Every year in February, there is a week dedicated to bringing awareness to eating orders. This year,National Eating Disorders Awareness Week starts today, February 25th and will run through Sunday, March 3rd.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) selects a theme each year for their movement of awareness and this year the theme is titled “Come as Your Are”. This theme highlights how individuals should be inclined to embrace their bodies at any stage. Essentially, NEDA advocates the importance of not only learning about eating disorders, but also promoting body acceptance.
Did you know that,according to NEDA, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental health illness?
Over 30 million men and women in the United States will experience an eating disorder within their life. It doesn’t matter what age, height, weight, gender or ethnicity you are.
Different Types of Eating Disorders
- Anorexia Nervosa– characterized by excessive weight loss and highly restrictive eating. People with anorexia have a distorted body image and a fear of gaining weight.
- Bulimia Nervosa– involves a cycle of binge eating.After the binge comes the guilt, which is followed by behaviors that compensate for the binge eating such as self-induced vomiting, abusive use of laxatives or even excessive exercise. Typically, someone with bulimia will appear normal in weight or without major weight fluctuations.
- Binge-Eating Disorder– similar to bulimia, this disorder involves binge-eating episodes however they are not followed by compensatory behaviors. These episodes involve large amounts of food, often eaten quickly and being left feeling uncomfortably full and/or ashamed.
- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder – this revolves around highly selective eating; people avoid or limit their food choices that often results in weight loss or poor growth in children because not enough calories are being consumed.
4 Ways to Improve Body Positivity
- Be grateful for your body and all that it does for you. Each morning, stand in front of your mirror and find a new physical feature you can appreciate – whether from a physical perspective (clear skin, shiny hair) or for what is has done for you (my legs for helping me walk to work each morning).
- Think about the qualities, skills or other things that you like about yourself that make you happy. Say these things out loud to yourself every morning and evening!
- Pamper your body! Whether that’s taking a relaxing bubble bath, scheduling a spa day or simply adding an hour of sleep daily, your body will thank you.
- Surround yourself with people who love and respect you – and who only want to raise you up! They’ll help you stay grounded and help you accept yourself for who you are.
We live in a world where society and social platforms label certain bodies as “ideal” and even certain personalities as more desirable. But, it’s important to remember that no one is perfect. We all are unique and our bodies give us the ability to function day-by-day and live life; this is what makes us beautiful.
Your turn to take action: Are you looking for more information on eating disorders or what you can do to help? Visit the NEDA website or feel free to email me at Bonnie@brghealth.comwith any questions you may have.