Let’s Talk About It: Eating Disorders
This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and the theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It.” I find this extremely appropriate because isn’t that one of the reasons why eating disorders are so dominant in today’s society? Because people don’t talk about it enough. Eating disorders is a taboo subject and it shouldn’t be.
Living in a college environment, I’ve noticed that eating disorders are a lot more prevalent than one might think. After all, more than 10 million women and one million men are struggling with anorexia and bulimia. There’s the terror behind gaining the “Freshman 15,” stress from a typical college student life that doesn’t always let kids learn about how to live a healthy lifestyle, and the pressure to please others. But with movements like Operation Beautiful, Fat Talk Free Week and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, students are starting to realize that it’s okay to talk about the shady subjects. People need to understand that eating disorders are illnesses — not choices people make — and movements like these help foster that knowledge.
I try to provide outlets to those who have been affected by an eating disorder as well, so I’ve opened up my blog space a few times for my friend, Mike, to talk about his battle with anorexia. One of the hardest parts for him was not always having the support he needed, so it turned into a mental battle that consumed his daily life. By talking about it, he helped relieve the inner tension and remember how amazing he really is.
I’ve also spotted Active Minds at Oswego State various times across campus this week, providing educational material for students along with bookmarks and inspirational boxes. I filled mine with a ton of messages that remind me of why I love myself, so I can look through whenever I feel negative thoughts bombarding me.
Not to mention Operation Beautiful is beginning to take over this campus. I’ve walked in on quite a few Post-It notes the last few months and can’t help but smile whenever I see one. I’m hoping a few ladies have gotten some joy out of the message I’ve left for them, too.
If you’re looking for a few good reads pertaining to eating disorders, I recommend:
- Life Without Ed by Jenni Schaefer
- Appetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp
- Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher (Not recommended to those with an eating disorder who have not gone through treatment as the content can be extremely triggering.)
I read each book after having them recommended from a friend who struggles with bulimia and another who suffered from anorexia. Both say they’re on-point and help nourish understanding, and I found them to be very helpful in my personal understanding of an eating disorder as I have not struggled with one myself.
I strive to be healthy from the inside out every day and hope that anyone who reads this blog will do the same. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Are you talking about eating disorders this week?
Posted on February 23, 2011, in Exercise, Food, Mental Health, Uncategorized and tagged Caroline Knapp, Eating disorder, Fat Talk Free Week, Health, Marya Hornbacher, Mental Health, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Operation Beautiful. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.