I am so thrilled to introduce you all to Julie Parker, an Australia-based counselor and coach who is just amazing (and a kindred spirit for so many reasons including the face that her business is named Beautiful You). Julie is the author of a book called My Recovery: Inspiring Stories, Recovery Tips, and Messages of Hope from Eating Disorder Survivors and has so much wisdom to share with women from all walks of life, facing all sorts of challenges. I asked her to share some of her wisdom with us here. Enjoy!
I love the concept of your book, My Recovery: Inspiring Stories, Recovery Tips and Messages of Hope from Eating Disorder Survivors. Can you tell us about what inspired book and what approach you took in it?
Thank you Rosie! The thing that most inspired me in making the decision to write ‘My Recovery’ was my clients. So many of them had told me while on a recovery path that what they really wanted was to be able to talk to and learn from people who had been where they were and had recovered. When someone is in the depths of a torturous eating disorder truly believing that one day you will be well can be very hard to fathom. They wanted to talk to people who had truly made it, beaten it, done it, and were now living happy and healthy lives eating disorder free. I knew I couldn’t match people up in that way in person due to the demand, so the next best step was to write a book. And so ‘My Recovery’ came to be.
I was very definite in my approach to writing ‘My Recovery’, again something that was deeply influenced by my clients. Many of them said they found some recovery stories very triggering because they included intimate details of food rituals, calories consumed, weights and even self-harming behaviours. I wanted to challenge myself to write the stories of the 18 people in ‘My Recovery’ in as real and powerful as way as they deserved, but also without mentioning these things so it could be a book safely given to someone of any age and stage of recovery without it being of potential concern. I’m so proud I chose to write it that way and believe that the stories are just as raw and engaging in their spirit without those inclusions.
What is a recovery tip you have for readers?
There are so many tips I could possibly share but the one I think most powerful that I have learned from those who have recovered, is that you must back yourself and fully engage with people who love and care for you. It’s only when you do that and truly make the decision to immerse yourself in whatever it takes to get well, that you will get stronger and the eating disorder weaker.
Your professional life is really an inspiration (and varied). Can you talk a little about your mission and how you live it?
I’ve truly never thought of myself as having a life mission but something I’ve come to learn with absolute clarity is that showing myself love and compassion is the way to achieving what I want, feeling beautiful and content, and living the life I truly want. Living that way has opened so many amazing doors, experiences and opportunities to me and now it thrills me that I get a chance to make my living as a coach and counsellor that inspires others to develop that same sense of self-love knowing how positively it can impact their business, career, relationships and life.
What is something you most appreciate about yourself?
I think I’ve got a great sense of humour and I really appreciate how I laugh and can find the lighter side of things most days. It helps me to feel brighter and even more resilient, always remembering that even if I’m having a less than great day or experience or even week – there’s something great not too far away.
What is a community issue you care about and why?
I deeply care about helping children and young people develop positive body image from a young age. I would love to think that generations to come are going to be a great deal more embracing and accepting of their bodies and themselves than many adults currently are today.
What do you wish all women knew?
That they were uniquely beautiful with no need to compare themselves to anyone else. Oh how I wish all women knew that!
‘My Recovery’ is available via Momentum Books both in e-format and print and usual outlets such as Amazon. People can learn more about my coaching, counselling and speaking work at my website Beautiful You where they can also download a free copy of my guide ‘101 Tips to Living Your Most Real, True and Beautiful Life.’