National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

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This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  The theme this year is “I Had No Idea.”  The focus is on early detection and intervention when disordered eating is suspected.  This is so important because early intervention significantly increases the chances for recovery.

So in the spirit of the week, I thought I would share my own “I Had No Idea.”

I had no idea that deciding to eat healthier and lose weight would lead to disordered eating.  Eating healthier foods, exercising, and losing weight are all good things right?  It is possible to take these seemingly good steps toward health too far.  Here are some examples:

  • Your exercise routine leaves you feeling exhausted and depleted all week.
  • You skip out on social events and celebrations because only “unhealthy” foods are available.
  • You lose an extra hour of sleep because you have to make sure you get your workout in, even though you have had a busy day.
  • You are irritable all day because you “gave in” and had a piece of cake for your coworker’s retirement party.
  • You spend hours at the gym because you need to be able to lift as much weight as the other guys.

In an effort to feed yourself healthier foods, you can end up forgetting to feed your soul.  This is where eating disorders emerge.  A healthy lifestyle includes so much more than what you eat and how much you exercise.  Friendships, family, spirituality, acknowledging your limits, laughter, and rest are all just as important.  Incorporating all these things might not get you to the size or shape you want to be, but you will be happier and healthier in the long run.

Don’t forget to feed your soul.