National Eating Disorders Association
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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!

 

30 Million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their life and 10 million of those are men, a number that I think is extremely underrepresented due to the stigmas that surround mental health and men. Eating disorders in men is something you hear far too little about, but it’s something I am far too familiar with. And thanks to NEDA taking steps to spread awareness of not only eating disorders in general but men in particular, the word is beginning to spread.

I was 22 when I was a diagnosed with an eating disorder, although my eating disorder tendencies began long before then. Like many other courageous individuals, I sought treatment, even though I was in complete denial. Unlike many others, I did not have an abundant circle filled with support; people with whom I could speak openly and candidly about the difficulties, fears, and sorrows of the recovery process. 

And, as I recover, I am learning that my story is different. And that is SO okay. 

My dad didn’t know what to do to help me with my eating disorder.  

So, he did what he’s really good at and passed along some numbers: (800) 931-2237 (He’s an engineer.) I still have that handwritten piece of paper. Thank you, Dad.  

Calling those ten digits for help was a huge leap of faith. At that point in my life, no one knew I had an eating disorder except for my parents and the boyfriend who made me tell them (Now, I can say thanks to him, too.). 

I am not telling anyone else. 

Professional wrestling offers a unique combination of athleticism and the art of storytelling. Through the use of larger-than-life characters and sometimes relatable storylines, the audience is met with events they can connect with. For months, professional wrestler Adam Page has offered a storyline of his journey through pressures of looking perfect for a big matchup. His friends make comments that he needs to be “full gear ready” (skinnier and bulkier) for this match.

This blog post is sponsored by Rogers Behavioral Health.

Being out in nature, enjoying the warmth of a greenhouse, and working with plants all have a positive effect on someone’s mood and can also reduce anxiety. Because of this, horticultural therapy has been a valuable component of care across a variety of treatment settings, and is an especially good fit in eating disorder recovery.

World Eating Disorders Action Day 2019

Eating Disorders: We Can't Afford to Wait

Awareness hurts, but it saved my life. Awareness is far more difficult than being ambivalent or ignorant, but it is absolutely necessary for recovery.

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