Where Did I Come From, and Why Was I Chosen to Be Part of ANAD's New Leadership Team? 
I’m from a suburb of Chicago, and, at age 13, the same age that I discovered my true passion in lifefilmmakingI developed an eating disorder that would go on to consume the next 12 years of my life.

By the time it was discovered that I had an eating disorder, it had become a chronic part of my daily life. Even then, I was still able to get the help I needed, and today I have been in recovery for 12 years. This year marks my 12th year of recovery.  This has not been lost on me as I stepped into the role of Executive Director at ANAD this past March.
 
Eating disorder recovery is hard, arduous, and a daily commitment that is hard to comprehend if you do not and have never had one. That’s why ANAD is going back to its roots, being more heavily focused on those  who suffer from, struggle with, and survive eating disorders. People like you and people like me who deserve to recover and live great lives.

Recovery is the best thing I've ever done in my life. 
The fact that I am recovered from an eating disorder isn't the only reason I was chosen to be the new Executive Director of ANAD. I have been a Video Producer and Project Manager for the last 15 years, which will help enormously with launching and creating content for ANAD's Recovery YouTube Channel. F or 5 of those years, I ran my own company, giving me incredible first-hand experience with running a small business and managing a team of people, experience I will be using to help ANAD grow and prosper.  I  am incredibly tech savvy (although I have to admit, our summer interns had to show me how Snapchat works), and I absolutely love telling stories, both my own and others'.

Being recovered is the major reason I accepted this position, though, and I want you to know that I'm totally dedicated to ANAD's mission, and I can't wait to see how much ANAD will do to help and support anyone and everyone in eating disorder recovery, no matter where you are in your recovery journey.


I would like to be someone who tells you and everyone reading this right now that recovery is worth it. That life without an eating disorder is beautiful: it’s more scary and it’s more vulnerable and god, it HURTS, but it is AWESOME and so so worth it.  We hope that ANAD can help support you as you struggle, recover and survive. 

I believed all along that my future is worth fighting for, and I believe that YOUR FUTURE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR TOO!  

#OpenArms,
Laura Zinger 
Meet ANAD 2.0!

ANAD was started 40 years ago by Vivian Meehan, a mother whose child had an eating disorder. Vivian knew that recovering from an eating disorder would take support.

And not just support for those with eating disorders, but for everyone, including family  and friends. So Vivian started ANAD and the ANAD Eating Disorder Support Group and grew this support network across the country.

Thank you, Vivian, for your years of service towards helping alleviate suffering and providing support for those afflicted with an eating disorder. You have helped thousands reclaim their lives.

ANAD’s new leadership team is committed to Vivian’s original mission and is working hard to grow ANAD support groups so that there is one available in every city and on every college campus in America. And we don’t plan to stop there. Our goal is to take ANAD support groups international in 2017, and to offer online video certification training for support group leaders, so they can be successful in starting and leading support groups which have become a lifeline for many.

ANAD is also expanding its support services to include two new support programs: ANAD Grocery Buddies and ANAD Recovery Mentors.
  We Hope You Like Our New Website
We also just launched our new website. This is ANAD’s online hub for recovery related: free services, volunteer positions, recovery stories, online video certifications, and more. Check it out now.
  Help ANAD Take the Fear Out of Eating Disorders #TimeToTalkED
How do we do this? We talk about it. The importance of just talking about eating disorders and my own experiences with having an eating disorder has never been so apparent to me until last week, when an old friend of mine texted me and told me that she had just gotten into an intense discussion with a friend who told her she wanted to put her daughter on a restricted diet because her daughter seemed depressed and had gained some weight. 

I have shared a lot with my friend about my own struggle and recovery from an eating disorder, and because I did, my friend knew that putting your child on a restricted diet could set off an eating disorder. So my friend told her friend that putting her daughter on a restricted diet was straight-up dangerous. Her friend got really upset with her, but it made my heart sing. I cannot even describe how loved I felt by this friend of mine. This is true friendship, even though her friend was defensive. I am so proud of my friend.

Talking about our eating disorders and our recovery can be scarier than facing off against Darth Vader or Voldemort with a mere toothpick in our hands, BUT if you can find the courage to talk about it, you will take the fear out of it, both for yourself and for others who struggle and suffer like you do.

As a society we need to talk more openly about eating disorders. 30 million Americans and countless more worldwide struggle with eating disorders.

                                IT IS TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT. 

Please share your story with us about how you talk about your eating disorder using the hashtag #TimeToTalkED to help educate others and spread awareness.

