Just a quick trigger warning for the strong and struggling who have experienced eating disorders – those on the road to recovery and those going through it right now. We are here for you.
Throughout 2015, Rachael called Sydney's Westmead Hospital 'home' due to the fact she had been battling Anorexia Nervosa since 2014. She struggled daily to lift a fork to her mouth and had anxiety of going out for meals and battling with her thoughts causing her to relapse. Her hair fell out, her lips and skin dry, forever cold, passing out and at a dangerously low weight. She has come so incredibly far in her journey and we have been so amazed at her growth. Through her Instagram posts and strength to fight every day, she caught the attention of people all around the world and demonstrated that eating disorders are a mental illness and that it is so important to speak to someone and share your experiences.
We recently touched base with Rachael to understand how much of an impact sharing her journey made on her day-to-day. Your life may feel ordinary to you, but it might seem extraordinary to someone else. Every story shared is a chance to make someone feel less alone.
How did the case study impact your community?
I come from a little town on the border of Canberra. Due to the article being so widely spread, people from work had read the article. Teachers and students from my old school saw the article and people came up to me at my local gym and congratulated me on my recovery.
People also told me they were going to download the Tammy Fit app and that they were excited to start creating their own fitness journey – which is such an amazing outcome to be a part of.
What was the response you received following the press article?
It was insane. I had people messaging me on Instagram from all over the world sending me well wishes and asking for advice on how I got to where I am today.
A number of people in my workplace came up to me and told me they had read the article online.They said that they were so proud of how far I’ve come and that they had no idea of the struggles I had overcome. Reading and hearing all the nice things people were saying was so emotional and heartwarming.
Why did you want to share your story, and why should people share their own?
I have always been a very honest person when it comes to my mental health and past background. When I was at my lowest I would always look for inspiration to motivate me towards recovery, whether that was watching videos online of others who had recovered, or looking on Instagram for workouts (that’s how I came across Tammy back in 2016).
I chose to share my story in hopes that it might help just one person who is currently struggling. I try to be an advocate for recovery because I can honestly say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
We appreciate Rachael for sharing her story with us and everyone else. Working on your mental and physical health is so important but also very difficult. There may be times when you are simply not ready to talk about your story—and that’s okay! But when you are ready to share, do so—for everyone’s sake.
xx The Tammy Fit Team