What The Fox Valley NEDA Walk Was Like As Someone Who Has Recovered

What The Fox Valley NEDA Walk Was Like As Someone Who Has Recovered

I just want to give back to those who helped me beat my eating disorder when I thought it'd never be possible.
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This past weekend I participated in the first annual Fox Valley NEDA walk in Appleton, Wisconsin. Ever since I struggled with an eating disorder "Walk in a NEDA Walk" has been on my bucket list. I looked into going to the NEDA walk in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison, but I was always too afraid to sign up because I was afraid of what people would think once they knew I struggled with an eating disorder. But when I first heard there was going to be a NEDA Walk near where I go to school, I knew I had to go.

I felt confident about going to the NEDA Walk because I've been recovered long enough where I don't feel like the eating disorder is a part of who I am anymore, which makes it a lot easier to be open about my struggles throughout my eating disorder and the recovery process. The past year or so I've been more open about my past struggles with an eating disorder, along with my current depression and I've become pretty passionate about advocating for those with mental illness and ending the stigma around mental illness, so going to this walk felt like the perfect thing for me to do.

I didn't raise that much money because I didn't quite feel comfortable individually asking friends and family members and having to explain my story (since many of them never knew about it), so I just posted a link to my fundraising page on social media and I emailed a few family friends. I ended up raising over $200, which I thought was pretty good for the amount of people that I reached out to. Anyways, I didn't sign up for the walk to fundraise; I signed up to bring awareness around eating disorders and to be at an event surrounded by people that've dealt with the same things I struggled with.

The walk itself was great! It was so liberating to be surrounded by people that support those that've been affected by eating disorders. The walk was about a mile long around a local college campus and I remember during the entire walk I held up the sign I made, which made me feel so powerful because my eating disorder took away my voice for so long, but now I have my voice back and I'm using it to spread awareness about the disorder. I'm not gonna lie, it was difficult at times during the walk because I had so many flashbacks from when I was sick, but having all of these flashbacks reminded me of how far I've come and how I'm never going back to my eating disorder because I know how much better life is without it.

I definitely want to walk in the Fox Valley NEDA Walk next year and in the meantime I'm going to continue to spread awareness about mental illness and help the recovery community any way I can because I just want to give back to those who helped me beat my eating disorder when I thought it'd never be possible.


Cover Image Credit: Evolve, The Center For Healing

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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9 Ways For EveryBODY To Increase Their Body Positivity

Fun and affective ways to change the way you view your body.

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No matter what your body looks like, everyone struggles with viewing their body in a positive way. With media and society pressuring women to have the "perfect body," loving your body can be hard.

Here are nine ways you can have a positive relationship with your body and begin love yourself unconditionally.

1. Talk positively 

Talk positively about your body at all times. Then the main source of negativity comes from derogatory terms that society has drilled into our minds since were children. If you change the words you use, it could have a huge impact on how you view yourself. For example, instead of, "this makes me look fat" try, "this isn't the most flattering clothing for my figure." Using words like no flattery or curvy or thin can make you change your perspective on your body.

2. Don't compare yourself to others

Every body is different so try not to compare yourself to others. Although this is still something I struggle with, it always good to remind yourself. The proportion of the human body varies from person to person. Some people have long torsos and some have short, some have long legs and some do not. Some have curvier hips and others have more petite hips.

All are OK.

Just like everyone has different faces, this makes us unique. Imagine how boring life would be if we all looked like the same cookie cutter image. There would be no variety, so no beauty. You have to learn to embrace your body as the unique and diverse thing it is.

3. Show it off

Show off what you love! Everyone had some part of their body that they happen to like more than the others for me it's my waist. When you get dressed in the morning, try to wear something that accents this part of the body. For me, I love to wear high waisted or high rise pants with a blouse that comes in at the waist or is slightly cropped. If you show what you love that can radiate to those around you and give you an extra boost of confidence.

4. Skin care

Take some time to add a skincare routine into your day. This doesn't have to be crazy long, but even putting on moisturizer or lotion can make your skin glow and make you feel more luxurious which can boost confidence.

5. Say goodbye to old clothes 

Get rid of clothes that don't fit. Nothing is more damaging than having an article of clothing that you just stare at waiting for it one day to fit. Filling your closet with items that fit can take less pressure off of getting ready in the morning and make you feel like you have more outfit options. If you are able to pick a flattering outfit, you will be more comfortable and confident throughout the day.

6. Don't look at numbers 

Stop look at numbers. Clothing for women come in many sizes and one size at one place may not be the same as that size at a different store. If you go into a store for a certain size and realize it doesn't fit your confidence can be depleted. Clothing companies get pieces from different manufacturers and that can play a huge role in how sizing is expressed. This makes looking at clothing more stressful. Instead of looking at the number, look at the piece of clothing itself. Usually, you can tell what will fit your body and what won't just by looking at it and feeling the texture. And if the piece of clothing ends up not be the right size, go a little bigger or smaller. You don't have to stick to one number.

7. All bodies are beautiful 

No matter how curvey or thin you are, all bodies are beautiful. They can stretch, get you from one place to another, protect you form danger, they patch up scrapes and even have the ability to grow another human. The human body is extremely extraordinary and if you take pride in the amazing things your body can do, you will love your body.

8. Inner beauty shines

Check your inner beauty. Remember that confidence and looks aren't the only things that make you beautiful. The way you treat people and how you show yourself to the world also has a great part in beauty. If you are kind people will notice. If you help others, you will be noticed. Nothing is more unattractive than a mean and malicious person. If you don't have inner beauty, can you have outer beauty?

9. Relationships are key

Build others up. Nothing changes the way you look at yourself than being around people who you support and who support you. Being around people who constantly tear you down isn't healthy. Society has pressured women to constantly be competing with each other. Instead of bringing each other down women need to build each other up. If we increase the love we have for other women and their bodies, we can begin to love ourselves.

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