February 25, 2015

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Twelve years ago this month I was diagnosed with Anorexia.

This week is the annual National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and here’s what I want to say…

Some mental illnesses can be attributed entirely to brain chemistry, but not eating disorders.

Eating disorders have a strong cultural component and our current culture is one that fosters them. You can be a part of the change.

Currently, in the United States, at least 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder. You can play a pivotal part in reducing these numbers. Here are ten ways to get you started.

: Stop consuming the toxic parts of this culture. This means unsubscribe from magazines that celebrate weight-loss. Boycott shows like The Biggest Loser.

: Make a point to celebrate the beauty and brilliance that exists inside and out in every human.

: Learn about size discrimination and be an ally, if not an activist against this often overlooked form of prejudice. Get wise to Health at Every Size.

: Move your body because it feels good, not because it needs to be shrunken or punished.

: Eat with pleasure, gusto, presence and in collaboration with the wisdom of your body.

: Notice what example you are setting for younger people in your life about how they should feel about their bodies and about food. Are you encouraging love and ease or fear and angst?

: If you struggle with disordered eating, don’t blame yourself. Look at the f*cked up culture you’re living in and know that a path of healing is available to you.

: Ditch the scale. Seriously. Throw it out or give it to charity. It’s a useless and often harmful tool.

: Surround yourself with body positive people, even if that means seeking out online organizations and groups. The world is increasingly full of loving, awakened, accepting, fierce people taking a stand against our pro-thinness culture.

: Practice self-compassion. If nothing else, this is the most powerful pebble that can ripple out. A world full of people who are kind and peaceful within is a world that is peaceful and kind.