The simple act of eating a meal or snack can include with it myriad thoughts and feelings for women in Central New York and elsewhere. Mental and emotional aspects of eating can become entangled with body image questions and eating disorders.
A panel on body image kicked off Eating Disorders Awareness Week Monday Night. Panelist Stacie Fanelli shared her history of bingeing, purging, over- exercising … and eventually losing weight.
“I was thinking that was making me strong when it wasn’t. The point where I said wow this is a problem was when I thought, ‘I keep losing weight but why aren’t I happy, huh?” I realized I was obsessing over it. Food was my every thought.”
She went through treatment to get over her eating disorder and now advocates the ‘body positivity movement’. She admits it might sound cliché, but getting people to like the body they have is effective against eating disorders. Today activities continue, including something called Operation Beautiful. Fanelli, part of a group called SHAPES, hopes the activities will point out the largely unattainable nation of beauty.
“Somebody is going to lay on a giant piece of paper and we’re going to trace their body and write inspirational messages inside of it. We’re also going to cut out what a typical mannequin looks like and then cut out the person’s body and show what normal versus media-portrayed looks like.”
Other events will include Nutrition information , dinner and discussion at Ophelia’s Place; and a seminar on Stress and Eating. Information about the Eating Disorder Awareness events is on the facebook page for Syracuse Active Minds…or on our website, WAER.org