Proud2Bme | NEDAwareness Week 2015!

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NEDAwareness Week 2015!

By Claire Trainor--Every year, the last week of February is reserved for the National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDAwareness) Week and every year, there’s an innovative theme surrounding the events. The theme for this year’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is “I Had No Idea.” As the epidemic of eating disorders spreads through the country, education is crucial. And the education that matters the most is the education that most of us are blind to, the fuel for the fire that we had no idea existed.

This year’s NEDAwareness week, which starts on February 22nd, will devote each of the seven days to seven different conversations in ED awareness: the role of the media and importance of media literacy, marginalized voices (challenging the idea that only certain people can have eating disorders), sports and athletes, youth and bullying, “subclicinal” populations,  the medical community, and parents. The topics will follow that order beginning with media on the 22nd and ending with parents on the 28th.

On the website, there are statistics on the rates of eating disorders in the country and how quickly they’re growing. The NEDA website also features a free eating disorder screening, tool kits for peers, parents, doctors, coaches, and friends, and personal stories. We also have a great lineup of social media activities (Google Hangouts, Blog posts, Tweet Chats, oh my!) and materials with shareable images to spread the word. There will be a special #NEDAwareness Proud2BMe Tweet chat, Youth Creating Change: Body Positivity and ED Advocacy, on Wednesday, February 25th at 1PM EST. 

NEDAwareness events are happening all over the country, so be sure to check what's going on in your state or post your own event! It's never too late to plan something, even if it's a simple photobooth in your campus dorm or body positive selfies stuck on bathroom mirrors! 

In order to change the way eating disorders are viewed and treated, it’s imperative to change the education available for the general public. Because so many of us have no idea about the intricacies of this complex disease and may not be cognizant of the ways that these issues show up in our daily lives. 

I’m not usually incredibly vocal about my recovery or my illness. I try to keep my personal life off of social media and only disclose information when I trust a person. But this year, I’m encouraging those I know to wear purple and to read the literature out there. Because had I known how bullying could have impacted my future, had I known that you don’t have to fit a mold to have a serious eating disorder, had I known the full extent of media manipulation of images, had I known how dangerous it is to go to extreme lengths to eat “healthy”, had I known how important an educated doctor was, had I known how to talk to my parents, had I known so many things…well, I can’t say for sure. But I can say that knowing what I do now, I am better able to educate those around me and catch warning signs in friends.

Coming out on the other side, I realize just how important education is. There’s no way to get the years of my life back that I lost to my illness and I’m learning to be more and more okay with that fact every day. But what I can do, and what we can all do, is educate ourselves and try to stop eating disorders before they begin. 

About this blogger: Claire Trainor is a freshman at DePaul University majoring in Creative Writing and Psychology. In steady recovery from an eating disorder, she wants to educate, support, and inspire those struggling in anyway. She likes her dogs, hot chocolate, and books.Claire currently runs a (new) blog that can be found here.

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.