National Eating Disorders Association
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This week, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is celebrating National Volunteer Week. We are highlighting the importance of volunteerism by celebrating the individuals and families who come together to support NEDA throughout its different programs and services.

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The Yoga and Body Image Coalition is a 2021 Featured NEDAwareness Week Partner. YBIC’s mission is to work with all of the ways yoga and body image intersect to create greater access and dignity for all.

Check out these articles YBIC is highlighting:

Reframing Health & Wellness in the Face of Diet Culture by Pia Schiavo-Campo

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Every year in February, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) leads the largest national outreach effort to raise awareness about eating disorders: National Eating Disorders (#NEDAwareness) Week. NEDAwareness Week (February 22 – February 28, 2021) is an annual campaign to bring public attention to the critical needs of individuals and families dealing with this mental illness.

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From a young age I knew I was different from other kids. I can’t pinpoint an exact eureka moment when I became aware that I was visibly disabled, but I do remember photographers arguing about where to put me in school photos. I couldn’t stand for extended periods of time, so I had to sit in a foldable chair while my classmates stood on the risers. 

Should she sit on the side or out front? Hmmm, that’s not right. Let’s move the chair.

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This Weight Stigma Awareness Week (WSAW), taking place Monday, September 28 - Friday, October 2, 2020, we want to End Weight Hate and help the broader eating disorders community understand why weight stigma and weight discrimination should matter to everyone. As well as how it contributes to and exacerbates eating disorders in people of all sizes, especially folks in higher weight bodies. 

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Editor's note: CW for behaviors mentioned.

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As a photographer, I am a critical component in the image capturing process--I am that tool that stands behind the camera, knowing what to say to make the subject smile a certain way; waiting for the light to hit a mountainside; capturing the oceans in a way that can evoke drama and chaos; and knowing when to push the shutter button to capture that special moment when the bride and groom kiss.

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Somewhere on the New Jersey Parkway, my friend’s dad looks in the rearview mirror - looks me in the eyes - and says, “Car’s running a little slow today, eh, Justin?” It’s a middle school summer: I’m a year or two into a five-year affair with braces, I’m learning to skateboard and play guitar, and I’m growing more and more uncomfortable in my body. Here, age eleven or twelve, I’m already deeply insecure about my round cheeks and belly, and an adult is casually shining a spotlight on everything I want to hide.  

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It wasn’t hard for me to stop dieting. I was exhausted from the processes – mind, body, and soul. It was harder for me to find a thinking or philosophy that matched my new outlook. 

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It all started with a letter. Early fall 2019, Ruby Jo Lubarsky, a grandmother, sent a letter to her State Senator, Julie Raque Adams. Ruby Jo shared her frustration about the limited treatment options in Kentucky, how inconsistent insurance coverage is for both inpatient and outpatient services, and in general how uneducated our society is regarding eating disorders. All Ruby Jo was trying to do was find the care her granddaughter desperately needed. But her letter struck a chord.

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