This instalment of our Body Positivity series covers includes discussion of disordered eating. We've included links to resrouces if you find yourself in any way affected by the theme discussed.

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Mental health and body image are intertwined, and when one suffers, the other one can take a hit too. This instalment of our Body Positivity series covers includes discussion of disordered eating. Maria de los Angeles Zapata Rodriguez, a PhD student, has bravely agreed to share her experience and talk about recovery, why it is so important and difficult.

If you're affected by the themes discussed, we've included links to helpful recourses at the bottom of the article to reach out to should you need them.  

"We have wrongly understood love, vulnerability, and not being okay with being weak, insufficient, or fragile. An eating disorder is a battle for self-love, recognition, vulnerability, and admitting that we as one cannot fight it alone. Here is my experience: 

One of the fiercest battles I’ve fought for me was to recover from an eating disorder. An eating disorder goes beyond any post/article in social media about body positivity. Don’t get me wrong; I think they are beautiful, but they do not offer a clear picture of what an eating disorder is. 

I was bulimic. It started when I was in my early 20s and lasted about three years until the day I could say, “I am recovered” (such a precious moment). What is bulimia? It’s hell on earth. A person who lives with an eating disorder is trying to control something they do not have control over: food intake (lack or excess). It is an addiction-focused on food and the image the mirror reflects (always wrong). 

Recovering from bulimia meant being vulnerable and honest enough to recognise that I was sick, and I could not overcome it alone. It also meant to make a love pact with my people. I have wonderful family and friends who took care of me when I did not know how to. I also had support from health professionals. They all from their corners helped me to discover what I forgot, I was worthy, I am worthy, and hurting myself was not the right path. 

The most important piece in this jigsaw was me. I put my soul, heart, and life (in my native Perú, we have a song, “alma, corazón y vida”) into recovery. Although it was hard, I can say it was one of the most rewarding and nurturing experiences in my life. I had the opportunity to dream, conjure, and build a new life for myself. 

Yes, it is 100% achievable to recover from an eating disorder and live a full life after that, and it is a love-fight! "


This blog covers some very serious and difficult topics which you might find triggering. If you feel affected in anyway, please get in touch with one of the following for support: 

Advice Hub 

Student Wellbeing Services 

Student Counselling Services 

Edinburgh Nightline 

Riccarton Medical Centre 

The Galashiels Health Centre (GP): Currie Road, Galashiels TD1 2UA, Phone: 01896 661366 

Y-Talk Orkney (counselling services) 



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