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  • NEDAwareness: See the Change, Be the Change

    NEDAwareness: See the Change, Be the Change

    Written by Lindsay Midura, RDN, LD, RYT

    February 21st-27th is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Here at Mind Body Co-op, we are committed to standing with NEDA in their goal to #SeeTheChange and #BeTheChange.

    Nearly 30 million people in the United States alone suffer from a diagnosed eating disorder. While, up to 65% of Americans are expected to struggle with disordered eating in their lifetime. That is up to 214.5 MILLION people. The number of people reaching out for eating disorder treatment has increased in epidemic proportions since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to about 107% greater than numbers in the beginning of 2019. Being that eating disorders are the most deadly mental illness, these numbers are disturbing and alarming. Yet, we continue to see disordered eating marketed as “wellness” and “fitspiration” all over the internet, as well as other media sources, and dieting for weight loss continues to be a hot-topic in conversations. These trends that masquerade as “healthy” are contributing to peoples’ disordered eating behaviors on a daily basis. For someone in recovery from disordered eating, it can feel nearly impossible to escape the pervasive and oppressive messages that our bodies must controlled and curated to meet an “ideal” beauty or health standard. 

    If you are in recovery from an eating disorder or disordered eating, or are fed up with the negative thoughts and feelings that are triggered by diet-culture content, I encourage you to #SeeTheChange by joining me in a NEDA week social media detox! Let’s set a goal together to be less obsessed with food and our bodies, and more intentional with what kind of media we are ingesting. There are health benefits associated with exposing ourselves to diverse and inclusive content that honors all bodies and backgrounds. And, I don’t know about you, but I am fed up with giving my precious time and hard-earned dollars to industries that profit from self-hatred. While we may not be able to dodge every triggering message out there in the world, we can certainly be strategic in reducing the toxic load of harmful media, and replace it with messages that support recovery and respect for your body and the bodies of others. 

    Start by deleting accounts that glorify weight loss, restrictive dieting, excessive exercise, and center thinness or hyper-muscular builds as ideal body types. If you are unsure whether or not to say ‘sayonara’ to an account, reflect on how it makes you think and feel about yourself: Does it lead to feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, comparison, despair, or a sense of urgency to change your current weight, size, or shape? If you answered yes, it’s likely best to tap unfollow and free up some space in your mind and on your feed. Once you’ve removed harmful accounts, start adding in some helpful, uplifting, and inclusive content.  Here are some of my top picks for eating disorder recovery content to add into your mix:

    All of these accounts encourage Health At Every Size (HAES), prioritizing inclusivity, body diversity, and respecting peoples’ individual circumstances, needs, values, and desires. Health At Every Size is not only a theory, but a scientifically tested and proven method for improving health, vitality, well-being, body image, and self-esteem.

    It’s a fact: Health can look like many different shapes, sizes, and expressions. If we as individuals, and as a society, are going to #BeTheChange and create a more accepting and healing cultural climate, we need to start embracing body liberation. Body liberation is defined as freedom from individual, cultural, societal, and political systems of oppression that designate certain bodies as more worthy, healthy, and desirable than others.

    Body discrimination is pervasive in families, communities, schools, workplaces and healthcare systems. While some may say they are concerned about someones health based on their size or weight (something called concern trolling), this concern often comes from inaccurate and out-dated ideas rooted in gender-and-race-based discrimination.

    In fact, “overweight” and “obesity” are misnomers: many individuals with those labels are neither over an appropriate and healthy weight nor medically at risk. Yet, because of being labeled in this way, people in larger bodies are subjected to weight stigma. Weight stigma puts people at risk for an array of negative physical and mental health outcomes, regardless of their actual body size. It is stressful to be stigmatized in any way, beit for your size, shape, weight, gender, sexual orientation, race, age, or disabiliy. This chronic stress takes a physical toll on peoples’ bodies. Weight stigma has seriously detrimental whole-body effects, even when research studies controlled for BMI (this means the discrimination itself, no matter the actual weight, caused negative health outcomes.) Research shows the health risks for weight stigma are greater than those of poor dietary patterns. In addition, people in larger bodies are subjected to poorer medical care, shorter medical appointments with primary care providers, misdiagnosis or missed-diagnoses, and gate-keeping for medical interventions. It is no wonder, then, that people in larger bodies are more likely to delay or skip medical visits, not out of laziness or lack of self-care, but out of fear of weight-based discrimination and dismissal of their concerns. In fact, often, people in larger bodies are prescribed disordered eating instead of necessary and helpful treatments for health concerns.

    In order to #BeTheChange, we must commit to dismantling weight discrimination at the systemic, social, and internal levels. “How on Earth am I supposed to do that?” you may ask. My answer is: with patience, compassion, and intention. Unpacking, unraveling, and healing these messages takes time and is often the longest part of the recovery journey. Thankfully, the resources for this work are more abundant now than ever. Here are some of my favorite books if you’re looking for a deep dive in to body liberation:

    Your body is not a problem that needs to be solved. You deserve respect as a whole and complex person living in a world that is not always easy to survive, let alone thrive in. I am hopeful that these resources serve you well in deepening your understanding and relationship to food freedom and body liberation.

    If you are in need of greater support for eating and body image needs, please reach out for individual or group support via this link.

    Peace, Lindsay Midura, RDN, LD, RYT

    Written by Mind Body Co-op’s Integrative Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Lindsay Midura. She has a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics from the University of Minnesota. Post-graduation, she completed a 1200-hour Dietetic Internship through University of Minnesota, specializing in eating disorder treatment and recovery. She is also a registered yoga teacher and level one reiki practitioner, having completed over 500 hours of advanced study with an eclectic mix of more than 25 teachers both locally and internationally recognized. She merged her passion for nutrition and yoga by studying Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine and Yoga in Dharamshala, India, through the University of Minnesota’s extensions program. Lindsay’s experience allows her to be uniquely qualified to integrate nutrition therapy for healing the body while simultaneously supporting those struggling with their relationship to food, exercise, and/or body. She takes a trauma sensitive approach, weaving Intuitive Eating and mindfulness into her sessions when appropriate. At Mind Body Co-op, she also offers group sessions which explore these areas deeper in a supportive community.

    Mind Body Co-op is Chicago’s only space for individuals to discover, explore, and heal what is occurring internally at the cognitive, emotional, and physical levels. This unique, holistic approach to treatment and wellness is born out of the belief that examining the cognitive, emotional, and physical pieces and how they intersect helps lead to uncovering your full potential by providing thoughtful, collaborative, and complete integrative mental health care. We offer a variety of clinical services, including individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, psychological/neuropsychological assessments, medication management, CPT (comprehensive transitional program), medical nutrition therapy, somatic mindfulness, somatic groups, DBT, adventure therapy, therapeutic yoga, and more. We provide culturally competent services in English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Russian & Arabic.

    1. Marcelo Thiesse

      Marcelo Thiesse

      June 24, 2022 at 3:29 pm -
      Reply

      You are so interesting! I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before. So great to find another person with some original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

      https://extraproxies.com/100-youtube-subscriber-for-your-channel-5-youtube-comments-for-3/

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