National Eating Disorders Association
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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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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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How much time do you have left here?

By “here,” I mean on Earth.  

Don’t be alarmed. 

I am simply asking you this in existential kind of way, a way that I hope will make you realize that the greatest gift you and I both have is time. 

Think about it. 

We each have only a certain amount of time here on earth. A certain amount of time to live out our best lives, to find out who we were created to be, and to tap into the beautiful gifts bestowed upon us to positively impact the lives around us and the greater world.

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Even if you haven't read any of her novels, you've probably heard of Margaret Wolfe Hungerford’s most famous quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It’s a very simple way of explaining aesthetic relativism after all.

We see aesthetic relativism in modern society, like when a celebrity or classmate from high school is praised for being a great beauty but you don’t find them attractive at all.

In a broader context, countries experience this idea by developing their own beauty standards instead of following the same definition.

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The image of recovery, particularly online, has such a pristine filter on it. Take a look at the recovery tag on Instagram or Tumblr and you will see some very positive things, but it can also be intimidating and even discouraging. Some may see the colorful fruit display and green smoothie close ups as what recovery truly is. It is not. Not only is there a sanitized version of recovery, but it is also very whitewashed. 

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My​ ​body​ ​began​ ​to​ ​shake.​ ​It​ ​started​ ​at​ ​my​ ​core​ ​and​ ​radiated​ ​slowly​ ​outwards,​ ​like​ ​those concentric​ ​circles​ ​you​ ​might​ ​see​ ​in​ ​a​ ​tree​ ​stump.​ ​Or​ ​as​ ​a​ ​rock​ ​falls​ ​into​ ​a​ ​lake,​ ​the​ ​way​ ​each smaller​ ​ring​ ​chases​ ​the​ ​one​ ​just​ ​bigger​ ​than​ ​it.  

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It is that time of year again: the holiday season. It is supposed to be a time of merriment and joining together of family, but for many it just winds up being a time of despair, dread, hangovers, fights, tears, and sadness.

For those of us who have transitioned or are nonbinary this can also include wondering how grandma will respond when she sees you either with a new haircut, masculine or feminine clothes, sporting some sweet sideburns, or binding/enhancing your chests. 

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Eating disorders are stereotypically viewed as illnesses that plague young, upper-class, white females. This idea is perpetuated by a variety of factors, including the media, and prevents other people with eating disorders from seeking or receiving the help they need and deserve. While the research into males with eating disorders has recently begun to gain traction, many other groups are still being dismissed. One of those groups is gender nonconforming people. 

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