February 29, 2012

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Did you know this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week?

Neither did I!

However, my healthy and fit yoga instructor sister, Kelly, told me!

You MUST check out her blog out at

You won't regret following her...she gives great vibes.

I gathered some 411 on eating disorders directly from


Terms and definitions:

Anorexia, Bulimia, & Binge Eating Disorder: What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.

Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.

Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.

Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)
A person does not have to be diagnosed with Anorexia, Bulimia or BED to have an eating disorder. An eating disorder can include a combination of signs and symptoms but not meet the full criteria. Read more about the individual signs and symptoms in this handout.


Did you know? 

In the United States, eating disorders are more common than Alzheimer’s disease (as many as 10 million people have eating disorders compared to 4 million with Alzheimer’s disease).

Anorexia nervosa is more expensive to treat than schizophrenia, yet insurance coverage for treatment is exceedingly insufficient. The average direct medical costs for treating anorexia nervosa is $6054 a year compared to $4824 a year for schizophrenia.

Research dollars spent on eating disorders averaged $1.20 per affected individual, compared to $159 per affected individual for schizophrenia.

The average direct medical costs for treating eating disorder patients in the United States is currently between $5-6 billion per year, whereas the global cost of anti-psychotic medication is $7 billion per year.

Anorexia nervosa has the highest premature mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. The majority of deaths are due to physiological complications.

Although recovery from anorexia nervosa is often protracted nearly a decade, the outcome of treatment is better than for obesity or breast cancer.


Body image is . . .

• How you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind.

• What you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalizations).

• How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.

• How you sense and control your body as you move. How you feel in your body, not just about your body.

Negative body image is . . .

– A distorted perception of your shape-- you perceive parts of your body unlike they really are.

– You are convinced that only other people are attractive and that your body size or shape is a sign of personal failure.

– You feel ashamed, self-conscious, and anxious about your body.

– You feel uncomfortable and awkward in your body.

Positive body image is . . .

+ A clear, true perception of your shape-- you see the various parts of your body as they really are.

+ You celebrate and appreciate your natural body shape and you understand that a person’s physical appearance says very little about their character and value as a person.

+ You feel proud and accepting of your unique body and refuse to spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight, and calories.

+ You feel comfortable and confident in your body.

People with negative body image have a greater likelihood of developing an eating disorder and are more likely to suffer from feelings of depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and obsessions with weight loss.

We all may have our days when we feel awkward or uncomfortable in our bodies, but the key to developing positive body image is to recognize and respect our natural shape and learn to overpower those negative thoughts and feelings with positive, affirming, and accepting ones.

Accept yourself -- Accept your body. Celebrate yourself -- Celebrate your body.

(Taken directly from


I need to listen to what I JUST typed. I often see myself negatively rather than positively. There is so much pressure out there to be skinny and not as much pressure to be happy.

Let's all practice celebrating ourselves this week, deal?

If you know someone who needs help, please reach out.

Have a healthy and celebratory day!


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