Get involved Eating Disorders Awareness Week #MeWithoutED Rachel Egan, Communications Officer at #MeWithoutED “I was diagnosed with anorexia 12 years ago. It has taken me a long time as an adult to admit that I was not fully recovered and that food and exercise still rule my life. It has never been about looking thin for me; my eating disorder is a way of blocking out painful emotions and creating order and control internally. I am in therapy now, after over a year on the waiting list. I am starting to take the first steps towards recovery again, and this time I intend to be more open about it and ask for support from friends and family. I am hoping that I will re-discover parts of myself and interests outside of my eating disorder.” #MeWithoutED - We asked three questions - thanks for all who provided their unique responses: Hope Virgo #MeWithoutED it will always be part of my past identity and I cannot change that but now I am so much more than it. I am an Author, a runner, a campaigner, and a sister. Tom Fairbrother #MeWithoutED I know that there is more to life than restricting food, losing weight, and all the physical and mental consequences of those actions. Alex Staniforth #MeWithoutED having positive things and goals to aim for has been my biggest weapon for fighting my bulimia, as they give something more positive to focus on and feel good about. Victoria Linthwait #MeWithoutED I'd say admit it sooner. Don't be scared to say that you think you might be getting a problem. Claire Dickinson #MeWithoutED anorexia was absolute hell. It wasn’t a choice and it isn’t something id wish on anyone. Fae Stubbins #MeWithoutED my Eating Disorder does not define me. My Mental Health does not define me. Dr Anthony Natt #MeWithoutED our very own Skills for Professional Ambassador Trainer, a retired General Practitioner (GP) shares his story. Lets Talk about Eating Disorders - Not forgetting Boys and Men An advertisement, a post on social media, a ‘harmless’ comment, trying on new clothes; these can all hurt and trigger a downward spiral, whatever stage of recovery. The fact that I can still have a meltdown has shown me that food still scares me. Social situations surrounding food still make me anxious. Holding the Power Keeping accountable is a huge step towards recovery. By talking about your daily challenges and putting this scary thing into words strips the eating disorder of any power it holds over you and makes it that bit more manageable. Give it a name. Say it aloud. I have an eating disorder. Let’s break open a health and body issue: Men get eating disorders, too. As naive as it is to think that medically diagnosed eating disorders only plague one gender, this has largely been a cultural consensus. #MeWithoutED - We asked three questions - thanks for all who provided their unique responses anonymously: #MeWithoutED you don't realise how much it strips from you and forces you into becoming a different person until you make that first step in recovery. #MeWithoutED I’m now able to actually say what’s on my mind, without being afraid of what my mind might force me to do as a punishment behind closed doors. #MeWithoutED sharing is key and the secrecy involved in eating disorders is what gives them their strength. So break down it’s power and it will start to weaken. Get Help and Support: Eating Disorders and Help: Types of Eating Disorders and Who’s Effected: Be a Part of #EDAW2019 and show your support We are planning a series of events and ways in which everyone can get involved and help raise awareness, battle the stigma, and fundraise for First Steps ED. If you can support in any way just get in touch!