National Eating Disorders Association
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Editor’s note: Family Based Treatment (FBT) is one of many effective, evidence-based treatments for eating disorders. Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all approach; it should be tailored to the individual and will vary according to both the severities of the disorder and the patient’s particular problems, needs, and strengths. Click here to learn more about the

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As you’ve probably heard by now, the theme for this year’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week  (#NEDAwareness) is Come as You Are.

We hope Come as You Are sends the message to everyone – especially those who have not previously been a part of the conversation – that their stories are valid and their experiences are worth sharing.

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In a lot of ways, the traditional image of a woman in stock photos mirrors the common stereotype of a person with an eating disorder: young, slim, attractive, and white. However, we all know that those stock images don’t reflect the world around us, and yet most marketing and advertising relies on those images without any alternatives. Canva is working to change that.  

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Because NEDA recognizes that many struggling with eating disorders have experienced trauma, oftentimes sexual assault, we feel it’s important to raise awareness around related issues. In recognition of today’s designation as Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we asked Kristi Taylor, Education Director with the Advocacy Center in Ithaca, NY, to answer some related questions. 

For starters, can you share with our readers some basic information about human trafficking? What it involves? Some warning signs?, etc.?

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The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is committed to providing help and hope to those affected by eating disorders (EDs). The Feeding Hope Fund (FHF) for Clinical Research was established in 2013 in order to support projects that will improve the lives of those affected. Over $1 million in research grants has been awarded for innovative treatment and prevention. In 2018, we received an enormous increase in the amount of applications from 2017, which we believe is a good indication of increasing awareness of this very unique ED funding opportunity. 

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With a few days until the end of the year, New Year's resolutions are on the forefront of many people's minds. I've seen countless lists focused on weight loss, exercise, and huge life changes (I WILL NOT hit snooze! I will call my grandparents EVERY SUNDAY! etc.), and I wanted to create a list that was a bit different. These are my five New Year's resolutions for people in recovery:

1. Start a gratitude list

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This New Year's Eve I had some flashbacks.

When most people think about New Year's Eve, they think of attractive people laughing in glee, throwing pink streamers in the air and making out. They think of rom com fantasies of meeting the love of your life in Times Square and crying over how, like, cute this moment totally is. But most of my New Year's Eve memories do not fall in this category. Most of my memories connect to my rigorous resolutions and my hope for a more perfect new year of follow-through.

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Eating disorders have always played a central role in my life. For so many years, an eating disorder dominated my every thought and feeling. No matter what I did or where I went, it accompanied me like an unwanted shadow, turning every life event into a battle against food and my body. I longed for the day when my mind would be free from the struggle, when my relationship with food could be sustainably controlled, when my body would finally look like I always wanted it to and when I could be sure it would stay that way forever.

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For most, the holidays are the most magical, joyful time of the year. For those recovering from an eating disorder, however, this time of year can be the most anxiety-filled. Although the focus around food is the most obvious culprit, what’s less known is that certain gifts—that are well-intentioned—can evoke negative emotions, or even be triggers. Here’s a little holiday help in buying for someone in recovery. A little extra sensitivity goes a long way. 

GIFTS TO AVOID.

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When I first stumbled across NEDA on their Instagram page, I was sitting in a psychology lecture in my university. The name had popped up a couple of times before, but when I started to actually research what the organization was all about I knew immediately: I had to apply! I had never known such a thing existed, a non-profit organization of that size specifically tackling the topic of eating disorders, neither in Germany nor anywhere else in the world. When, a few weeks later, I officially got accepted to become a NEDA Helpline intern, I knew my internship was going to be special.  

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