A Word on National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

In case you didn’t know, the 2018 National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is currently going on from Monday, February 26 to this Sunday, March 4th.

I’m planning on doing a full coverage of NEDA week next week, but for now I’d just like to give you some thoughts on why this week is so important.

I suffered from an eating disorder known as Anorexia Nervosa from the ages of 15 to 17. Anorexia is characterized by an intentional and severe lack of caloric intake. I am not going to tell you what habits I engaged in with my eating disorder, because if you suffer from this disease it is so easy to compare. I remember reading accounts of girls with eating disorders and instead of taking away the inspirational messages, I would look at their images and think, “Why don’t I look that thin? Why aren’t my ribs sticking out that much? Why aren’t I eating x amount of calories per day?” I thought this because eating disorders are a mental illness. They warp your brain to the point of not thinking properly. The truth of the matter was that I was that thin. I did look emaciated. But I didn’t see it because my perception of what I looked like was dangerously warped.

Basically, I starved myself to the point where I shouldn’t have been alive.

I was in and out of inpatient care programs throughout my two years of treatment. I worked with an eating disorder treatment program known as Walden Behavioral Care, and I am so grateful for them. I can say that I wouldn’t have been alive if it weren’t for them.

There’s more to come from me on my experience, but I want to leave you with this:

As we finish out NEDA week, think about the people you know. The person you pass in the hall. Your cousin who talks badly about herself. Yourself. Be kind and remember that you don’t know what someone is going through. Eating disorders are real and they can affect anyone. No matter what, they must be taken seriously.

Access NEDA's website