Eating disorder recovery can be a lonely experience. Having the right community and support can make all the difference. Follow these 8 eating disorder Instagram accounts to help you through the eating disorder recovery process.
The Challenges of Eating Disorder Recovery
Eating disorder recovery is challenging for many reasons. Not only are we often unable to access the treatment that we need due to various barriers—lack of insurance or other financial access issues, lack of proper diagnosis due to weight bias, unethical treatment modalities such as weight loss for those in larger bodies struggling with an eating disorder—but even if we are able to get proper treatment, more often the many of the variables that egged our eating disorder on are still there waiting for us when intensive treatment ends. Coping with diet culture, including the moralizing of foods, continual promotion of the thin ideal, healthism, and equating size with health, can be challenging, especially for those of us who are extremely vulnerable to its messaging in the first place. We need eating disorder support in order to sustain our eating disorder recovery. Eating disorder Instagram accounts can play a key role in this support.
Finding Eating Disorder Recovery Support on Instagram
With this reality in mind, how can we best support ourselves in our eating disorder recovery when we are removed from the safety of the treatment setting (if the treatment setting was even safe in the first place!)? One of the most supportive things that you can do to build resilience against diet culture is to begin to build a community of like-minded people to surround and support you. In-real-life community is preferable, but in lieu of that, online spaces can offer a refuge from the constant diet-culture-chatter. Instagram has become a hub of anti-diet content and can be a great place to start when looking for online community.
While the popularity of the anti-diet movement means that more and more influencers and social media users are creating these anti-diet accounts, it also means that the movement itself is going to sometimes be misconstrued or misrepresented. As a result, simply searching the anti-diet hashtag on Instagram, for example, can lead you right back to accounts that promote disordered eating and covert restriction and jeopardize your recovery. Instead, it is often better to follow accounts recommended by trusted sources. While this doesn’t always guarantee that the accounts recommended are Health-at-Every-Size® aligned, it gives you a better shot at not inadvertently bringing diet culture into your anti-diet space. Here are some of my personal recommendations for eating disorder recovery support on Instagram that is truly HAES-aligned and social-justice informed.
8 Eating Disorder Instagram Accounts to Follow for Recovery Support
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Diet Culture has made us fundamentally afraid of food. We are not meant to be afraid of food. Food is essential to life. Food releases hormones that make us happy. Why is it okay to seek out other activities that give us happy hormones, but not food? Because diet culture has made this bad. It's really okay to enjoy food. It's okay to get emotional comfort from food. We're not supposed to be afraid of food. And it's okay to want to move away from that. . . . #HAES #HAESig #bodytrustisyourbirthright #healthateverysize #intuitiveeating #fatacceptance #fatactivism #bodyliberation #intuitiveeatingrd #fatpositiverd #edrd#haesrd #radicaldietitian #pnwdietitian#fatdietitian #prospernutrition#bellinghamrd #losehatenotweight #riotsnotdiets #radicalselflove #nourishnotpunish #antidiet #nondiet #allfoodsfit #selfcarenotselfcontrol #edrecovery #weightinclusive #weightneutral #dietculture
Amee Severson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Bellingham WA whose work focuses on body positivity, fat acceptance, and intuitive eating through a social justice lens. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from Montana State University, is a dietitian registered in the State of Washington, and is currently working toward becoming a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. Her Instagram posts focus on finding recovery in any sized body.
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#Dietculture is a sneaky, shape-shifting thing. It masquerades as health and wellness, and cloaks itself as connection. It protests that it's not a diet, it’s a “lifestyle”—because at this point, we all pretty much know that diets don’t work. . If we want to keep from falling for these diets in disguise, we have to know what to look for. Here are a few clues: . 1. If a “lifestyle change,” “protocol,” “reset,” etc. paints thinness as a sign that you’re “doing it right” or weight gain as a sign that you’re “doing it wrong,” it’s a diet. (Or an #eatingdisorder, which operates on the same internalized diet-culture beliefs.) . 2. If it makes you feel virtuous for eating certain foods and guilty for eating others, it’s a diet (or an eating disorder). Yes, even if it’s ostensibly for medical reasons—and diet culture also pushes lots of false diagnoses, e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29524991 . 3. If it has you serving yourself smaller portions than you really want—or constantly second-guessing how much you want, especially of high-carb foods or other things diet culture demonizes—it’s a diet (or an eating disorder). . 4. If it fans the flames of fatphobia or food-phobia in any way, it’s a diet (or an eating disorder). Even if it says it’s not. Even if it promises the moon and the stars and a perfect, practically immortal life. . Get lots more clues for recognizing diet culture in my book—and grab some sweet bonuses including a free mini-course and an exclusive bonus PDF if you preorder now! Just go to christyharrison.com/book for all the deets 🎉❤️ . #AntiDiet #haes #healthateverysize #thewellnessdiet #thelifethief #EDrecovery #fatacceptance #fatpositive #fatliberation #bodyliberation #bodypositive #bodyposi #riotsnotdiets
Christy Harrison is an anti-diet registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor, and the host of Food Psych Podcast and author of Anti-Diet. She specializes in helping people make peace with food and reclaim the time and energy they lost to The Life Thief that is diet culture. She posts daily recovery support on Instagram.
