Self-love with substance.

Articles to help you eat, move, breathe, think & speak with self-love.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with exercise?

Exercise is something that many women have a love/hate relationship with. For some of us, we've never enjoyed it and for others, we've fallen in and out of love with it as we've cycled through diet after diet. In coaching my clients, one of the biggest themes that I...

Love List, February 2017

Feeling discouraged? Read this. This guy learned about his own contribution to toxic masculinity, and is working to change it. Love this. "The tricky thing about privilege, and more specifically toxic masculinity, is that you typically don’t become aware of it until...

This is what diet culture feels like

Diet culture. It's suffocation. Do you have enough points left? Will it tip you over? How will you compensate? It's being blinded to everything outside of size tags, calorie counts and numbers on the scale. Too much. Not enough. Slightly over. Just not enough... but...

How to open up in therapy

First written for and published on Recovery Warriors. "What if I'm scared to open up in therapy? How do I talk about myself?" The above is one of the most common questions that my clients ask me before their first session, and the hesitation before entering any form...

Love List, January 2017

"Smile - fake it till you make it!" Unhelpful pieces of advice that anyone with anxiety will relate to! Just in case you thought the work of feminism was done. I don't know about you, but I want little girls to know that they can aspire to having more than just pretty...

20 easy ways to add some self-love to today

Whether you're just starting your self-love journey or a seasoned pro, sometimes we all need to remind ourselves of some basics and look for little ways to integrate them into our daily routine. Here are 20 easy ways to add some self-love to today: 1. Move your body...

The only detox you’ll ever need to go on

Fuck your detox/teatox. Pardon my french. But if I see just one more MLM or network marketing rep on social media touting their "miracle" products that contain 48 trillion nutrients that completely transform your body and heal your liver and overcome all the...

10 important thoughts on body positivity x social media in 2017

If I may be totally honest, I've been feeling burnt out with the way that Body Positivity™ is handled on social media. Including on my own social media platforms.  It's not because I'm 'sick' of the concept or because it's no longer applicable (it's ALWAYS...

Love List, December 2016

Why is it so hard to imagine our lives after dieting? "Letting go of the dream of thinness is one thing. Really recognizing that we live in a culture that promotes injustice, self-harm and the diminished lives of women — and REFUSING to play along — is quite another."...

Is thin privilege really a thing?

Is thin privilege really a thing? Short answer: Yes, girlfriend. YES. And we need to talk about it. Long answer:  Bear with me folks, because I'm about to bust an analogy out, here: In the spectrum of body image disorders, trauma, suffering and insecurity... baggage...

Real life vs. retouched

About a decade ago, you literally couldn't find a photo of me online that I hadn't spent an hour obsessing over 'fixing'. Even something as simple as a Myspace profile picture would involve me staying up all night staging a mini-photoshoot in my bedroom, culling the...

What’s *really* being sold to you?

Head on over to YouTube, watch any old Weight Watchers, Slim Fast or other diet video. Any one, it doesn't matter. Now, I'm going to show you a little magic trick... I'm going to predict what they said, without even knowing what you watched! Ready? rubs temples and...

Why I’m pro-selfie

"Stop taking photos of yourself!" "How vain you must be... can you not even go a day without taking a selfie?!?" I know, I know. People love to rip on selfies. Vain. Vapid. Conceited. Self-absorbed. But you know what? They can also be an act of radical self-love. If...

3 ways self-love impacts your physical health

If you're one of my regular readers, you'll be familiar with why the concepts of body positivity and self-love are something that you should most certainly try and introduce to your life (and if you're a new reader, get started here). But, aside from the obvious...

Love List, November 2016

Sarah chose to live. And her story is beautiful. "To get to where I am now, I chose to reject the ideas and ideals that are so entrenched in our culture and our society. I chose my actual health over the idea that you have to be a certain weight, shape, or size to be...

6 body shaming hashtags to avoid

If you use Instagram, you'll be familiar with hashtags - they're a great way to find community, categorise your photos and search for content that you want to see. And if you, like most people, share some degree of your health/fitness activities on social media (like...

Dear booty…

Dear booty, I spent so much time hating you that I failed to notice how wonderful you are.I spent so much time seeking out fabrics that would skim, shape and "flatter" you that I neglected to open my eyes to the fact that you were - are, and will always will be -...

