Sloane Pitman Wellness
wellness

So, how are you?

It’s been almost 6 months since I first shared about my relapse. When I posted, I had been working with a treatment team of 4 professionals for 4 months already. Almost a full year ago my behaviors with food tipped from obsessive and restricted, yet socially acceptable into diagnosable anorexic criteria (though, still in some ways socially acceptable…more on that later). Over these last few months, I’ve written at length about my real, raw experience with this disorder that’s gripped for more than a decade. Lately, I’ve exchanged powerfully vulnerable captions for brand-building, educational, and promotional ones. For me, this shift has been an organic one; I write what I feel I can speak about with truth and clarity. So while I have completely recovered (more on this below) I’ve not yet felt comfortable sharing my experience in a way that feels authentic and anecdotal. From my own experience following recovery stories, I know that there is a thin line dividing those that are inspirational yet allow the readers to retain their own identity and agency, and those that read like hollow advice or bragging (“I recovered and SO CAN YOU!”).

However, I’ve been bombarded lately by the same question: “How are you?”

The tone of people’s voices and/or the looks on their faces suggests they want to ask a different question but can’t find the words; one that allows them to express the fullness and complexity of what it is they are actually trying to ask, rather than the culturally and socially conditioned greeting that lends itself to only one answer – “Good”. No, I imagine they’d rather say something like, “So I know you were super open about a relapse into anorexia; you look fine now – thicker, softer, fuller. Are you better? Are you still sad? What’s going on with you, really?”

My answer?

I’m awake – I feel again, I care again. I want to learn, to teach, to touch, to cry, to laugh, to dance, to sing, to scream, to protest, to write, to speak, to hug, to move, to rest, to sleep, to fuck, to eat, to drink, to swim. I want to LIVE again, when for months I wanted to die; I felt dead inside already.

I feel more connected to life than I ever have been before – life feels important, precious. The most dramatic shift I’ve experienced is that for the first time I feel like my life, specifically, is important, precious. I’ve wanted to believe it for so long; my first few years of recovery helped open my eyes to the possibility that I could matter. I had hints of hope that I could contribute to this world in a way that no one else ever has, is, or will. Yet even in all the years of working in recovery, the belief remained that it would take a certain amount of repentance or restitution to overcome what a waste of a person I’d been before. I’d still need to accomplish something to earn the purpose and meaning I so desperately sought. So I spent years diving into personal development and wellness, trying to fight my way to the top of those realms so that eventually I could say I’d helped enough people to matter. I had this unconscious belief that still ruled me – it was the belief that originally sparked and drove my eating disorder for so many years, that kept me enslaved by perfectionism in years of pseudo-recovery. I’m inherently broken. At my core, I don’t deserve love; deserve to be severely punished in fact. I must never let anyone see how broken I really am, and must always, always be working to hide my dysfunction and brokenness, and striving to overcome it. I had no idea how powerfully this narrative was still running in my system. I certainly had no idea that it was keeping me from extended deep compassion and acceptance to others; even causing me to carry judgments into my classes, closest relationships, let alone strangers. This relapse brought that belief and its ripple effects glaringly into awareness, and forced me to break up with my relationship to being defective. I was carrying the burden of being unloveable into every aspect of my life. Every struggle I had been facing was caused in some way, or at the very least exacerbated by my own inability to see myself as a miniscule yet magnificent part of a universal system of physics and chemistry infused by spirit.

Important here is that I tried to see myself (and the world) in that new way for a number of years. Conceptually, I latched on to every idea from Buddhism, Christianity, New Age spirituality and so on that claims we are all deserving of love and part of the same whole – no different than anyone else, yet paradoxically unique in our contribution. I could intuit that as true, and on a cerebral level absolutely held it as Truth. Yet somatically, the old belief remained – an old, infected software program covertly operating my entire neurological system.

For me, this relapse provided a unique opportunity to heal what I didn’t know I hadn’t healed. To break the systems I didn’t know were silently breaking me. It took a while, but eventually I was able to see the severe restricting, the compulsive exercise, and the self-hatred as a call to a higher level of functionality in this world. With that perception (and a fucking phenomenal support team of physicians, therapists, family and friends) I started to question things I’d never questioned before. No behavior, thought, communication pattern was off limits from my own inquiry and challenge. I spent hours each day filtering through my thoughts, writing out my behavior chains, asking over and over, “Is there another way to see this, think about this, experience this? Is this really how it seems to be? Why might I be inclined to see it only this way? What is my fixed perception protecting and perpetuating?”