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We have a tendency when we look in the mirror to reduce our sense of self to an object, a surface, a shape. Many of us don't see beyond what we physically see in the mirror – even though what can be physically seen is only a fraction of who you are. It's that fraction of who you are that we magnify to fill our entire vision that there's no space for anything else – your essence, your character, your non-physical human complexity, the parts of you that have always been there even though your body changed. . . Initially, it may be too big of a leap to convince yourself that you are more than what appears in the mirror – it may be more about asking yourself 'could there be more to what I see? What might it be like to invite more of myself, that isn't necessarily seen, into this reflection? Can I see the warmth and aliveness in my body? Can I see the parts of me that will bring a smile to someone's face today? Can I see the non-physical parts of me that my friends adore? Can I be more than what I see?' . . I have created some clear stickers that you can place on your mirror as a reminder of this – it's a part of a larger sticker sheet with 6 different affirmations that are helpful to see when you're trying to see yourself more clearly. Click the link in my bio and then click on Mirror Stickers. Website prices are in Australian dollars but I ship worldwide 💜 . . #bodyimage #bodypositivity #dietculture #haes #healthateverysize #gratitude #bodyacceptance #dietitian
Ashlee Bennett is an art psychotherapist who focuses on therapeutic work for body image, internalized fatphobia, embodiment, and self-acceptance. Her Instagram account discusses eating disorder recovery in the context of weight stigma and internalized fatphobia. As stated by Ashlee, “I do this work because I know for many there is liberation from compressed, narrow body ideals and the prison of body-hatred despite the culture we live in. This work drives me as every person who reclaims their power and autonomy, has influence in their community, has the wisdom and power to make social change and most of all grow into the person they know themselves to be.”
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How do the holidays affect your PCOS? I’ve spent way too many years feeling burnt out and overwhelmed while trying to manage my PCOS throughout the holiday season. This fat-positive guide includes my tips for supporting your PCOS during the holidays. Be sure to check the tagged accounts for more fat-positive PCOS content. …. “The holidays are tough for many people, so when you add the stress of having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), it makes this time of year all the more chaotic. It’s even more difficult for those of us who embrace fat-positivity and have loved ones that don’t quite understand it….” Check out the link in my bio to read more. …. #pcos #fatpositive #pcossupport #haes #pcosawareness #pcosjourney #pcosnutrition #pcoslife
Kimmie Singh earned her Bachelor of Science in physics from St. John’s University. Soon after graduating, Kimmie discovered her passion for Intuitive Eating and weight-inclusive nutrition. She went on to pursue her Master of Science of nutrition from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kimmie completed her dietetic internship at The City University of New York-Hunter College. She posts about weight stigma, eating disorder recovery, and Health at Every Size education on her Instagram account.
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Learning that intentional weight loss has a dismal success rate (around 2-5% for long term success), and that you actually *can’t* shape your body into anything you choose, despite diet culture’s promises, can be disappointing, and even devastating. If you’re feeling that, and grieving the “perfect” body that you hoped to achieve, those feelings are valid, and you’re not wrong for feeling them. But when you’re ready, I hope that this information will give you a sense of freedom, like it eventually gave me. Before, my life was a constant cycle of getting closer to my “ideal” body – almost there but not quite – and then gaining back more weight and being further than ever. I couldn’t give up, because I believed that it was possible. It was all up to me; I just had to follow the right diet, and do the right workouts, and want it bad enough, and eventually that perfect body would be mine. Now I realize that I was wasting my time trying to change my body into something it wasn’t meant to be: the image in my head of what a “fit” and healthy body looks like. I know now that fit doesn’t have one look or weight, nor does healthy. I was sacrificing my health, physical and emotional, in pursuit of an aesthetic. Yes, I grieved the loss of that perfect body, too. I grieved a body that I never had, but always wanted. But now, I just feel free. I’m not bound by rules that tell me what to eat, how to move, and what I should look like. I know that I no longer have to dedicate my life to weight loss. I’m free to eat as I choose, move how I want, and let my body take whatever shape it takes when it’s well-nourished and cared for. It’s still hard sometimes, but it’s no longer devastating. It gets easier, I promise, and I want that freedom for you, too ❤️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Krista Murias is a Certified Health Coach and Intuitive Eating Counsellor. She helps women who have struggled with chronic dieting and disordered eating to heal their relationship with food and to learn to accept and respect their bodies, no matter their size. She posts daily support on her Instagram account.
