A new year, a new you

After the sheer carnage and hedonism that is the holiday season, the majority of people consider the new year to be a fresh start. That’s why many people make new year’s resolutions.

“This year I’ll stop smoking. I’ll get a promotion at work. I’ll stop dying in Shovel Knight over and over and over again and making my English friend spend all his god-damn money because I don’t know that I can just stop bouncing on the fucking scarab beetle thing.”

That last one is quite specific admittedly, but vastly important for certain people who watched our 24-hour Helpful Holiday Livestream. Most people though, they want the new year as an opportunity to get healthier. Work out more, lose weight, get fitter. It’s why January has been designated National Healthy Weight Awareness Month. We here at Gamer Giving are taking this as a cue to focus our fundraising efforts towards two causes that do fall under this banner, but have some incredibly resounding and deep-seeded implications for a lot of people.

Obesity in Action is an organisation which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of obesity, especially in children and young people. There’s this stigma about obesity in society which leads a lot of people to think it’s something borne solely out of laziness and willing overindulgence. Admittedly we’ve all had moments where we’ve laid on the sofa spooning mounds of cake down our faceholes over the course of a weekend, but the issue of obesity is something much more serious and complicated. OiA aims to teach people healthy living techniques to those who have developed a habit of using food as a coping mechanism. In the youngest of our society, this can lead to an unhealthy and destructive relationship with food later in life. It’s an issue that can spring up in unexpected places too, habits are formed in children so easily that gets more and more difficult to break as they approach adulthood. Not only that, but the risks that come with obesity are potentially catastrophic. From heart disease and diabetes to joint impact and loss of sight, it’s an easy few steps to be pulled off the cliff if you’re not careful. And that’s not even getting into the wealth of psychological issues that come with it too. All of these things are swept under the carpet a little bit. Sure we hear about them a lot, but truly understanding and being made aware of just how damaging and awful it can be is something which few people can understand.

Admittedly we’ve all had moments where we’ve laid on the sofa spooning mounds of cake down our faceholes over the course of a weekend

It being National Healthy Weight Month, it’s not just obesity which falls under this umbrella. The National Eating Disorder Association was launched in 2001 to combat the affliction of any and all eating disorders in people affected by such issues. From anorexia to bulimia, the support network not only provides assistance to the sufferers themselves, but also their families and friends. Speaking as someone who suffers from an eating disorder, the seriousness and grave nature of these mental health issues are something that I truly believe should be talked about more. I am a 28-year-old male doctor of astrophysics who suffers from bulimia. I’m not what most people would think of when they are asked to picture a bulimic. It can affect anyone, just like any addiction, or any mental illness, it has the capacity to absolutely destroy lives. It’s something too that expresses itself in the most bizarre and unusual ways, but in the end, it’s a disorder that you are afflicted with. I’ve had over 6 years of living with it, and I still don’t understand much about it. It’s why organisations such as NEDA are so important. It lets people know that they’re not alone. They’re not some weird monster who no-one can understand. It lets them know that it’s ok. They’re not alone. It’s a disease like any other. And they’re loved.

It’s something too that expresses itself in the most bizarre and unusual ways, but in the end, it’s a disorder that you are afflicted with.

So please, join us over the next few weeks as we aim to raise money and awareness about these areas that are some of the most important to a lot of people. We’ve all stood in front of the mirror and gone “man I wish I were thinner”. That thought, that feeling of wanting to be just a little different, that can destroy so much. Let’s try to stop that from happening. Let’s go 2016, you’ll be a good one, I can feel it.

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