Sunday, February 22, 2009

Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Today marks the beginning of the 2009 National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!! Its a time we can all come together and fight for an end to eating disorders once and for all. I'll bet not one of you reading this blog right now had any idea that an eating disorder awareness week even existed... and that is precisely the problem! More women die each year from eating disorders than breast cancer!!!! But no one seems knows this. Why?? Its time we start talking about it. Its time to put down our shame and embarrassment and speak out. I'm not proud by any means of what I did to my body, but I refuse to remain silent and allow millions of young girls suffer. Eating disorders can be eradicated, but we need your help!

What Can You Do to Help Prevent Eating Disorders?

  • Learn all you can about anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Genuine awareness will help you avoid judgmental or mistaken attitudes about food, weight, body shape, and eating disorders.

  • Discourage the idea that a particular diet, weight, or body size will automatically lead to happiness and fulfillment.

  • Choose to challenge the false belief that thinness and weight loss are great, while body fat and weight gain are horrible or indicate laziness, worthlessness, or immorality.

  • Avoid categorizing foods as “good/safe” vs. “bad/dangerous.” Remember, we all need to eat a balanced variety of foods.

  • Decide to avoid judging others and yourself on the basis of body weight or shape. Turn off the voices in your head that tell you that a person’s body weight says anything about their character, personality, or value as a person.

  • Avoid conveying an attitude that says, “I will like you better if you lose weight, or don’t eat so much, etc.”

  • Become a critical viewer of the media and its messages about self-esteem and body image. Talk back to the television when you hear a comment or see an image that promotes thinness at all costs. Rip out (or better yet, write to the editor about ) advertisements or articles in your magazines that make you feel bad about your body shape or size

  • If you think someone has an eating disorder, express your concerns in a forthright, caring manner. Gently but firmly encourage the person to seek trained professional help.

  • Be a model of healthy self-esteem and body image. Recognize that others pay attention and learn from the way you talk about yourself and your body. Choose to talk about yourself with respect and appreciation. Choose to value yourself based on your goals, accomplishments, talents, and character. Avoid letting the way you feel about your body weight and shape determine the course of your day. Embrace the natural diversity of human bodies and celebrate your body’s unique shape and size.

  • Support local and national nonprofit eating disorders organizations — like the National Eating Disorders Association

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder but dont know how or where to get help, start by calling The Nation Eating Disorder Association's toll free hot line at 1-800-931-2237.

Dont just stand by this week.... do something! There are girls that need you, believe me I know!

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