Sonia Seguin, who is 5 years recovered from an eating disorder, founded Body Brave to support eating disorder recovery. Body Brave offers peer support, psychotherapy, yoga, meditation and other mind and body methodologies. We interviewed Sonia to find out more about how she went through her eating disorder and how she believes parents can and should be involved in the healing process. Her comments are below:
I developed an eating disorder when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I struggled with various forms of eating disorders for about eight years and went through the gamut of treatment options, including inpatient. I finally found recovery through a combination of tools that I picked up along the way. I’ve been recovered for about five years now.
This summer, I launched a recovery business with husband. My mom is a psychotherapist and my dad is a medical doctor and they have since joined the team. We work to help individuals and families deal with eating disorders, primarily through a peer support model in which people who have eating disorders and their parents can talk about all sorts of things and get support across a broad range of subjects.
I want both parents and their children who are dealing with an eating disorder to know that eating disorders are very prevalent, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. As parents, you can just try to address it as quickly as possible.
I know that for my parents, it took a little time for them to process the reality of my eating disorder. My mom went back through every minute of her life to review where she had gone wrong. What she had done. There’s a real tendency for self-blame, but nobody is to blame.
I think eating disorders need to be addressed very deliberately and never in isolation. I think that getting outside help, rather than trying to solve it just within the family system, is ideal. Emotions run so high, and it’s a confusing time for everyone.
I also think that parents need to make sure they take care of themselves, and that their voice is heard throughout the process. So many parents are kept out of the process. My parents were given a 50-50 chance of recovery for me, and very few ways in which they could help me. That is just unacceptable. Parents are such a big part of our lives, and I don’t see how that is useful at all.
Parents should set clear boundaries for themselves. It’s not all about the person who has an eating disorder – it’s also about the parents and other family members. For a while, all of the focus was on me and my eating disorder, and it was very harmful for my parents. When one person gets an eating disorder, it’s like the whole family gets an eating disorder.
Most of all, I want parents to know that I am aware my parents made some mistakes; I also know that I did, too. I love them, and our relationship is loving. Working on this business together is a real indication of the fact that we can heal.
Sonia Seguin, founder and owner of Body Brave, suffered from an eating disorder during her late teens and early 20s and was able to achieve recovery through a unique combination of tools and skills. She brings her experiences of recovery to Body Brave in the form of peer support. With a team that comprises both medical professionals and meditation and yoga teachers, Body Brave offers one-on-one peer support, professional counseling, public workshops as well as phone and video counseling for those not in the area. She holds a Master’s in Business and Economics from Wilfrid Laurier and is a trained Yoga and Meditation teacher. Website