National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Simply based on statistics, chances are you either know someone who has been affected by an eating disorder or have been affected yourself.

WomenAs many of you know I struggled for nine years with anorexia and bulimia. I can say with great joy that I am and have been completely free of any disordered behavior or thinking for almost five years. In fact the date of my sobriety is coming up in a few months. Every April, right around Easter, I’m reminded of the dark place that I lived for so long and the freedom that I now have.

There are many people out there, men, women and young people who struggle with an eating disorder and it is potentially fatal. This week is all about noticing and acting. Thirteen years ago my mom noticed and she took action. It was Christmas Eve, I was home on break from my first semester of college, she came into my room and in her no-nonsense way that I love said, “Something is wrong. It’s pretty clear. Can you tell me what’s going on.?” At that point I was desperate; I felt trapped and her words offered me a way out. I took it.

It was the start of a very long journey to recovery that included many set-backs, but I will always be grateful that she noticed and she took action. Not everyone is as ready as I was to accept help. Approaching someone you suspect has an eating disorder is a very tricky thing. It is best if you talk to a professional counselor first before you take action, their insights may lead to a better outcome than if you simply approach the person on your own.  [I've written more on helping a someone with an eating disorder HERE.] But what’s important is that you do something. It could mean the difference between life and death or in the least a life of bondage and a life of freedom.

Here are some ways that you can get involved this week:

1. Educate yourself. Resources HERE.

2. Take action for a friend and loved one by seeking professional help.

3. Find an event and get involved. Click HERE.

4. Get involved with the NEDA Instagram campaign: “We’re asking NEDA supporters to participate in the campaign by posting images on Instagram and tagging them #CaptureHope during NEDAwareness Week (Feb. 23-Mar. 1). These images can be anything that inspires hope for you.”

 

–Sarah

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Comments

    • scanney says

      The statistics are staggering and scary. Their website has some great info and even more info graphics, there’s one on pregnancy and eating disorders…a growing trend it seems. Especially with Hollywood pregnancies being so publicized.

  1. says

    I had a dear friend pass away from an eating disorder in late october right before I left for my honeymoon. It was so tragic. After getting back from our honeymoon we had her funeral and it was until then that it all hit me. What I hate most about this disease is the lie those who have it believe: They aren’t beautiful!! She was doing so much better and had gone through two different treatments. WE all thought she was fine again. We all wished she knew how gorgeous and worthy she was. Thank you for this post!!

    • scanney says

      I am so sorry to hear about your friend. It is so easy to think someone is fine. I knew that that was my greatest deception was making people think I was OK, so they would leave me alone and let me carry on with my behavior. It really is one big circle of lies that is so entrapping. I’m sorry that you’re friend was not able to find freedom. That is my hope for all people who struggle, because it is possible:) Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. says

    I love you, my girl, so grateful you are doing well! I really think you ROCK! I am grateful that you are sharing on your blog, perhaps you will inspire other young girls, and a few Moms to take action to heal and overcome!

  3. Sarah says

    Sarah – Thank you for being so honest and proactive on this topic. After a long and painful 17-year struggle with bulimia, I am celebrating 6 months of sobriety today. For what it’s worth, my sobriety started the day I came across your blog. I know I am at the beginning of a lifetime of recovery, but each day is a joy, and my old habits feel a world away from where I am now. I cannot say enough to adequately express my gratitude, so I will simply say thank you. Your words help more than you know.

    • scanney says

      Sarah, I am so blessed by this comment. I’m glad that sharing my story and being honest about the journey and my freedom was helpful to you. Congratulation on your sobriety! It is true that the old habits start to feel a world away. It really is a great thing to be free.

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