The battle against eating disorders

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A stroll down the magazine isle could be a trigger. “For so long I felt that because I didn’t look like that, I was undeserving of success, I was undeserving of love, because I didn’t make that weight goal. But you have to learn that, that’s not true. Those numbers have no bearing on your worth,” said Courtney Blair, an eating disorder survivor.

For others, it’s more than that. “For me, at least, my eating disorder was not really about the weight. It was about controlling my world and what was going on,” said Harper Grace Niedermyer, who’s currently recovering from an eating disorder.

The two brave women shared their stories at UAB as part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. A candlelight vigil was hosted by the UAB Psi Chi International Honor Society of Psychology.

Program Director and Primary Therapist at the Highlands Treatment Center for Eating Disorders, Allison Burnett says the faces of the disorders are ever-changing. “We’ve seen an increase in male patients, female patients have been on the up rise as well and an increase in younger patients, as young as seven, eight, nine, ten.”

And while each story may be different, the reason’s they share are the same. “Renee Brown says that courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart and I have mustered up the courage to tell people who I am with my whole heart in the attempt to help other little girls no go through ten years of [this] like I did,” said Niedermyer.

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