This Eating Disorders Awareness Week (2 - 8 March) our Forward Thinking Birmingham team is proudly joining with BEAT and the National Eating Disorder Association to help raise awareness and offer advice. It’s estimated there are 1.25million people in the UK are living with an eating disorder, along with a network of loved ones.
This week we will cover the following themes:
Mindful Media Monday - 2 March
On ‘Mindful Media Monday’ we’re sharing the following tips on pushing back on the concept that you have to present the ‘perfect body'.
- Seek support if something upsets you and speak to friends and/or family.
- Turn off your notifications – this can help to free up some mental and emotional space if you don’t know what’s going on.
- Unfollow people and only keep in touch with those friends who matter to you and who care about you.
- Quality over quantity – follow/subscribe to social media sites that bring you the most joy and community, engaging with likeminded people.
Worth not Weight Wednesday - 4 March
On ‘Worth not Weight Wednesday’ we’re sharing the following advice from our experts pushing back on the concept that you have to present the ‘perfect body'.
- Challenge the myth that food needs to be earned and/or burned.
- Promote the healthy ideals and normal varieties of our natural body shapes and sizes rather than the idea that we should all conform to one unrealistic standard.
- Promote self-love and celebrate true character based values
- Work together to make sure young people read the right messages that their worth is not measured by their weight or shape.
'Think Family Thursday' - 5 March
‘Think Family Thursday’ our experts are sharing advice for partners, carers, parents and siblings on how they can help a loved one.
- Compassion. Understanding how the sufferer is feeling will help you not blame them for their actions and will help you push through with family-based treatment (FBT).
- Creating an impression of confidence. This helps your loved one to trust that you as the carer know what you are doing and will reduce the panic and insecurity the sufferer feels. Watch: Stuck not eating on YouTube.
- Meal supporters must be on the same page. This is a key predictor of recovery — down to all decisions, not just the broad strokes.
- Become a great body language reader.
- Have a thick skin. Understand with compassion that the abuse the sufferer is dishing out is not personal.
- Self-care and compassion for the caregiver.
Break-free Friday - 6 March
If you are supporting a loved one, experts offer the following advice:
- Acknowledge that there is no one to blame and ask your loved one about how they are feeling and what they are thinking.
- Educate yourself about eating disorders where you can.
- Help reassure your loved one that recovery is possible.
- Ask your loved one about what you can do to help.