More than 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders throughout their lifetimes, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.
Eating disorders vary in shape, size, origin and manifestation.
At GW, students do not have to find a solution for eating disorders alone. This year’s Love Your Body Week, from Feb. 25 to March 2, has pulled together an extensive coalition, proving that no matter what you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone.
SPEAK GW, Active Minds at GWU, The eMpowEr Project through ADPi, the Feminist Student Union, the University Counseling Center, HOPEs and the Student Health Service will work together with the administration during a week of programming that seeks to help, advocate for and raise awareness of those struggling to find acceptance.
Love Your Body Week is about working to ensure that the University provides the best possible services for students, especially given that the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in every four college students has an eating disorder.
Love Your Body Week focuses not only on raising awareness about eating disorders, but also on seeking to advance a positive body image and whole-body wellness. Programming includes a healthy cooking class, panel discussions on beauty and the media and efforts to increase positive messaging around campus.
Finally, Love Your Body Week is about helping those who seek acceptance: acceptance into a community of survivors, acceptance of one’s own body – free from judgment and self-doubt – and acceptance of each other as friends and people who ask for help.
So if you’re feeling alone in your struggles, remember that when you replace “I” with “we,” even “illness” becomes “wellness.”
Amanda Uhme is the co-president of GW’s chapter of Active Minds.