BY ASHLEY BROADWATER
Growth is always something to celebrate, don’t get me wrong -- but sometimes the recovery community can do this the wrong way. Although we scream “Your problems are valid! Eating disorders come at all shapes and sizes!”, we seem to contradict this when we post dramatic before and after photos, talk about how horrifically sick we used to be or how little we used to eat and weigh. It’s as if we’re only trying to validate ourselves or act as though destroying ourselves was something to be proud of.
BY RACHEL HOROWITZ
“I’m going to the gym, so I can eat this.”
“That person is way too skinny for me.”
“You look so great! Did you lose weight?”
“You need to put some meat on those bones.”
“Can you believe how many calories are in this sandwich?”
“You eat so much and stay so thin. I wish that I had your genes.”
These are only a few of the fragments that I overhear in conversations. Most of us have heard or said similar phrases before. Some of them may seem like compliments…until we take a second look. It’s a societal norm that throwing around comments and criticism about body weight and shape – especially our own – is fine.
BY GILLIAN FORTIER
2017 is a fresh start.
Every new year is a fresh start. The beginning of every school year, each semester – a fresh start. Each month. The first day in a class after an exam. The forty thousand Mondays the average person will live. Every single solitary day you live: fresh starts.
And with each fresh start comes the chance for a personal revolution. The idea of a New Year’s resolution is nothing new – not to society as a whole, and not to me.
I used to make resolutions, and a lot of them. In my (painfully awkward) middle school years, I was determined: to be cooler. To make new friends. To write in my journal every day and to keep my room clean. But mostly, I had big dreams of being “cool”.
BY GILLIAN FORTIER
Christmas has its cookies; Valentine’s Day has its chocolates; Halloween has its candy; Thanksgiving has it all. The turkey. The cranberries. The pumpkin pie. There is, perhaps, no American holiday more food-centric than Thanksgiving.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of body-shaming, particularly on Thanksgiving. “It’s a cheat day – I get to be bad today!” and “I feel so bloated” and “I’m going to go run X miles – as soon as I can move again!” seem like bonding opportunities, connecting us to our loved ones when politics, religion, and world-views may divide us.
BY TERESA CEBALLOS
Disclaimer: Embody Carolina is a non-partisan organization. We do our best to address issues of body positivity and eating disorders as they come up in popular culture, regardless of the source. The below piece is one member's response to the current events that are affecting the human body’s value in our country.
In the United States of America, 30 million people struggle with some form of an eating disorder during their lifetime. Eating disorders arise from a huge variety of factors, including genetic risk and an individual’s psychology, but societal factors play a role too: how the media glorifies thinness and shames fatness, cultural norms that promote narrow and unattainable standards for beauty, and societal trends that place a higher value on a person’s physical appearance than on what they can contribute to the world around them, to name a few.
BY SARAH LECK
For someone in eating disorder recovery, horror movies and haunted houses aren't the scariest things about Halloween -- especially in college.
Between the pressure to attend party after party in skimpy costumes, to the heavy focus on food and treats, and the "fat talk" and body judgments that accompany these situations in our friend groups, navigating the end of October while in recovery can feel like walking blindfolded through a minefield.
Trust me, I know.
BY REBECCA HOFFMAN
This post was originally posted on Rebecca Recovered. Cross-posted with permission.
I spent Thursday night and Friday morning in the emergency room. I’m physically okay now, but my mind is still bruised from a comment one of the doctors made.
While there are many, many things about which I can complain from that night, the one that I truly cannot get past is what the attending doctor said about my eating disorder. I am very far into my recovery, and the health issues that brought me to the hospital were very unlikely to be related to my eating disorder. That’s what made this experience even more upsetting.
BY GILLIAN FORTIER
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill touts over eight hundred different clubs and student organizations. There really isn’t another way to put it: that’s a whole awful lot.
Carolina Swing Dance Club. Association of Women Surgeons. Bacon of the Month Club. Ahmadiyya Muslim Student Association. I once tried to go to a meeting of the Underwater Hockey team, but ended up participating in a Water Polo practice instead. There is a club for everything you’ve ever wanted to try, and for everything you never knew you wanted to try.
So why join Embody Carolina? When your options are so limitless, why choose us?
BY SARAH LECK
I’ve been thinking a lot about paths recently.
It first came up a few months ago as I sat in my therapist’s office. I was panicking about not being on track to graduate with my class and stressing about not having what I deemed the “typical college experience.” She looked at me for a moment, then declared I simply did not have to follow the same path as everyone else. While everyone else was sprinting around the track, it was okay that I was walking slowly around the outside, picking daisies on my way to the finish line.