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.

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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Life Of A Curvy Girl Is Very Exciting

To every curvy girl out there, share your curves as a positive outcome to your circumstances


Have you ever noticed in all the magazines, blogs, and TV it shows a thin size woman? In all the entertainment I take in, there was always a skinny woman. It brought down my self-esteem, and I would try to starve myself, yet it doesn't help. However, what if I was meant to be a curvy girl?

Before I go any further, I know that God gave me this body to take of it. But what if I was meant to be this size so, I can touch others who feel negative towards their bodies? For every curvy woman, you are so beautiful!!

Throughout my life, I wasn't thin. I had a gut. I had thighs. I was very unhappy with myself. Yet, I look at the expectations and what people will be happy with. But if there is one thing I realized, its that people are temporary. The naysayers in your life are not set in gold. They will push you to make sure that you're happy with yourself. I truly believe if people look at me weird, that means I'm doing an amazing job with not conforming in the world but transforming in the renewing of the mind. By the way, that's Romans 12:2 in the bible!

When it comes to the curves, I'm truly grateful for them. There are some positives to having a curvy body. For one, when it comes to wearing jeans, it shapes you well. The curves pop and the haters bow down! Other than that, I truly love how I look in jeans! Another positive thing about curves, its that there are amazing clothes for us! I was on Facebook the other day, and I saw a company called Dia&Co.; Dia&Co; is a customized clothing company for plus sized women which has all the styles. When I saw the clothes, I was truly amazed. The colors and the material of the clothes were truly special.

What defines beauty? Is it makeup or having a model's body? Is it buying the most expensive clothes as a statement? I'm here to tell you those are not the definitions of beauty. The true definition of beauty is acceptance. Accepting the circumstances, even if other people say so. True beauty is waking up with a smile on your face for living another day and finding your purpose in life. Beauty is being you!

To all of you curvy women out there in the world, you are truly a blessing. Thank you for standing out of the normal and taking a step to give others the courage to becoming their selves. I learned to treat my body with the utmost respect. I must learn to take care of it and embrace it at the same time. Psalms 139:14 says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well." So, Instead of me being a worried progress, God made me a working progress, because all things work together for good.

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