National Eating Disorders Association
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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. 

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.

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.

My inspiration for this poem came from a variety of sources. First and foremost, to educate others on how eating habits and body image perspectives can start from a very young age. Most people tend to forget that the mind is constantly shaping and changing itself year after year. Yes, this even means it’s developing for a five-year-old. The surrounding environment and role models that children place themselves with are very important to a long lasting healthy lifestyle as they grow. 

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. 

Whether the kitchen is familiar territory or unmarked terrain, this space may be a minefield for someone in recovery from an eating disorder. While cooking may be challenging, the results go far beyond the dinner plate; empower your recovery and make some yummy food on the way with these five restorative reasons to cook through your recovery!

From the famed Empire State Building in the east to Los Angeles International Airport’s stylish, 100-foot, glass pylons in the west, more than 80 iconic landmarks in dozens of cities will be lit in the signature blue and green colors of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to put a spotlight on the seriousness of eating disorders.

I was first diagnosed with an eating disorder in 2013 when I was 19, but my deadly eating disorder and terrifying habits had begun long before then. They started when I was 14 and progressed for five years until I was so deep in my eating disorder that I didn’t know how to get out.

Throughout my life I have been bigger than my peers, and that seemed to be a constant topic among everyone in my life: the bullies, family, and friends. However, no one acknowledged that my unhealthy eating habits were symptoms of a larger problem.

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.

When I came forward for help with my eating disorder, I was given incredible support from concerned friends and family, as well as a dedicated team of professionals on my college campus ready to set me on a path towards recovery. It felt as though all these hands were being extended out to hold me up and keep me steady as I wandered into what would no doubt prove to be difficult terrain.

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