We know the best way to combat eating disorders is prevention through awareness and education. The National Eating Disorder Association set apart a special week in February designed to do just that: to place the spotlight on eating disorders in order to improve public understanding of their causes, dangers and treatments. This year’s theme is “3 minutes can save a life. Get screened. Get help. Get healthy.”
Although we sponsor many nationwide educational events to promote awareness of eating disorders throughout the year, this week brings special activities to our campus. These include:
Monday: The Opening Ceremony will kick off with the reading of the “Declaration of Independence from Eating Disorders.” This document was created by two Timberline residents. It contains affirmations about self-worth, body image and personal value, while simultaneously taking power back from the eating disorder. Additionally, one of our alums will share her story of hope, resilience, and healing with the entire community.
Wednesday: Residents will participate in a creative performance; it can be a poetry reading, song, or expressive dance; often women or adolescents team up with one another, or collaborate with a member of the staff. Each performance is designed to support the importance of community and creativity, since both are critical to the healing process and successful recovery.
Friday: The closing ceremony will showcase several of our alumnae; the panel will share their personal stories of recovery and participate in a question and answer time with all Timberline residents.
Throughout the week, our eating disordered residents will participate in group programming that intentionally supports the voice of healing and the message that recovery is absolutely possible to achieve. All expressive therapy groups, including art, dance movement therapy, and yoga, will mirror this theme.
A new activity to our week-long curriculum is “SMASH THE SCALE.” Residents, in a safe setting, will smash bathroom scales with a rubber mallet. This symbolic action demonstrates that they will no longer be defined by a number on a scale. No longer will this seemingly benign instrument dictate their feelings of value and self-worth. To both support and involve themselves in this liberating experience, many members of the Timberline staff are donating their own bathroom scales to the cause.