30 million Americans struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
Eating disorders are highly complex and serious mental health conditions that impact every organ system in the body. Also, they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Once an eating disorder takes hold it is very difficult to reverse. Plus, the physical, emotional, and financial toll it takes on families can be devastating.
The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.
Through their program and services, NEDA raises awareness, funds research, and puts life-saving resources into the hands of those in need.
I have personally been affected by an eating disorder and so have many of those I care about.
Recently, I attended my first NEDA walk. It was an unforgettable experience.
As I listened to the stories of people on stage I was struck by how similar their stories were to my own.
It's been easy to get caught up in the mindset of working towards my next goal in recovery that I've forgotten to take a step back and celebrate how far I've come.
Walking alongside other sufferers, survivors, and their supports was proof of the power of community and showed the world that eating disorders are no match for us.
I've been inspired to not only keep pushing forward in my recovery but to celebrate all of my accomplishments. Also, to remember that I'm not alone in my recovery.
I was amazed at the community of hope and support I witnessed.
I can't wait to go to another walk in the future and to meet new people and make new friends.
This community is amazing and means the world to me.