Tomorrow is the last day of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and I didn’t want the week to end without acknowledging it on this blog. Especially since I have been having SUCH a hard time lately accepting myself as I am now – my body, my lifestyle, my values. I’m so thankful to be a part of a community of friends who encourage and support me every day. I’m so happy to have family members who have never stopped encouraging me to recover, even when I’m a jerk to them when I’m having a bad day (sorry, Mom). And I’m glad that organizations like the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) exist to bring awareness to these awful diseases, which so often get brushed off, go undiagnosed, and are underestimated.
I had no idea…that fats were essential to live. That is, until my skin was constantly itchy and my hair became brittle.
I had no idea…that doing less than 200 minutes of all-out cardio per week was OK. That is until a doctor told me I had to stop doing not only that, but ALL exercise – even yoga.
I had no idea…that it was OK to eat carbs after 7PM, or at all. Until an RD informed that even when completely at rest, the body needs them to LIVE.
I had no idea…that normal people don’t spend all day, every day, thinking about food. Still working on this one.
I had no idea…how eating disorders worked. I remember learning about anorexia in middle and high school and being so confused. How could anyone think that starving themselves was the right thing to do? How could anyone actually be afraid to eat? But the thing about eating disorders is that it’s not about the food. It’s about control, and finding a new way to gain more, to get a high. And it sneaks up on you. It makes you think you’re in control, and by the time you realize you’re not, it’s already taken hold.
I encourage you to get help if you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder. If you know someone who you suspect needs help, NEDA offers a Parents, Family, and Friends Network. And please, if you are passionate about this cause, consider joining or donating to me and my Boston NEDA Walk team. I’m already almost halfway to my personal $500 fundraising goal! Thank you SO much to all who have donated so far, and I hope more will consider joining Becki and I on Sunday 4/26 as we walk to support the National Eating Disorders Organization.
What were your first impressions of eating disorders when you first learned about them?
Do you know someone who has ever been affected by an eating disorder?