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Creating Change...One Step at a Time

Last year, I began mulling over in my mind how to turn my experience with eating disorders into good and make a difference in women’s lives. Applying for Voices of Our Future inspired me to start taking action. I have only recently realized my mission in helping my community; however, I have an idea of what my challenges are and how I could tackle them and provide solutions. I would combine my strengths of teaching, writing, cooking, and knowledge of holistic wellness to create change in my community.

One of the biggest challenges is awareness, that eating disorders are as real and serious a problem as alcoholism and drug addiction. I plan to reach out to national organizations and local groups to offer my help, perhaps by using my writing skills to cover events in my community, thereby bringing awareness to their mission and needs.

I plan to get involved with local schools and groups focused on teens and women to open up a dialogue about eating disorders and low self-esteem. Recently, I conducted cooking demonstrations at a wellness fair for the International Center for the Disabled. Many in the audience did not know what healthful food looks like, and what nutritive and healing qualities they have. I would love to show teens and women what foods they should be eating to support their bodies and minds, and how to create balance in their lives. Those with eating disorders have many food demons, fears, and imbalances. I would offer them the knowledge and confidence to approach food in a healthy way. Attaining a healthy view of diet and exercise would result in more time and energy to dedicate to other areas of their lives.

Another challenge is getting women and teens comfortable talking about eating disorders and low self-esteem. I think writing is a powerful way to find our voice, to get out what we sometimes do not have the courage to speak out loud. Therefore, I would encourage the groups to keep journals where they can express how they feel and what they are going through, and to share parts of it with the group when they are ready. Through journaling and other writing exercises, these girls and women might find freedom, peace, and healing through writing and sharing their thoughts and challenges.

I have already begun to use PulseWire to benefit my mission in helping women overcome self-esteem and food issues. PulseWire has inspired me to get involved by connecting with other women, as well as take action by starting a group called “Let’s Become Whole Women,” where we can discuss our experiences and solutions with self-esteem and eating disorders. Going forward, I will use PulseWire (and the Community Champion Toolkit) and other sites that focus on women, such as BlogHer, to spread the word about my cause, open up the communication channels with discussion groups, and connect with women and organizations who could use my help.

Comments

Tina's picture

Women finding freedom and Healing

Dear Kristen,
Your work is inspiring and challenging. It is so sad to me that women and young girls in our generations especially have such negative relationships to food, to their bodies and to their inner selves. I sometimes wonder how it is possible for us to begin to gain such headway in our external roles with the feminism movement, towards equality in leadership, in partnerships, in life (still work to do but we are getting there ) and yet internally our lack of self esteem continues to dis-empower so many of us.
I am so pleased that you are reaching out and connecting with other women here on Pulsewire to begin discussions on this subject. I am interested to learn if women from other countries and continents struggle with the same food and self esteem issues as many of us do here in the western hemisphere/global north. And if so, why? and if not? why? and what can we do to change the tide for our daughters and granddaughters for good?!
I look forward to reading more from you. All the best for all the great work that you do.
Tina

Kristin Conroy's picture

Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to comment Tina! I've only just started to research how self-esteem and body image may differ across cultures and around the world, but I do plan on exploring those questions you offered. I would use that information to help women based on their cultural influences. I don't know if we can change the components of media and society that negatively influence women's self-esteem, but we could teach women how to love themselves, and in doing so may see a positive shift in the feminist movement. Thanks for all your encouragement!

www.WordsAreFood.com
Nutrition for Body and Mind

jacintai's picture

Dear Kristen, You clearly

Dear Kristen,

You clearly speak with an authority and understanding of the issues that many people with eating disorders may face. You also clearly articulate a number of strategies to overcome some of these challenges.

Congratulations on a well thought out and written piece.

Good luck and stay inspired!

Best wishes,

Jacinta

Kristin Conroy's picture

I appreciate your comments!

I appreciate your comments Jacinta, and your support means so much. Thank you!

www.WordsAreFood.com
Nutrition for Body and Mind

laurabstull's picture

Dear Kristin, You are

Dear Kristin,

You are passionate about a subject that I believe is becoming more and more important on a global level. It is also a very challenging issue, and I'm glad that you're dedicated to educating women about body image, health, and nutrition. Like many women, I have dealt with my own eating disorder, and while its peak was many years ago, it has left an imprint on my life that will likely never cease.

You have some great ideas on how to tackle this problem, and I can't wait to hear more from you!

Laura

Kristin Conroy's picture

My Heart is With You

Laura, thank you for reaching out and sharing your comments. As you understand, eating disorders are difficult to overcome, and even after surviving the disease, we must face our old demons on occasion. I hope to give women the tools and support to heal themselves and, very importantly, keep from slipping back into dangerous thinking and old ways. Perhaps we can support each other in our quest to remain healthy, both in body and mind. If you would like to start a conversation regarding eating disorders and self-esteem issues, I invite you to join my group "Let's Become Whole Women!" http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/groups/28645

I look forward to connecting with you further!

www.WordsAreFood.com
Nutrition for Body and Mind

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