For years I felt my soul was literally in tatters, like those bits of seaweed you see washed up on the seashore. My eating disorder had devoured it, squeezed all sense of self out of it. Left it vulnerable and exposed to the forces of the outside world. Left me with no safe haven, living on the edge of life, chaos seemed like a second name for it pursued me relentlessly, everywhere; without a soul, no place to go for stability and security. No place to go to know who I was: I lost all sense of identity and direction. I was indeed a lost soul. Faith, hope, therapy, family, friends, love – have all helped to weave the tiny thread of me that remained into the full life I enjoy today. The mending, re-feeding and nurturing of my soul has been vital to achieve ongoing recovery from my long illness. Today my soul is restored and replenished. It is whole. It is a very happy place, where peace and contentment reign. I love my soul – it is my ‘go to’ place for feeling good.
It is therefore with much pleasure that I share with you, Feed The Soul. This project carries a strong message of hope and at the same time offers a simple and easy way to raise money for eating disorder support, prevention and education, in my home state of Victoria, Australia. Organised by Eating Disorders Victoria, Feed The Soul is being held hand in hand with International No Diet Day, on Sunday, May 6th. (An eating disorder support organisation will have an event somewhere near you). For Victorians, anytime during the month of May, you are encouraged to get together with your family, friends, school friends or work colleagues and enjoy a healthy, social and relaxing meal while raising funds for Eating Disorders Victoria and saying a big “NO” to fad and useless diets once and for all. Your lunch/dinner can be as big or small as you like, and anywhere you like – at home, your workplace, at a local café or even at the local park.
Ask others to join in and together make a donation to Eating Disorders Victoria and while at the same time socialising and having a great shared meal with your friends. Your tax deductable donation ($2 and over) will fund Eating Disorders Victoria’s vital community work in supporting the five per cent of the Australian community who will develop an eating disorder in their lifetime.
DIETS DON’T WORK – so don’t waste your time and save yourself the angst and disappointment.
Did you know – Dieting is the number one risk factor in the development of an eating disorder.
Recent research shows that people who diet severely are 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder. People who diet moderately are five times more likely to develop an eating disorder.
The strict, restrictive and often unsustainable nature of many diets can lead to over-compensatory behaviours, fluctuating weight and many related psychological effects such as feelings of guilt over ‘lack of self control’, low self esteem and obsessive thoughts and behaviours surrounding food. In addition, people who diet frequently are more likely to experience depression.
Many dieting behaviours can be damaging to physical and psychological health. Fluctuating weight is common for most people who diet frequently, as most people re-gain all the weight they have lost after a diet. Weight loss or weight gain may lead to long-term physical side effects.
The Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria is the primary source of support, information, community education and advocacy for people with eating disorders and their families in Victoria. The organisations connect those whose lives are affected by eating disorders with the people, services and hope they need for recovery.