June is Men’s Health Month, and this week beginning on Monday June 11th through the 17th is recognized as National Men’s Health Week. This week encourages men, boys, and their families to be aware of health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease. With mental health being often left out of these conversations, we know just how important it is to raise awareness about mental illness in men, and especially when it comes to eating disorders.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma around men and eating disorders despite an estimated 25-40% of those struggling with an eating disorder being male. This is why we are pleased to feature Ryan Sheldon this week for his efforts to destigmatize being a male with an eating disorder.
Ryan is the blogger behind the blog Mr. Confessions, previously named Confessions of a Binge Eater. On his blog, he openly shares his experience as a man in recovery from binge eating disorder. Today, Ryan is a speaker and advocate for all struggling with eating disorders and body image issues. After being diagnosed with binge eating disorder in 2015, he founded his popular blog to share his story. He was inspired to begin this work in the hopes of helping others that may feel alone in their eating disorder just as he once did. He inspires his followers and supporters to not be ashamed of their struggles and to accept themselves as they are.
He has now shared his story at dozens of eating disorders conferences, corporate events, and schools. As a body-positive social-media influencer, Ryan was publicly recognized by Instagram in 2018 as a leader in building safe and kind online spaces. In addition to his advocacy career, Ryan works as an adtech professional for a large technology firm in Los Angeles.
We at BALANCE are thankful for Ryan’s outspokenness and advocacy work. Spreading awareness on eating disorders and how they affect men is crucial. We are looking forward to see how Ryan continues to use his experience to inspire others!
Some words of wisdom from Ryan to take with you today? This quote from his Huffington Post article published earlier this month entitled, ‘This Is What It's LIke To Be A Man With Binge-Eating Disorder’:
“I confess it’s tough being a man with an eating disorder. I wish I could be a guy who doesn’t care what size his jeans are. A guy who can go out for a burger with friends without worrying that he’ll want three more. A guy who’s just normal about food — whatever that means. But I am committed to continue working on myself and this disorder, and I’m proud to be a voice that can hopefully inspire other men who are hiding in the shadows to come out and face their eating issues too.”