Since I made my first attempts at jogging a year ago, my training advanced from crawling-and-stopping every ten metres to doing 7-8k proper runs almost every other day. As last year's Flora mini-marathon didn't go too well for me (arriving late and being stuck with the walking group for the entire 1.5 hours), I decided to try again. This time, I wanted to support the Bodywhys charity that helps people with eating disorders (like anorexia, bulimia etc.)
I think eating disorders are something people tend to not speak about and so, unlike cancer charities, they don't get as much attention or support. Part of it is shame - eating disorders are often seen as self-inflicted whims of rich girls who read too many glossy magazines or a disease of models. It's not exactly true. While media and body image has a lot to do with teen eating problems, anorexia and bulimia are often signs of deeper issues, more to do with psychology than physiology.
There are a lot of adults who choose, for no better way, to deal with their family issues, personal problems and lack of control of life, through controlling their food. There are men and women in sport, dance and other area where body is a main target, suffering from eating disorders. Worst of all, it is a silent and invisible sickness; it often goes unnoticed by friends and relatives. Unlike other medical conditions, it can't be removed completely or cured with medication, unlike drug and alcohol addiction, food can't be removed from the patient's life either. You have to learn to live with it and change your mentality fully, although a lot of people never recover completely.
This is something that, in some way, touched my life and the lives of my friends. I was lucky enough to find dance as a form of both mental and physical healing. Bodywhys make sure people needing more serious help can get it.
My friends and I worked with this charity before, through our dance shows and classes, promoting a healthy and natural body image, encouraging women to try dance and movement as a way to accept and love their bodies. (http://luna-syviinvesiin.blogspot.ie/)
This short documentary created by Davinia Hamilton featuring some of my fellow dancers, can tell you more.
In short, I'm running the Flora mini-marathon on Monday June 4th. All your support (via sharing and raising awareness) and donations (even 2-3 euro is great) will be really appreciated! Just get in touch with me via email, facebook, twitter or a coffee chat :)
For more information on Bodywhys and eating disorders, please follow one of the links: