Eating Disorder Awareness

(Not a) Walk Fundraiser

#notawalk

To get started, we encourage you to visit our fundraiser page: https://givebutter.com/notawalk

You can donate to an existing team, join a team or start your own team. Then share this page (and our message) far and wide. Let your friends, family, co-workers, gym buddies, and your social circles know they can also participate. 

The fundraiser will run through the end of of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 21st - February 28th).  February 28th will be our "event" day in which we encourage all team members to participate in a period of purposeful rest. Get in your cozy clothes, find a comfy spot, put your feet up, and give yourself permission to honor your body by giving it some well-deserved rest! 

Be sure to take a picture or selfie of yourself resting and tag us on FacebookTwitterInstagram or email us at edci@edciowa.org to have your photos featured on our website!  

For convenience, you may also donate directly from the following form: 

This year the Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa (EDCI) would like to spread awareness of Eating Disorders through Iowa by focusing on the role of “exercise shame” in the development and maintenance of eating disorders and "exercise compassion" as a potential antidote.

Exercise Shame:

Have you ever had the thought, “I need to go for a run (or other exercise) to burn off this meal/snack/calories”? Have you ever beat yourself up for not exercising? Criticized yourself for sleeping in or relaxing instead of hitting the gym? Felt like you “should” be working out when you don’t feel like it? Thought you didn’t work out hard enough? Judged yourself for not seeing the results you desire? Feel as though you don’t know where to get started with an exercise routine or perhaps wish but don’t start an exercise program? Believe you are unworthy due to not exercising “enough”?

 

These are all examples of exercise shame. In other words, the feeling of shame or intense guilt regarding the role of exercise in your life. We’ve all likely experienced thoughts or feelings such as these from time to time. But at EDCI we want to shed light on the slippery slope and danger of buying into these types of shameful beliefs.

 

Concerns that can arise when we hold exercise shame:

  • Hold negative beliefs about ourselves and our bodies

  • Poor body image

  • Engage in compensatory behaviors (such as engaging in exercise to “compensate” for the food we just consumed or plan to consume)

  • Over-exercise or excessively exercise, risking injury or strain

  • Avoid exercise or body movement due to shame

  • Unfairly compare ourselves to others

  • Restriction of food, skipping meals

  • Use food as a reward for exercise

  • Experience obsessive thoughts regarding the scale, clothing size or progress

  • Experiences of body dysmorphia

 

So how do we put down these feelings of exercise shame? Our encouragement is to practice a concept we call “Exercise Compassion.” What does this mean exactly? To show compassion to oneself is to treat ourselves with respect, care, kindness and support. In other words, talking to ourselves and acting toward ourselves the way we would talk and act to a loved one.

 

When this comes to exercise, it would look like this:

  • Giving ourselves permission to rest

  • Celebrating the simple act of moving our bodies

  • Redefining our values about the importance of exercise

  • Stopping a workout even if it wasn’t “done”

  • Not using exercise as a punishment for eating or exercising to compensate for eating

  • Remembering you are worthy no matter your level of exercise

  • Not comparing yourself to others

  • Appreciating your body for what it does for you

  • Not exercising excessively, taking rest days

  • Using encouraging words and affirmation toward oneself

  • Listening to our body’s needs or limits

  • To try new things without judgement

 

To be compassionate toward ourselves and the role of exercise in our lives will help us to have a better relationship with our bodies. So to practice exercise compassion this winter,  we hope you join us in spreading this message of exercise compassion!