National Eating Disorders Association

Gloria Lucas is a self-described “chubby warrior, DIY punx educator, and eating disorder survivor” dedicated to increasing the representation within the body positive and eating disorder community. After struggling with her own eating disorder, Gloria felt the impact of cultural differences with the difficulty she felt about speaking out. Now, she hopes to fulfill her mission with Nalgona Positivity Pride, an organization that centers the diverse backgrounds of community members and gives back to her own community. 

In countrywide recognition of the need for research, prevention programs, and treatment options for the 30 million Americans who will experience an eating disorder, the United States Senate has passed Senate Resolution 419, officially designating Feb. 26 – March 4 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week) for the first time.

We are shaped by our experiences and our perceptions. Our views of the world are defined by what we see and what we hear and the media has always played a role in that. Throughout history, the media and arguably, our immediate environment, has controlled our self-image, and in the age of technology, we are becoming increasingly aware of the negative impact of what our eyes and ears consume.

When I started @iamdaniadriana five years ago, I never thought that I would amass nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram. My dream when I started @iamdaniadriana was to give a voice to those who have felt marginalized from the eating disorder community, people who have felt let down or ignored in the past as they didn’t fit the “typical” look of someone with an eating disorder. 

NEDA and the Trevor Project teamed up on a national survey to better understand how LGBTQ+ youth are affected by eating disorders. We found that a majority of those surveyed have been diagnosed with an eating disorder and more than 75% suspect they have an eating disorder. And, of those diagnosed with an eating disorder, 87.5% have considered suicide.

During my teenage years, I was very confrontational. I was also very angry and embarrassed to be in my body. This anger and shame, encouraged me to yell at and hate the strangers I caught staring at me in public places. 

Waking up at 2am thinking about food. Surfing the internet at work, looking up new recipes when you have a deadline coming up. Planning and stopping at fast food restaurants between every meal. 

This isn’t a buildup to a funny meme about loving food. This was my life until I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder (BED) at 28 years old.

Mike Marjama currently has a successful career as an American baseball catcher for the Seattle Mariners, but he once struggled with an eating disorder that threatened his ability to play the sport he loves. As a teen, Marjama attended Granite Bay High School in California and later played baseball for California State University. While in high school, Marjama developed an eating disorder that eventually led to inpatient treatment. 

Mollee Gray is an actress and dancer most recognized as Giggles in Disney films Teen Beach and Teen Beach 2 and as a finalist on season 6 of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. She currently tours nationwide teaching master classes and dance workshops, and serves as a celebrity ambassador for Breaking the Chains Foundation.

This week marks National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness)! This year, NEDA is running an Instagram campaign to inspire people to speak out and share their stories along with the NEDA recovery symbol. By participating in this campaign, you can help show others that we are all connected and that our voices can create real change.