teens and adults, women and men, students and staff come together around one of the centralizing issues of our culture today:

Beauty. What is it? Who has it? Who decides?

To learn more about "Beauty Undressed" and Shannon's other campus programs, click HERE


Book Must-Read of the Month: "Bird Sense"

Tim Birkhead has spent his professional life to date studying the lives of birds.

I personally can't think of a better use of a life. If I had a scientific bone in my body (I have the grades to prove I do not) I would jump at the chance to take part!

Of course I already have a full-time job being Pearl's Mommy. This (unlike science) is something I am very good at, thankfully.

With "Bird Sense", master scientist and researcher Tim Birkhead takes us on a journey through the senses of a bird - sight, hearing, taste, touch, what Dr. Birkhead calls the "magnetic sense" and emotions. In the good doctor's own words:

I learned a lot while researching this book, and what I have tried to do is relate our ever-increasing knowledge of birds’ senses with my own experiences of watching or studying birds. It has been a revelation – for me at least: I have always loved birds but knowing about their senses has taken my appreciation to a new level – they are amazing.

Hear! Hear! Or buy "Bird Sense" and let him prove it to you!

Learn more about "Bird Sense" HERE


RSVP Now for MentorCONNECT's* "Faith, Family and ED Recovery" with Jeanette Yates


Date: Wed, January 16, 2013
Event: MentorCONNECT Teleconference
Topic: "Faith, Family and Eating Disorders Recovery"
Open to: all - general audience
Cost: free*
Presenter: Jeanette Yates
Time: 8-9:15pm central time

Event Description: While it can be great to want to recover just so that you know you can do anything you set your mind and heart to do, the simple truth is that often we find our inspiration in other people and things before we can find it in ourselves. In this heartfelt and heartwarming event, Jeanette Yates from COREMinistries and MentorCONNECT's leadership team shares her inspiring story of how faith and family helped her find the strength to recover from her eating disorder for good.

If you are convinced you will never find the strength, the support or the faith to recover, join us and learn how Jeanette left her eating disordered days behind her for good!

PRESENTER BIO: Jeanette Yates struggled with an eating disorder beginning when she was a young girl and continuing on through the birth of her second child. She credits her faith, a strong support team and most of all her love for her husband and children (and theirs for her) with giving her the strength to start fighting for and maintaining recovery. Today she is a leader in her own right in the eating disorder field. Jeanette is now a recovery mentor (and board member-elect) with MentorCONNECT and also mentors through her Jacksonville, FL-based COREministries. She is a speaker, an activist, a blog-writer and a soon-to-be author. Learn more at


*MentorCONNECT is a non-profit organization and all programs and services are offered on a no-fee basis. To make a tax-deductible donation to support great free events like these, click HERE


Your Questions....My Answers


This month's questions include:

What should I do to prepare to discharge from treatment?
Does MentorCONNECT have mentors for BED too?

....and more!

==> CLICK HERE for my responses

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Hand delivered. The service is excellent this morning.

A Feathery Version of Miss Manners

If you grew up reading the old fashioned hardcopy newspaper (or at least its comics section) like I did, then you probably still remember “Miss Manners”.

Miss Manners – Judith Martin – is an American institution. She is a model of appropriateness, propriety and poise.

I am sure Miss Manners would have plenty of advice upon seeing the table, er, manners of a certain small grey avian.

Pearl’s motto when dining is “dig in!” If you wait, somebody else might get it first.

Not only do you want to ensure you get all the best and crunchiest morsels, but you also don’t want to have to deal with others’ unauthorized and unhygienic slobber on your fine cuisine.

Over time, you learn that the best way to deal with this is to slobber on it right away yourself .... to read the full post click HERE

==> To follow Love & Feathers click HERE


Me and Mom at Corn Hill beach in Cape Cod, one of the most peaceful places on earth.

