It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness week. The theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody”, eating disorders are very prevalent in this society… especially when much of popular culture seems to encourage disordered eating.
Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are serious illnesses with the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder out there. It’s scary and they affect more than just the individual, their entire circle of family and friends ends up hurting because of the issue.
If you weren’t aware, I have battled an eating disorder. I wish I could say I am “healed” but I have to remain pretty vigilant in taking care of myself. Recently I came down with bronchitis and had to go to the doctor. They had me step on the scale and I actually looked at the number this time. And that started a whole spiral of thoughts that could be dangerous. First I was pleased, then I thought I could probably get even lower, followed up with the thought of “Get out, get out, get out!” At least part of my process was trying to stop myself from fixating on the number… a number that doesn’t really mean anything.
Through this journey I’ve learned that you really can’t place a number on someone to give the be-all-end-all determination of their health. You could take 4 women of the same height who all exercise at the same intensity each week and place them on the same meal plan… each one of them are going to have a different set point that is their body’s happy weight. We are all truly individual, one-of-a-kind masterpieces and it’s time to start treating ourselves with the level of respect that we deserve.
Here are a few articles I found in conjunction with NEDAwareness Week materials, they may help educate you or help improve your own outlook.
- 5 Ways to Help Young Girls Resist the Pressure to be Perfect by Claire Mysko
- Breaking the Mold by Vic Avon
- Healthy Body Image Tips for Pregnant Women and New Mothers by Claire Mysko
- From ED’s Half-life to Your Full Life by Aimee Liu
I challenge you to not say anything negative about your body; if you can’t do it forever, at least try to do it this week in honor of NEDAwareness Week.