In the early weeks of February, much of the world is focused on relationships and the all-consuming whirlwind that is Valentine’s Day. However, as the end of the month nears, so does a week that centers on a different idea — National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDA), which focuses directly on inner healing and self-acceptance. This may come as a shock to some but eating disorder awareness week isn’t just about food. For a great number of the estimated 70 million people worldwide who suffer from these disorders, the problem is much bigger and deeper than what’s sitting on a dinner plate.
So here are 10 reasons to absolutely DUMP your eating disorder this year and why recovery is worth all the pain it takes to get there!
1. You won’t have to put up with the harsh physical demands of your eating disorder
Due to the dehydration and lack of nutrients that commonly accompany eating disorders, they can take a toll on the body: for example, hair loss, weakening teeth enamel, low body temperature and even memory loss. Your eating disorder can also weaken your immune system, causing common sicknesses like seasonal colds to last longer and feel even worse. All of these demands can become even more serious and be potentially life-threatening if left untreated by a medical professional.
2. You’ll be able to socialize more
If you struggle with eating disorders, this one doesn’t come as a surprise. Eating disorders are extremely isolating and make it hard to socialize with friends and family. Since most social events include food, this can discourage those struggling from attending, making them feel more isolated from those closest to them, ultimately pushing them even deeper into their illness. However, breaking away from and stepping toward recovery will allow you to freely attend social events without guilt.
3. Exercise will no longer be a punishment
Exercise, although it can be done out of vanity, is also used to keep your body healthy and strong. But many who suffer from an eating disorder find themselves too weak to exercise due to the physical demands their eating disorder has put on their body. However, if you dump your eating disorder, you’ll be able to once again welcome exercise into your life as a way to strengthen your body and relieve stress and anxiety.
4. Body image will no longer define your daily mood
For many who struggle, bad body image days are the worst. At times like this, you feel an extreme lack of confidence and it often dictates your emotions for the rest of that day. However, if you choose recovery, the mirror will no longer have the power to dictate how your day will be.
5. You can finally take risks and get out of your comfort zone
You may find it hard to live a day without a routine and order. However, if you chose recovery, you’ll finally be able to live without the anxieties and be able to venture out of your comfort zone more than ever before.
6. You’ll be able to have a life outside of the disorder and find yourself again
For many who struggle, their eating disorder completely controls their entire life. It stops them from doing things they love and often even controls all their other thoughts, too. If you choose recovery, you’ll be able to take back what’s rightfully yours — your power!
7. You can have a family in the future
Due to malnutrition, eating disorders can physically corrupt even more things in your body. If you want a child in the future, you must recover, or it could possibly be off the table.
8. You can fully connect with your emotions
This one may come as a surprise, but an eating disorder can numb your emotions. Many turn to food control to suppress their feelings, leaving them with more emotional scars in the long run. The best way to cope with your emotions is to confront them head-on and recover from your disorder. You deserve to feel again.
9. You can stop keeping secrets from the ones you love
Many who struggle with eating disorders find themselves engaging in disordered behaviors in secret, so they aren’t judged and no one can stop them from doing it. This often causes the one struggling to feel immense guilt and shame. Choosing recovery will help these feelings disappear, and you can finally be honest with the ones you love, and more importantly, yourself.
10. Because you deserve better out of life
Lastly, dump your eating disorder for YOU! You deserve to live a healthy, happy and full life, complete with the finest things — with no restriction involved at all. Recovery is hard and it’s in no way a linear process. It has undeniable ups and lasting lows; however, if you don’t give up and continue to push through, you’ll see that the grass is greener on the other side of your disorder.
Wishing you the best of luck in your recovery! Remember you deserve it!
If you or anyone you know are struggling or want more information, here are some resources below: