by Kitty Westin, eating disorder activist
The last time I wrote to you was on July 7; I was hardly able to contain my excitement! It was the day after the United States House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (422 to 2) in favor of mental health reform, which included provisions from the Anna Westin Act. At the time I told you I believed that after a 16-year marathon we were nearing the finish line. After 16 years of hard work and the commitment of thousands of grassroots advocates we were close to passing the first eating disorders specific legislation in the history of the US Congress. As I watched House Member after House Member vote “yes” I allowed myself to hope and to believe that this long journey was coming to an end.
With an estimated 1 in 5 Americans coping with mental health issues, chances are you know someone who is affected. And when it's someone you love, it can be hard to know how to help.
Negative body talk is incredibly common in our society. And when someone you're close to is constantly directing it at themselves, it can be difficult to know how to respond in a constructive way.
This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
By Dallas Rising, a former The Emily Program client and woman in recovery
I choose not to say "I have an eating disorder." As if it's something I could discard or give up at will. Instead, I say "I live with an eating disorder." As in, this thing is with me. It goes where I go. Sometimes it's active, sometimes it's dormant. But it's there. And I have to figure out how to live with it.
OK, fair and carnival season is underway in many towns, cities, counties and states across our country. You know how it goes- what does everyone talk about when they go to the fair? The FOOD! I was driving in my car yesterday and decided to pause my favorite Prince music to listen to the good old ole’ fashioned radio. The first thing I heard, a 1 min song all about the food at the state fair! It was pretty clever, and catchy, I have to admit, but seriously a song all about fair food?!