National Eating Disorders Association
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Recovery

Yoga, with its tenets of peacefulness, self-compassion, mindfulness, and self- empathy, both empowers and enhances recovery from eating disorders and body image despair. Yoga promotes harmony within and strengthens the relationship with the body through physical poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), non-harmful self-care (ahimsa), and meditation,

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I was told early on, that journaling might be a really effective tool to help me on my journey to recovery. I know from talking to so many other people who suffer with an eating disorder that I’m not the only one who has been encouraged to use writing as a way to connect to my thoughts and feelings. 

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I often use the beautiful words of the poet Rumi to probe my yoga students: “Do you pay regular visits to yourself? Start now.” I follow this with the very powerful declaration of the first verse of the treatise Yoga Sutra, “Atha Yoganushasanam,” which means, “Now is the time for Yoga.”

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We recognize that making the decision to enter a treatment program can be very difficult. For those who might be considering a higher level of care, we thought some words of encouragement might help make the decision feel a little less daunting.

NEDA collaborated with EDCare to gather advice from others who have previously made the decision. We reached out to our community on social media and asked the question: “How would you encourage others who are hesitant to enter eating disorder treatment?”

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I believe that traveling teaches us so much about ourselves, the world, and our relationship to both. That being said, traveling was merely a dream I had for a very long time. I very much wanted to experience new places. I wanted to feel the excitement of new surroundings. I wanted to learn and be a part of new cultures. But I was held prisoner by an eating disorder.

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“But I’m just not that artistic!” is something I hear frequently in practice with individuals working through their eating disorder recovery. You don’t have to consider yourself “artistic “to use creative expression as a coping mechanism in your recovery journey.  Art in its many forms can serve as a positive way to cope or as a distraction from the eating disorder voice in your head.   

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It is widely recognized that there is stigma towards mental health (vs. physical health) problems. The perception is that many people with psychological disorders somehow “choose” to have them, that it's their “fault” for being “weak,” that they could just “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” and “snap out of it” if they wanted to, and that they deserve less empathy overall. 

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Blood, sweat, and tears. That’s what it takes to become a champion, right? 

And then what? After you push yourself until you drop, after you win, after you abuse your body and mind to get to that one place you are so determined to get to, then what? Will happiness appear?

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Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is more common than most people realize. In a culture obsessed with appearance, internalizing feelings of shame about body size and shape are all too common. The stereotypes and weight stigma associated with BED have a severe impact on both physical and mental health. To make matters worse, the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry works to further idealize the need to look a certain way and fosters patterns of disordered eating. The need for evidence-based treatments is key to effective, lasting BED recovery.

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We’ve reached the time of year when, even more so than usual, we’re bombarded with messages saying our bodies aren’t good enough as is; and that to feel confident and have a wonderful summer we need to look a certain way or weigh X pounds. For so long I thought that was true, and every year I became frustrated when my body never looked like the ideal bikini body that we see plastered all across the media.

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