I’m teaming up with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Part of the week long awareness campaign is sharing stats and information to remove some of the myths and stigma that surround eating disorders. Everybody knows somebody who suffers: at least one in ten of us are living with or have suffered from an eating disorder.
All sizes. ALL shapes. Male, female. All races. All ages. All of us.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the leading non-profit organization in the United States advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Reaching millions every year, we campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders. We work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance.
Not sure if you MAY suffer from an eating disorder? Take a screening here OR call the toll free, confidential Helpline, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time: 1-800-931-2237
NATIONAL EATING DISORDER AWARENESS WEEK
This year’s NEDAwareness Week theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody” because awareness of eating disorders is certainly spreading. Last year, NEDAwareness Week registrants spanned all 50 states and 30 other countries. We hope to have another record-breaking year in 2013, and have everyone commit to doing just one thing!
The aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses - not choices - and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.
What is NEDAwareness Week?
NEDAwareness Week is a collective effort of primary volunteers, including eating disorder professionals, health care providers, students, educators, social workers, and individuals committed to raising awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment.
How NEDAwareness Week Works
NEDA asks everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders. NEDAwareness Week participants can choose from a huge range of ways to get involved: Distribute info pamphlets and put up posters, write one letter for Media Watchdogs, register as a Volunteer Speaker or host a Volunteer Speaker, post information on Facebook or arrange interactive and educational activities such as a meditation and yoga event, panel discussions, fashion shows, movie screenings, art exhibits and more. As an official NEDAwareness Week participant you can be involved in any way that works with your schedule, resources, community, and interests.These events and activities are vital to attracting public media attention - on local, national and international levels.
Starting in February, I will be hosting a two-month (February and March) recovery challenge. Before it begins, please check out the sign-up to let me know if you’re interested and tell me what you’d most like to see out of the challenge.
This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, but now seems to be the right time for me.
Also, this is for all people looking to recover! EDs, self-harm, substance abuse, etc. You’re all welcome to join!
Forty-seven people are currently signed up, and I’d like to make a few more announcements about this:
- It will be done through a combination of Tumblr, Fitocracy, and e-mail, so please include your e-mail when you sign up (and feel free to write your Tumblr URL and/or Fitocracy name as well!).
- E-mails will be sent out every couple of days with reviews of recovery apps/websites, motivation quotes, links to challenges for the types of Challengers (like, a challenge for someone recovering from anorexia is going to be different than one for someone recovering from alcohol abuse).
- The groups will be broken down as such, with possible sub-categories: ED (eating disorders), SA (substance abuse), and SH (self harm). You may be in more than one group, but these are how the challenges and information will be arranged and labelled.
- A private Fitocracy group will be available for anyone who wants to be invited to talk to other Challengers during the two months.
- If you participate, you will likely feel uncomfortable. That’s how recovery works. Be prepared to confront your feelings and fight back against negative ones.
- Please include an e-mail address when you sign up! I forgot to change it to be mandatory, but that is how the main communications will be taking place!
I really hope you’re right, because this process flippin’ sucks.
Remember coping skills overlap and not all work for everyone.
PS-Next one is planned for if you’re feeling stressed, lonely, disconnected. Message me with suggestions?
PPS-Here is the Countdown Timer. Delay urges by increments of 15-20 min.
I. Mindfulness – Tune into the five senses and be in the moment. Feel the pressure of your body sitting on the chair, smell the scents in the room, listen to the birds outside, look at a beautiful picture on the wall, taste the vibrant flavors of a strawberry.
II. Distractions – Read good books, go to the movies, play sports, play board games, have some good ‘ole fun and leave the worrying for another day.
III. Bubble Baths – A candle lit bubble bath is one of the best comforts this life has to offer! Indulge! It is well deserved.
IV. Music – Play your favorite songs and CDs. Listen to the music closely. Experience the music. Observe how it feels.
V. Journal – Writing down thoughts and feelings is a cathartic opportunity to express churning emotions and think through situations. This also provides a window into new insights and revelations.
VI. Tea – Have a tea ceremony! Make a cup of tea or a hot chocolate. Put it in a favorite mug or adorable tea cup, heat the water in a kettle on the stove, breathe deeply and enjoy the process of making a cup of tea. Then, enjoy the treat.
VII. Exercise – Take a leisurely walk or a brisk run. This is an excellent way to use up some intense emotional energy or stress. Swimming, bicycling and yoga are also great forms of exercise that can impart a sense of well being and hence comfort. Only do this if you are physically healthy enough to tolerate the exertion.
VIII. Wear comfortable clothes – Put on the most cozy pair of sweats and fuzzy slippers, loose is good! Allow the body to feel the soft sensation of cotton or silk against the skin.
IX. Talk – Talk it out. Talk about the feelings, thoughts and observations with a trusted friend or therapist. It is comforting to feel understood, in and of itself. Additionally, the burdens may seem less draining when they are shared with another.
IX. Get into Nature – Spend some time gardening, observing the beauty of the trees that may line the street, seek out local parks and arboretums to enjoy the beauty of nature.
I was looking through old pictures again on my laptop (I know, I know, why torture myself?) when I came across this picture. I realized that this picture shows more of my eating disorder than any of the pictures of ribs or hipbones or shrinking breasts and thighs. I hope this image isn’t too triggering for anyone, I just have some things that I need to say.
This is a girl with the saddest eyes.
This is a girl who is shivering alone in bed on a Friday night, unable to warm herself up even under an electric blanket.
This is a girl whose body will not allow her to sleep more than three hours a night as it frantically tries to keep her alive.
This is a girl who is actually a 21 year old woman, now back in the body of an 11 year old child.
This is a girl whose boyfriend cries when he sees her naked and has nightmares about finding her dead.
This is a girl who went un-missed and unnoticed when she disappeared for three weeks because, to her friends, she had disappeared long before that.
This is a girl whose heart is beating too slowly.
This is a ghost of a girl.
Anorexia will not make you skinny for summer, it will not make you popular, it will not make you beautiful, it will not make boys fall for you, it will not make people notice you, it will not make your life glamorous, it will not solve any of your problems.
Well said babe <333