National Eating Disorders Association
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My journey to diagnosis for anorexia started when I was 20. I’d had enough of feeling the way I did and being controlled by emotion and intrusive thoughts. During this time, we discovered it had started at 10 years old due to issues at school and weight-related family traits. 

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Valentine’s Day can be difficult as it emphasizes the “special someone” in your life. There are set expectations of roses, chocolates, and candle-lit dinners but here are some ways to reclaim the day and make it about the most special someone in your life—you. 

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In honor of Black History Month, we are applauding some of the incredible members of the Black community who spread positivity one Instagram post at a time. Their messages of hope and love are inspirational to all people, regardless of skin color. 

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The beginning of February also marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time to remember pivotal events and people that helped shape the Black community. The countless accomplishments of the community would not have been possible without the unwavering efforts of many persistent and courageous individuals. Here are some examples of Black community members who are continuing to work towards making the world a more equal place through their words of hope and positivity.

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Eating disorders have historically been associated with heterosexual, young, white females, but in reality, they affect people from all demographics and they are not caused by any single factor. Misconceptions about who eating disorders affect have real consequences, leading to fewer diagnoses, treatment options, and pathways to help for those who don’t fit the stereotype.

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Not long ago, I was sitting in a hospital room by myself wondering how I had once again let myself end up in the situation I was in. It definitely wasn’t my first “rodeo” with anorexia nervosa. You see, I knew what was going to happen. I knew where restriction led me, yet somehow my pattern of behaviors kept repeating themselves. 

It was during this short admission that I started to question why I was still sick and why I wasn’t getting better. 

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I study languages. I grew up speaking English and Korean at home, and now I’m fluent in Modern Standard Arabic with the ultimate goal of teaching Arabic to native English speakers. World peace requires a bridge between languages to be formed so that people can understand each other. 

There is, however, one language I do not and will never understand. It’s when people comment on other peoples bodies and physical appearances.

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This week marks GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, a week organized by educators and students to put a stop to name-calling and bullying in schools. Being teased or bullied about weight is emerging as a risk factor in many eating disorders. Additionally, LGBTQ+ individuals are at higher risk of eating disorders due to stigma, discrimination, and body image distress.

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The year 2017 has been an uphill battle for women, and a year of liberation. Numerous people have asked me how I feel about the #MeToo movement being a person who could say, "me too." In 2015, I released my first book, CONTROLLED, a memoir which details my own sexual assault and its aftermath. Through my book I outline what occurred after my assault, a legal case I never wanted and a battle against anorexia to cope with PTSD. 

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At NEDA, we know that eating disorders don’t discriminate against gender, sexuality, class, race, or physical ability. We also know how important it is to hear from a variety of individuals in the eating disorder and recovery community, which is why we have partnered with The Trevor Project on a survey designed to give a voice to young LGBTQ+ people. The Trevor Project is a leading non-profit focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth.

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