How Anorexia Tried to Kill Me and Also Saved My Life

Anorexia Tried to Kill me, it also Saved My LIfe

Today I want to tell you how anorexia Tried to Kill me and also saved my life.

February is awareness month for many things and one of the subjects this month is eating disorders. This is a topic that I know pretty well, because I lived it for 20+ years.

My eating disorder started when I was 4 or 5 years old after my step-father molested me, then told me that I was a bad girl and basically worthless. I wanted to disappear so bad, and as a lil’ tike I thought that if I stopped eating, I would accomplish that. I also thought that I didn’t deserve food, or anything good for that matter. That is a theme that carried on until last week… when I realized that I deserve basic needs because I am a human, and I am worthy of blessings in excess because I am a daughter of the King.

Post - Anorexia Saved My Life, Words of Wellness,

I experienced more trauma as I got older, and as the trauma compounded, so did the anorexia. The symptoms waxed and waned, but the disorder was always there.

My step-mom caught me purging in the bathroom at a Hardee’s when I was 13 years old.

I’ve never seen my parents so mad – mad that I lied to them, mad that there were other family members that knew about the purging and didn’t tell them, and mad that they didn’t know what to do. This revelation started a domino effect. I went to out-patient treatment over the summer, which I vaguely remember.

What I DO remember are the years of suspicion – people watching me every time I went to the bathroom within an hour after a meal, people silently checking how much food I took and if I ate it all, people watching how much I exercised, generally – people watching.

What made high school harder was that I didn’t tell anyone about any of the trauma until I was 16 years old. This was partially because I didn’t remember until shortly before then, and mostly because I was so ashamed.

I kept myself very busy with things that made me look really happy on the outside. I was a cheerleader, very active in the drama department, in choir, etc. I loved it. I am an extrovert, I love supporting people, and I am a team player.

The problem with cheerleading was the fact that I am 6 feet tall, and broad. I’m not built to do the splits, I’m not petite, nor will I ever be – but my captains and coaches couldn’t accept that. I was penalized and punished for my physical in-capabilities which did 2 things – it compounded the body shame that I felt, and it pushed me to work harder than I should have had to.

By the time I graduated High School, I was pretty thin, but I was positive that I was obese. I had clear evidence that my worth was based on my weight, and my assumption that restricting would keep me safe, was false. I couldn’t wait to get to college where people didn’t know my history, and I could eat the way I wanted (or not eat the way I wanted).

Immediately after High School, I went to college 3 hours away from home.

I dropped 30-40 pounds in the first 3 months. My family was appalled and incredibly worried when I came home for the holidays. I was irritated – I worked hard to lose that weight – I thought I had done good.

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at college, I was sexually assaulted by two different men, one via date rape, and one at a party via a date rape drug. These traumas fueled the anorexia – limiting my calorie intake even more, and drastically increasing my time at the gym. During this time, my friends knew that it was normal for me to pass out in the hallways and to sleep for days occasionally. I was too sick to know how sick I was. I saw a counselor at the behest of a church friend, but I wasn’t ready to grapple with the realities of a life threatening illness complicated by complex trauma.


Spring semester of my Sophomore year, I passed out and started to convulse in a bathroom in the music department of the University. I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room where they stressed how incredible it was that I was still alive.

I dropped out of college and went back to treatment. I only stayed for a couple of months, again, thinking that since I had restored some weight and learned some skills, that I was good to go.

Over the next 6 years, I got my cosmetology license, got married, realized that I married an incredibly manipulative and abusive man, and was forced back into the anorexia.

Little did I know, the anorexia would save my life.

After 6 years of mandated low calorie consumption and forced workouts, social isolation, and abuse – combined with 50-60 hour work weeks – I broke down. Literally – my body broke down.

I presented with stroke symptoms in 2009, which turned out to be malnutrition with a side of mental exhaustion – but no stroke – thank God! This lead into another bout of treatment for the eating disorder.

