It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) week and an opportunity to raise awareness about the devastating disorder.
“Everybody knows somebody”, that’s the theme for this year’s week.
And unfortunately, the numbers add up.
30 million Americans have been affected by eating disorders at some point in their lives.
Kaci Zimmerman has been in recovery for five years, triumphing over an eating disorder.
“It has been a very long road. It’s been a very long, incredibly difficult road. I understand what it’s like to be alone. To not know who to talk to, to not know what to do…it’s been a long journey, but one day at a time,” said Zimmerman.
And the facts are difficult to hear.
The struggles with body image can start as early as six years old and can affect all different shapes, sizes, cultural, and sociological people.
“You can’t always see what somebody is struggling with. We have a stereo typical image in our mind of what someone with an eating disorder looks like. But eating disorders don’t discriminate,” said Melissa Grinslade, counselor. “Some are trying to deal with emotions that are overwhelming and they’re trying to take control of things in their lives.”
Melissa is a counselor at Indiana State University specializing in eating disorders.
She knows one of the most prevalent issues we see in this day and age is the thin ideal.
“98 percent of models are reflecting an ideal that isn’t achievable, not only that, but you have the airbrushing that can take place. So it’s setting a standard that we cannot reach,” said Grinslade.
Grinslade already encourages her daughter to know, at the young age of four, she is awesome. And beautiful, just the way she is.
“I love having my daughter, Bella, in eating disorder awareness. She’s really the epitome of recognizing at some point we all knew we were awesome. She loves to be out there meeting people, no embarrassment,” said Grinslade. “But at some point, that starts to change with the stereotypes and feeling we have to conform.”
Teaching our children to be the best versions of themselves.
“Hang on. Hang in. It does get better. It’s a very difficult road. Get a support system, people who love you. Dig in. You can do this,” said Zimmerman.
But less than 30 million dollars comes from the government to help.
Now contrast that with Alzheimer’s.
5.1 million Americans suffer from that disease, and they receive help in the form of 450 million dollars.
ISU counseling center is teaming up with the rec center to put on a fitness for fun this Thursday to show how to exercise without feeling the need.
Also, Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in Dede 1, ISU is putting on a fashion show to celebrate beauty of all kinds.
Our own News 10’s Patsy Kelly will be emceeing that event.