2015 has definitely been busy thus far. With the office move, gearing up for Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and having Emily McGratten here to lay out the second part of wiTHIN, there hasn't been much of a moment to sit down and write (or actually finish) a blog post!
Eating Disorder Fair at the University of Guelph (Jan. 28th, 2015)
Being in a different location this year (not by choice) reduced the amount of traffic coming to and from the event, although, those that came by were curious and engaging. In some ways, the smaller space brought a more intimate feel to the event, which was nice. Above is Emily (the illustrator of wiTHIN) and I, showing off panels from wiTHIN as well as an opportunity for individuals to create their own comic on health and wellness. Other booths included organizations, both on an off campus, who work with eating disorders or body image issues, such as Homewood Health Centre, the Wellness Education Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association (formerly Trellis), Women in Crisis and so on.
Faces of Recovery by the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Eating Disorders Coalition (Feb. 4, 2015)
Another great turn out despite the snow that always seems to land on this event's date. A panel of 5 speakers spoke intimately about their journey of being in recovery from an eating disorder or being a support person of someone in recovery. It is always an encouragement to hear individuals speak so honestly about the ups and downs of recovery... one that often isn't pretty at times, but a profound growing experience enriching their lives in a way never expected. Below is another picture of Emily and I at our booth. Similar booths who were at the Eating Disorder Fair were there, in addition to information on the family and friends support group through CMHA.
Journey to Recovery put on by the Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre
Another intimate event that included both individuals speaking about their recovery as well as professionals working in the field. Those involved in the eating disorder community in Woodstock have a contagious passion for developing greater awareness and support for both individuals and family members who are battling this illness. It is always a pleasure advocating alongside them! Unfortunately, I was too caught up in the night that I failed to capture a picture. So.. you'll just have to take my word that it was a great night filled with passion, enthusiasm and hope.
Now that Eating Disorder Awareness Week is over, let's keep the need for ongoing awareness and change alive. Let's keep fighting back against 'fat talk' and/or misconceptions around eating disorders and mental health in general. Let's continue to promote health at every size, diversity and health/wellness. Let's continue to critically think against fad diets or whatever 'ideal' our culture is trying to sell us at a cost to manipulating our bodies and increasing risks in health. Let's continue to bring this issue up politically, fighting for more resources to help those in need. Each of us can do our part. Small changes can have big impacts over time! What will you commit to doing?