AGAINST ALL ODDS

Learn how overcoming personal obstacles inspired one woman’s journey to wellness

BY CIGNA

2015-09-30 Meditation“I didn’t want to think about it or acknowledge it,” Lizzie Jacobsen says. It was exactly two years ago, and she was coming to terms with the sad but inevitable truth — her burgeoning eating disorder was something she could no longer ignore. “I just wanted the pain to go away.” Since that day, Lizzie’s life has been a constant pursuit of wellness, but on her terms and in the right way. For two years, she bounced from doctor to doctor, but every suggestion for treatment seemed temporary; a flimsy Band-Aid on a cut that ran deep. “I wanted to heal from the inside out. I wanted to make something of my eating disorder. I didn’t want this to capture me. I didn’t want it to define me; I wanted to define it.”

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, at some point in their lives, 30 million people (two-thirds of them women) in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder. Research funds for prevention and treatment are paltry in comparison the diseases’ prevalence. Lizzie’s struggle to find effective treatment, treatment that could heal her from the inside out, inspired her to approach her problem from a different perspective.

Acupuncture therapy led to meditation and yoga. She became a certified instructor at two different yoga studios, both in the Twin Cities area. “Out of all these disappointments, I’ve been able to turn them around….I want to use what happened to me to help others. “

“I loved that I was able to inspire people to take care of themselves — mind, body and soul.” Despite the deeply personal journey that recovery has been (and Lizzie openly admits that recovery, in this case, is a long process), she’s managed to find a way to help others, to influence others by leading in a positive way. “Fitness to me now is feeling healthy, whole and connected to myself.” Two years ago, “going to the gym” meant beating herself up to have the perfect body (impossible), now she embraces a lifestyle of moderation. Her favorite “workout” is a walk around the lake.

It’s with this perspective that she embarks on the next phase of her health journey, becoming a certified health coach.  “I think people will trust me because I’ve been through it,” she says. “I can serve others through the difficulties that I had.”

Taking time to reduce anxieties and assess your mental health is important. Learn how to promote wellbeing with these tips, brought to you by Cigna.