Good News for Recovery + Life (March 2015) How I Absolutely, Positively KNOW You Can Recover I'll bet you are expecting me to say, "I know you can r

Shannon Cutts Web Header

Good News for Recovery + Life (March 2015)


How I Absolutely, Positively KNOW You Can Recover


This sweet baby is my 14-year-old parrot, Pearl. When we first met, he was a 6-week-old chick with bitten toes and a bum wing....and I was still struggling with the last bits of my eating disorder plus depression and anxiety. Today we are both happy, healthy, and thriving - and we both love breathing air!!

I'll bet you are expecting me to say, "I know you can recover because I recovered."

I'm not.

The best way to know whether you have what it takes to recover is to run out of air for a minute.

Do you immediately gasp for another breath the first chance you get?

If you answered "yes," you have what it takes.

When I was six, we went swimming in a very cold natural spring.

I was feeling ambitious, so I struck out on my own, swimming out into the deep clear waters.

Suddenly everything went numb. I started to sink. Since nothing in me agreed with the concept of me drowning, my mind argued with reality.

Luckily, while it was arguing with the rest of me, the lifeguard jumped in and swam me back to safety.

I didn't realize during the many years I was struggling to recover that that one experience proved I had everything I needed to achieve my recovery goals.

But now I do.

We definitely find support in compassionate mentors, in big "bucket list" goals, in professionals trained to treat us.

But our biggest support - and our absolute, positive PROOF we have what it takes to recover from ANYTHING life hands us - is our own insatiable craving for one more breath.

This is how I absolutely, positively already know you have what it takes to recover.

And to LIVE.

And to THRIVE.

With great respect and love,



This month in Good News:

Inspiration for Recovery & Life from "Beating Ana"
Animal Mentors: "Made for Each Other"
Love & Feathers: "Meeting Your Heroes"
Reserve your copy of Pearl's new BOOK!
Mentoring & Recovery Blog: "Coping with Comparison Envy"
Invite Me to Speak!
About Me
Take Good News & Pass it On
Free Mentoring for Eating Disorders Recovery


Inspiration for Recovery + Life from "Beating Ana"

AnaCover 3DBorder

So, now, take back your beauty. Take back the beauty in your own skin, the beauty in your own life, the beauty in the lives all around you.

Take back the vision to see beauty in all of the people and places where you previously allowed yourself none. Take back your right to claim beauty in the infinite, unique variety so freely available to your eyes, ears, mind, body, heart, spirit.

Take back your right to define what beauty is to you, how it speaks, walks, talks, breathes, forms, creates, and lives.

Take back your right to accept and experience this wondrous gift for yourself, and then reclaim your right to turn around and share the moments of beauty in your life with us all.

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


Animal Mentors: "Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond"


by Meg Daley Olmert

In a way, Meg Daley Olmert’s book “Made for Each Other” didn’t tell me anything any animal lover doesn’t already know.

Hanging out with our pets feels good. Check.

They seem to enjoy it too. Check.

We need our pets as much as (okay, probably more) than they need us. Check, check.

Rather, what I learned from Daley Olmert’s book is why all of these statements are true.

It all boils down one word: "biology."

At the heart of our biological connection is a hormone called "oxytocin."

Here is the 30-second version of how it all works.

When my parrot, Pearl, and I hang out together, we both produce oxytocin, which strengthens our shared bond.

Oxytocin not only makes us feel good, but it helps us tell each other apart from others (mama birds use oxytocin to identify their chicks if they get separated).

Because oxytocin's effects are cumulative over time, the more time we spend together, the better it feels and the stronger our bond becomes.

The same holds true for the time I spend with my baby tortoise, Malti. My feelings for her grow stronger each time we share time together. This is oxytocin at work.

If you want to learn more about the biology of why we crave the company of non-human companions, "Made for Each Other" is a must-read!

==> To learn more about "Made for Each Other": CLICK HERE


Meeting Your Heroes


Well, hello there! It is an honor to meet you, Mr. President Bald Eagle Sir.

It is an exciting day indeed when you finally come face to face with one of your heroes.

For so long you have dreamed of this moment....and then all of a sudden they are standing right in front of you in the feathers!

You may feel tongue-tied....even shy.

You may want to give a bow....or gush.

But somehow you pull yourself together, gather your thoughts, and offer a greeting.

==> To read the full post click HERE

==> To follow Love & Feathers click HERE

ReserveMyCopy wbird

Coping with Comparison Envy

Dandelion large-225x169

Nature is a helpful mentor when I am struggling with comparison envy. This dandelion isn’t worrying about whether the dandelion next to it has fluffier seed “wings” to create new flowers – it just does what it was made to do (and brings me much joy in the process!)

"Comparison envy.”

For me at least, this is what happens when I start thinking about how I want my life to be different.

Then I start thinking about people I know (or don’t know).

Then I start assuming their lives are working out in ways mine is not.

Then I get jealous of them.

If left unchecked, such ruminations can go on for minutes….days….or my whole life.

I can spend my whole life immersed in comparison envy – jealous of my own imaginings of how much better someone else’s life/relationship/body image/income/success is than mine.

It goes without saying that the side effects of comparison envy are equally unpleasant.

While I am busy envying my own imaginings, I am also discounting, ignoring, and sometimes even outright rejecting the blessings I receive.

Whether it is a “good hair” day or a diagnosis of “all clear,” an unexpected financial windfall or a sweet compliment just when I most need to hear one, when comparison envy is at work within me, I won’t notice any blessings in my actual life.

And I certainly won’t appreciate them.

==> To read the full blog post, click HERE

==> To follow Mentoring & Recovery click HERE


Invite Me to Speak!

BU logo color320

I battled an eating disorder, anxiety, and deep depression starting at age 11.

As I progressed through high school and then college, my life just got harder and harder.


Like most of my peers, I knew how to study and get good grades.

But it was what I didn't know - how to fix the pain inside - that nearly killed me.


Now I live a life I love, filled with relationships I cherish (including my relationship with me!)

I am happy, healthy, having FUN and pursuing my dreams.


How did I get from there - a terrified, hopeless anorexic - to here?

Experience "Beauty Undressed" and find out!




About Me

PearlHatPurple Trans

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. We offer individual and group mentoring eating disorders recovery support.

My newest book-in-progress focuses on how wonderfully our pets can mentor us! This new book is full of feathers, fur, shells, fins, and more!

==> 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 and build a beautiful, happy, love-filled life for myself, YOU CAN TOO.


Take Good News & Pass It On!

GoodNews crop

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 for Eating Disorders Recovery

MC NewBanner crop

MentorCONNECT Thanks Our Legacy Sponsor!


MentorCONNECT Thanks Our Circle of Hope Sponsors!

Center for Change

Timberline Knolls

Oliver-Pyatt Centers


Rosewood Ranch


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:

*©2015 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.

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

email facebook goodreads instagram itunes linkedin twitter youtube