Setting a New Year's Vision

I don’t know what it is about the holiday season, but it seems like, every year at about this time, everybody I know starts worrying out loud about whether they are doing enough or getting enough out of life. Perhaps all that family crowded into such a small space brings up old memories about what we dreamed about being or doing when we were kids. Or maybe it is the looming threat of January 1 and our as-yet-unset resolutions.

Whatever it is, I too often find myself falling victim to holiday anxiety about years past, present and future. As human beings, perhaps we are programmed to automatically begin a life-inventory every so many months, and the ending of one calendar year and the beginning of the next just happens to be a convenient time to work this in. Add to this that, courtesy of our respective employers, many of us get a few extra days off, and it may just be that we suddenly find ourselves with both the motive and the means to conduct our inventory.

For me personally, since my birthday and the Christmas holidays and New Year’s all fall right around the same time, I sometimes feel like I get the triple dose of holiday navel-gazing. But this year, things have felt a bit different. I turned 42 a few days ago, and I feel more settled now in my own skin than I have ever felt before in my life. In fact, this is the first year ever that I didn’t text my mentor for holiday support! That has to count for something (although I texted her anyway just to tell her I love her).

I think this is because, this year, I truly have a vision for how I want my life to look, feel and be ..... to read the full blog post, click HERE

==> To follow Mentoring & Recovery click HERE

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Help Others Heal by Participating in Life Saving Eating Disorders Research!

MentorCONNECT is proud to be collaborating with one of the world's pre-eminent eating disorder researchers, Dr. Walter Kaye, and his research team at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD).

Dr. Kaye and his team are interested in studying the positive traits of eating disorder recovery and learning from recovered persons how eating disorders develop and what recovering people need in order to heal!

Do You Want to Help Others Heal? Then Read This!

p.s. all expenses are paid and additional compensation is provided for accepted research participants


A Must-Attend Conference: Learning and Applying New Skills to Treat the Most Difficult Eating Disorders

Where: San Diego, CA

When: Feb 22-23, 2013

Speakers: Janet Treasure, PhD, FRCP, Daniel Le Grange, PhD, Lucene Wisniewski, PhD, Walter Kaye, MD, Kerri Boutelle, PhD and Leslie Anderson, PhD

Register: CLICK HERE

This timely conference will connect families, recovering persons and treatment professional together to talk about innovative new treatments. Topics include family-based therapy, DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) and new approaches to address temperament and cognitive processes.

All are welcome to attend! Click HERE to learn more and register!


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 a free support resource like Good News or a recovery community like MentorCONNECT?

Is your group 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!


No-Fee Mentoring from Eating Disorder Survivors

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About Me

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Me. Pearl.

Hi! Here are the basics about me (and please feel free to return the favor when you get a chance!)

I wrote a book about eating disorders and mentoring called "Beating Ana". In the book I share with my own mentees (and with you) how to recover from an eating disorder.

I also founded MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders nonprofit mentoring community. If you or someone you love needs recovery support, please send them our way!

I never cook. This is because I can't and because everyone who knows me already knows this, so they don't encourage me.

I love STING. He is the best musician. I think his memoir, "Broken Music" should be required reading - for everyone. If you know him and can introduce us I will give you a whole issue of "Good News" to write about whatever you like.

My most important job (aside from keeping myself upright and being auntie to three incredible kiddos) is to be a birdie mommy. In fact, in addition to providing fresh bird food and water and paper and scratching neck feathers and providing entertainment and cleaning up feathers and seed and, well, other bird-related things, I am even now hard at work on a new project featuring....guess who! :-)

To connect with me:

To connect with my beautiful and loud avian sidekick, Pearl:

See you next month with more Good News!



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


Boring Legal Stuff

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:

©2012 Shannon Cutts

Thank you! :-)

ABOUT GOOD NEWS: Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery is a free subscription-only support service of MentorCONNECT, the first global nonprofit eating disorders mentoring community.

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 and MentorCONNECT cannot 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.


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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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