I’ve shared a similar side by side with you before. On the left is a more recent picture while on the right is a picture of me from my mid twenties. On the left I am a mom. I am often tired and constantly navigating the balance of running a business and raising a child. But I’m so freaking happy and comfortable in my body. Not every day, but most of the time. I love the shape of me. I love nourishing and moving it. I am well.
On the right I am energized and able to run mile after mile and go on audition after audition to try and get that “big break”. But I am deeply unhappy and uncomfortable in my own skin. I think about all the ways in which I am not good enough, often. I eat food with guilt and regret and promptly purge it out of me. I am not well.
Societally, the image on the right has been far more widely accepted and embraced than the one on the right. We are making progress, but we still have a long way to go. Body politics and shaming are as old as this country. There has long been a “right” body and all the rest have to work to live up to it. It’s wrong. It’s harmful. It affects more people than we realize. And what comes of it are diseases and disorders that cause us to punish ourselves into submission. And I want to remind you that contrary to all the images and programs that are floating around us all day long, you can’t see wellness.
Today marks the first day of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The stereotypes of who has an eating disorder – white, young, female, thin, affluent – are not accurate or representative, but they do exist for a reason: they are the subgroup that has been the focus of research and treatment marketing because they are the subgroup who is more likely to have the resources to access treatment. Research is clear that people of every ethnicity, age, gender, body shape and size, and socioeconomic status struggle with eating disorders, but our broken healthcare system prevents them from utilizing the resources required to achieve recovery.
The truth is, I am part of that subgroup. I was able and had access to treatment and healing. I would like to now use my privilege to stand up and call out the deep injustice that is going on here. Out of 30 million people who suffer from eating disorders, only 20% of them get help. As an ambassador for Project Heal, I am proudly launching this week my Classy Campaign page to help raise money and awareness for those who fall in the other 80% to gain access to treatment. If you could donate even just the price of a cup of coffee, I would be forever grateful.
I also want to encourage you to join in this week on Instagram as Project Heal hosts a 5 part virtual even series held nightly at 7pm EST. Head to their page to get all the details. I will see you there.
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.