National Eating Disorders Association
Blog

"I already know how to breathe….” said to me by a participant in my Breathwork workshop! 

Notice, she said this while participating IN my workshop...LOL!

I hear that often. 

Our Breath is unique. Breathing is unique. Folks take their Breath for granted. Many assume the next life enhancing/giving inhale will arrive... like: poof!

When you take a moment to think about it, it is mind blowing that the Breath just shows up... our inhale and exhale happen with NO effort from us.... What a gift.

Encountering weight-based discrimination and internalized weight bias can be particularly challenging in spaces designed to highlight fitness and body movement. In this piece, Lindley Ashline writes a letter to fitness professionals about the challenges faced by fat persons in fitness spaces and encourages fitness professionals to be more intentional and inclusive of fat bodies. 

The Happy Place

In my job as a fat activist, people like to fling links at me that they think disprove the things I am saying. 

When the planets align in just the right way and the whim strikes me, I’ll dig into their links and see if there’s anything there. I haven’t been flung a worthwhile one yet, but I’m open to new experiences. And I want to teach you how to do it too so you can have a better idea of how to sort out the good information from the bad. 

My journey with NEDA began after my daughter and I attended our first NEDA Walk in St. Louis shortly after she was discharged from her first treatment stay.  I remember the joy in knowing that all the people there knew exactly how I felt.  I was trying to learn all I could about eating disorders when I discovered NEDA and the Walks.  I decided I wanted to be a part of a Walk in Indianapolis.  

I decided to test out my theory that the world can be changed through conversation. I sent out one hundred letters to one hundred different people who have positively impacted this world. In each letter, I simply asked for them to chat with me over coffee about the change they have made. Claire Mysko, the CEO of NEDA was an obvious choice because of her inspiring work with body positivity! 

I’ve wanted to talk about my body image struggles and my blindness in a correlating way for sometime now. Many people don’t realize that just because I can’t see well, doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with what I do see or feel. I don’t blame my blindness for my past eating disorder, but it has played a role in my body challenges. 

Thank you to Alsana for sponsoring this blog post.

What was it like to be me growing up?  Eye-opening.  

It all started around age fourteen, when I began feeling self-conscious about my body. I was always the tall, lanky kid that was horrible at sports but a great talker and an even better writer. I guess you could say, I was a good observer. 

So, what did fourteen-year-old Makaila observe? That she was losing sight of herself. 

One of my professors, on the first day of class, pulled up on the projector a list of 50 words. Authenticity; Justice; Integrity; Inner Harmony; Productivity; Independence; Love; Family.  

Core values. Values that highlight what we stand for, that guide our behaviors and our decisions and our actions. Values that guide our lives.   

“I want you to take a few moments,” my professor said, “and read over these words. Think about them and what they mean to you; what they evoke in you. And then write down your top ten.” 

NEDA is excited to share how NEDA Network member, Ophelia's Place, thinks outside the box to raise awareness around eating disorders and body image issues in its community, while at the same time finding a means of sustaining the organization so its important work can continue. We would love to hear how others are building community and sustainability, and hope this post prompts some other great ideas!

 

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