National Eating Disorders Association

I will never forget when, as a young teen, I was told by my mother’s friend, “You have legs just like your dad’s.” Many decades later I can still hear her voice and feel the sting and confusion her comment stirred in me.

Today is Body Confidence Day, a time to honor our unique and amazing bodies and selves! We'll be celebrating on Twitter with a #NEDAchat on body positivity, diverse role models, and self-care techniques. Aerie model Iskra Lawrence, singer/songwriter Matthew Koma, and our other panelists will share personal experiences, helpful tips, and resources for support.

When I was deeply suffering from my eating disorder, I hated my body. I abused it. Worst of all, I separated myself from it. My mind became one entity and my body became another. To my mind, my body seldom did anything right. 

Since entering recovery, I have had to learn how to care for my body, how to nourish it, and how to appreciate it. But most importantly, I have had to accept that I am my body and my body is me. I will never be able to separate from my body, nor should I want to. When I hurt my body, I am hurting myself.

When casual viewers think of horror, images of scantily-clad women and problematic depictions of institutionalized people typically come to mind. And while there is no shortage of “naked-promiscuous-woman-is-slaughtered-while-nice-guy-flees-deranged-killer” horror flicks out there, a growing number of horror films are offering empowering messages and thought-provoking cultural critiques to viewers. 

Twice a year, advocates come together in Washington, D.C. to influence federal policy, push for change, and educate representatives of Congress about those affected by eating disorders. NEDA has served as a collaborative partner with the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) on these efforts throughout 2017. 

On October 5th, I along with many other advocates shared our own personal journeys and the impact eating disorders have had on our lives. On that day, we represented the voices of the 30 million Americans who suffer from an eating disorder.

The Internet is abuzz with news on a new executive order (EO) on health insurance titled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” In short, the EO encourages agencies to take actions that would essentially divide Americans into “healthy” and “sick” groups. 

We are nearing the end of Hispanic Heritage Month (also known as Latino Heritage Month), and although this month purports to celebrate and honor brown culture, it is a time that evokes feelings of dissociation for me. Yes, I am of Mexican-indigenous descent, and I genuinely appreciate recognition and celebration of people of the brown diaspora. I don’t, however, understand the logic behind the language used—Hispanic, Latino, Latinx—to describe a group of people that I have felt forced to identify with all these years. 

Body dysmorphia is a term that is heard increasingly in our vernacular but actually refers to a clinical diagnosis called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). It is characterized by a preoccupation with perceived bodily defects and flaws. This is technically different than an eating disorder as the intense worry and focus is about the appearance of any body part, not just body fat or weight preoccupation that typically accompanies eating disorders.

Women’s bodies are routinely criticized, commodified, and objectified. While RAINN reports that 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, sexual violence is often trivialized or even dismissed.

From an early age, I knew that I loved deeply. I loved people in a way that felt like too much at times. I had names for every single one of my stuffed animals and I'd always buy them used because I felt like I had to save all of the orphans that were being given away. Growing up in a big family, I never felt alone. My three brothers and two sisters would keep me company and I always had someone to play with. It wasn't until the end of 5th grade when I learned how to play by myself—not because I didn't have friends, but because I felt safer being by myself.