This inquiry led me to healing techniques I would have never considered before, challenged my ideas and opened my soul to new conceptions of health, weight, wellness, wellbeing, what it is to be a woman in 21st century America, why we act/think/believe the way we do, movement, fitness, eating, sex, trauma, recovery, and spirituality. I found great teachers in Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, Tantric philosophy and practice, sexual vibrancy/vitality, embodied and intuitive leadership and communication, and healing the body as a tool to balance and heal the BEING. I could go on for pages about how my behaviors have shifted, what tools/modalities I recommend, etc. etc. and for this post, none of that matters.

Yes, my relationship to food and exercise is drastically different than it’s ever been in my entire life. My body is healing, growing, softening, and my perception of that is changing. And just as importantly, my soul is changed. My relationship to life is changed. My purpose is changed. I am malleable. I am practicing compassion. I am allowing myself to be loved. Does that answer your question?

wellness yoga

Your body needs this.

Myofacial Release (MFR).

This is the class I am most passionate about teaching, and most excited to offer. It requires no flexibility, strength or prior knowledge of the body, yet is highly effective for all bodies. Whether your body is in pain from training daily, or stiff from never training at all, this technique radically transforms your internal state.

December 3 and December 17 I’m offering a  60-minute workshop at Seek Studio in SLC where you’ll learn MFR techniques that will help rehydrate your tissues, offer relief to muscles stuck in a holding pattern of “locked short” or “locked long”, stimulate a release in specific triggerpoints that often cause pain and strain throughout a line of myofascial tissue. The best part is, you’ll leave empowered to continue the practices at home to help support your own healing and  and pain relief. Through these classes and techniques, you’ll build the trust and communication skills necessary to discern what the  physical sensations you feel in your body are communicating to you, and feel empowered to care for yourself skillfully and masterfully.

Yes, those are some really bold claims for the outcomes of an hour class. If you’re anything like me, you want to know how I can promise such things, and what distinguishes this class from any other practice or workshop that touts empowerment, healing, and pain relief. I am a firm believer that that they better language we have to describe, engage with, and communicate about a subject, the more empowered we are within the bounds of that subject matter. This class teaches you new language skills about your body, and dramatically increases your kinesthetic intelligence quotient in the process. You’ll learn what myofacia even means, how its connected, and how it relates to your mobility, strength, stability, balance, and wellbeing (or lack thereof). You’ll learn how muscles work (SPOILER: its not just contraction/extension like you had pounded into your mind in 12th grade anatomy), what causes common patterns of dysfunction, and discover what those patterns feel like in your body. I take care to teach these new language skills in a way that is highly accessible to everyone, no matter your familiarity with anatomy, science, or vocabulary.

However, while you will gain new skills in accurately describing your physical condition, you will also gain language skills of sensation. MFR teaches you how to navigate your body’s tissue terrain with skill and expertise. You will learn what healthy, mobile, hydrated tissue feels like, and how it contrasts to dense, compressed, overworked tissue, and atrophied underused tissue. You’ll be able to navigate different nuances of pain, and learn how the deep, achy pain of release and disruption feels like compared to zingy nerve pain, or pain that comes from acute injury, or pain that is a stimulated emotional response. Once practiced in the language of body sensation, you will be able to know much more about how to accurately care for and treat yourself; this includes knowing when to recruit help from certain professionals, and which professionals to see (massage therapist, movement therapist, PT, MD, RD, therapist, or emotional healer).

I could go on for days and days about the benefits of learning to navigate the world of your body, and for now, I’ll leave you with an invitation – join me at Seek, December 3rd and December 17th to experience it for yourself.

You can also book privately with me for yourself or a small group, in person or over Zoom online meeting software. Contact sloanepitmanyoga@gmail.com for details.

wellness yoga

the blog – what to expect

It is my intention that this site play two roles. First, it is where clients and potential clients can connect and work with me, in whatever capacity is accurate for them. Second, I hope to create it as a resource for all people interested in wellbeing, vitality, movement and mindfulness.

I’ll be posting content about my upcoming projects as well as creating articles and posts that detail my own exploration and experience with these practices. Writing, for me, has always been a way to organize and take a clear look at my own thoughts, and over the last few years it has become one of the most powerful ways in which I can connect to others.  I write not because I have the answers, but because I’m searching for them. Much of what I write will be personal reflections; as-lived discoveries, frustrations, and victories, and other times will be links to articles, podcasts, or videos that I’ve found useful, inspiring, thought-provoking, and educational. Enjoy, and please let me know what your thoughts, responses and feedback are in the comments. I love to hear from you.

yoga

welcome to sloane pitman wellness

Hi everyone.

This website has been a long time coming, and a labor of love. I can’t wait to share with you new content, publish my class schedules, and allow you to easily book individual or group sessions with me. Bear with me, this project is still a work in progress.

My request is that you explore what content is available now, and please reach out to me via email to request booking and pricing. sloanepitmanyoga@gmail.com is the best way to reach me until I have my online booking available.

I can’t wait to work with you!