2/22/15

#NEDAwareness Week - start your recovery now



I had no idea that my passion became a problem
I had no idea that bullying can trigger disordered eating
I had no idea that my quest for health was making me sick
I had no idea that eating disorders don't discriminate
I had no idea that eating disorders are often overlooked or misdiagnosed
I had no idea that eating disorders are not just "a phrase"
I had no idea that the "perfect" images I see everyday are just digital illusions


With so many "love your body" campaigns/messages and "healthy eating" websites, articles, experts, etc, you would think that a large percentage of men and women in the U.S. would have a positive perception of their body, know how to eat for health and for fuel and understand that leanness/thinness does not create happiness, success or improvements in self-worth. 

With so many resources for those suffering with eating disorders and their loved ones, you'd think more people would be getting the help they need and being in the know when it comes to minimizing the risks for eating disorders, understanding the signs and symptoms and providing the right recovery.

Thirty million people are impacted by an eating disorder at some time in their lifetime. Extreme emotions, behaviors and thoughts about food and the body can limit enjoyment for living and complicate health to the point of death, so there is no denying that early intervention can reduce the risk and immediate treatment can improve quality of life.

Do you feel as if you have stopped living a great life because you have started to spend all your energy focusing on the food you eat and the flaws/imperfections in your body?

We live in a society where it's typical to spend all day obsessing about the body and food. More than typical, it's accepted to talk and search about anything food-related. You feel accepted if you follow a diet trend and it seems logical to stop eating in order to lose weight. Our culture has normalized body-hatred and we have allowed it to be ok to bash the body (even in front of others). And food elimination appears to be a means to an end as the only "healthy" way to improve overall health. But seeing that 25% of pathological dieters will progress to a clinical eating disorder, it's important to understand that eating disorders are complicated but there's help available so that you do not have to wait another day trapped with negative thoughts about food and the body.

Preoccupation with food and the body will never go away. Diets will never go away, airbrushing models will never go away and photos of ripped bodies will never go away.
The image of perfect exists according to the media but you do not have to live your life trying to achieve it.

The day you go from diet to disorder your thoughts, methods and actions for your eating and exercise routine become compulsive and obsessive. They take over your life and you stop living.
If you feel like it's time to get help, wait no longer.

-Do you frequently rationalize what you are or are not eating?
-Do you feel uncomfortable eating around others?
-Do you obsess over ingredients, calories, portions or food combinations?
-Does the scale run and ruin your day?
-Is your self-esteem affected negatively by your weight?
-Can you not eat food that is not prepared by yourself?
-Do you feel guilty after you eat?
-Do you have anxiety before, during and after meal times?
-Do you frequently eat until you are sick or uncomfortable?
-Are you noticing physical signals with your body that you are not nourishing your body properly?
-Do you feel like you have to keep your eating regime a secret around friends/family?
-Are you considering/using laxatives, diuretics, weight loss pills or energy drinks/pills as the last resort for weight loss or to help control your weight?

Imagine living an amazing life, loving your body and eating and exercising in a healthy way because you genuinely want to keep your body in good health. Yes, you can have all of this but it starts with developing a healthy relationship with food and the body.

Eating disorders can be fatal. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating are complex  illnesses caused by genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological and social factors.

Eating disorders and disordered thoughts about food and the body continue to thrive because we are constantly exposed to tips, methods and photos in the media - all helping people obsess further about food and the body. With so many body images to compare to and strict diets to feel pressured to follow, we live in a world where we raise our risk of developing negative body images just by connecting with strangers. 

National Eating Disorder week is here to help you (or any individuals you know). You can feel safe seeking help for your struggles with eating or the body. 

There are many stigmas that come with eating disorders which often keeps an eating disorder as a secret from family, friends and the world. But the beautiful thing is that there are trained, professionals who can help you so that you don't have to continue to live life feeling stuck, trapped or overwhelmed with your eating or body image concerns.

Recovery is possible. 
The day you decide you are ready for a change, you will recognize that you can finally start living life again. 

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes
I am more than my appearance

Nobody is perfect
I love my body

I love being me
I am grateful for what my body allows me to do
I eat for fuel and for health
I won't compare myself to others




FOR MORE INFORMATION 

You are not alone. Help is just a call or click away. Learn more about the resources available to you.

Online Eating Disorders Screening

Are you worried about your food or exercise habits? Take this free, confidential online eating disorders screening.

NEDA Navigators

Are you new to an eating disorder diagnosis for yourself or a loved one? Do you need support navigating the overwhelming process of seeking help? NEDA Navigators are highly trained volunteers—and they are here to support you. Learn more about the program available to you with no commitment required.

NEDA Toolkits

Each NEDA Toolkit helps tackle the complex nature of eating disorders in a way that is useful and easy to understand. They are intended for guidance, not for standards of care and are based on information available at the time of publication. While the NEDA Toolkits provide reliable information, they may not address all the nuances of some unique circumstances. Find out more about each toolkit or download them below: