The Importance Of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

The Importance Of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

We grow through what we go through, so let’s get real and brave this battle together.

This year's National Eating Disorder Awareness week is upon us, February 26-March 3rd. This week is dedicated to highlighting the growing epidemic of eating disorders throughout the United States and encourage those in need of help to act upon that need.

There are many reasons why those suffering from these mental illnesses fail to receive the help they so desperately need, including negative stereotypes and stigmas.

The National Eating Disorder Association aims to eliminate those stigmas and instead empower. Empower victims to seek recovery through love and support.

Actively seeking recovery is essential in any battle with a mental disorder, especially an eating disorder. The consequences for those who don’t seek recovery can be life-altering and ultimately end in death.

You see, eating disorders are deceptive. They creep up on their victims, seemingly innocent, and then seize control of all actions and thoughts. Not only are they deceptive to those battling them, but also the loved ones of those victims.

Your friend could have an eating disorder and you may not even know it.

What seems to be a simple diet or weight obsession could actually be a much deeper problem.

These deceptive diseases have managed to control millions of Americans, with nearly 30 million people of all genders suffering from full-blown eating disorders in the United States. 30 million.

I was one of those millions.

One of those victims whose actions and thoughts were controlled by an eating disorder. Anorexia Nervosa did more than just shave 20 plus pounds off my waistline. It stole memories, relationships, confidence, and ultimately the love I had for myself and others.

I no longer consider myself a victim.

Merriam-Webster defines a victim as one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent.

While Anorexia Nervosa temporarily “adversely affected” my life, I no longer give the disease that control. I no longer analyze every calorie burned and every calorie consumed. I no longer stare at my body in the mirror and see a shell of a person staring back at me. I am no longer a victim.

Anorexia Nervosa may have left some scars, but I am a survivor. I am a survivor because those around me recognized that I so desperately needed help. I am a survivor because I had an amazing support system holding my hand all along the way. I am a survivor because I realized I am worth it.

Let’s be that support system for those in need. Let’s hold the hands of those suffering and walk them to the finish line. Let’s turn those 30 million victims into survivors. Let’s work to end the negative stereotypes and stigmas.

This year's National Eating Disorder Awareness Week theme is “Let’s Get Real” and the goal is to highlight stories we don’t often hear. Take a moment to listen to those around you, even if they aren’t speaking. When someone around you is suffering, their cries for help are often times silent.

Listen for those silent cries.

We grow through what we go through, so let’s get real and brave this battle together.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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Here's Why That Infamous Social Media Cleanse Is Exactly What You Need This Summer

You may have heard a friend say they're taking a break from social media.


You know yourself better than anyone else. You're probably reading this on a phone, desktop, or tablet device. These days, people have a reliance on technology that I couldn't even imagine 14 years ago. We are hardwired to our devices and this won't change anytime soon. We eat, breathe, and sleep with our smartphones in hand. The smartphones not being able to leave people's hands is not just because they want to text and call. The smartphones not being able to leave people's hands is largely due to social media.

We go back and forth among apps, from Twitter to Facebook to Snapchat to Instagram to LinkedIn to Google+ to WhatsApp. Social media is weird in that it lets you instantly share information, ideas, interests (career interests), and essentially yourself. In the palm of your hand is someone's life that they choose to publicly share. Social media dictates how we connect with organizations, communities, and individuals. The whole social media in the palm of your hand thing makes it seem impossible to disconnect. However, nothing's impossible.

The social media cleanse is something you can consider, if you need to disconnect. Personally, I do not see any reason to take a detox anytime soon but it is always a good idea to get your head out of your phone. It is crazy how much we use social media on a daily basis. If you are an iPhone user, you can see the breakdown of applications used by checking your battery usage. It is truly more important to pay attention to what is going on in the real world. It can be hard to remember just how much we use these sites and apps actually to be social. If you want to disconnect, you need to understand you will be missing crucial information.

People use social media to be social whether it's sharing a meme on Instagram or inviting friends to an event via Facebook; you wouldn't want to miss the Facebook invite. By breaking away from social media, you can remember what life was like before Instagram and Snapchat notifications plastered your phone screen. Social media is instantly gratifying, and you may not want that. You can delete the applications off your phone and take a break if needed. A social media detox may be beneficial for some, and if I ever find it necessary for myself, I will not hesitate. There are pros and cons, and as I said before, you know yourself best.

Social media should not control your life. A friend recently posted on his Instagram story that "Instagram is toxic" and that he'll be taking a break. By him taking a break, it really opened my eyes as to how social media makes everyone feel. Some people like Instagram, and other people like my friend can happily live without it. I was still able to see him in person and to call and text. A social media detox can be beneficial. Maybe this summer, you'd like to see yourself use less social media. Delete the application off your smartphone, turn off your tablet, or close the Internet window on your computer. Maybe a social media cleanse is needed -- you be the judge.

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