San Antonio, Texas. October 16-18, 2014. National Eating Disorders Association Conference 2014. Be there or be square.
Ok, so I guess I am going to be a square seeing as how I am not actually going to be there myself. However, I DO want to encourage others to attend. This year’s theme is Share. Learn. Belong. “Thinking Big: uniting families and professionals in the fight against eating disorders”. I truly think that that is the goal of the conference regardless of theme. The conference is open to “professionals, researchers, educators, individuals in recovery and their families”, according to the NEDA website as a means to, “connect and learn from one another in a warm, welcoming environment. This year’s theme, focusing on collaboration, will highlight the wealth of knowledge that comes from sharing our experiences and expertise to advance the understanding and treatment of eating disorders.” I stand firm in my belief that by raising awareness on eating disorders, sharing stories of recovery, loss, and simply existing with an eating disorder, networking with professionals to increase best practices of care, and impart knowledge on the disease itself we can decrease the stigma; thereby making seeking treatment at any level less shameful and more respected.
But don’t let me try to convince you, NEDA has created a convenient top 10 list (much like David Letterman on his various late night programs):
10) “The NEDA conference changed my life–the feeling of belonging was incredible”
9) Expand your knowledge of eating disorders and deepen your recovery.
8) Busy weekend? You can swing by for a single day.
7) Families and experts come together to learn from one another.
6) Expand your circle, make new friends, build your support network.
5) Share your personal expertise with the eating disorders community.
4) “I loved the general sessions. They were interesting, informative, relevant and challenging”
3) Hear a best-selling author discuss family relationships in the digital age.
2) Earn continuing education credits on the San Antonio Riverwalk.
1) Family-friendly event with family discount packages.
I think there are also 10 spiritual reasons to attend…in no particular order
10) Hebrews 3:13–But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
9) John 13:34–A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
8) Romans 12:16–Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
7) Romans 14:13–Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
6) 1 John 4:11–Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
5) 1 Peter 3:8–be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
4) Ephesians 4:32–Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
3) 1 John 3:11–For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another
2) Ephesians 4:2– Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love
1) Proverbs 19:8–The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.