• Emily

NEDA Walk Chicago

Back in October, I had the amazing pleasure of attending my first NEDA walk in Chicago. NEDA is a foundation I hold close to my heart; one that I do my best to advocate for every day. I’ve been learning a lot about body inclusivity, weight stigma, thin privilege, and all of the backwards things we’ve been taught in society about how to view our bodies. However, I understand there is no point in educating ourselves on any social crisis without advocacy. Which came with that is the creation of Home/Body; my insta-blog (now actual blog) and my radio podcast. Which then led me to participate in my first NEDA walk.

To be honest, it was nerve-wracking for me to attend this event. Anxiety does this funny thing where it says you’re not good enough to attend an event like this, you’re going to be so far away from your safe place, what if something awful happens. Luckily, I was able to challenge these thoughts and tell those thoughts that this wasn’t about me. It was about leading the discussion on eating disorders and ending the stigma. About being a voice for those who feel like they don’t. Being a voice for my big sister whose life ended due to stigma. Standing up for my friends. It’s about putting everything aside to realize what’s important.

Over 1,000 people attended this walk. If I remember correctly, we put in the effort to raise over $55,000 towards a foundation dedicated to being an inclusively accessible resource for those who are battling an eating disorder. 1,000 people. I used to feel alone when advocating for eating disorders since my school has little to no resources for them. Not to mention, zero talk about it. But when Jessica said there was over 1,000 of us, I stopped feeling alone. There were so many groups, organizations, individuals there to spark hope. There is so much work to be done, but these walks are such an amazing start. If you felt the same as I did, please, I urge you to go to one of these walks. Hit me up, I’ll be your buddy and we can be anxious weirdos together.

Speaking of me being an anxious weirdo, I got to meet someone who I look up to, @nourishandeat. I was about to not say hi, but with the encouragement of my wonderful boyfriend Jake I was able to work up the courage. I get nervous talking to people sometimes, but Gina was so incredibly nice and warm! Please check out her page if you haven’t already!

To end, I want to leave you with a music recommendation. This week, the Home/Body’s podcast spotlight is Kesha. Check out her song ‘Rainbow’, if not her whole album titled with the same name. She wrote the song when she was at a recovery center for her eating disorder. It is musically so beautiful and the lyrics are extremely strong and moving. I hope everyone is having a good week so far! I’ll see you all soon.

“I can’t lose hope, what’s left in my heart’s still made of gold” -Kesha, ‘Rainbow’


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