Next week is a big deal.

February 22-28 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders by educating the public, spreading a message of hope, and putting lifesaving resources into the hands of those in need.

This NEDAwareness Week, we invite Everybody to Have a Seat at the Table. In a field where marginalized communities continue to be underrepresented, we welcome conversations on raising awareness, challenging systemic biases and sharing stories from all backgrounds and experiences. This also ties into World Social Justice Day (February 20th).

Watch this short video for a better understanding of how not everyone feels they can be open about their struggles with food.

This needs to change.

This is an extremely important subject for us here at SHiFT. The relationship between Eating Disorders and Food Addiction is a complex one and definitely not linear, however there is certainly a relationship. We’ve asked one of our Counselor/Facilitators, Phil Werdell, to explain his story with both Eating Disorders and Food Addiction to help illustrate this.

“I learned that my food and eating were really out of control when I discovered that I couldn’t abstain from a food that sent me into insulin shock – not for one day, then over and over. A friend who was newly out of treatment said that I was eating like he used to drink, and he pointed me to the food 12 Step rooms. Others in that first meeting called themselves compulsive overeaters, and I was certainly one, too. Slowly I came to realize that I also had an eating disorder, and finally that I was also a food addict. I’m still a compulsive overeater, have an eating disorder and am a food addict. I’ve learned that for me these are three different diseases, each with a different path to recovery. I need to work all three to be in recovery – and be abstinent and work the 12 Steps. It’s still working. I haven’t binged for over thirty years, and the Spirit is growing in me.”

                – Phil Werdell, MA

This is just one story of how Eating Disorders and Food Addiction are related.

If you are unsure of whether you are dealing with an Eating Disorder or not, or want to get involved in the cause, follow the link below for more details.