Monday, 2 February 2015

Eating Disorder Awareness Week! (EDAW)

This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW). This is a week that pays special attention to increasing awareness about eating disorders: what they are, how they can be prevented and treated. and how to support others throughout their own journeys. Of course, raising awareness about ED should happen all year - but having a special week dedicated to the cause makes us more aware of the key issues. (P.S. Purple is the colour for Eating Disorder Awareness - so please try to wear purple or incorporate purple into your lives this week to show your support!)

I have certain goals for EDAW. I hope that someone will hear of ED and know that it is a mental illness, and not a choice. That struggling with an eating disorder is a challenging, emotional, and painful experience - and not simply a quest to lose weight and be thin. I have hope that society will let go of false ideas that women and men need to be tall, thin, muscular, etc. in order to be strong and beautiful. That the media will realize that depicting individuals in unrealistic measures does more harm than what we may see on the surface. That friends and family can avoid speaking about food as good or bad, as healthy or unhealthy. That all foods can be eaten in moderation, as part of a healthy and balanced life. That nutrition will be viewed as something necessary for life - that food is the sustenance that enables our bodies and minds to carry out normal functions. That weight will not be seen as a measure of one's self-worth or achievements. That exercise will not be seen or depicted as a chore, as something that we need to do because we want to look a certain way, fit into a pair of jeans, brag about our muscular strength, etc. That beauty will be defined as simply being yourself - the amazing, talented, special individual that you are, the awesome creation by God.

Does this seem far off? Perhaps, seeing as where society is at now. But it isn't impossible. Already, strives and successes have been made. Think back to your previous knowledge about ED, and think about it now. Do you understand more about ED as a mental illness? Can you appreciate why recovering from ED is challenging? Do you know how to support someone with ED? I guarantee that your knowledge has increased...and this is the way it should be. When we understand more about something, we become less ignorant and more informed. You can make a difference. You can educate yourself and others about ED. You can be a positive example for your friends and family by enjoying food (ex. not talking about how awful it is that you ate that piece of cake), by accepting your body and not shaming it (ex. don't complain about how you don't look like you did give years ago), by approaching physical activity in a healthy manner (ex. no one cares how much you 'lift' or that you woke up today and had a fun run in the sun), etc.


As a final shout-out, I am honoured to say that I have been invited to present at a NEDIC workshop/conference On Tuesday February 10, 2014 in Toronto (see http://www.nedic.ca/news/events#ON for details, scroll down to the Toronto events and see the second large poster). This is a major annual conference that never fails to educate and inspire! I will be speaking about my experience with ED, my recovery process, and tools for support. The event is free and open to all - members of the community, healthcare professionals, teachers, friends, etc - so if you are able to come, please show us your support! I am excited to yet again have an opportunity to share my story (through my presentations, book, and blog) to others, in hopes that it will not only help those currently battling ED, but also in raising awareness and sharing this message:

Eating disorders are life-threatening mental illnesses. They are not choices. But eating disorders don't have to persist. They can be identified and treated. And recovery is 100% possible.

71 comments:

  1. We all need to raise the awareness.
    I wish I can attend


    Nanraj

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes ED is fatal and so we need to be on the offence

    Jessie

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like purple color and I will wear purple all week

    Kapoor

    ReplyDelete
  4. You Marina are making a big difference

    Mary
    Mississauga

    ReplyDelete
  5. We all need to be alert to this monster

    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am in support of any move raise awareness od this illness

    Anusha

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congratulations
    I will try to attend

    Jorge

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulations
    Unfortunately I have work and can not attend

    Hamza

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good post marina, very proud of you.
    I will be there for sure on Tuesday feb,10.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I will be there.

    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  11. Purple is my favourite.
    Way to Go Marina

    Jack

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations
    I will not be able to go but I will watch on you tube.

    Regards to all your excellent work


    Bonilla

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would love to watch you

    Castro

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congratulation. You making a difference.

    Humberto

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congratulations

    Gonzalez

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is fantastic

    Merritt

    ReplyDelete
  17. This make you and family very proud

    Ticas

    ReplyDelete
  18. I will buy purple clothes.

    Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  19. I bought a purple shirt yesterday.

    Zeezman

    ReplyDelete
  20. I admire your commitment and perseverance.
    Your motivation to get rid of this illness is beyond imagination.
    I will be in Ottawa and waiting to watch your presentation on you tube.
    With my humble respect

    Muhammad

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a big honour to watch you Marina


    Sorina

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am wearing purple now .

