I’m always honored…
to be able to use my voice and spread whatever words of wisdom or inspiration I have gathered over the last three decades as I healed first myself and then helped countless others heal from their own eating disorder.
Thank YOU NEDA for hosting these awareness weeks where we can come together, support each other, and raise money for a good cause.
The theme for the Eating Disorder Awareness Week this year is “I had no idea..” (that so many people had one, that Anorexia has highest death rate, males get it too, that so many people die, that insurance coverage is so bad)
And then there is another take I had on this theme. I had no idea…
That I could be recovered
Over my eating disorder
That it could be gone forever
When I got sick no one had even heard of Anorexia, so how would they know I could get over it? There was no one there to tell me that this was the case… or many other things.
I had no idea that there’s no such thing as a fattening food.
I had no idea that a scale does not measure anything of value except the gravitational force pulling my body to the earth.
I had no idea that the size of my heart was more important than the size of my thighs.
I had no idea that people would love me, truly love me, for who I am, not what I look like.
I had no idea that I am a soul, who happens to have a body, and not the other way around.
I had no idea that my eating disorder was not me, just a part of me, and not the light within.
But I know now… and it is my passion, my mission to help others see their light.
We are here to raise awareness, but I ask you also to turn within and consider your own self-awareness, of how you might unwittingly buy in or perpetuate a culture where image means more than substance and being thin is a sign of success.
All of us are responsible. It is our inability to address and fight back against a culture that idolizes thinness that allows body image dissatisfaction, disordered, and YES eating disorders to persist.
What steps can you take toward changing that world? Stand up for what you believe in, write educating letters, don’t speak badly about yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak out against fat talk, challenge weight discrimination, throw away the scale…. be afraid not to.
And for those of you still suffering… every single day, every moment, you have the choice to align with your eating disorder or with your soul. I encourage you, today, to walk toward rather than away from recovery with each step and every choice you make.
I challenge every one of you here today to figure out your own little part in making changes so we can all walk toward a future where instead of counting numbers and calories, we are counting how many people we love; instead of restricting fat grams and carb servings, we restrict the negative things we say about our own and others bodies; instead of reading diet books, we read poetry; and instead of emphasizing weight and shape, we are accepted, loved, and comfortable, in the Earth-suits we are in.
Namaste everyone from my soul to yours
* This speech was originally presented at the LA NEDA Walk on March 7, 2015.