National Eating Disorders Association
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Why Walk? An Empowerment Philosophy at Work!

Caroline Neumann, PSYD, MFT

This blog post is sponsored by EDCare.

When it comes to eating disorder treatment, recovery is the goal. Equipping oneself with adequate tools and skills is necessary to maintain long-term eating disorder recovery. 

In support of NEDA Walks across the United States, we walk to show long-term eating disorder recovery is possible!  Here is how you can incorporate important recovery principles when you attend your local NEDA Walk. 

  1. Connection – Eating disorders often perpetuate feelings of isolation and shame. Attending a local NEDA Walk is a great way to find a sense of community and a way to connect with others who can relate to your experiences. Community walks bring together individuals, families, friends, and even mental health professionals who are passionate about helping those in need find recovery resources. 
  2. Acceptance – Acknowledging the fact that you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder is the first and most difficult step towards recovery. Once an individual comes to terms with their reality, they can begin to work toward positive change. NEDA Walks are a great opportunity to express and explore acceptance of ourselves and others in a safe and supportive environment. 
  3. Mindfulness – Too often we forget to be fully present within our daily lives. Attend a NEDA Walk with the intention of being fully aware of the many experiences that day has to offer. Don’t dwell on your past or worry about the future. Take a non-judgmental stance and focus on what truly matters in the here and now.
  4. Sense of Self – Recovery is about rediscovering yourself and your values. NEDA Walks are a great opportunity for you to embrace your authenticity and honor your unique sense of self. Create more self-awareness by reflecting on your own answer to the question “Why walk?” and how it makes you feel. Don’t be afraid to ask and share with others! 
  5. Action - Over 30 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. By participating in a NEDA Walk you are taking a stand against eating disorders and proving that no one needs to face their illness alone. Take action for yourself! Take action for others! Take action for a better future!

So, what do you think? Feeling inspired to apply these principles* at a NEDA Walk near you? Give it a try and remember, together we can make a difference! 

Caroline Neumann graduated from the University of Mississippi with a BA in Psychology. She later attended Reformed Theological Seminary and received her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling. After living in Malawi, Africa, teaching college-level counseling courses and providing mental health services, she returned to the states and earned her PsyD at Rosemead School of Psychology in La Mirada, CA. She then completed her Pre-doctoral Internship at the University of Northern Colorado with a focus in eating disorders and her Post-doctoral fellowship at EDCare. Following her training, Dr. Neumann served as a primary therapist for 5 years and is now the Regional Director of Clinical Services for EDCare. She is an advocate for the discovery of each individual separate from their eating disorder and the empowerment of the patient towards behavioral change. Dr. Neumann is a licensed psychologist in the state of Colorado.

*EDCare utilizes an empowerment based treatment philosophy called CAMSA® - Connection, Acceptance, Mindfulness, Sense of Self and Action.