Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

The SANE Blog

How body positivity helps my eating disorder recovery

  • Share
Person doing a cartwheel on the street

The unhealthy relationship with my body began when I was in my teens. I had just started high school and for the first time in my life, people started commenting on my changing body. I was taught that my worthiness was based on appearance and constantly felt the pressure to look a certain way. 

Food became a friend

Around this time, I started engaging in disordered eating habits. Exercising became for weight loss, rather than for fun. I restricted certain foods and began to binge to make up for the restriction, but I also found comfort in the way food made me feel. It numbed my feelings of unworthiness and it was a friend to me when I felt alone.

For much of my life, I was trapped on the spinning wheel of diet mentality. It started with restriction and ended with the guilt and shame of bingeing and weight gain. I hated my body and felt I was unworthy because I carried a bit of extra fat.

Body celebration

It wasn't until last year, after the failure of countless weight loss regimes, I confided in my psychologist about the dysfunctional relationship I'd had with food and my body. I was diagnosed with binge-eating disorder and started treatment with a non-diet dietician

Through this, I was introduced to the body positive movement and began to immerse myself in this culture of people, who were all shapes and sizes, celebrating their bodies. Seeing and hearing from women who looked like me, confident and accepting of their own bodies, empowered me. I soon realised I was not alone in my struggles. Many of the people in the body positive movement had also struggled with body image and eating disorders. Their stories of recovery and hope inspired and encouraged me on my own body acceptance journey.

Self love and acceptance

Along with the skills I developed with my mental health care team, I was able to make changes in my life that allowed me to begin to heal my relationship with my body. Dieting and negative body image controlled my life but since immersing myself in the body positive community, my relationship with my body, food and exercise is now much healthier.

I know so many people, especially women, struggle with self- acceptance. It's hard, especially when media and society are constantly telling us that we need to change. Whether it is weight loss, our skin, the colour of our hair and even the clothes we wear, we are inadvertently being taught not to love and accept ourselves the way that we are.

For the first time in my life, weight is no longer a priority. Being friends with my body is.

If you (or someone you know) needs support – SANE's free counselling service is open Monday–Friday, 10am–8pm AEST. Our team of counsellors are available by phone, web chat and email, so you can connect in the way that feels best for you.

Visit SANE's counselling services now.

If you'd like to chat with other people who understand what you're going through, the SANE Forums are safe, anonymous, and online 24/7. There's one Forum for Lived Experience, and another for family, friends or carers.

Visit the SANE Forums now.

Rate this blog:
  • Share
Worrying when away from a loved one
Functional neurological disorder: the silent illne...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

Stay in touch

Never miss an important update from SANE.

Please let us know your first name.
Please let us know your last name.
Please let us know your email address.

Please select at least one newsletter