Are you doubting yourself? Read this.

This weekend, I’m gearing up to speak at the North Dakota Counseling Association conference. I’ll be giving my “No, I Can’t ‘Just Go Eat a Cheeseburger’” presentation to counselors from across the state, sharing not only some of the warning signs of the different kinds of eating disorders, but also what it takes to truly recover, and where counselors and parents can turn for information and other help.

I’m thrilled to have such a great opportunity to share what I’ve learned with such amazing people, who really do change lives on a daily basis. It’s my hope that the information I can give will help them inspire and guide those lives just a little more easily—especially in cases of eating disorders, where early intervention is so essential.

That’s not to say that presenting is easy for me. No matter how many groups I’ve spoken to in the past, it’s never a completely easy thing to just come right out in front of a whole roomful of people and start talking about some of the things I used to do. Before I began my own battle, I used to make fun of people who had eating disorders; I just didn’t understand how stealthily they can sneak up on you, and how strong and unrelenting of a grip they can have once you’re pulled into them. I also have a funny habit of holding my breath when I’m speaking sometimes, which often leaves me a little lightheaded—not a terribly pleasant feeling when you’re standing in front of all those people!

The thing I always try to remember—and what I hope you will remember for yourself—is that as long as you know you’re trying to do something positive, everything will work out in one way or another. When I start to feel lightheaded, and then start to panic a bit because of that lightheadedness, I center myself by taking those big deep breaths I need to take, and refocusing on my purpose. I keep going, because I know that there’s something important I need to do.

I don’t believe you can fail as long as you are giving your best efforts to do something positive. You may have a stumbling block or two on the way, but eventually, you will be successful. There are days when I wonder whether I am really making any sort of difference with my blog or my speaking or anything else I am doing, and I start to feel a little down. But then, somebody somewhere will give me that little bit of inspiration I need in order to keep going. Often, that “somebody” is someone who has been reading my blog—and so I have to thank you for your continued support and words of encouragement.

Today, I hope to offer you that same sense of encouragement.

Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish right now, keep your eye on the prize. As long as you are persistent, I know that you will find the answers that you are looking for. If something doesn’t work out for you, it’s just a sign that there is a better way. Keep your faith, and keep going until you discover that way!

Love, Hope, & Prayers,

Justine Duppong

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