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By Caroline Kinskey
I traveled alone for the first time to attend EDC Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. I was nervous to be flying and traveling alone, but also excited and incredibly grateful that The Emily Program Foundation provided me with this opportunity to advocate for those suffering with eating disorders.
After breakfast and chatting with other advocates on Capitol Hill, Amy Klobuchar gave the opening address. She was inspiring, and I am proud to live in a state that has a senator who passionately advocates for the eating disorders community. Message training followed, which informed the advocates of the goals for the day, approach strategies in telling our personal stories, and knowing what we need of the people of Congress. Specifically, we need Congress to recognize National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and urge the CDC to re-include eating disorder surveillance questions in national surveillance surveys. The team from Minnesota met with five congressional staffers. The staffers were very receptive, and it was evident that our meetings and personal stories made a difference. EDC Advocacy Days have made a marked impact in the past, and they continue to influence policy on Capitol Hill regarding eating disorders. Although there has been change, our work is not done.
Through this experience, I realized how fortunate I am to live in a country where your voice matters and is influential.
When enough people speak up, change can happen at a federal level.
It was inspiring to hear people who have recovered from their eating disorders tell their personal stories and pay it forward by advocating for others still struggling. As a graduate student in clinical psychology who wants to work with individuals with eating disorders, contribute to the research, and continue to be an advocate, this experience was invaluable.
By Bethany C.
We live in a society that constantly tells you how to live, how to act, how to eat, how to dress, how to love, and how to be healthy.
Today, “Healthy” is choosing the salad instead of the French fries you’ve been craving all day. It is staying on the treadmill a couple extra minutes because you know you are going on a date, and those always end with some type of dessert. It’s the gluten free cookie that tastes like cardboard instead of the regular cookie, and it’s ordering a non-fat, sugar free skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks on your way to work instead of eating the Poptart that has been calling your name for the past 3 days (not speaking from experience or anything *wink wink*).
Growing up in today’s culture is full of a lot of really great things, but it also makes the positive “self-talk” and “healthy” eating decisions that much more challenging.
I recently read this book called Intuitive Eating: A revolutionary program that works. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. Whether you’re tired of trying to diet and failing, or wanting to find something that makes eating food fun again, READ IT. My outlook on the term “healthy” changed drastically. In the book, it talks about how it is more effective to listen to your body and hunger cues and simply eat what your mind and body is craving.
Stop what you’re doing and think about what your body is craving right now. How much more satisfied do you think you will be if you eat “it” instead of eating a salad and then just snacking to try and find that satisfaction your body wants from the food you’re not giving it?
I’m a nutrition major, so I am not saying you should eat a cookie or 3 for every meal, every day, but if your body is craving a cookie at 10 AM and it’s distracting you, do your body a favor and EAT THE DANG COOKIE. In the long run, that cookie is going to do your mind, your body, and your soul more good than neglecting that craving and causing yourself to be unsatisfied the rest of the day. I love my body and I strive to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. So eat a cookie, take a bath, and join me on this intuitive eating journey.
By Katy M.
Your body is remarkable and can do remarkable things.
Each body has a different
figure, shape and size. Not one is the same, so cherish your body without comparison, and always remember there is no wrong way to have a body!
Since I’ve recovered from my eating disorder, I love sharing body positive words I’ve heard. Like many people, I struggled, but one thing I discovered through my recovery was yoga.
It’s fascinating when you experience what your body can do.
What I loved most was how everyone in my class was different yet all beautiful while throwing themselves into different poses. Now I practice yoga every week because it makes me appreciate my body, and helps me recognize the strength that I have physically and mentally.
There are so many ways you can appreciate and enjoy your body!
These are some rules I personally follow that help me:
- Be your body’s best friend – I repeat positive affirmations and quotes to myself like, “your body is unique and special and gorgeous!”
- Listen to music – I listen to certain music that helps lift my spirits on a down day, like Ed Sheeran’s lyrics: “Just remember life’s not about fitting in your jeans; it’s loving and understanding and positivity.”
- Focus on what your body can do – How it moves and how lucky we are to have our body!
- Don’t read celeb magazines – They are filled with people saying that you are too thin or too fat – we are all beautiful and different.
- Avoid stepping on the scale – There was a time in my life when I stepped on the scale 6/7 times a day. This is such a waste of my time. If I am happy in myself and my body, weight doesn’t matter. Remember, “You are much more than a number. The scale says you are the numerical value of your gravitational pull. It will not tell you how beautiful you are, and how much your family loves you.”
- Write down motivational words – I created a book filled with positive affirmations, quotes, and lyrics I find inspirational, repeating them to myself when I need to. Here are a few quotes from my book I’d like to leave you with:
“Don’t let the past dictate your future, create a life that brings you health and happiness.”
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”