Why the NEDA Walk was so Impactful

On October 1st, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the NEDA walk in Foley Square, Brooklyn. For anyone that doesn’t know, NEDA stands for the National Eating Disorder Association. Quite often, NEDA has awareness walks across the country to raise funds and to spark conversations about eating disorders.

 

I’ve found in my personal experience that eating disorders are one of the more difficult illnesses to talk about. So many people don’t know exactly what they are, or how they affect a person that may have one. Yet, so many people suffer from eating disorders, often silently. Having a walk like this, at the very least, ignites an important conversation about what eating disorders are, how to treat them, and how to support anyone you may know that has an eating disorder.

 

I was lucky enough to go to this walk with a group of girls from my sorority, and it really was a great experience to share with all of them. I suggest going to these walks with someone else you know, it’s just more fun and if the walk is for a topic that is hard to talk about, having moral support is always great!

 

 

I never had attended this event before, so I had no idea what to expect. Personally, I do not have an eating disorder but I know family and friends that do, so this is a cause close to my heart. Arriving at this walk, I was super excited to see what it would be like. Filling up Foley Square was a bunch of different tables. Some of them belonged to eating disorder recovery centers distributing flyers about their organization. A lot of them were organizations that were dedicated to making people feel comfortable in their own skin; there was one table in specific giving away cute little notecards with loving quotes on them, and you could take them for free! I chose “You Shine,” as comforting affirmation that I could keep with me.

 

 

The energy at this walk was one of pure love and support. Some people were there walking for their family members or friends that have an eating disorder, some in recovery, some still struggling. Some people were there in memory of their loved ones that passed away from eating disorders. Some people were there walking for themselves, in celebration of their own recovery. In any case, you could feel that every person was there because this was something they truly cared about. Every face was a friendly one, it didn’t matter that they were complete strangers.

 

The actual walk itself took place along the Brooklyn Bridge. For me, it was such a wonderful experience because I had never been on this bridge before. The view was breathtaking, and you couldn’t help but be in a great mood. You aren’t worrying about what other people are thinking about you because everyone there supports the notion of self love wholeheartedly. Amongst the crowd you can find signs that say “only puppies should fear pounds” or “you are strong and powerful.” You can’t help but feel good about being there and being in your own skin!

 

The entire time, I thought about how much this means to people that are struggling with an eating disorder, knowing that hundreds of people were using their strength and power to walk for them, for their health and their wellbeing. That’s why these walks are so important, it shows the most powerful sense of caring to people who need it the most. I will absolutely be returning to the NEDA walk in the future. The foundation is so important, and people with eating disorders shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. Loving yourself is everything, and this walk really helped me realize the importance of that.