In July of 2009, I started treatment – for real.

I was admitted as an inpatient (I was adamant that I wasn’t that bad off.). I stayed inpatient for about 2 weeks and then continued with intensive outpatient treatment for the next 9 months. During that time, I not only gained a little weight, and more mental clarity, I also gained perspective.

I had no idea I was in an abusive relationship. No clue. My therapist and all of the staff were amazing – they saw what I couldn’t see and they gently taught me to stand up for myself and think independently. They taught me the abuse cycle, and I ‘saw the light’ if you will. I would come to realize much later how incredibly brainwashed I had been.

February 14, 2010

My husband left me for another woman – PRAISE JESUS!!!

I had prayed for years that he would either leave me, or that I would die in my sleep, because I believed that under no circumstance could I ask for a divorce.

My recovery started on February 15, 2010.

It was the most painful, gut-wrenching, grief stricken, tear-filled time of my life – it was the birthing process. I was being birthed into the incredible, resilient, intelligent, forward-thinking, woman-leading, Christ-following warrior that I am today.

Anorexia Saved My Life - Had it not been for me going to treatment and finding my strength and my voice, my abusive husband would not have left me, and I could very well be dead right now. We all go through things for a reason.

Had I not had anorexia, almost died, went to treatment, and gained my confidence – my husband may not have left me, and I could very well be dead right now.

So when I say anorexia saved my life – I mean it.

Romans 8:28 says “God uses all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

I didn’t always see why I was going through the pain and the muck – but by recognizing where I’ve been, I can now move forward in victory.

I tell my story for 2 reasons.

  1. I tell my story because in doing so, I am able to connect with my readers (you) on a deeper level – one that cannot be achieved through educational memes and how-to articles.
  2. I tell my story because it’s proof that there is abundant life on the other side of mental illness, abuse, trauma, and seemingly hopeless situations.

After all of that, I am now 5 years in recovery from anorexia, I have worked through the trauma that continued to plague me, and I am loving my life. God has been so faithful, and He is opening doors for me left and right.

I am now an Author, Blogger, Public Speaker, Mental Health Advocate, and Writing & Self-Publishing Coach.

I am so blessed because I get to teach women how to write their stories so they can achieve personal healing, and inspire others who have experienced the same things.

So tell me, what has saved your life?

Everyone has been through something, and everyone needs to be heard. If you feel like you need someone to talk to, I am always available. You can contact me at, or on the contact page.

Your story is important because YOU are important!



'The Empowered Coach'


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Being an Empowerment Coach Put Me In Crazy Debt…

Say what?? Isn’t coaching supposed to make you rich?  Isn’t it supposed to be the epitome of online entrepreneurial success?

I did EVERYTHING right.  I had my own coaches – business, mindset, money, etc.  I worked programs of my own, I was visible, I was doing discovery calls, I had my own Facebook groups and on and on.

STILL… I ended up over $5,000 in debt!  All the programs and coaching that I purchased put me in crazy debt…


I don’t regret a penny of it.

Why, you ask?  Because last year was the BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE.  I grew and learned more about myself in the last year than I have in my entire life.  Because of these lessons, I have been able to go from fully and totally disabled to being able to work in an industry that I love again (cosmetology).

Some of the lessons that I learned in the last year are:

