Proud2Bme Rock Star: Sydney Quick
Over the course of NEDAwareness Week, Proud2Bme is honoring the work of five young activists. Today, Sydney Quick shares her experience of blogging for Proud2Bme and how she brought Proud2Bme On Campus to Mount Royal University!
Proud2Bme: Tell us a little about yourself.
Sydney Quick: I am 22 years old, I live in Calgary in Alberta, Canada and I am two years recovered from my eating disorder. I live a very simple life and I believe that less is more. My favorite hobby is hiking. Spending time in nature really allows me to connect with myself as well as to let go of all of the stresses I may be experiencing.
Proud2Bme: How did you first hear about Proud2Bme?
Sydney: I first heard about Proud2Bme after I ended treatment for my eating disorder. I was researching for online support to keep me on track and I found Proud2Bme and began reading others’ stories.
Proud2Bme: What was your favorite piece to write and why?
Sydney: My favorite piece to write was the collaboration piece I wrote, “13 Lies Our Eating Disorders Told Us.” I liked this one so much because it served as a reminder to me of how far I have come in my recovery.
Proud2Bme: Tell us about the Proud2Bme On Campus activities you’ve hosted on campus. How did students and administrators react?
Sydney: We hosted the photo booth activity and it was a huge hit! We had so many students interested in the activity and they wanted to learn more about the initiative. The responses I have received from the administration have been unreal. They are all so supportive and very excited to get the Proud2Bme message out there. Currently we are working on expanding the Barbie Doll activity to incorporate men into the activity by including a G.I Joe doll and the outcome is looking really good so far. All of the men in our group are very excited about this activity, as they believe that men hear damaging messages just as much as women do. They can’t wait to be able to give a voice to the men on our campus and show them that eating disorders are not just a “girls’ problem.”
Proud2Bme: What are you doing currently (school, job, volunteer work etc.)?
Sydney: Currently I am going to school full-time working to get my psychology degree and I am the student leader of the Proud2Bme On Campus initiative at Mount Royal University. I also work part-time in the produce department at a grocery store.
Proud2Bme: What are your future goals/plans?
Sydney: My future goals include me getting my master’s degree in counseling and specializing in eating disorders. Eventually I want to open my own private eating disorder treatment facility with a large sliding scale as I don’t believe anyone should avoid treatment because of the cost.
Proud2Bme: How has your involvement with Proud2Bme shaped your way of thinking?
Sydney: My way of thinking has shifted drastically since becoming involved with Proud2Bme. My end goals have become clear to me and I no longer question where I’m going in my life. I have had so many opportunities given to me (presenting to classes, sharing my story) that have opened my eyes to the importance of experience versus grades. I always believed that I wouldn't excel in my career if I didn’t receive the best grades in university, but I’m now seeing that this isn’t the truth. Grades don’t determine how successful I will be in my field; it is my passion for awareness and recovery that will make me successful.
Proud2Bme: What advice do you have for aspiring body image/recovery activists?
Sydney: Don’t be afraid to speak up and use your voice. I know I am making a difference in stopping the stigma around mental health when I make someone feel uncomfortable. I don’t mean this in a distressing way, but rather a thought-changing way. When the conversation goes silent I know they are truly thinking about our discussion and the effect that stigma and myths truly have on an individual with mental health issues.
Proud2Bme: Tell us something about you that might surprise us!
Sydney: I have a twin sister! Although we are twins, are completely opposite. From the foods we eat to the clothes we wear, there are is nothing about us that is the same!
Do you know an activist who is committed to building a nation where confidence rules? Are YOU that person? Nominate a Proud2Bme Rock Star!