During her reign as Miss America 2008, Kirsten Haglund helped to bridge the gap between popular culture and an awareness about the prevalence and seriousness of eating disorders. Since being crowned last January, Kirsten has devoted much of her time and energy to her platform, Raising Awareness for Eating Disorders. Throughout Kirsten’s year as Miss America she advocated for change and helped focus widespread attention on the important issues surrounding eating disorders. As a national role model for young girls, Kirsten helped to decrease the stigma associated with seeking help for eating disorders by sharing her own story of recovery from anorexia. As she prepares to crown a new Miss America on January 24th, The Center for Eating Disorders asked Kirsten to reflect on her year of service and her commitment to this very worthy cause. We are glad to share her informative and inspiring responses below in the first of our three-part series.