Hands-on approach to body image
Learning to love your curves and bumps isn’t always an easy task, but it’s one Sarah Lang believes is worthwhile.
Ms Lang volunteers for the Eating Difficulties Education Network in Westmere and helped organise today’s Love Your Body Day celebrations in Aotea Square.
People are invited to add their hand prints to a giant canvas to vote for body satisfaction.
She has been involved with the organisation for several years and was briefly in one of its support groups.
Once she decided she no longer needed to attend, she decided to start volunteering and is now a collective member.
Although now happy and healthy, the 28-year-old grappled with disordered eating and body image problems in her late teens and early 20s.
She went through phases of extreme dieting, over eating, over exercising and bulimia.
“I’m quite passionate about doing anything I can to stop other girls going down that path, to help people feel positive about their bodies rather than negative,” she says.
Ms Lang’s experience made her realise how widespread eating disorders are.
“Even though people will talk to each other about their diets, a lot of people feel embarrassed about eating problems and body image in the wider sense.
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it needs to be talked about rather than swept under the carpet.”
Ms Lang is hoping for as many people as possible to stop by and lend their support to the event in Aotea Square, which also features entertainment, free massages and goodie bags.
Network coordinator Maree Burns says body satisfaction is an issue that affects most New Zealanders.
“This is an opportunity for people all around Auckland to promote body satisfaction and celebrate diversity.
“It’s also a lobby for better services for people with eating difficulties.”
People can contact the service if they feel they have a problem, or can be referred through doctors and other medical professionals.
The organisation also runs health promotion programmes in schools.
Love Your Body Day is held between noon and 2pm today in Aotea Square and people can also buy t-shirts online to support the organisation.
Go to www.eden.org.nz for more information.
Hands up: Volunteer Sarah Lang wants people to vote for body satisfaction with their hand prints.