National Eating Disorders Association

I was 30 years old when I started restricting. It wasn’t a choice or an attempt to lose weight. I had just found out my husband was having an affair. When I confronted him, he left to live 450 miles away and I became a single mum to our two girls, aged 2 and 4. All in the space of a day. My whole world changed and I felt out of control. I’d always lost my appetite due to stress and put my weight loss down to this. I figured it would return soon.  

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I grew up in a very athletic family. Every morning, the first thing we did was go for a run and lift weights. After that, we typically took walks and went water skiing. We were always busy working out and being active. 

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If any of you haven’t already watched Great Big Story’s video about American circus artist Kayla Dyches, “How the Circus Saved My Life,” then you need to go watch it right now! In this inspiring and unique video, Kayla talks about her struggles with anorexia and how her passion for aerial continues to pull her away from her eating disorder. Kayla’s story is one that is simultaneously relatable, empowering, compelling, and unique.

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As many of you already know, and have seen when you walk into either a Starbucks, McDonalds, Applebee’s or even Target’s café, right there next to a food item on the menu is its calorie information.

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This twitter chat focused on young people making change in their communities: spreading awareness, advocating to fight eating disorders, and promoting body positivity. Participants on the chat also explored media activism and self-care.

Missed the February 25, 2015 Twitter Chat about youth activism? Check out the transcript below:

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Disordered eating and dangerous weight-loss behaviors have unfortunately become normalized in our culture. Dieting, “clean eating” and compulsive exercise are often precursors to full-blown eating disorders. This discussion will shed light on how our understanding of "health" has gotten so warped and what we can do to reclaim a more balanced perspective. Stacey Rosenfeld, Ph.D., CGP, @drstaceyla; Cristin Runfola, PhD, @crunfola; Jenni Schaefer, Author and NEDA Ambassador, @JenniSchaefer were featured in this important discussion.

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Anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating disorder affect up to 5% of young women, are associated with high use of medical resources, but often go unrecognized in medical settings. Men with eating disorders are even more likely to elude detection. All physicians should be alert to signs and symptoms of these relatively common behavioral disorders. Most cases respond to specialist treatment, although rates of medical morbidity, functional impairment and mortality are high, especially for anorexia nervosa, which has the highest mortality of any psychiatric condition.

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Family members play an integral role in supporting their love one's recovery. During the Friends & Family Kick-Off Dinner to open the NEDA Conference last week in San Antonio, TX, this idea was thoroughly explored through a "Friends & Family" panel discussion.

The event was emceed Thomas P. Britton, DrPH, LPC, LCAS, ACS, CCS  from CRC Health Group and the panel was moderated by NEDA Ambassador and author, Jenni Schaefer, and featured individuals in support and treatment roles:

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British Member of Parliament, Brooks Newmark, was just 17 when he endured anorexia nervosa. He surely knows that overcoming the disease takes not only mass amounts of support, but research to help understand the dynamics of such a crippling eating disorder. Fortunately, the newly appointed minister of the Civil Society has recently donated his blood to a study that seeks to collect 25,000 samples from those who have suffered, by 2016.

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“I am not as sick as the other women… I don’t need treatment.”

I heard this statement from time to time in my role as a support staff counselor in an eating disorder rehab. My response? I’d say,
 
“Interesting. Tell me, what makes you less sick than the others?”

The answers I would hear were:
“I am not that underweight…”
“I am not that overweight…”
“I am not as crazy as her…”
“I am not as angry as her…”

I would then ask,

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