Kimberly in Miss Valley Miss CA USA 2010 Pageant, photo credit, Ben Zio Photography
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Kimberly Spencer continued the interview.
In her words, “Addressing the issue with my parents was one of the hardest confessions I have ever had to make. Living with an eating disorder as a teenager can feel seductive because you have a secret. You feel rebellious. Destroying that facade by talking about the fact that you have a problem is HUGE. When I was sixteen, I finally told my parents I was bulimic and I needed help. I started talking about it with friends too. My parents and my friends surrounded me with love and support and helped give me the strength to take one day at a time and be kind to my body.
Especially, though, my belief that God put me here for a reason, allowed me to see beyond the momentary pain or issue. Prayer was a huge part in my recovery. Belief in God gave me the ability to see the meta picture, which allowed me to zoom back into the moment to see if my decision to purge or overstuff myself in that moment would really serve my greater purpose, or my greater good. Living trapped in my insecurities and is not living my purpose, nor is it helping anyone else, especially not myself.
My relationship with God helped give me greater perspective."
She shared how she will use social media to reach more people with her healing message.
“In January 2015, I will be launching a new YouTube Channel, The Morning Stretch, giving you a heaping serving of Monday motivation to help you kick your week into healthy, happy, high gear, with health, fitness, nutrition, and productivity tips. Also, coming out in January, I will be in my Queen of the Universe Pageant sister, Miss Venezuela, Gia Fey's fitness video series: Curvy Girls Bootcamp.
In late 2015, I will be releasing my first book, Crown Yourself with Confidence, about how you can love your body more and increase your confidence, using the lessons I learned from my years in pageants.
For more information about these, sign up for updates on http://www.fitnesswithkim.com.”
Her advice for parents of kids who are overweight, “A child's body changes so much from infant to child. Keep this in mind when you first have concerns about your child’s weight. Since kid’s bodies are constantly growing and re-shaping themselves as they grow into teens and adults, sometimes it takes their bodies a little time to keep up with their appetites.
When dealing with any weight issues with children, address them with kindness and live by example. Encourage healthy, organic, food choices, but don't be too strict with making sure they eat healthy. Show them by example how eating healthier, and choosing smarter food options like fresh fruits and veggies, gives you more energy, rather than the processed food options. However, allow them to indulge in the occasional junk food just like you allow yourself to indulge as well.
Kids are parrots. They mimic what they see because that's the only way they know how to do something is by watching what and how their parents, friends, and teachers are doing things. This includes eating patterns. I didn't realize until much later that my parent’s emotional eating patterns and addictive food issues helped contribute to my bizarre eating habits as a child and this eventually shaped my bulimia battle.”
Her closing words, “The best advice I ever received, that applies to everything, from your relationship with your body to your relationship with your work, your colleges, friends, and family: 'Be Kind to Yourself.' (You can thank my mom for that one.)”
To interface with Kimberly, “You can sign up for weekly health and fitness tips through Fitness with Kim (http://www.fitnesswithkim.com). If you want to join the movement to stop youth eating disorders and provide positive body image solutions, sign up at Dying to Be Thin (http://www.dyingtobethin.org) for updates as well.
And, stay tuned for The Morning Stretch coming in January 2015 on Youtube!”