Now that this year’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week has ended, so will many of the posts, articles, and shared personal stories designed to shed light on this devastating disease.
While it is amazing to see so many people passionate in their quest to bring awareness to the disorder, why end the conversation here?
Instead of limiting it to one designated week a year, let’s keep the discussions going, and bring an end to eating disorder stigma and diet culture once and for all.
There are a variety of ways we can effectively do this, and most do not require a social media platform. Rather, they require us to begin opposing anyone or anything that may promote or reinforce disordered thoughts around food, exercise, and body image.
Your friend tells you she needs to go to the gym to counteract pizza night last night?
Tell her that exercise should never be a punishment, and that any and all food is ok in moderation.
Those magazines that give unrealistic depictions of what the “perfect” body looks like? Don’t buy them.
Friends make flippant comments about how they “wish” they had the willpower to have anorexia?
Tell them that similar to other medical conditions such as cancer or heart disease, eating disorders are not a choice.
That store that makes you feel as though your worth is based on the size of their clothing? Quit shopping there.
Start educating yourself on the difference between experts in the fields of fitness and nutrition, and “experts” that play or look the part.
Instead of praising our kids for their looks, let’s remind them how smart, funny, kind, helpful, brave, and fun they are.
While these examples include seemingly small acts, it is these seemingly small acts that will eventually lead to the bigger picture of eradicating the stigma surrounding eating disorders, and the toxic diet culture that can lead to them.
Katie has some upcoming groups. Learn about them here:
- Establish Balance and Freedom from Disordered Eating
- Healthy Coping Skills For Teens and Young Adults