  1. I am worthy of EVERYTHING that everyone else around me is worthy of including love, money, health, hope, encouragement, healthy relationships, and a successful career.
  2. Life can be FUN and REWARDING!
  3. There is life and life ABUNDANT after trauma and mental illness.
  4. I am not damaged goods, rather I am an incredibly strong and experienced woman who has faced more than most people will face in their entire lifetime.
  5. I have so much to offer this world that it would be a disservice to the world and TO MYSELF to lay down and succumb to disability.
  6. I am an intuitive empath and being an emotional and empathetic woman is not a bad thing, rather it is a gift that many people don’t possess.  Just because it is misunderstood doesn’t mean that it is bad, it simply means that it is different.
  7. I have been able to connect with my intuitive sense and reconcile it with my Christian faith – that was a huge obstacle but through a lot of prayer and study it happened and I came to a deep peace with it.
  8. I have PTSD and it is a gift that I can use to bless other people with, it also teaches me to slow down and honor my moods and triggers.  It teaches me grace and makes me rely on God for my strength on the tough days and reminds me that my healing is slow but definitely progressing.
  9. I have POWER…  A deep, lasting, pervasive, tenacious power that effects change in the people around me, that encourages, empowers, uplifts, motivates, and inspires the people in my perimeter.
  10. I have the ability to make people feel SEEN, HEARD, and NEVER alone!

So, YES, I went into debt last year as a coach AND it was a year long adventure that didn’t pan out like it was ‘supposed to’ AND I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I learned things that I wouldn’t have had I not been in the coaching culture, in the Facebook groups where coaches live, and connected to the beautiful souls who make their living as coaches.

I have to give a special shout out to:

These women are incredible and have been instrumental in my growth and will continue to be my inner circle of blessed women as I further my personal development and forward journeying.

2017 is all about moving forward out of disability, Mental Health Advocacy, Public Speaking, and finishing my memoir (which I’m STOKED about).  I am continuing to nurture my two Facebook groups – The Sisterhood of Triumphant Women (a place for creatives to support each other in their writing, art, and other endeavors), and Your New Normal – Empowered and Thriving (a place for women facing any kind of struggle who are looking for a supportive community who will make you feel seen, heard, and never alone).

I highly suggest that you follow any of the links above and check out these women and the groups that I offer.  There is unlimited growth for you no matter what stage you are in in your life.  You are definitely seen and heard in my life… if you weren’t, I wouldn’t be here writing to you.

I love you from the bottom of my heart and I can’t wait to bring you more inspiration, motivation, truth, honesty, and real life experiences as this year progresses.

What did you learn last year?  I am truly interested!  Drop it in the comments so we can all engage and encourage each other!


Blessings and All the Good Things to You!

Haley Snyder

all the things

Have you tried All. The. THINGS. in your business with NO results? Read This!

all the things


We have all been there in the entrepreneurial space… we take all the webinars, consume all the freebies, invest in the programs, get coaches, and still sit around wondering “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?!” when there is still a glaring blind spot… ammiright??  It’s exhausting, frustrating, and expensive.


Ever wish you had someone who could just tell you what the problem is, where it started, and how to fix it?  Well, that’s what I do.


Over the past year, I have been on an amazing journey and if you are in the entrepreneurial space, there is a good chance that you have been as well!


As I was masterminding with my amazing accountability partner last weekend, I had a lot of clarity around what my business is going to look like in the next year… and it’s a HUGE SHIFT.


As a multi-potentialite, I found that I LOVE being a coach, and a public speaker, and an author, and a mental health ambassador for Minnesota, and a t-shirt designer, and getting involved in the stock market, and making courses, and a volunteer baby holder at my church bible study, and a mentor for disadvantaged youth…


I’ve realized I am doing FAR too much, and that I’ve been funneling ALL of my energy into coaching to the detriment of everything else.


My values are to reach the most people at any time with every piece of content – spoken or written, to make sure that every person I touch feels heard and seen through honest sharing, validation, and empowerment, and to have maximum impact with every action I take.


I also realized that I am INCREDIBLY gifted at figuring out what your main problem is, finding the REAL root, working with you to find solutions, and then making and working an EMPOWERED plan with you to regain your BALANCED life and THRIVING business!!


So, in keeping with this amazing value statement of mine, I decided that I am really focusing in on speaking, writing, and taking on just a few more select 1:1 coaching clients…


That means that I am accepting just 5 more divinely aligned women for my Private Mentorship before I close the doors to my coaching program on NOVEMBER 30, 2016 for the foreseeable future…


So, if you have been watching me and wanting to work together, this is your time! I also realigned my prices to be better with my heart, so don’t let money keep you from taking one of the best steps that you could take for your life and biz.


