Our Journey with Diet Culture

As well as hearing from our wonderful founder,

we reached out to other like-minded individuals who have also been affected by diet culture. Whilst our journeys have all been unique, our intentions are now the same: to try and live our best lives, put an end to negative thoughts, do what makes us happy and hopefully inspire you to do the same.


Emily's Story


“Diet culture through social media has impacted me since my early teens but my eating disorder started around 16 years old. I struggled with restrictive eating and exercise addiction, trying to shrink my body to fit what I had seen/ thought was the ‘perfect body’. Along with this came body dysmorphia, social anxiety and low mood.

The biggest step I took to overcome these health issues was to talk to someone, open up. It didn’t happen straight away but with support and love and the right social media presence – including starting my gluten free food page to get inspiration for my coeliac disease – I started to restore weight.

I am now 23 years old, happy; I have a healthier relationship with food and exercise and enjoyment for both which wasn’t there before, before it was just a chore.”

Emily's advice for others:

  • Unfollow/ block/ restrict anyone or anything on social media that gives you toxic vibes and doesn’t align with what you believe in. You are allowed to set your own boundaries.

  • If people want to have a conversation about diet culture and you don’t feel comfortable, tell them it isn’t a conversation you want to be involved with. You are allowed to say no to protect your mental health.

  • Food is there to be enjoyed, it is not there to be feared. 

  • Talk to someone, don’t bottle up your feelings. If it feels difficult, have a chat whilst having a cup of tea or watching TV. Getting your thoughts and feelings off your chest will feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders.


    Samantha's Story


    "I struggled with body image from a very young age - I was always aware that I looked different to my friends and the models I saw in magazines. The older I became, the more entangled this became - I loathed my body and punished myself with gruelling workouts, endless diets (believe me, I tried them all!). Of course, this only made me feel worse and I would end up feeling more and more miserable. It was a vicious circle. 

    Everything changed when I fell pregnant and felt this small wriggle of life inside me. It sounds like a huge cliché but it changed how I saw my body - how I saw myself. My body is strong, beautiful, powerful and pretty wonderful. Capable of doing miraculous things, so much more than I had ever realised!

    Although it has been a journey to get here - and I do sometimes have days where I struggle - I now eat what I want, when I want, and listen to my body if it wants to exercise or rest.

    I haven’t weighed myself for years - I couldn’t care less what the scales tell me – and truly see the word "diet” as a swear word. I will never ever put my body through that again. My body - every body - deserves joy, and I never want to be the girl who says “no” to pizza when she’s out with friends again. I want to create memories, not fear."

    Samantha's advice for others:

    • Be gentle with yourself! Most of us have struggled with diet culture - you are never ever alone in this, however much you feel you may be, so reach out and speak to someone if you are finding things overwhelming.

    • Believe me when I say that you are worthy of love, that your body is worthy of love. No matter how you feel or what you weight, you are enough - just as you are. 


    Steph's Story


    In my early teens I was a competitive gymnast and always under a lot of pressure to look a certain way. I was naturally a bigger build than most gymnasts my age. This coupled with puberty and hearing girls at school talk about dieting led me to develop an eating disorder for the majority of my teenage years.

    My relationship with food, exercise and my body has come such a long way! It is by no means perfect; having to undo years and years of society telling us what food is 'bad', how much we should eat, etc, is hard. But now I’ve learnt that all food has its place, everyone is different and there is no one set diet/calorie limit to suit everyone’s needs.

    Steph's advice for others:

    • Really think about what you want from life. Is it really to be ‘X’ size or ‘X’ weight, or is it to have memories filled with fun and laughter? If you're trying to make changes, surrounding yourself with people who have a positive attitude to food is a great start.

    • Understand that all food has its purpose (some provide more nutrition, others provide enjoyment) and eating without distraction can really help you learn how to eat more intuitively again!


    Gabriella's Story


    "Running a business requires more than passion, resilience and a can-do attitude. It also relies on strong mental health, which, for me, is still a work in progress.

    I have struggled with body image since my teens, attaching 'success' to how I look; the more/better I do, the better I am.

    I am still unlearning an old belief system, realising that self-worth has nothing to do with my appearance; nevertheless, moving away from diet culture is incredibly challenging. Choosing what I want to do, not should, is so much easier said than done, but it's a journey that has the potential to be one of life's greatest accomplishments. In my personal opinion, feeling good in myself - truly accepting me for all that I am - is more empowering than any professional achievement.

    Gabriella's advice for others:

    • Nobody can prepare you for this journey. It starts and ends with you. Not only are you your biggest cheerleader to keep going but you are also your biggest threat. Ignoring the voice in your head is painful at times but doing it once (even if just once) is something to be proud of.

    • By chasing unattainable goals and beauty standards, ironically, the only person who misses out {on life experiences, food enjoyment, body acceptance} is you. Nobody else. Only you are in control and have the power to make decisions that affect your happiness everyday.

    • Without sounding morbid - if someone were to write your obituary right now, I guarantee there would be nothing about your abs, limbs, muscle; how you look, what you eat nor how many times you went to the gym. Quite frankly, nobody cares about what you look like.

    • I have an album on my phone filled with inspirational, uplifting quotes - and always rotate them as my phone screensaver. On days when I feel bajigidy and out of sorts, I scroll through and read them. My current background reads; "I just decided I want to start making more life decisions out of love/joy/excitement and not fear." Powerful.