This my body. Once taken for granted. Once misunderstood. Once a scapegoat. This is my body. I’ve beaten it up. I’ve broken it down. I’ve built it back up again. The stretch marks upon my thighs document my road to recovery. The wrinkles emerging on my face signify a life abundant with smiles and laughter. The scars upon my knees are signs of not holding back. The dimples on my bottom are proof of indulgent moments and good times. This is my body. My heart now healthy. My mind now appreciative. My bones no longer frail. This is my body and I’ll continue to love it. Curvy bottom, little toe and all.
February 26 – March 3, 2012. It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I’ve been secretly supporting this effort for nearly a decade now. To those who know me, the reason why is not a secret at all. Unless you live under a rock, chances are that either you or someone you know has been affected by an eating disorder. What you might not know is …
- Eating disorders affect 10+M in the US and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness (up to 20%)
- Research is underfunded, amounting to only $1.20 per affected individual (vs. $159 per individual for other mental illnesses)
- Insurance companies rarely provide coverage and treatment facilities are both limited and costly (we are talking $500-$2,000/day)
- Nearly 80% of those suffering from an eating disorder never receive treatment and in the end, only about one-third ever recover
My heart goes out to all who have, are or will suffer from an eating disorder or any self-destructive mental illness for that matter. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Eating disorders affect blacks, whites, males, females, the young and the old. Those who suffer are not superficial. They are not doing it for attention. In fact, many eating disorders have nothing to do with image. Many times, the body is just a vehicle to cope with and express what the mind is unable to digest.
Conquering those emotions and kicking an eating disorder in the ass is no simple task. Recovery is a long road. The amount of support required is immense. The internal struggles are endless. A positive outcome is not guaranteed. Having escaped the 20%, having come out happy, healthy and alive I feel blessed. Lucky. Thankful. Based on my experiences I can’t help but support NEDA, their cause and the 10+M that are affected. I truly hope those who are suffering find the strength in their mind, body and soul to once and forever kiss Ed, Ana, and Mia goodbye.
Day 9,994. Embracing the curves and appreciating the life.