Nicole Rohr Stephani is a writer in Birmingham, Alabama. She suffered from anorexia and bulimia for 10 years, completing 3 stents in treatment, before finally entering recovery. To this day, she still deals with more bad body image days than good ones, and realizes she is not alone. In an effort to create a positive community for men and women who are paralyzed by negative body image, Nicole founded Body Boop. Read below what she has to say!

Question: What is Body Boop?
Answer: Body Boop is a place for people to come together and cheer each other on as they achieve eating disorder recovery goals. By discussing mental illness openly and learning to talk to ourselves and others in respectful ways when it comes to the way we look, we can promote effective change for generations to come. Body Boop always donates 10% of profits from events and merchandise to eating disorder organizations, to provide support for research efforts and treatment.

Q: What inspired you to create Body Boop?
A: As someone in eating disorder recovery who is trained as a journalist, I became frustrated with the way the media triggers those suffering from eating disorders by using numbers, and uses the shock value of before and after pictures with people who have been significantly underweight or overweight in the throws of their diseases. I wanted to create a safe, positive media platform that discusses serious eating disorder and mental health issues without triggering the reader. We have strict editorial policies that every Body Boop writer has to abide by, and I feel that they are still able to speak their mind and relay critical information to the general public and to the recovery community.

Q: What is the next step for Body Boop?
A: Next year, I’m going through yoga teacher training, so I hope to add some expertise to the blog related to yoga. My dream is to offer yoga and meditation guidance and classes for those in recovery. I also love to align myself with other wellness brands in an effort to help those in recovery, especially if there are sliding scales or affordable services offered to people who do not have insurance or who are spending a large amount of money on treatment.

Q: What advice do you have for young girls if they have an eating disorder?
A: When you’re in the middle of your eating disorder, it’s hard to see the potential that the future holds. I know that when I was a teenager dealing with my eating disorder for the first time, I had many hopeless thoughts related to my depression. I want young girls to know that there is so much waiting for them when they get healthy and recover, even if they can’t see it now. I am married with a successful career and we’re thinking about kids, and none of this would have been possible if I were still actively in my eating disorder. Recovery requires a lot of hard work, but it gets easier and you can achieve full remission, as well as your hopes and dreams.

Q: Where can they go for help?
A: While I write about my experience with mental health issues, I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or other mental health care professional. I list lots of resources on my website at http://www.mybodyboop.com/eating-disorder-resources/. I list the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) there, which Body Boop supports with donations year round. Always call 911 with any emergencies, and if you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

Our thanks go out to Nicole Rohr Stephani for doing this interview!

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