  This #ANADHero Talked About Her Eating Disorder on Instagram

We’re talking to Alissa and others like her as well as researchers and experts about the ill effects and prevalent misuse of BMI to create a short documentary that we will use in order to advocate removing BMI as a health measure in all schools nationwide. If you are interested in being a part of this project, please contact us here. 
  And in Case You Still Don't Believe that #DIETSDONOTWORK
We interviewed A. Janet Tomiyama, PhD,  A ssistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Dieting, Stress, and Health (DISH) Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),  about her research that dieting DOES NOT improve cardiovascular health and how stigmatizing weight can actually make a person gain weight  earlier this year.

Click on the image below to hear what she has to say about dieting.
Dr. Tomiyama has also conducted excelled research at the DISH Lab showing how ineffective BMI testing is as a measure of health.  Seriously, DISH Lab is doing some of the greatest and coolest research regarding BMI, Dieting and Weight Stigma. We'll be sharing a lot more of their research in the future. 
  ANAD Physician Training: Helping Medical Care Professionals Talk Accurately about Health, and Weight 
ANAD is currently developing an online video training for physicians and other medical healthcare professionals to help them talk accurately and safely about their patients' health without body shaming them, bullying them into losing weight ("for their health”), and to end this known eating disorder trigger.

Medical professionals are held in high esteem in our culture, and we often take their advice, good and bad, in order to best take care of our bodies and ourselves. Oftentimes, doctors can trigger an eating disorder without meaning to when they falsely believe that their patient's weight is an indicator of their health. 

My eating disorder was triggered by a doctor when I was 13 years old. (Read my story here.)  Thankfully, another doctor diagnosed me with an eating disorder 6 years later, which saved my life and set me on a path to recovery.

I know there are many other people like me whose doctors have triggered their eating disorders or shamed them for their weight. THIS NEEDS TO END. If you are a physician and are interested in taking this training, please contact us here. 

  ANAD's One Day Wellness, Not Weight Conference is Next Month!
This year's conference includes Keynote Speaker, Michael Berrett, PhD, the Psychologist, CEO, and Co-founder of Center for Change; Plenary Speaker, Kelly Klump, PhD,  an MSU Foundation Endowed Professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University (MSU); and Lunch Speaker: American Author, Troll-slaying, Fat Acceptance and Body Positive Activist, Lindy West.

Some session highlights include: 
  Get and Give Support with ANAD Programs TODAY!
Don’t see a support group near you?
Contact us at: supportgroups@anad.org
Get Involved with Mental Health
and Eating Disorder Advocacy
 #PassS2680 #MentalHealthReform

The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 (S. 2680) is a comprehensive mental health bill that aims to combat suicide in our schools and communities, increase the mental health workforce, strengthen the enforcement of mental health parity law, invest in early intervention, integrate health and mental health care, and strengthen the community crisis response system.

The bill also includes provisions from the eating disorder-based Anna Westin Act of 2015 (S. 1865), which passed within the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pen- sion’s Committee Managers Amendment of S. 2680 on March 16, 2016. The eating disorders provisions within S. 2680 include early identification of eating disorders for health professionals, information and resources for the public on eating disor- ders, and improved access to treatment through clarity of mental health parity as it relates to eating disorder benefits. 

Research Requests

Research helps us learn new ways to aid in eating disorder recovery, as well as how to help different populations that suffer from eating disorders.

Please read the research requests below, and if you would like to contribute to the growing field of eating disorder research, please contact the researcher directly.

Thank you for supporting eating disorder research!

Grand Canyon University doctoral candidate, Sylvia  Hokey,  is seeking participants for a survey regarding binge-eating disorder among minority women. She needs to interview women who are in treatment for binge-eating disorder.

She is conducting a qualitative case study examining the experiences of binge-eating disorder and the treatment process in African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Latino women and would like to find out if there are ethical differences in the factors that cause binge-eating disorder. 

Sylvia hopes that "my study has an impact on treatment of eating disorders in minority women." 

Please contact her via email at  shokey01@my.gcu.edu  for more information and to participate in the study.
Northern Illinois University Nutrition and Dietetics Master’s candidate, Tiffany Haug, is seeking participants for a thesis study on Myers-Briggs personality types and eating disorders.

Tiffany has found that "there is so much existing research on the relationship between personality disorders and eating disorders that I wanted to explore more the side of non-pathological personality types and eating disorders." 

Qualified participants for the study are those age 18 and above who have an eating disorder currently, as well as those who have recovered from an eating disorder.

Please contact her for more information and to participate in the study.  Edpersonalitystudy@gmail.com  

ANAD
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