National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
I'm not sure how many of you know, but this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week, where the aim is to spread knowledge of eating disorders and raise money to help combat them.
Eating disorders are something that have always interested me. Although I do not specifically have one, for a while now I have thought about food in a very precise, detailed manner. I study food labels, choose meals based on nutritional content and calories and keep tabs on my body image. I think about what I am going to have for my next meal, go through periods where I monitor exactly what I am eating and go on rampant binges where I consume everything in sight now and again. I am fully aware that I show traits of someone with an ED, but I have never allowed it to become an unhealthy obsession that gets out of control. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone as people all over the world are suffering from a variety of eating disorders, leading to very extreme health issues.
In my opinion, the media plays a huge part in the onset of an eating disorder. We as a society are being constantly bombarded with messages about losing weight. We spend our time scrolling through pictures of beautiful models posed for online shopping catalogues looking amazing in their size 6 outfits. There is always a story about the latest celeb to loose half their body weight in magazines and Twitter and Instagram are full of the best exercises to drop belly fat. How on earth is anyone supposed to be focussed on anything other than losing weight?
Our society isn't particularly helpful when it comes to overcoming an ED either - mainly for the same reasons. When you can't help but overanalyse the food you are putting in your body anyway and everyone around you is talking about eating 'low carb', calorie restricting and wanting to lose weight for summer, it is twice as hard to do exactly the opposite, even if it is what's best for you. You can't just snap your fingers and suddenly that voice in your head telling you to restrict goes away. It is a constant battle to overcome your own thoughts, let alone go against everything that is being said in the media about losing weight. Since when was 'gaining weight' something to be happy with?
During this week I think it is really important to spread awareness of EDs. Knowing how to spot the onset of them, how to go about starting a recovery process and also just realising that you are not alone and there are people to speak to who can help. More people than you know have struggled with eating problems and can really relate and want to help. Eating disorders go far beyond just anorexia and bulimia and the more we know about them, the more we can start to advertise the importance of weight gain, eating healthy carbs and sticking to your calorie guidelines. Recently we have made a huge step, believing strong is the new skinny- therefore promoting gym work, eating protein and sticking to macros. We need to keep this up and hopefully we can make life easier for ED recovery and limit the number of people suffering.
I am donating to B-eat to help people along their journey and spread awareness of eating disorders. I would love if you could join me:
Give them a call on 01603 753308 or visit their website https://www.b-eat.co.uk/support-us/donations