Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018

Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW) is upon us.  Join the Waterloo Wellington Eating Disorder Coalition’s effort to de-stigmatize eating disorders this February 1-7, 2018.

Almost 1 million Canadians are living with a diagnosed eating disorder.  Unfortunately this means there is an even higher number of people struggling with undiagnosed eating disorders or disordered eating.  The purpose of EDAW is to decrease stigma around eating disorders and encourage individuals who are struggling to reach out to local support systems. 

During EDAW, we are reminded that eating disorders impact people of varying race, gender, sexuality, ability and age.  We are reminded that despite the unrealistic images depicted in the media, bodies are not born as “one size fits all.”  EDAW is a reminder that our bodies deserve gratitude and nourishment instead of body hate and deprivation.  Finally, we are reminded that despite the efforts of countless programs and advocacy groups around the globe, system issues remain and more needs to be done.  More support, more advocacy, more programing and more funding. 

Food for thought:

The population of people struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating is diverse, nutrition during recovery should accommodate for this and also be diverse.  Just as there is no “one size fits all” body or one perfect recovery journey there is no one perfect nutrition plan to meet the needs of all people. 

When I assess an individual’s nutrition intake and discuss a nutrition plan with them I cannot definitively determine their nutrition needs for recovery.  Defining “normal eating” is a challenge amongst professionals in the eating disorder community.  But, if there is no conclusive definition of “normal eating” then what are you striving for with nutrition in recovery?  The answer is that it looks different for each individual. 

What I do know is this: “normal eating” in recovery involves regular nutrition intake, a balance of nutrients and challenging food avoidances.  For some this may include rice and lentil dosas with chutney for breakfast while for others it may be a pastry with butter and jam and a glass of juice or even a typical American breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast.  It may require exposing yourself to eating alone, eating out at a restaurant or with your family at a holiday meal.  Reflect on a time in the past when you may have had a better relationship with food.  What were the things you enjoyed eating then? You may benefit from talking to family and friends about what you ate together in the past.  Developing a nutrition plan involves collaboration between your team, your friends, family and yourself. It will require some deep soul searching to understand which foods are a challenge for you and why.  Just as eating disorders are diverse in nature, nutrition needs in recovery are also diverse. 

Just some food for thought - Michelle Johnson, RD



We are proud to be partnering with @theNEDIC and @NIEDCanada for Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  Join us in raising awareness about Eating Disorders and breaking down stigmas.


#EDAW2018 (#SemTA2018 in French) #7billionsizes #PurpleforEDAW #lightitpurple #CMHA100

Here is what is happening in the Waterloo Wellington region:

Guelph City Hall & Cambridge City Hall will be lit up in purple to raise awareness.  Watch for social media posts to also raise awareness. 

University of Guelph’s Wellness Centre is hosting various organizations at the annual Eating Disorder & Body Image awareness Exposé displaying boards, media and cookie decorating on February 6th from 10am to 3pm

Join the University of Guelph’s Wellness Education Centre for a screening of Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Wednesday February 7th. For more information, please email

Join on-campus registered dietitian Lindzie O’Reilly and counsellor Samantha Durfy for an All Food Fits cooking class Thursday February 8th from 5:30-7:30pm. Class will be held in MINS 214 at the University of Guelph. The cost of the class is $3. Please register in advance by emailing

Wilfrid Laurier University is hosting a Food and Your Mood Workshop on February 13th and 14th with Caroline Valeriote, RD and Carrie Pollard-Jarrell, MSW RSW.  This workshop will discuss emotional eating and outline eating disorder resources in the community.  Also look for Laurier social media posts to raise awareness.

NEDIC is again hosting a Twitter chat

NEDIC is hosting this webinar about fat stigma:

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