I recently read Jessie Diggins’ book, Brave Enough, which is about her life, sport and recovery from an eating disorder. I have been captivated by her story ever since, which led me to want to interview her for EDAW.
Jessie’s legacy is that she was the first to win a cross-country skiing gold medal for the United States, capturing the title in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. Just a few years prior to her win, however, Jessie was battling bulimia. With the help of her family and The Emily Program, she entered recovery.
Jessie spoke to me from Europe where she has been training for the World Cup. She shared wonderful lessons pertaining to food, nutrition and recovery – and life in general – during our conversation. The following powerful messages from Jessie are the most notable to me:
- “I remember learning that my eating disorder was not my fault,” Jessie shared. Imagine that – feeling as though you are somehow to blame for this disorder. Jessie described the shame and guilt attached to her ED, which is all too common in my ED clients.
- “You do not have to be perfect to achieve happiness, be worthy of love, and achieve success in life.” Jessie says this self-acceptance actually helped her let go of striving for perfection and helped her win the Olympics!
- “Reaching out for help is a show of strength!” Yes, Jessie! I 100% agree. Reaching out for help and support on your path to ED recovery is incredibly brave.
- “Take time for self care.” Jessie talks about what she likes to do for fun including spending time in her vegetable and herb garden, cooking, and remodeling her Boston-area condo. Right now she is currently planning her wedding! Taking time to tune into your passions and tune out your ED are therapeutic.
Jessie truly is ‘Brave Enough’. Listen to my full interview with her here.