National Eating Disorders Association
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Editor's note: CW for behaviors, etc.

 

 

 

This time last year, I’d really only just begun to accept the fact that I have an eating disorder. Not a “weird food thing,” not “disordered behaviors,” not a “strong dislike of food” — I have an eating disorder, and with it, a long road ahead to repair my relationship to food and to my body. 

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I spent the majority of the last 10 years convinced that my eating disorder was a thing of the past. In a culture that reinforces and even praises disordered eating behaviors, I thought my quasi-recovered state was the best I could hope for. After all, the rest of the world is engaging in restriction, “clean eating,” and vilifying entire food groups so it was hard to recognize my relationship with food as problematic when our culture encourages and reinforces disordered eating.

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Editor's note: CW for behaviors mentioned

 

 

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Editor's Note: CW for behaviors mentioned and discussion of weight loss

 

 

If someone would've told me ten years ago that I would no longer be in pursuit of weight loss today, I wouldn't have believed it.  

That’s because at that time I was still deeply entrenched in diet thinking, and weight loss was my number one priority.  I was on a lifelong quest to find the thing that would permanently give me the body that I’d always wanted.  

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Probably like many of you, the person I was a year ago is someone significantly different from my current self. Much of this is due to the fact that, environmentally, my life has changed drastically since this time last year. This shift has brought with it changes including access to therapy and a new community to call home. Going to college has been a pretty large transition for me, as I moved across the country to go to my school. Being in this transitional phase has its benefits, in that it has allowed a lot of room for self-reflection as well as self-improvement.

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Reflecting on my past is something I’m accustomed to, but when I would do this before, I always reflected on the negative. It’s comfortable for me to think about all the challenges I went through—not easy, but comfortable. From my eating disorder, to my body image struggles, to my depression, I was comfortable living in that space; after all, those things were part of my identity. However, this past year something changed, and for the first time ever I feel proud of who I was before, who I am now, and what I’ve accomplished. Getting to this new “proud” place was uncomfortable. 

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Eating disorders (EDs) do not discriminate against age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or even gender.  While research on male eating disorders is scarce, findings consistently illustrate unique variants and differences in presentation and symptomatology. Thus, there is a critical need to understand the nuances between genders in order to better conceptualize, prevent, and treat, eating disorders adequately in males.  

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We want the time people spend on Instagram to be supportive, positive and empowering. For much of our community, this rings true to their experience. However, social comparison is one of the growing challenges we’re seeing on Instagram, especially for young people. Body image is one area in particular where people may compare themselves to others and feel pressure to look a certain way. 

We also know that Instagram is a place where many people have found support and inspiration within the body acceptance community. 

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The past few years has seen a significant rise of the discussion on the ineffectiveness of diet culture and the harm of fatphobia. Thanks to social media and the work of many grassroots community members, eating disorders are being analyzed within a social justice framework. These changes have been motivating and life changing for many.  

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The day we’ve all been waiting for is just around the corner — NEDAwareness Week kicks off Monday!

Building off last year’s success and continued relevance, we want you to #ComeAsYouAre again for NEDAwareness Week 2020! From February 24th to March 1st, we encourage our community to embrace this year’s theme, Come as You Are: Hindsight is 20/20, by reflecting on the positive steps you've taken — including those stemming from setbacks or challenges — toward accepting themselves and others.

HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?

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