Tiffany Van Zante
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Every February the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) spearheads the national effort to increase awareness of eating disorders and the impact eating disorders have on individuals and loved ones. You may have seen efforts or even participated in previous awareness events such as the annual NEDA walk in October. The Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa (EDCI) is proud to host an awareness fundraiser with a focus on purposeful rest. We are turning the traditional “awareness walk” on its head with a team-based event we call Eating Disorder Awareness (Not a) Walk Fundraiser or #notawalk for short. We hope you join us in spreading our message of exercise compassion!
To get started, we encourage you to donate to an existing team, join a team or start your own team. To simply donate, click the "Donate" button at the top of the screen. To join in on the fun, join a team or create your own team by hitting "Fundraise" button above. Then share this page (and our message) far and wide. Let your friends, family, co-workers, gym buddies, and your social circles know they can also participate.
The fundraiser will run through the end of of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 21st - February 28th). February 28th will be our "event" day in which we encourage all team members to participate in a period of purposeful rest. Get in your cozy clothes, find a comfy spot, put your feet up, and give yourself permission to honor your body by giving it some well-deserved rest!
Also, be sure to check out our website for additional information, resources and to learn more about the EDCI mission.
This year the Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa (EDCI) would like to spread awareness of Eating Disorders through Iowa by focusing on the role of “exercise shame” in the development and maintenance of eating disorders and "exercise compassion" as a potential antidote.
Have you ever had the thought, “I need to go for a run (or other exercise) to burn off this meal/snack/calories”? Have you ever beat yourself up for not exercising? Criticized yourself for sleeping in or relaxing instead of hitting the gym? Felt like you “should” be working out when you don’t feel like it? Thought you didn’t work out hard enough? Judged yourself for not seeing the results you desire? Feel as though you don’t know where to get started with an exercise routine or perhaps wish but don’t start an exercise program? Believe you are unworthy due to not exercising “enough”?
These are all examples of exercise shame. In other words, the feeling of shame or intense guilt regarding the role of exercise in your life. We’ve all likely experienced thoughts or feelings such as these from time to time. But at EDCI we want to shed light on the slippery slope and danger of buying into these types of shameful beliefs.
Concerns that can arise when we hold exercise shame:
So how do we put down these feelings of exercise shame? Our encouragement is to practice a concept we call “Exercise Compassion.” What does this mean exactly? To show compassion to oneself is to treat ourselves with respect, care, kindness and support. In other words, talking to ourselves and acting toward ourselves the way we would talk and act to a loved one. When this comes to exercise, it would look like this:
To be compassionate toward ourselves and the role of exercise in our lives will help us to have a better relationship with our bodies. So to practice exercise compassion this winter, we hope you join us in spreading this message of exercise compassion!
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