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.Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change