First of all, happy National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! To be honest, I’m not really sure as a person recovering from an eating disorder if I’m supposed to do something special this week?! I feel like I’m trying every week, not just this week, to bring awareness to eating disorders through my blog and talking with people and sharing my own recovery, BUT just incase, I do want to say, if you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, PLEASE seek help! Eating disorders have the NUMBER ONE mortality rate out of any mental health disorder. They are extremely difficult to overcome and recover from, BUT it CAN be done and I am living proof of it! You do not have to suffer. You are not alone. You are worthy of love and compassion and LIFE! You are not crazy. Eating disorders are very real. If you are struggling and feel alone, or don’t know what to do, or you know someone who is struggling and don’t know what to do, feel free to reach out to me :) I am always up for a phone call, a coffee date, a glass of wine, whatever meets your fancy to talk about it, encourage and/or help in any way I can! There is a resources section of this blog, go and check it out. Go to www.neda.com for more information or screening as well!
It’s a fact that most people spend a LOT of time on social media. Whether it’s facebook, instagram, snapchat or even just reading blogs (wink wink!) on the internet we are constantly scrolling through and being influenced by our social media feeds.
I know for me that my instagram feed can play a large role in how I feel about myself. I’m not embarrassed to say it. I don’t have some super human shield around me that makes it so if I see 100 perfectly fit woman in a row I don’t all of a sudden start to have negative body image thoughts. I do! I walk away feeling like I need to work out more, or maybe should avoid a food group, or try a new makeup product or skin care line or change myself in this way or that way....
Since I entered recovery from over exercise and anorexia it has become very important for me to create an environment that will make me the most successful. This not only includes who I surround myself with, but it also includes what I am putting into my mind. We have all heard this saying, "Garbage in, garbage out," right? A huge source of my garbage and some of my environment is social media. I know for me, it REALLY matters who I follow. If I am constantly looking at people with perfect bodies and 100 filters I do in fact feel bad about myself after. If I am constantly inundated with diet talk and ridiculous expectations on social media it can often lead me confused and cause major triggers and setbacks in my recovery.
I’m a person that will grab my phone and scroll through social media while sitting in a waiting room, in bed, while I drink coffee, at a red light (that's bad...), so it became very clear to me that my accounts needed an overhaul! I was tired of looking at all these perfectly trim people. They just left me feeling inadequate. I was tired of looking at woman flaunting their style and bodies in clothes I know dang well I won’t and can’t wear. So, I went through my social media accounts and started pressing delete. If the account made me feel inadequate or comparative in any way….click…delete! Sadly, this left me with basically my family, some close friends and bible verse accounts haha! So, overtime I found and started to follow people on Instagram and other social media outlets that promote body positivity, anti-diet, intuitive eating, health at every size, positive mental health and self care mentalities!
It’s amazing how this small change made such a difference! If I’m sipping coffee in the morning and scrolling through my feed I now see woman of all shapes and sizes, not just thin with abs. I now am encouraged to love myself where I am at and eat food to nourish my body instead of another post that will leave me feeling shame or guilt over a meal. I am reminded to find my worth in my faith or my beautiful photography and not in my thigh circumference. Instead of closing out Instagram feeling defeated, ugly, overweight and like I don’t measure up, I feel empowered, lifted up, encouraged and willing to love myself!
So, I want to share a list of TWENTY body positive, anti diet, health at every size, self care Instagram accounts that I follow! These accounts will flood your feeds with all body types and positive, healthy messages about your body, recovery and food! I decided not to explain what each one is all about and instead let them speak for themselves! Each has a their own brief description and a snapshot of their posts that I took this week next to it! (You can click on their names and follow them yourselves!!)
1. PROJECT HEAL
5. MARTINA DESIREE (martina_desiree_)
6. NOURISHANDEAT (Gina Susanna)
7. OMGKENZIEEE (Kenzie Brenna)
8. BODYPOSIPANDA (Megan Jayne Crabbe)
11. NOLATREES (Dana Falsetti)
12. KRISTINABRUCE_COACH (Kristina Bruce)
13. DIETITICAN_KATE (Kate, RD, LDN)
14. NOURISHEDMINDBODY (Valery Kallen, MS, RD)
15. THEINTUITIVE_RD (Kirsten Ackerman, MS, RD, CD-N)
16. DAMNTHEDIETS (Kayla Rose)
19. HGOODRICHRD (Haley Goodrich RD)
It matters what we allow to influence us. If all we see are thin bodies and people on diets then we will always feel pressure to be thinner and feel inadequate. Now, before people get mad, I'm not saying there is ANYTHING wrong with being thin. I am saying however that not everyone fits into that narrow scope and its a good idea to diversify our social feeds, especially if we are recovering from an eating disorder :) If we start to expose ourselves more to all body types, non-diet culture and positive words about our bodies and the food we eat we can open our minds up to an entirely different way of thinking, living and accepting ourselves as well as the people around us! In my personal experience it is so great to open my Instagram and then ten minutes later close it without feeling bad! I want you to have that experience too :)
- Sara -