We All Have a Story, Ashley Yang: Rochester, NY Portrait Project
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Friday, May 22, 2020
By Hayes Photography
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There’s this stereotypical image of a person with an eating disorder as skin-and-bones, but I’ve learned that’s not true. You can have an eating disorder at any body size. That was something that was hard for me to understand for a long time, and delayed my recovery for many years. 

The thing about having an eating disorder is that it never really leaves you. The voice that tells you you’re fat and worthless and lazy gets quieter, and some days you almost can’t hear it, but it’s still there. Sometimes it sneaks up and shouts at you again until you can’t hear anything else. Recovery means learning to live with that voice in relative peace. It means finding things you care about more than gaining weight. For me, one of those things is teaching, and I’ve learned that you can’t teach on an empty tank. I need to be fully fueled to be the best teacher I can be. That means I need to make sure I’m going to therapy and following my meal plan from my dietician. I have to be careful about what I follow on social media, and really aware of my stressors and triggers, because when I get stressed, food is the first thing to go. And if things start to slip, I have to ask for more help, because recovery is a choice. I choose to pursue it. 

Ashley Yang

Social Studies Teacher

Webster Thomas High School

I began working with Ashley at Webster Thomas High School last year and continue to do so again this year. I was delighted when she agreed to be a part of it. She is such an enthusiastic person both in the classroom and out. Her message is so important to anyone with a disorder of some kind and I'm grateful that she is courageous enough to speak out about it. 

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Leave a comment:
Lynne - What a beautiful way to reach out and help others. By sharing personal experiences, we let people know that they are not alone.
Kim - My daughter loves Ashley! She is an inspiration to her and it’s meant a lot for Amy to have her to connect with at school. Great story!
Donna Head - Kudos for sharing your story, Ashley! I know that by sharing it you will help many others❤️!