Did you know that over 30 million men and women will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life? I am one of these people, and I am walking to support NEDA and it's mission: to raise awareness about eating disorders and treat individuals and families affected by them.
For over six years, I suffered from a mix of anorexia, exercise addiction, and binge eating disorder. I was hospitalized once and relapsed four times. I wanted to give up countless times, but I never did stop fighting, no matter how hard things got. It took a lot of physical and mental growth to overcome my eating disorders, and it is something I never could have done without the support of my family, friends, therapists, and medical professionals.
Even though I am technically considered to be "recovered" now, I will admit that I still have to fight urges to engage in disordered eating behaviors. I still struggle to maintain a body positive mindset and properly take care of myself. I am still extremely hard on myself. I now have some adverse medical conditions resulting from the damage I did to my body, but I am managing them. Each day I choose recovery rather than giving in to my behaviors, I grow stronger. Each day I forgive myself for not being perfect, it gets easier to accept who I am and all of the flaws I have. Each day I look in the mirror, instead of degrading myself, I think about how far I have come. I think about the goals I have, the friends and family I love, and the positive characteristics that define me.
I am sharing a little insight into my story because I want everyone else battling an eating disorder to know that they are not alone. I want everyone struggling to know that it is 100% okay to ask for help and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I want everyone to know that recovery is extremely difficult, probably the hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life, but it is possible and you are worth the fight. It will be challenging. It will be hard to see yourself physically changing. There will be a lot of ups and downs. There will be tears. There will be setbacks and, potentially, relapses. It will take time, patience, determination, motivation, and dedication. But I want everyone to know that recovery is possible and every single challenge is worth it the fight.
I am walking because raising awareness about eating disorders, what they do, how they affect families and relationships, and how they can be treated is something that is very important to me. If this is something important to you, too, please join my team, WCU Group Fitness, in walking at East Goshen Park on Saturday, November 3rd. The walk starts at 11 am but it is recommended to arrive early to get your goodies! You can register through the NEDA wbsite (the password is "ramsup"). If you can make the walk, please feel free to make a donation to our fundraising page, also through the link below. If you want to hear more of my story, I am happy to share more of it with you, too :)
Thank you for supporting NEDA and it's mission with me! I, along with the millions of individuals and families affected by eating disorders, appreciate it very much!