Today I’m talking to Melanie Gibson, from Texas, USA; athlete, writer, corporate employee, eating disorder survivor and creator of the blog Little Black Belt. Melanie’s healing journey has been intrinsically linked with the sport of taekwondo. She began taekwondo training at age ten, then took a 22-year break, before returning to it in her early thirties. Melanie is a second degree black belt and is a third degree black belt candidate. Melanie began having body image issues around the age of 13, this leading to restrictive eating and later over-exercise and binge eating, through her teens and into her twenties. The eating issues calmed somewhat for many years, although body image struggles remained. Melanie loved sports and being active but this was also a way to manage body image concerns. Then in February 2021, at the age of 41, Melanie returned to therapy after experiencing multiple stressors in 2020 (not only a global pandemic but an anterior cruciate ligament tear, surgery, and grueling workplace demands). Her identity as an athlete, martial artist and all-fit person came crashing down. Melanie found herself returning to restricting food and obsessively weighing again and was diagnosed with atypical anorexia nervosa.
Thankfully, today, Melanie is now doing much better and, on a journey, to overcoming her eating disorder. In this episode, she talks about her working on her mental health and eating disorder over the years, through taekwondo, therapy and other tools, moving towards a place of true recovery and healing. Melanie’s book: - Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts is available wherever books are sold. Do get a copy! I hope that you enjoy this conversation.
To find out more about Melanie:
Twitter: Melanie Gibson Author / @TaekwondoLBB
Facebook: Melanie Gibson Author