8 mantras to keep in mind throughout your eating disorder recovery

Originally published on Recovery Warriors “I have STRENGTH.” You might not think that you’re strong enough to recover, but I promise you that you are. Even in your weakest moments, even on your darkest days… you are strong. Just by admitting to yourself that you need...

Why I don’t love my body today (and how I’ll help myself heal)

Can I be totally honest with you right now? I don't love my body today. Like, not even a little bit. And despite everything that I know (and teach!) about body positivity, I just can't seem to silence the bitch in my head that tells me that I'm gross, disgusting and...

Love List, October 2016

How do you know if you REALLY need help? Navigating the murky waters of eating disorders Why un-quitting sugar was a life changing moment. "I used to think sugar was the reason I was addicted to food. Sugar was the reason my hormones were out of whack. Sugar was the...

Finding self-compassion (10 minute guided meditation)

"I need to push on and progress in self-love, but I just don't know how to overcome this!" The above is one of the most common questions that my clients come to me with. In our journeys to finding self-love, we're often confronted with moments that make us feel...

7 self-love truths you need to accept

1. In being so concerned about how others will perceive and judge you, you're overlooking how you perceive and judge yourself (which is infinitely more important). If you're being cruel to yourself, then you need to work on self-love. 2. The way you feel about other...

Is fear holding you back from self-love? Read this

Hey, you. I see how you're wanting to start your self-love journey (hell yeah, you!).... but I also see that something is holding you back. Do you feel it? You don't need to be ashamed. You're not alone. It's not just you who has trouble jumping both feet first into...

Love List, September 2016

The CEO might be her own boss, but she does not have to be her own bitch. Yep. Yep yep yep yep. Dear Trauma, I Refuse. A powerful essay on sexual trauma and the porn industry from my friend Heather. Big trigger warning on this one. What if you asked your trolls out...

Why self-love is for everyone, not just the ‘healthy enough’

Shoutout to those who like to leave nasty comments on the selfies of people just trying to embrace self-love, because this one's for you!     "I'm all for body positivity and loving yourself, but don't you think this is too far? With that little/that much...

Introducing Home Truths: 50 Self-Love Cards

Beautiful people, I'm over the moon to be able to share my latest project with you... Home Truths! What are Home Truths? Home Truths is a gorgeous deck of 50 Self-Love Cards designed to be your pocket weapon against self-loathing, negative thoughts and repetitive...

20 things everyone needs to know about eating disorders

** This post was written for NEDIC's Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2016, to raise awareness of the stigma and misunderstanding that still surrounds eating disorders, particularly in their media representation. ** Both personally and professionally, I’ve spent much...

Are you accidentally dieting?

What does 'getting healthy' mean to you? Is it losing weight? Toning up? Normalising your  blood pressure? Eating less fast food and more leafy greens? Resting more? Going to the gym more? Depending on your current health situation, you can achieve any number of those...

Love List, August 2016

Your brain has a 'delete' button. Here's how to use it. Adjusting to new foods in ED recovery can be tricky territory. Read these tips from Libero Network to make navigating recovery easier. The intersection of sex and body image. Awesome stuff from Sarah Vance...

START LOVING MOVEMENT BOOTCAMP: FINAL DAY

Hello lovely people! It's the last day of the START LOVING MOVEMENT bootcamp - thank you so much for joining me this past week, and I hope you've been able to delve into your relationship with your body & movement. You can find today's worksheet here. And the link...

START LOVING MOVEMENT BOOTCAMP: DAY 5

Welcome to DAY 5 of the START LOVING MOVEMENT bootcamp -- and that means that this mini series is nearly over! For the exercise included, you'll need to use this worksheet (or create your own). https://youtu.be/I-K1FtZiLKU Don't forget to tune in for DAY 6 tomorrow......

START LOVING MOVEMENT BOOTCAMP: DAY 4

OH HEY GIRL! Welcome to DAY 4 of the START LOVING MOVEMENT bootcamp -- can you believe we're past the half way mark? Today's video is all about getting you MOVING! You're going to be hitting pause on the video multiple times while you complete some challenges and...

START LOVING MOVEMENT BOOTCAMP: DAY 3

Welcome to DAY 3 of the START LOVING MOVEMENT bootcamp -- woohoo! For the exercise included, you'll need to use this worksheet (or create your own). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZE_AUbhAq0&feature=youtu.be Don't forget to tune in for DAY 4 tomorrow! x...

