Redefining Beauty: A Breakfast to Remember

DSR_9073 copyWritten by MEDA Undergraduate Intern, Gabrielle Silva 

On Wednesday, November 1st, MEDA hosted its annual Fall breakfast at the Newton Marriott, where over 200 people were in attendance.  This year’s event was entitled “Redefining Beauty”, and it featured Kate Eckman, a model, author, and television presenter, as the guest speaker.  Speeches were also given by Beth Mayer, MEDA’s Executive Director, and Kayla Grossman, who shared her story of recovery.  Attendees of the breakfast also saw the debut of MEDA’s new awareness video.

As an intern for MEDA, and an individual in recovery from an eating disorder, I found the event to be a wonderful source of inspiration and positivity.  To start the morning off, Kate Eckman gave an empowering speech on the importance of body positivity.  She shared a personal story on facing body shaming in the modeling industry, and how she combats body negativity in her industry.  Hearing Kate speak so openly about the challenges she has faced and how she has risen above the negativity was incredibly inspiring.

At one point in her talk, she had the audience pause, and just take a moment to be thankful for our bodies, and what they can do for us, regardless of their shape or size. In my recovery journey, I often forget to take time to be appreciative of my body.  With an eating disorder, it can be easy to overlook the incredible things that our bodies can do. Having Kate remind us to pause and to be appreciative and grateful for our bodies was a wonderful reminder that our bodies are so much more than a size or a shape.

Beth Mayer, MEDA’s Executive Director, also gave a great speech encouraging all of us to continue to fight the battle against eating disorders.  She spoke about the ways in which the organization, and members of the community, can join together to reduce body hatred and promote body acceptance.  Beth’s words served as an excellent source of empowerment and inspiration to those in attendance. Beth also spoke about the importance of working together and encouraged audience members to get involved with MEDA. It gives me hope to see how hard people like Beth are working to fight eating disorders, and create a climate of body positivity.

During the breakfast, MEDA also premiered its new awareness video. The video has been in the works for months, and it features staff members, professional members, and former clients who speak about what MEDA’s services and mission.  The video also provides information on eating disorders, and the importance of treatment, while still providing encouragement for viewers that full recovery is possible.  MEDA’s video not only raises awareness for eating disorders and the severity of them, but also provides a source of comfort to all those struggling.  It reminds viewers that help is available, and that full recovery is possible.

Prior to the conclusion of the event, Kayla, a friend of MEDA’s, shared her recovery story.  She bravely shared her journey from not being sure recovery was possible to now being in full recovery from an eating disorder.  In her story, she discussed how MEDA has been there for her throughout her recovery journey.  Her talk was filled with hope and inspiration for all.  Kayla’s story served as an excellent reminder that full recovery from an eating disorder is possible.

At the conclusion of the breakfast, I left feeling empowered and inspired.  With people like Kate, Beth, and Kayla, bravely paving the way for recovery and body acceptance, change will happen.  By joining together, we can create a place for healing and body love.  After the breakfast, I also felt a renewed sense of hope in the possibility of full recovery from eating disorders.  Overall, the breakfast was an incredible experience, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this year.  Thank you to all who attended, to all who spoke, and to MEDA, for hosting such a wonderful event.