    Maysoon

    ReplyDelete
  23. Raising awareness is a duty of all of us.
    I am sure Marina you will impress all the audience.


    Gerry

    ReplyDelete
  24. I will wear purple daily in Februaray

    Carlos

    ReplyDelete
  25. I admire your talent and commitment. I will do my best to be there.

    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  26. I hope I can be there .
    I am sure you are making a difference .
    Thank you for helping others as you helped me through this blog

    Anne

    ReplyDelete
  27. I wil wear purple and I will try to attend

    Eduarda

    ReplyDelete
  28. I will buy purple for me and all my kids to raise the awareness.
    I will try go and attend along with my kids.


    Wayne

    ReplyDelete
  29. You will impress the audience

    Hernandez

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am sure your positivity will impress the audience and your story will touch every body.
    I will ask if my husband can drive me there.

    Mays

    ReplyDelete
  31. No words can express the amazing commitemnt and work you do.
    You are an inspiration and just your presence at the EDAW confence will inspire many.
    I will plan to attaend

    Babcock

    ReplyDelete
  32. I will attend

    Huzayef

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am working night shift that day and I will try take the day off or change the shift so I can see you

    Razan

    ReplyDelete
  34. I will be happy to go and will try.
    You will make a difference.

    Mubayed

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am wearing purple and share with you all the feeling for a good cause

    Josefina

    ReplyDelete
  36. I would love to come but I will be in Montreal.
    I am sure you will impress the attendance

    Anastashia

    ReplyDelete
  37. I will go and watch you

    Silvia

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am in Ottawa now and I can not make it.
    More and more people will learn from you.

    Sally

    ReplyDelete
  39. This is a huge achievement for you

    Savana

    ReplyDelete
  40. I a in South Carolina and will not be able to make but will follow .
    You are making a difference

    S C

    ReplyDelete
  41. I will be there.


    Madiha

    ReplyDelete
  42. I will take a day off and attend

    Colin

    ReplyDelete
  43. I am in NF and have no ride .I will be watching you tube.
    Good luck


    Szeto

    ReplyDelete
  44. I wish you all the best.
    You will impress many

    Delfina

    ReplyDelete
  45. For sure you will make a point to many.
    Your story will implant a big hope that all of us need

    Frost

    ReplyDelete
  46. I ahave a friend recently diagnosed and I will send her there and I hope will make it and I already gave her your blog

    Halala

    ReplyDelete
  47. You and me and every body will make a difference .
    I give you a big hand


    Winsome

    ReplyDelete
  48. I admire your commitment

    Shirley

    ReplyDelete
  49. I will be there

    Tavares

    ReplyDelete
  50. I will make and enjoy your talk and I am looking forward to it.

    Irina

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am in my way there.

    Shamila

    ReplyDelete
  52. I hope this went well.
    I could not make it, sorry

    Shady

    ReplyDelete
  53. I appreciate your interest in mental health and your views how to prevent and deal with mental symptoms are very helpful

    Mehta

    ReplyDelete
  54. I got lost and could not make.
    I am sure your were amazing

    Yara

    ReplyDelete
  55. You are making a big difference

    Oswaldo

    ReplyDelete
  56. I heard you did very well

    Jenn
    welland

    ReplyDelete
  57. Mental illness and ED not a choice and not easy to snap out off as people think.
    Your blog clearly helped me to understand that.
    Thank you


    Shahrami

    ReplyDelete
  58. Your recovery after being 53(fatal weight) is a great Hope to all of us

    Renata

    ReplyDelete
  59. You really are a GEM


    Lilian

    ReplyDelete
  60. I was hoping to make it and meet you face to face but unfortunately I got stock.
    I am sure you did well as always

    Kelly W
    TO

    ReplyDelete
  61. This post to me is a hopeful news

    Horvath

    ReplyDelete
  62. You are really amazing

    Morandan

    ReplyDelete
  63. May God bless you and grant you what you deserve

    Ivanka

    ReplyDelete
  64. I behind you in raising awareness .

    Middeck

    ReplyDelete
  65. I am sure it went well and you made clear points.
    Sorry I am working on a project and could not make it

    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  66. I missed this opportunity but I am sure you raised the awareness

    CJ

    ReplyDelete
  67. wonderful post

    Savana

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thank you for supporting mental health

    Agha

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thank you everyone for your awareness, respect, and support! You are all making a HUGE difference! :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. My sister thinks that my niece has anorexia. Information like this would be good for both of them to go through and read. Hopefully my sister is able to get my niece some help so that she can get through this. http://focustreatmentcenters.com/treatment-centers/memphis/

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.