START LOVING MOVEMENT BOOTCAMP: DAY 2

Welcome, friend, to DAY 2 of the START LOVING MOVEMENT bootcamp -- woohoo! For the exercise included, you'll need to use this worksheet (or create your own). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7guEkACZag&feature=youtu.be Don't forget to tune in for DAY 3 tomorrow! x...

START LOVING MOVEMENT BOOTCAMP: DAY 1

Welcome, friend, to DAY 1 of the START LOVING MOVEMENT bootcamp -- woohoo! Ready to get started? Find a quiet spot where you can watch the video below. For the exercise included, you may also wish to use this worksheet (however you can also complete it with a notepad...

Introducing a FREE video series to help you start loving movement

There's a bit of a myth in the fitness community that unless you're putting in super hard effort, you're just not benefiting from your workouts (and YES proper form is important, and if you're looking to achieve specific goals then you'll want to be meeting those...

6 important reasons to stop dieting

Atkins, South Beach, Sugar Free... you can bank on the fact that just about every week, a new 'must try' diet book appears on shelves, another celebrity releases their "fat blasting baby body workout" and an Instagram celebrity perfectly arranges their diet food in a...

10 reasons why body image therapy is awesome

Have you been on the fence about whether or not you should try therapy to help with your body image and self-love journey? If so, this one's for you! You might have talked yourself out of trying therapy because it seems like something that other people do, or you're...

5 questions to ask yourself when you think you hate your body

We all have those days. All of us. You. Me. Your mother. Your sister. Your best friend. Your neighbour. Days where when we look at ourselves in the mirror, no matter how far along we've come in our journey's to self love and acceptance, we don't see anything good. We...

7 body positive phrases you should get comfortable with

Have you consumed any media recently? The answer for most of us is a resounding "YES!" and because of that, it also means that we've all consumed messages about our bodies and our attractiveness recently. There's no denying that we're culturally obsessed with our...

Love List, July 2016

Fellow introverts, can I get a hollaaaa? Here's how to avoid FOMO when you want to stay by yourself all the time. What does feminism have to do with ED recovery? Answer: everything. Yet another reason to add to the pile of 1 trillion reasons why 'The Biggest Loser' is...

Are you afraid of letting yourself go?

When we love something, we take care of it. And, when we have a love/hate relationship with something, we often end up mistreating it then feeling guilty, then berating ourselves for letting it go. Which of the two statements above most accurately describes your...

Hate looking at beach photos of yourself?

If you've ever gone to the beach on a day where you weren't really all that jazzed about your body, you'll know the unique brand of self-consciousness that comes with wearing next to nothing in public. Even worse? When someone takes your photo in one of those...

You can fight your demons and win

Originally written for and published on Libero Network on November 13, 2015, and republished here with permission. Once upon a time, my life was incredibly different than the life that I lead now. I lived a life shrouded by darkness. From the perspective of an...

Love List, June 2016

Weighing up the cost of vegetarianism and veganism in eating disorder recovery. An excellent piece. As someone who originally used vegetarianism as a cover for my anorexia and is now finding ways to incorporate it into my life in a way that doesn't trigger restriction...

50 reasons you should make body positivity your priority this year

50 reasons you should make body positivity your priority this year: Because you deserve to go on a holiday without fasting for a week. Because you deserve not to flinch whenever someone says "Let's take a group photo!" Because you deserve to stand wherever you want in...

How to stop body checking

Have you ever found yourself continually checking up on the parts of your body that you're the least fond of? Staring at your butt from all angles in shop windows, turning sideways and sucking in your stomach at every mirror you come across, making sure to analyse...

Managing the relapse danger zone of eating disorders

** This article was written for and originally published by Recovery Warriors. ** Relapses are one of the scariest parts of recovery and for many of us, they sneak up on us when we’re least expecting them. Relapses may be triggered by an obvious event like revisiting...

Love List, May 2016

The physiological impacts of anxiety are just as real as the mental impacts. Here are a few ways to calm yourself. You don't need to fix the past to create a new future. It's all about perspective! Get your skinny jeans skeletons out of the closet! Because...

