This week, February 22-28, is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. 2009’s theme is "...until eating disorders are history." In that vein, take a moment to reflect and share with me if and how an eating disorder or disordered eating has been a part of YOUR history. (I’m using the word “history” because I’m hoping that if you struggled, it is now a bad memory/learning experience relegated to your past, but if you are currently facing a challenge, this is a great time to just let go and spill your feelings in the Comments section.) Maybe you struggled in high school or college with anorexia but overcame it with help from a therapist or trusted teacher. Maybe it started earlier, with a teasing-and-overeating cycle in junior high. Or it could be something that happened as recently as last week, when you punished yourself for eating pizza by working out for three hours. These are things so many of us have experienced but often keep quiet about. Reading other women’s words can be empowering, as it lets you know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you need help, ask, and maybe I or a fellow readers can point you in the right direction. If you have a tip that worked especially well for you in terms of digging your way out of ED hell, share it with us.
My best tips? Find a fab therapist you really mesh with (truly, there is zero stigma here – I look forward to my weekly therapy sessions almost as much as I look forward to a Whoopie Pie during my worst PMS day); get regular - but not excessive - exercise to boost your mood naturally; don’t be afraid to listen to medication talk if it’s serious; and limit the amount you openly obsess to your friends. I say this from personal experience – friends can absolutely be life-savers but there comes a point where constantly complaining about your weight WILL wear on the relationship. This is what therapists are for.
Check the website of the National Eating Disorder Association - their calendar will tell you if there is a National Eating Disorders Awareness Week event happening near you. Also, the NationalEatingDisorders.org Help Hotline, open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, PST, is 1-800-931-2237. Know of a good supportive blog? Shout it out below!
PS. I leave for Ohio State University Tuesday morning to give a talk…enjoy the beginning of your week and talk to you soon! Go Buckeyes!