If you are a female entrepreneur that

— is fed up with trying all. the. things. with no relief
— is finding a lack of balance between career and life due to emotional setbacks,
— is desiring confident support,
— is wanting consistent empowerment and accountability, and
— is in need of emotional skills that help you keep your eyes on the prize and that keep you showing up consistently despite the emotionally driven stop and start of entrepreneurship…



If you think you are one of these 5 women, lets chat to see if we are a fit… why don’t you set up a call with me to see!  Click HERE for your free call!  Worst thing that could happen is that you end up with a new friend!

If you want more information, CHECK THIS OUT!


<3 <3 <3
Haley Snyder
The Empowered Coach



ps: HEY SKIMMERS:  Here’s the lowdown:  I’ve stripped down my business and decided to take on 5 more divinely aligned private clients who have tried everything and are about to pull their hair out.  I can be your last stop – we will figure out your problem, find the root, develop solutions, a plan, and then get you back to a balanced life and a THRIVING business!  Want to chat about it?  CLICK HERE.  Want more information?  CLICK HERE!


What Is and Isn’t Working – To Take Control of Your Life and Biz (Free Worksheet)



If you want to make things work in your business or life, you have to figure out what isn’t working.

The other day, I was really overwhelmed with areas in my life that weren’t working so I took out my notebook and ran through a super effective exercise that I created and would like to share with you.

You can either do this exercise on your own, or you can download your own copy of a pre-made worksheet with a bonus exercise HERE.

If you are doing it yourself: Divide your paper into thirds, top to bottom.


Write all of the major areas in your life that you are wanting to give attention to (and leave room under each of them to add more – they can be in columns).

Under each major area, write where you are not showing up/want to show up.

For instance, one of my areas is Public Speaking and I want to show up more by making my media kit but I haven’t gotten to it yet. So mine would look like:

Public Speaking:
– Make Media Kit
– Reach Out to Organizations


Journal a little bit about the areas that aren’t working in your life and where you think there could be changes. Also look at where you are spending your time currently and decide whether or not the return on investment is wise.


Make two columns:

– Things I could change to make things different
– Am I willing to change this item?

This is where you will look at your willingness to actually change your situation.

LOOK OVER THE WHOLE PAGE: By figuring out what isn’t working in your life, coming to the realization of what needs to change and deciding whether or not you are willing to change, you are able to look more objectively at your business and life and jump off the overwhelm train and back into productivity.



Make sure to let me know your results!! Drop them down in the comments!

<3 <3 <3
The Empowered Coach



What Do You Tell Yourself??


I want you to know that you are amazing, beautiful, fabulous, empowered, strong, fantastic, intelligent, and over-the-moon wonderful…

but it really doesn’t matter what I say.  It matters what you tell yourself.


What do you say to yourself?


It may make you feel good, and it is my passion to empower women and to share with them what I feel about their worth; however, it is really important that you are aware of your own mental chatter.

What do you tell yourself?

Does your inner thought life sound like the first sentence in this message?

Most likely it doesn’t – mine doesn’t even sound like that all the time. I work at it a LOT and it still doesn’t sound like that.

What is important is that you are aware of where your thoughts are because your thoughts lead to your emotions and your emotions lead to your behavior. If you are having self-defeating thoughts, you will have self-defeating behaviors – hence struggle with your life and business.

If you struggle in this area, try listening to guided imagery recordings either via podcast or youtube or any other media that you prefer. There are so many out there that help you to think positive thoughts in a first person perspective.

For extra effectiveness, write 20 positive affirmations about yourself that you can believe in some part of yourself and read them on your voice recorder in your phone. Listen to that every day and see how your mindset changes.

By changing your thought life, you will change your behavioral life.

Oh… and I fully stand behind that first sentence!

<3 <3 <3
The Empowered Coach