Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

11th February 2013

Anyone who has experienced an eating disorder themselves, or known someone who has, will be aware of what a terrible disease it can be. A once happy and outgoing child can turn introverted and desperately unhappy in a short time, and the implications for their growing body and mind are enormous.

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

11th February 2013

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

11th February 2013

This Eating Orders Awareness Week from 11- 18 Feb, get some funky socks on and help raise funds and awareness for Beat – the charity supporting adults and young people in the UK to beat their eating disorders.

This week long event is a chance to raise awareness and understanding of this serious mental illness, challenge stereotypes and stigmas and raise funds for Beat. Beat is a charity providing helplines, online support and a network of UK-wide self-help groups to help adults and young people in the UK beat their eating disorders.

Seeking recovery
According to www.helpguide.org, a non-profit resource and advice site, true recovery from anorexia and bulimia involves learning to listen to your body, listen to your feelings, trust yourself, accept yourself, love yourself and enjoy life again. It starts with admitting there’s a problem. They advise starting by telling someone about your eating disorder, then seeking a specialist. Addressing health problems comes next, as anorexia and bulimia can seriously damage the body and its functions. What follows is a long term treatment plan, with suggestions of therapy, nutritional counseling and eating disorder support groups. They include a self help section which covers learning new coping skills.

A serious disease
There are very moving stories on the Beat website from people who have recovered from an eating disorder and now want to help others do the same. One of the most special was from a new mum who was delighted to find out she was pregnant after doctors told her years of anorexia had most likely affected her chances of having children. She now raises money for Beat and speaks out to help others, while enjoying her beautiful baby daughter.
On another section of the website, there are messages from the families of those who did not recover from anorexia or bulimia, reminding us just how devastating these diseases can be. Reading through them, I was struck by the fact all of them were women, and some were women in their forties with families who simply could not live with an eating disorder any more. It was a stark reminder just how important Beat’s work is, and why, if you suspect an eating disorder in your child, it is vital to seek help as soon as possible.

What you can do this Eating Disorders Awareness Week:
The message on Eating Disorders Awareness Week is SOCK IT TO EATING DISORDERS! The idea behind the ‘sock it’ message came from a conference on eating disorders when campaigner Kitty Weston heard, just before she was due to speak, that a good friend’s daughter had died of anorexia. Kitty, whose own daughter had died of the disease 10 years before, was distraught, and a fellow speaker reached into her handbag to provide a tissue and out came a sock… Kitty went on to stage clutching the sock and it gave her the strength to deliver a rousing speech. And so the humble sock became iconic for the charity and formed the idea for fund-raising.

SOCK IT TO EATING DISORDERS (from the Beat website):
• Organise a silly socks day at work or school and ask everyone to donate £1
• Decorate your socks in Beat colours
• Take part in a sponsored event in your silliest socks
• Knit, crochet or make your own socks and sell them to your friends and family or on Ebay for Beat
• Encourage your sports team to wear silly socks for a match or training session
• Make and sell sock shaped cookies
• Shop online at SockShop and support Beat. Enter the code BEAT into the gift voucher code box when shopping online at SockShop www.SockShop.co.uk and 10% of the goods value will be donated to Beat.

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