This year, February 25th through March 3rd marks NEDA Week 2019. The theme: Come as you are!

NEDA it is the National Eating Disorders Association. Each year, they host National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week. Usually falling around the end of February, NEDA Week is designed to educate the public about eating disorders. This includes explaining what they are, how many people they affect, who they can affect, how serious they are, and more. It is also meant to be a week of empowerment and support for those in the eating disorder community.

The theme for NEDA Week changes annually. This year, the theme is "Come as you are." A big part of recovery from eating disorders is learning to love and accept your body for what it is, not what you think it should be. Body acceptance is a very difficult thing to learn, especially after you have spent years degrading yourself. Our society is overwhelmed with diet culture, weight stigmas, fitness fads, and Photoshop models, making it hard to not start criticizing our own bodies.

I love this year's theme so much. "Come as you are" welcomes everyone to come together, despite any differences. It creates a sense of unity and oneness. It creates a sense of acceptance for everyone. We are all unique. Our bodies are not meant to look the same. We all have different stories and undergo our own journeys. But we can still be a community. We can still support and motivate one another. Even though we are individuals with our own experiences, we still share a common struggle. Although that struggle may be harder in some areas than others depending on the person, we get it. We've all been there at some point. This is why having the NEDA community is so important.

So, NEDA Week is here. Whether you are a part of the community, know someone who has been affected by an eating disorder, or not, let's celebrate it together. You don't have to throw a party or go to any special events. All you have to do is be accepting, both of others and yourself.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder, don't be afraid to ask for help! There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Check out the ANAD or NEDA websites for more information.

Also, feel free to check out and follow my Instagram page @fightforlifelauren to see what my life is like in recovery (but mostly just pictures of the food I eat with recipes)