Brianna (or Bri) is a Licensed Professional Counselor in NJ. She has worked with Eating Disorder Recovery patients for the last four years and has a special interest in body image. She also teaches Introduction to Eating Disorders as an adjunct professor. She is passionate about Health at Every Size and taking an all-foods-fit approach to finding freedom with food and learning to love your current body. She posts body image support for all sized bodies on Instagram.
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▪️Food scarcity, whether it is unintended or intended, heightens food preoccupation and obsessiveness. Not knowing when or where our next meal will come from disconnects us from our bodies by forcing us to rely on the availability of food to tell us when to eat as opposed to physiology regulating our food intake. Consistent and regular access to a variety of food builds trust around food and eating. ▪️Unintentional physical food scarcity happens for a number of reasons. ▪️Intentional food scarcity or deprivation can usually be traced back to the diet mentality. Food isn’t actually scarce (unless the behavior is co-occurring with unintended food scarcity), but the dieter is limiting themselves physically or has a restrictive mindset which increases preoccupation with food in the same way. The intuitive eating process offers you a chance to explore the underlying causes of your food scarcity mindset. I love doing this work because it’s not bandaid work. It’s not giving you a diet and sending you on your way. This work is deep, it is emotional. It’s about giving you the tools to dig yourself out of a dysfunctional relationship with food by exploring what got you there in the first place. #intuitiveeating #intuitiveeatingvillage #dietculturedropout #haes #thetrillrd #blackdietitian #dmvdietitian #blackmentalhealth #mentalhealth
Ayana is a nutrition therapist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and macro social worker. She encourages her clients to embrace the beauty, power, and connection that their food traditions, personal experiences, and values add to their lives. Ayana is committed to increasing awareness of intuitive eating and weight inclusive philosophies in black communities. She believes that weight-centric approaches to health and wellness only serve to exacerbate body image issues, stress, and anxiety which contribute to increased rates of chronic diseases often seen in black and other communities of color. She posts on Instagram about eating disorder recovery and intuitive eating.
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THE ROOTS OF EATING DISORDER DEVELOPMENT 🍂 ➖ Eating disorder development is a complex process with many layers, moving pieces, and variables. Everyone’s experience is different BECAUSE of how many factors are at play. From a social work perspective, we can explore the different factors from a MICRO, MEZZO, and MACRO approach. Be advised that EACH bullet point could be its very own doodle 👌🏼 ➖ MICRO: interpersonal bullying and trauma; family of origin (genetic predisposition, family attitudes towards body size and diet culture); internalized fatphobia (trauma); internalized racism (trauma); gender identity and presentation; personality factors (perfectionism, resiliency); individual body image. ➖ MEZZO: visibility of role models; level of social support; access to competent, culturally informed, affordable healthcare; food insecurity and poverty; access to weight-inclusive and queer-inclusive wellness education; experiencing microaggressions and “minority” stress. ➖ MACRO: healthism; food insecurity via diet culture; mental health stigma; medical fatphobia; diet culture; general weight bias and size-based discrimination; white supremacy & racism; Eurocentric beauty standards (thank you to @thetrillrd for that last one!). ➖ Swipe through for close ups of each box! Be advised, this is NOT exhaustive, so please, add your additions below 👇🏼 ➖ New Patreon tiers added! Peer support groups, stickers, coaching, and more. Head to link in the bio to explore and support the community ✨ ➖ #dietsdontwork #ditchthediet #nondietapproach #dietculturedropout #healthyboundaries #copingskills #traumahealing #vulnerabilityisstrength #courageovercomfort #mentalhealthishealth #mentalhealthtips #therapyworks #therapyiscool #therapistsofinstagram #mentalhealthisimportant #intuitiveeatingjourney #bingeeatingdisorderrecovery #eatingpsychology #eatingdisordersupport #haesig #bodyliberation #fatliberation #fatpositive #healthateverysize #fuckfatphobia #bingeeatingrecovery #bingeeatingdisorder
Some shameless self-promotion! I post on Instagram about eating disorder recovery, weight-inclusive healthcare, therapeutic work, trauma, and chronic pain. I also post educational doodles about certain therapeutic concepts and Health at Every Size. You can find more of my work on my website!
This list is by no means exhaustive! There are so many incredible anti-diet activists out there doing important work to dismantle weight bias and diet culture. It’s essential that we follow and support those in marginalized bodies with lived experience with eating disorders, especially those in fat bodies, bodies of color, and non-cisgender bodies. By expanding the kinds of bodies that we see on a consistent basis, and by seeing people who look like us fight back against diet culture, we begin to accept that we can also live our lives loudly and proudly without our eating disorder. We are allowed to embrace who we are, unapologetically. This is an essential component of recovery.
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About the Author
Ashley M. Seruya is a social work student, virtual assistant, and content creator specializing in eating disorder recovery, Health at Every Size, and weight stigma. Learn more about her work at ashleymseruya.com or on her Instagram at @fatpositivetherapy.
Health At Every Size and HAES are registered trademarks of the Association For Size Diversity And Health.