Why fat shaming doesn’t work

"It worked for smokers, it'll work for fat people too!" "Back in my day we weren't such sissies!" "Fat shaming is a made up phrase because you don't want to be told about it!" "So even though fatties are draining my tax dollars, I have to be politically correct?!"...

Ask Anastasia: How much exercise is too much?

Q.  "I'm struggling to know how much exercise is too much! I've recently just started exercising (a little background, I've been fat all my life and I'm only now starting to get out of the diet cycle and eat properly (not cardboard Weight Watchers meals) and move my...

Why I miss my eating disorder (and why I’ll never go back)

If I'm completely honest, there are times when I miss my eating disorder. It's destructive, illogical and completely counter-intuitive, I know. But I still feel it. The demise of my relationship with anorexia was akin to burying a toxic and abusive partner - I was...

Who are you to yourself?

If I asked you to describe yourself, what would you say? "Mother, sister, friend, carer." "Wife, activist, musician." "Marketing pro, aspiring novelist, single parent." We describe ourselves as who we are in relation to other people, or how other people determine that...

Don’t have time for self love?

If you think you don't have time for self-love... I suggest you think again. I've spoken to an awful lot of women who are struggling with their body image and mental health, and one of the BIGGEST roadblocks to self-love that I see standing in women's way, time and...

Love List, April 2016

Telling people "Don't read the comments!" started as a bit of a joke, but now it's full-on enabling behaviour. Something that I've been thinking about for a loooong time but haven't found the voice to articulate around the contexts of shaming, victim blaming and the...

How to embrace your body when you don’t want to

Can I be totally honest here? I don't particularly feel like embracing my body today. I can't be bothered trying to be accepting or positive or self-loving. I'm tired. Exhausted. Emotionally drained. Hormonal. Upset. Angry. Grumpy. Bloated. Lumpy. Frustrated. And all...

Escaping the Kale Cult (a.k.a. how not to be a food wanker)

Are you one of those people? You know what I mean. The people who talk in hushed whispers about processed foods and refined sugars and saving the "non-believers"; the people who are never seen without their beloved kale & coconut water smoothie in hand in their...

7 easy ways to feel better about your body tomorrow

Less inner thigh does not equal more inner peace. So why do so many of us spend our days obsessing over the space that our thighs take up? Why do we spend our hours wishing away our stomachs, Googling ways to rid ourselves of our cellulite and desperately clambering...

Love List, March 2016

Isabel Foxen Duke (who is a total badass) on the perceived morality of health: "The moralistic character of “health” in America (and increasingly around the world) is right up there with “religion” of the Roman Empire — we seem to believe that we’re allowed to dictate...

To every woman who has posted a picture of her body online

To every woman who has posted a picture of her body online, I've gotta speak up about something. Something that's been bothering me, and I know that it's been bothering a lot of you, too. I want to talk about the comments that we receive from strangers whenever we...

How to set responsible recovery goals in eating disorder recovery

** Originally written for and published by Recovery Warriors ** Most of us are familiar with goal setting – we all set goals all the time. We want to finish a project by a certain time, save a certain amount of money for a holiday and for those who are dieting or...

Why a revenge body isn’t the best breakup medicine

The revenge body is a concept that many of us are familiar with. We see tabloid headlines, fitspo graphics and sound bites everywhere about women who, after experiencing a breakup, work their asses off in the gym to achieve a body that would make their ex feel...

Love List, February 2016

20 things everyone should know about eating disorders. For this year's Eating Disorders Awareness Week, NEDIC gave me the honour of kicking off a week of information, discussion & spreading awareness with this article. We're all likely to encounter someone with an...

The self-love pledge you should make every morning

I'm a huge believer in the positive impact of affirmations as a supplement to your ongoing self love tactics, and when I want to kick things up a notch, I like to combine some of my affirmations into a pledge that I repeat to myself first thing in the morning. Here's...

Using selfies for self-love

We live in a society that's profoundly uncomfortable with the idea of accepting a woman who loves herself. When we see a woman embracing her physical form and displaying it proudly as a bold act of her own confidence, those who are insecure often feel threatened....

3 eating disorder myths that are holding back your recovery

Amongst the community of eating disorder recovery warriors, there are more than a few misconceptions - one of the biggest of these being that recovery is a quick process that will zoom by lightning fast. The reality of recovery couldn't be more polar opposite....

