“I can eat this piece of pizza as long as I go to the gym later”; “I feel so guilty for eating that cookie”; “If I don’t eat all day, then I can drink later tonight”; “Once I can see my six pack, I’ll be happy”; “I’m not big enough”; “I’m not small enough”; “I hate my body”
Our relationships with our bodies and with food can be very complicated. The line between dieting and an eating disorder can quickly become blurred when we are unaware of what an eating disorder actually is. One of the foundations of an eating disorder is disordered or distorted thinking about our bodies, and about food. Some of the above statements may seem harmless, especially in a culture that encourages a balance of diet and exercise. But what does a healthy balance really look like? Unfortunately, for about 40% of college students, dieting behavior is actually an eating disorder. Furthermore, those without eating disorders but who are dieting may still be engaging in some disordered thinking or behaviors.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (2/22-2/25) is dedicating to not only bringing awareness to others about the dangers of eating disorders and disordered thinking about food, but also sponsors activities to encourage body positivity and increase self-esteem. The Body Image Peer Educators (BIPEs) will be offering several events all during NEDA to promote awareness about what eating disorders are, the treatments available for eating disorders, and the importance of a healthy body image. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit the BIPEs at any one of the events below. You can also visit http://nedawareness.org/ for more information and ways to get involved.
Eating Disorder Screening Event: Individual relationships with food and eating can be complicated. If you’re concerned or curious about your relationship with food or your body, come get a free screening on Monday 2/22, 11am-1pm in the Union.
Friends Don’t Let Friends Fat Talk: Come hear Jaime Kaplan, Psy.D, and Ashley Wood, MA, for a discussion on body image and eating disorder risks and warning signs. Learn how to approach this sensitive topic with friends and loved ones and how to best support them as they get the help they deserve and need. Tuesday 2/23, 6-7pm in CLA 4310
Smash The Scale: Healthy is not a size or a number. Come take a hammer to a scale and smash away the ridiculous body ideals. Wednesday 2/24, 12-3pm, Academic Quad
Yoga for Body Acceptance: Join Carrie Miller for a 1 hour yoga workshop designed to promote body acceptance. Please bring your own mat if possible. Wednesday 2/24, 6-7pm, UU Potomac
Alexandra Shiflett, Body Image Peer Educator Graduate Assistant