September Good News: You Can Give Yourself Permission to Love Your Body The other day, a friend said to me, "We are all in recovery from something."

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September Good News: You Can Give Yourself Permission to Love Your Body


On the days it feels harder to love my body, I surround myself with mentors who have no trouble seeing and admiring their own prettiness!

The other day, a friend said to me, "We are all in recovery from something."

I deeply resonated with her statement.

For instance, while I no longer struggle to nourish my body appropriately, I am still working hard to reprogram old tapes in my brain that speak to me, saying, "your body should look different."

This morning I caught myself looking in the mirror as a way to settle this exact type of dilemma.

Did I hate my curves or like them? I couldn't decide.

In that instant, I realized the solution comes down to one of permission.

I have to decide - I GET to decide.

Do I like my curves? Or do I hate them?

Do I see beauty when I look in the mirror? Or do I see a shape and form that causes me pain?

If, in a flash, I catch myself thinking, "Wow - I look good today!," do I allow myself to own and enjoy that sentiment?

Or do I proceed to talk myself out of my own assessment?

Sometimes I feel deeply, deeply sad that I wrestle with such a dilemma at all.

Who told me I wasn't beautiful as-is? Who told you?

What in me believed that statement? Why did you believe it - at the time?

Do I still choose to believe what causes me pain? Do you?

Or do I choose a happier, healthier, much truer truth - which is that my body is beautiful. I am beautiful....right now, as the me that I am.

What will you choose? Will you give yourself permission to love your body as it is?

I am working towards the day when I will no longer have to argue with myself to make the choice I want to make.

I hope you will join me on this great journey!!

With great respect and love,



This month in Good News:

Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia, and Ed)
Invite Me to Speak to Your Group!
RSVP now for a FREE teleconference with Dan Moore
Love & Feathers: "The Perils of 'Shared Service'"
Reserve your copy of Pearl's new BOOK!
Meet Malti!
Mentoring & Recovery Blog: "Pinups of the Past (and What They Teach Us Today)"
Participate in Vital Eating Disorders Research
Take Good News & Pass it On


Inspiration for Beating Ana (and Mia and Ed)

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[E]verybody has “something”—something that we each struggle with, something that life hands us, individually, which forces us to wake up and choose life every day, in every way, in every thought, word, and action, because choosing anything less than life means we will not survive, and what a waste of a perfectly wonderful, irreplaceable, unrepeatable life that would be!

From "Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back"


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


RSVP Now For: "Making a Full Recovery as a Male with Anorexia: A MentorCONNECT Teleconference with Dan Moore"


Date: Wed, October 8, 2014
Event: MentorCONNECT Teleconference
Open to: all - general audience
Cost: free*
Presenter: Dan Moore
Time: 8-9pm central time

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Dan Moore's passion for eating disorder recovery emerged from his own personal battle with anorexia. Dan first began struggling with anorexia during his sophomore year of college. Initially, Dan viewed his new relationship with food as “healthy;” however, it quickly evolved into an unhealthy relationship. The eating disorder became a means by which Dan suppressed his fears of connecting with others and of showing "weakness".

Eventually, after nearly two years, Dan was utterly exhausted. He began researching eating disorders and soon realized his life was in danger. He knew he needed to get help to recover - and he took action that led to the recovered life he enjoys today.

If you are wondering if you or someone you love needs to seek help for thoughts and behaviors involving food, please plan to join us for this special teleconference!

PRESENTER BIO: Dan Moore has been in recovery from anorexia for two years. Recovery has allowed Dan to reconnect with what really drives him: the performing arts and learning new languages. Currently, Dan works in a college career center where he advises students on their career development, organizes experiential education programming, and assists with communications and outreach. Dan extends his passion for theatre and education to his community and is in the process of writing a play!


*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

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The Perils of “Shared” Service


I’ll bet that small shelled being thinks I’m in trouble now. Haha. She doesn’t know anything about the trouble-erasing power of “cuteness.”

Recently, a new featherless being came home to join us here at Casa Feathers N’ Beak.

This new being was warmly welcomed by one existing member of our household (hint: it was the one who doesn’t have any feathers).

The household member who has the feathers is still, um, adjusting.

That adjustment process goes more smoothly on some days than others.

Since the newcomer, Malti, requires all of the same “deluxe” services as the one with the feathers, this means a) the sole resident large featherless assistant is twice as busy, and b) sometimes (always) the assistant’s services must be shared.

Clearly, this arrangement is unacceptable....

==> To read the full post click HERE

==> To follow Love & Feathers click HERE

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Meet Malti! (Pearl's little sister is home!)

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Pinups of the Past (and What They Teach Us Today)

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I wonder if there has ever been a time in history when human beings have not been fascinated by the human body – our own and others’.

According to various sources, the “mirror” was invented sometime around the first century.

Depending on how you define “camera,” the first one was invented either in 1000 A.D., 1827, or still later.

All that to say, human beings have had access to the means for examining our visual selves for thousands of years.

Even before mirrors or cameras (let alone “selfies”), there were ponds and paintings, poetry and prose.

Recently I came across a photo montage entitled “Rare Pinups: Vintage Bikini Models.

The montage contains images from as early as 1902 – just a few decades after the camera itself became widely accessible.

Some of the models’ costumes must be seen to be believed. It is hard to imagine bathing in these outfits – even walking in some of them must have been difficult.

Alongside the usual assortment of film and show stars are un-named models. Very few appear to be re-touched after the fact (aka the widespread use of tools like Photoshop today).

The two photos that most captivated me are #30 and #34 (just scroll through the montage – each photo is numbered).

I noticed a few key things after I completed my viewing of the full montage.

I remembered #30 and #34 the best – and felt most moved by and connected to these images.
I felt more comfortable in my own skin.
I felt more body confidence.
I felt happier.

In a way, the montage had gently mentored me without me even realizing it – giving me a glimpse of what it might be like to live in a culture where beauty ideals more closely match my own body.....

==> 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


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 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!


FREE Mentoring from Eating Disorder Survivors

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MentorCONNECT Thanks Our Legacy Sponsor!


About Me

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Me. Pearl.

Hi! Thanks for reading "Good News" - I hope you enjoyed this month's edition. :-)

If you want to learn more about my story of recovery, I invite you to check out "Beating Ana: how to outsmart your eating disorder and take your life back." In this book I share all the things I did to recover from my eating disorder.

As part of writing "Beating Ana," I also founded MentorCONNECT, the first global eating disorders nonprofit mentoring community. MentorCONNECT exists to give others the experience of mentoring that saved my life.

==> To connect with me:

==> To connect with my beautiful and loud sidekick, Pearl:

==> To connect with Pearl's (much quieter) little sister, Malti:

See you next month with more Good News!

With all my best,


p.s. There is always a reason to have hope! If I could beat my eating disorder, 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:

*©2014 Shannon Cutts & MentorCONNECT

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 andMentorCONNECT cannot be held liable for any activities undertaken as a part or result of receiving or participating in these online communities.

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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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