National Eating Disorders Association
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Recovery

Dr. Lesley Williams is a certified eating disorder specialist, family medicine physician, and positive body image advocate. She co-owns Liberation Center, an eating disorder treatment facility, in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Williams is dedicated to ensuring that all women and men who struggle with eating and body image issues receive the help that they need to overcome and live happy, healthy lives.

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We’re over a week into the new year and you've likely encountered a plethora of diet ads telling you that happiness can only be achieved through weight loss. I'm calling BS on that idea. 

So often, the prospect of the new year is poisoned by notions of creating a “new and improved” you, as if the person you were on December 31st at 11:59pm was not worthy. Well, you are, and everyone has different desires for the new year, as we should!

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Everyone faces obstacles. No matter who you are, what you look like, or where you live, we all face road blocks while moving forward in life. Some of us get through them very easily while others struggle through each one, hanging on by the smallest of tree limbs. Most of us have one thing that has really affected our life. For me, that one thing was my eating disorder.

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The use of food for emotional comfort is often normalized in our culture. It’s very common to see TV shows or movies portraying actresses drowning their sorrows after a breakup by eating a tub of ice cream or an entire box of chocolates. That tells us that it’s acceptable to use food to cope with difficult emotions. For some people, that may be effective and not seem problematic, but it’s far more complicated for someone with an eating disorder. 

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“Dear Melody” is a monthly advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth.

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The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone. Amidst the busyness and changing of routine and weather, it’s easy for us to struggle to maintain that holiday cheer we are expected to embody every single day. It’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to set aside time for yourself. Enjoying the holiday season begins with you and your well-being.

We asked members of the NEDA community to share their words of hope and encouragement for those who are struggling this holiday season. Here's what they had to say:

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En el mundo de hoy, nos encontramos bombardeados con información sobre cómo debemos cuidar nuestros cuerpos. Constantemente vemos los últimos ejercicios, diferentes tipos de planes de comidas, opciones de alimentos, rutinas de ejercicios, etc. y, a veces, es difícil mantenerse al día.

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In today's world, we find ourselves bombarded with information about how we should take care of our bodies. We constantly see the latest exercises, different kinds of meal plans, food options, workout routines, etc. and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. 

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For many of us, the holidays can be a difficult time. Whether you are visiting your family for winter break or you live with your parents, the hyper-focus on food and body image during this time can be hard to navigate.

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Many people look forward to the winter holiday season for time off to relax and be with loved ones. For others, this time of year brings an influx of complicated feelings. For those of us struggling with body image and an unhealthy relationship with food, already aggravated by how central food becomes during the holidays, the pressure to spend time with family can be overwhelming. 

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