When I was in middle school, I had an eating disorder. As an eleven-year-old girl, anorexia was a way by which I could control my life when I felt like I had little to no control in other areas of my life.
For me, not eating was an extreme form of self-control. It was like running a marathon. Each day I would keep pushing on—telling myself that if I could restrain myself yesterday, I could do it again today.
What I didn’t realize, like many others with eating disorders, was that the finish line is ultimately death.
My parents took me to the doctor and I was approximately 30 pounds underweight. My body was slowly digesting itself and the doctor told me that if I didn’t start gaining weight, I would start losing my hair and nails, and would experience other health issues.
I was one of the lucky ones, and I was able to get back on track, but people struggle everyday with eating disorders—whether they are anorexic, bulimic or binge eat. It’s a vicious cycle that can result from a poor body image, a need for control, a way to deal with hard circumstances, a result of bullying, etc.
This week ETSU will recognize National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDA), which will be held from Feb. 25 until March 1. The week will be spent helping students understand what eating disorders can do to them and those around them, as well as teaching students how they can live a healthier lifestyle and learn to love their bodies and themselves.
Here’s a tentative schedule of ETSU’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week:
Monday Feb. 25 from 4-6 p.m. in the CPA lobby:
“What Do You Love About Your Body?!” Table,
Students will have the opportunity to write down what they love about themselves on small hearts and paper people, which will later be displayed in the CPA.
Tuesday Feb. 26 from 4-7 p.m. in the CPA lobby:
The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) will be distributing information about the way that women are portrayed in the media.
Tuesday Feb. 26 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room:
“Killing Us Softly”
This 45 minute documentary summarizes 20 years of media critiques and examines new methods the media has developed to sell gender stereotypes and unrealistic body ideals.
Wednesday Feb. 27 from 4-6 p.m. in the CPA lobby:
The nutrition department will be giving away free healthy snacks and hosting a nutrition trivia game.
Wednesday Feb. 27 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room:
ETSU alumni, Logan Gillen, will share her personal story of recovery.
Friday March 1 from 3-4 p.m. in the Yoga Studio:
“Love Your Body Yoga” with Sarah Gunnin,
Gunnin will teach a special “Love Your Body” yoga that will ease the minds, bodies and souls of participants.