Friday, July 8, 2011

Eating Disorders Advocacy and Authenticity

Yesterday, Kathleen MacDonald of the Eating Disorders Coalition (the organization the receives a portion of the proceeds from sales of my book, Just Tell Her To Stop; Family Stories of Eating Disorders), gave me a wonderful acknowledgment.  She appreciates that I not only understand the vast complexities of eating disorders in families but also am authentically walking the talk on claiming joy.

You see, while I am coaching other families to reclaim their joy from these destructive and challenging illnesses I am daily doing so myself.  Our story is not tied up with a pretty ribbon with a happy ending, or any ending.  We live in limbo as the eating disorder has taken our daughter out of our lives, we have no idea if this is permanent or temporary.  It was so refreshing to hear Kathleen say that she loves that about me, that I am one of the walking wounded leading other injured soldiers to fill their cups up, put their oxygen masks on and PARTY!  Yes, party. 

My mantra is joy in all circumstances, and though I don't do it perfectly...what is that anyhow?  I strive for it and model it.  We do not help anyone else by being miserable and sad.  No one. Not even ourselves.  I believe in smiling, how about that?  A mom who has a broken heart, smiling.  How could I?  I say, "How could I not?"

Speaking of smiling...a wonderful woman in Denver, CO named Katie Haley is aiming to get at least 10,000 people in Denver to smile tomorrow at 3pm MDT.  You are invited to join her in person or in spirit

So, what am I doing to get parents/carers of those with eating disorders (ed) to party you ask?

Launching events for a campaign called: "A Date Without ED"
Campaign: "A Date Without ED"
Purpose: Carers get out & have fun again with a significant other. They pledge to not talk about ed or the  person with ed for the whole date.
Origin Story: This came from my husband and I realizing  (almost too late) that we only talked about our sick daughter and never had fun with each other anymore.  We like each other and like to have fun together. We committed to having a date night now and then in which we pledged to not speak about the crisis du jour, the ED or our daughter.  We had to find fun things to  talk about and do.  It saved our sanity and our marriage (probably our  overall health).
Details: Carers receive “kit” by signing up on the <>  page.
Restaurants will contribute to a non-profit supporting eating disorders.
Kit includes :
Stickers that say: "I ATE without ED" 

Story on how this began
An invitation to share their story
TIP sheet on talking points (as they may have forgotten what they used to talk about).

This will begin locally, in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN (USA) and will expand (exponentially) nationally and internationally.  I am looking for help in launching this campaign as there are many moving parts.  The Aliveness Project does similar events with their "Dining Out For Life"  to raise money for those living with HIV/AIDS. 

Any skills, help are welcome.  I have a few people who have already said they will help and we are looking for a few more dedicated passionate people who can help get thousands of carers out there reclaiming joy and at the same time raising funds (and supporting wonderful restaurants) for eating disorders non-profits.

If you are part of a non-profit and would like to be involved just contact me.


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