Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) is upon us once again. EDAW is a Canadian event led by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). And February 1st to 8th is an opportunity to highlight the problems with eating disorders.
I’m sad that:
- dieting, disordered eating and eating disorders are still a reality for many
- funding and approaches to ED treatment have not changed much
- many voices are not being validated or supported in the ED space
This year NEDIC is using the hashtag #7BillionSizes to shed light on the fact that eating disorders do not discriminate. While at the same time, the systems that perpetuate them do. For example, here are a few misconceptions regarding eating disorders (ED) that you might be familiar with:
- they only happen in young white girls
- body size is a clear indication of ED symptoms
- anorexia and bulimia are the most common/serious ED types
My story held true to the first narrative. I was a young girl, thin and white. Therefore, I was recognized as someone who needed help. But that’s certainly not everyone’s story. Truth: eating disorders can affect anyone at any life stage, and of any gender, sexual orientation, size, race, religion, etc.
Various media/entertainment depictions of EDs, such as the more recent Netflix drama To The Bone, feed into the false belief that you have to be extremely thin in order to be sick. Truth: Body size is not indicative of mental illness. There is a range of eating disorder behaviours that do not always fall into a neat and prescriptive recovery box (side note: for more on why “To The Bone” is problematic, read this).
So, along with taking a hammer to our scale (as some of us do as part of our recovery), we should also be smashing the stereotypes regarding EDs so that all voices/experiences can be supported.
Facebook LIVE Stream
Just as I did for last year’s EDAW, I’ll be live streaming a gentle/restorative/mindful movement session, on our Define Me Facebook page. Please come join us and drown out the diet and body hatred noise, even if just for an hour. Here is what to do:
- Mark Feb 3rd @ Noon EST on your calendar
- Like our page
- Grab a quiet place in your home, plus 2-3 blankets and pillows
- Set “Do Not Disturb” on your device
- Give yourself permission to be at peace with your body