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.
1480
views

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

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants
192865
views

Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College


The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

As A Plus Size Woman, 'Sierra Burgess Is A Loser' Is Offensive And I'm Not Here For It

The first teenage plus size romcom and she can only get the guy through catfishing? Rude.

tiannat
tiannat
159
views

As of now, most teenage girls have watched "Sierra Burgess Is A Loser" on Netflix, probably because we all have a love for high school romances and Noah Centineo's face. I was interested in the film after watching "To All The Boys I Loved Before" because it was the definition of a fantastic teen love story. So, when I saw another Netflix love story that also featured Noah Centineo, I was all in. However, the film was right, Sierra Burgess is a loser. The film had a perfect opportunity to showcase a plus size teen girl dealing with relationships in high school but turned into a catfishing fiasco stuffed with backhanded confidence and offensive underlying messages.

1. She is introduced as an average teenage girl. 

http://www.futureofpersonalhealth.com

The film begins with Sierra getting ready for the day. As she gets out of the shower, they show a shot of her feet, which is something not everyone pays much attention to. However, for me, I notice that her legs and ankles aren't super tiny, which is something I can relate to because I am also a plus size teen. She looks at herself in the mirror, wet hair and all, and positively affirms herself, something that I totally appreciate. If the film would've continued on this route, I would've loved it.

2. The bullying is unnecessary. 

https://maggieandbeth.tumblr.com/

What's a high school movie without some bullying? Well, in this case, it is so unnecessary. Sierra gets bullied for her appearance but only by the classic mean girl, Veronica. No one else really seems to care about her appearance. She isn't ugly, Sierra was actually fairly pretty. Sure, she was a little awkward but why does the attention of being plus size always have to be taken in a negative way?

3. Meeting Jamey was actually meant to make fun of her. 

http://bcnoist.tumblr.com/

The whole reason Sierra even gets Jamey's number is that Veronica was making fun of her. I understand that this was just a part of the bullying but the entire situation was doomed from the beginning. After Sierra realized that Jamey was not actually expecting to talk to her, she should have admitted the truth. Who knows? Maybe he would've liked her? I mean it was her personality that won him over, even if he was imagining Veronica's face.

4. The whole basis behind the lying was because she was ashamed of her appearance. 

http://livelovecaliforniadreams.tumblr.com

Again, going back to her appearance, SIERRA WAS NOT UNATTRACTIVE. However, the classic skinny, popular girl seemed more appealing, yet I do believe that if Jamey knew it was actually Sierra, he would have been down for it. But, because her hair, her makeup, and her body isn't "perfect," she feels the need to lie.

If I watched this movie as an insecure teenager, what would it have taught me? That if you don't look like a Veronica and more like a Sierra, the best option is to lie about who you truly are. Um, no. Wrong answer.

5. Then, she has this crazy breakdown. 

https://adrideran.tumblr.com/post/

Honey, no. We all understand that everyone has insecurities, but what happened to the magnificent beast at the beginning of the film? Where did she go?

Go and get your Jamey already, be proud of your appearance. You're great.

6. "You're not exactly everyone's type, but you're my type."

https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/

I'm sorry, but no girl wants to hear, "You're not exactly everyone's type." I know that is endearing because he actually ends up liking her. Yet, why was that necessary whatsoever? If you like her, you like her. There was absolutely no need to bring up her insecurities. I just think that this should not have been the resolution. I believe there was a perfect opportunity for him to say something like, "I like you because you're you," or "You're perfect to me." His approach just seems like a backhanded compliment.

At the end of the day, sure, Jamey and Sierra end up together. However, why does a movie about a plus size girl have to only cater to her personality? I'm sorry, but this is showing a completely negative light on the topic.

It tells plus size girls that they will only be loved for their personality and not their appearance. But, I would like to say, all women are beautiful and I want to see a movie where the boy falls for her, for all of her, not just for her personality. Make that and I guarantee it would have done WAY better than this mess of a movie. Even comparing it to "To All The Boys I Loved Before," she wasn't perfect. Lara Jean was quiet, shy, and very reserved. She was beautiful but not known for being the prettiest girl at school. In fact, she usually went unnoticed. However, she still gets the hot jock that everyone teenage girl dreams of.

Overall, "Sierra Burgess Is A Loser" had the potential to inspire young women, yet I finished the movie feeling more insecure than when I started.

tiannat
tiannat

Related Content

Facebook Comments