Ways to Engage During NEDAwareness Week

Written by: Emily Blair, Director of Operations

NEDAwarenessImage Source

I wanted to take a moment to share some events that are taking place in or near the Chicago area in honor of NEDAwareness week.

1. Consider getting a group together to go see a movie that discusses the realities of struggling with an eating disorder.

“All of Me” Movie Screening

  • DateMonday, February 26, 2018
  • Time6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • LocationNorthwestern University, Annenberg Hall, room G15, Evanston, IL
  • Click here for more information.

2. Attend a night filled with discussion on leaning into our authentic selves.

Free Community Event to Celebrate National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – This is ME!

  • DateWednesday, February 28, 2018
  • Time6:00 to 7:30 pm
  • LocationThe Renfrew Center of Chicago, 5 Revere Drive, Suite 100, Northbrook, IL 60062
  • Click here for more information. 

3. Take action steps to further your own recovery journey by attending an EDA group.

EDA – Eating Disorders Anonymous Drop-In Group

*This event was not specifically created for NEDAwareness week.  I added this option for those looking to join an EDA group.  It occurs every Wednesday at The Awakening Center.

  • Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018
  • Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Location: The Awakening Center, 3523 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 6065
  • Click here for more information. 

4. Connect with your mind and body at a yoga or meditation class.

Centered Studios (off the Morse stop on the red line) offers a great selection of yoga classes, as well as a two-hour meditation on Friday evenings.  Consider getting a group of friends together to go to a class.  Here’s a link to their schedule.



You may be saying, “But wait!  I’m not in the Chicago area.”  No worries.  Here are some other ways to take action during NEDAwareness week.

 5. Set aside some time to meditate during the week

NEDAwareness Week Guided Meditation with Dr. Jenny Copeland, Facebook Live event

  • Date: Monday, February 26, 2018
  • Time: 7:00 to 7:20 pm.
  • Location: online
  • Click here for more information. 

 6. Consider enrolling in a course to improve your relationship with your body.

Click here to see various online courses on making peace with food and your body offered by Christy Harrison, MPH, RD CDN. 

7. Start reading Megan Crabbe’s body positive book on making peace with your body.

Click here to order the book on amazon. 

 8. Put up post-its on your bathroom mirror with body-positive quotes.

 Here’s a list of some quotes to get you started. 

 9. Watch the documentary “Embrace” with some friends, which follows Taryn Brumfitt’s journey as she seeks to make peace with her body.

You can order the film here.  The documentary is also available on Netflix! 

 10. Finally, follow our contributing writers on Instagram. They’ll be sure to fill your feed with inspirational and body positive messages. 








Dear Gracie Bug

Written by: Gracie Mayer, Facebook Manager and Contributing Writer of Unpolished Journey

Dear Gracie Bug,

Did you know that you’re good enough? Did you know that you’re good?  Do you know that it wasn’t your fault? Do you know that life is full of bad things that happen to good people?  But

know that bad things happen to good people because good people have the power to change the world.  Good people take their struggles and use their experiences to connect and empower others through empathy and vulnerability.  Also know that everyone has goodness.  Every person that will hurt you is only doing the best that they can with what they have at the time.  

Do you know how much your parents and family love you? Do you know the lengths your loved ones will go to in the
name of love, for the sake of protecting you because you have a spirit worth protecting, because everyone’s spirit is inherently worthy of protection?  

Do not doubt your worth.  Do not doubt your strength.  Do not doubt your bravery.  Do not doubt your resilience–they will save your life.  You do not have to earn approval.  You do not need to earn love.  True love is given unconditionally and freely.  LIfe is not a performance and your worth is not dependent on the applause.  Life is an adventure and your fulfillment is dependent on being 100% true to yourself and all of the beautiful qualities that make you unique.  Everyone is unique and learning about everyone’s unique qualities and experiences is what makes life so rich.  

Tell your family you love them more.  Be present in every moment with your friends.  Don’t worry about missing out–when you miss out on something it is because the universe has something better, something different, something you need.  

Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.  Don’t make plans.  Just Dream.  Dream and don’t be reasonable, be outlandish.  Don’t dream safe, dream brave.  Don’t have faith conservatively, hold hope radically.

Embrace the road less traveled.  Be grateful for your hardships and your struggles–they will lead you to people and places who will change your heart and forever be in your soul.  Take your time.  There is no deadline to reach certain goals in life even though society will try to tell you that there is a finite amount of time to reach your goals.

You will fall in love, but don’t rush it.  Magic will strike you when you least expect it so be content with each stage that you are in.  Be grateful for the love you will experience everyday, but do not possess it.  Love with an open palm, send out affection without boundaries.

Your smile lights up a room but you do not always have to smile.  It’s ok to not be ok, and it’s ok to be sad.  You can show your emotions, and your friends won’t leave, in fact they will love you more for sharing your humanity.

Stay messy, a clean room is not the sign of a life well lived.  Keep singing and dancing–your
expression will make life more joyful.  Stay joyful.  Keep your joy for life.  You are the joy of life.


Dear little em

Created by: Emily Blair, Director of Operations at Unpolished Journey

This video was made in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week.  It is a reminder that we need to speak to ourselves with kindness, contradicting the harsh critic eating disorders cultivate.  Speak to yourself as you would your younger self this day and everyday.