Priya M. James
I have been a member of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for the past 17 years and am the Chair of the Houston NEDA Walk. As a person that has been directly affected by an eating disorder, a former professional in the Fashion Industry, and the wife of a psychiatrist this cause is extremely important to me. I began struggling with disordered eating when I was a freshman in high school and since then have struggled on and off, most recently relapsing about three years ago. I lost 30 lbs in one month and continued to lose weight until I learned I was pregnant. No one noticed I was sick again. That's how easy it is to hide it. Everyone thought I was fine because I "didn't look" like what anorexics are "supposed to look like". I was very thin, but in a society where "thin is beautiful" everyone complimented me on my weight loss instead of noticing that there was a real problem.
When people ask me what triggered my eating disorder it's hard to pinpoint one specific cause. I'm a perfectionist so when things weren't perfect or I felt as though I wasn't perfect, I would struggle. My grades struggled, my friendships struggled, I remained in a dangerous and unhealthy relationship and graduated late from high school. My eating disorder took over. Only a few knew what was going on, to others I just looked like a teenager acting up. Eating disorders were not talked about much back then. Most people, including my family and even some medical professionals, did not know much about them or understood them. That's where NEDA played a role in my recovery. Their resources helped me get back on track. Donating to NEDA and/or walking this year can help so many others get help. One of the goals in my life now is to educate and bring awareness to this issue. Especially in cultures where depression, anxiety, and other issues are not taken seriously or looked down upon.
I would greatly appreciate your support. Please sign up to walk with me or make a donation. Any amount will help! Seriously, even $5 will help. There is no cost to walk this year! I just ask that you raise at least $25 (or donate that yourself).
If you would like to find out more about eating disorders please visit NEDA's website at www.nationaleatingdisorders.com
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