CNN: How Yoga Helped One Anorexic Get Her Life Back.

Via Chelsea Roff
on Dec 12, 2012
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Two weeks before my fifteenth birthday, I knocked on death’s front door and begged him to let me in.

I was 58 pounds, had just suffered a stroke, and anorexia had siphoned away any desire I had left to live. Fortunately, death did not oblige. He cracked open the door, took one look at me, and slammed it back shut in my face.

That was six years ago. If you’d have told me then that today I would be speaking to Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent on CNN, about how yoga can help people who struggle with eating disorders, I never would have believed you. But here I am… alive, healthy, and dare I say it, happy! I feel incredibly grateful to my friends, doctors, teachers and community for helping me get to the place I am today.

I want those who struggle with this illness to know that recovery is possible. I hope that sharing this story publicly will remind people grappling with hardship in silence and isolation that they are not alone. Finally, I hope we can begin abolishing some of the stigma associated with eating disorders and show how many of the misconceptions often taken to be the disease are merely symptoms.

Below is the video interview from CNN. If you have or know someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

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About Chelsea Roff

Chelsea Roff is a nationally-recognized author and speaker, and the Founder of Yoga for Eating Disorders. In September 2013, Chelsea raised $50,000 on the crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo to kickstart her non-profit, Yoga for Eating Disorders. The program is currently being offered in treatment centers and yoga studios around the country at no charge, and she is working with researchers at UC San Diego to evaluate the program’s effectiveness in treatment. Chelsea is known for her intelligent, inspiring, and tell-it-like-it-is speaking style, and for weaving together profound personal experiences with her scientific background to deliver deeply moving insights. After nearly losing her life to anorexia and a subsequent stroke when she was 15, she has became a national advocate for community-based mental health interventions. Her work was recently showcased by Sanjay Gupta on CNN, and she’s been keynote speaker at 92nd Street Y, The Omega Institute, and at various universities and conferences around the country. Chelsea currently lives in Venice, California, where she can be found cartwheeling across the beach, hiking in the mountains, and practicing yoga poses on her little pink scooter.


7 Responses to “CNN: How Yoga Helped One Anorexic Get Her Life Back.”

  1. cjk216 says:

    We love you Chelsea! What a strong and loving inspiration you are to all of your friends and to so many whom you do not even know. Thank you friend. In Peace and Strength!!!

  2. Gabriela says:

    HI Chelsea. This is so interesting that I'm reading/watching this now when just a couple of days ago I decided to confront my friend who I suspect is anorexic. I am so worried for her, she loses weight every day and she looks more and more fatigued (I've heard she's been under treatment in the past but it doesn't look like that has been working). I am concerned that she may misunderstand my intentions and feel attacked. She is very sensitive and I am wondering how to bring such a subject without her thinking I'm being judgmental. I feel that I can't just sit aside and watch her wither. What kind of friend would do that? I care about her health and it hurts to know that such a beautiful person (outside and within) cannot see and appreciate her own beauty. I'd like to help her see that beauty and nurture it in a healthy way, how can I do that? How can I help her flourish?

  3. Great video, Chelsea. Very inspiring.


  4. […] CNN: How Yoga Helped One Anorexic Get Her Life Back. […]

  5. yoginama says:

    Hi Chelsea,

    Share the message! I active struggled with anorexia for 5 years, though the negative thoughts probably started 5 years earlier. It wasn't until yoga that I threw away the diet pills and decided to learn to love myself. Thank you for sharing.

  6. There are few better examples than this of how beneficial yoga can be. It literally turned her entire life around.