This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week, so our team at Defying Shadows decided that we would join the discussion and help break down any misconceptions about this disorder. Eating Disorders are one of the many “Shadows” that we want to offer encouragement and help for those who are struggling with these issues.
Today I want to talk about three truths that people with eating disorders need to know and understand.
You are NOT alone.
Did you know that up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder in the USA? Or that ninety-five percent of those with an eating disorder are between the ages 12 and 25? It is estimated that ten to fifteen percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. Over half of the teenage girls and one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviours such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking, vomiting or using laxatives. In a survey of 185 female students on a college campus, fifty-eight percent felt pressure to be a certain weight, and of the eighty-three percent that dieted for weight loss, forty-four percent were a normal weight.
It can be easy to say, “No one understands what I am going through.” It is easy to believe this lie because you feel so alone. But what can we learn from all these statistics? There are so many people struggling with these same issues! We do not have to feel alone. We can be sure that there are others out there who are going through a variation of what you are going through. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help. Remember, You are NOT Alone.
You are Special.
Sometimes when we are struggling we forget our importance. Sometimes things are really hard to deal with, and we forget to remember that what we are struggling with does not define us. Rather, it makes us a better and stronger person! You might be hurting today. You might feel like you are less than you used to be. But one thing I know for sure, is that you are special! You do not deserve to be hurting. You do not deserve to feel defeat. You need to fight for you! You are special!!
You are Loved.
This truth is so hard to believe when you are struggling. It is so hard to believe that someone loves you when you feel so alone. But You are not alone, and you are loved! More importantly, you are loved for you! You are not loved because of what you look like, or what you feel like. You are not loved for you good or your bad. You are loved for YOU! There is someone out there who loves you more than any human being can. He loved you so much that he died to save you! No matter where you are today, or what you are going through, do not forget this truth! You are Loved!