10 life lessons that can only be learned through tough times

#1. It’s okay to have bad days. Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day (even if the only good thing is that you got out of bed and ate breakfast, you’re still doing well!). On the days where you feel shrouded in negative influences, it’s...

Love List, January 2016

Your way isn't always the right way. On avoiding the tendency to take your own judgements as facts. Claiming your sexual power as a woman. Because you are a freakin' GODESS and you deserve to feel like it. Cultural appropriation is being discussed everywhere right...

Why I’ll never tell you my weight

I get a lot of messages asking me about my weight. People want to know what I weighed at my lowest point of anorexia, at my highest and what I weigh now. And I get it - because it can be helpful to see what other people weigh and how you compare. But that's also the...

You deserve to heal your body image

A few people have asked me why Inside Out is so affordable in comparison to other self-help books available, so I thought I'd explain: I believe that you deserve to heal your body image. I believe that information should be accessible to all. I believe that your...

Ask Anastasia: “How do I unlink my weight from my self-worth?”

Q. "I need help with the way I see myself! I know that balance is important and I know you preach about our weight not being tied to us as people and I'm on board with that message... but even knowing that, I still don't believe it about MYSELF. I hold myself to...

What is body positivity?

Today, we're going back to basics and defining body positivity. Why? Because there's a lot of confusion around the topic - and that's okay! The more we talk about body positivity and debunk the misconceptions around it, the more accessible the idea of body positivity...

30 affirmations for eating disorder recovery

** Originally written for and published by Recovery Warriors ** Eating disorder recovery is hard. Really, really hard. There are days that make you feel empowered and fearless and totally in control… and then there are days where you feel like giving up. Days where...

Dealing with body negativity during the holidays

A lot of us wind up dealing with body negativity during the holidays. Family dinners and lunches with friends, talk of New Year's Resolutions and large meals as a cultural tradition can all form a minefield for a person who's struggling with their body image in some...

Why you shouldn’t control your body

If you've ever tried to lose weight, you'll be very familiar with the notion of control around food. Diet books advise you to "control" your intake. Bootcamp challenges encourage you to "control" your cravings. Self-help programs that try to stop the cycle of...

Ending the silence around eating disorders

I don't like hearing blanket generalisations about eating disorders. The sorts of generalisations that, on the surface, appear to reduce stigma but when you really look at them, only continue to perpetuate dangerous myths. Statements like: "Once you recover, you'll...

Love List, December 2015

"Our culture needs to come to the realization that womanhood and motherhood are not interchangeable." YES. YES YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES. One woman's journey from abstinence advocate to frequent flyer at Planned Parenthood. An interesting read! New research on...

20 unconventional compliments to make someone smile

If I had to be stranded on a desert island with anyone, I’d choose you. The sparkle in your eyes fills me with hope that the world is a beautiful place! I’ve never met anyone so courageous as you before. I feel like I can be more of myself with you than with anyone...

Even strong people fall down

Resilience is a funny thing. We talk about it as if it's a switch that can be just flicked on whenever you need it.  Friends and family suggest it as an option whenever we're going through a tough time like it's as simple as that. Having trouble with bullying or...

Do you really need to lose weight?

"I really need to lose weight!" Most of us have told ourselves that we need to lose weight at some point in our lives. And for some of us, that need is genuine - perhaps we're carrying a bit too much weight, perhaps our doctors have advised us that we're putting too...

5 reasons to buy Inside Out

It's been only 5 days since my debut book, Inside Out launched and already it's been such a crazy whirlwind! Nearly 2 years of hard work, blood, sweat, tears and late nights have gone into making Inside Out a reality and to see it out there in the world, being read by...

Stop THINKING about loving your body & start ACTUALLY loving it!

So, you want to feel less insane around food. You want to heal your relationship with exercise. You want to stop comparing yourself to celebrities, friends and random women on the street. It's possible... but not without Fearless Body Confidence. The emphasis there...

Love List, November 2015

Your body knows before your mind does. A point to ponder! So you've had zero sleep, but still need to rock this day like a total boss? (It happens, it's okay). Here's how. YES. The internet is what we make it. "Social media is not to blame here. It’s up to us not to...

Inside Out launches in 5 days!

YOU GUYS! I'm bursting with excitement right now because my debut book, Inside Out, launches in just FIVE DAYS TIME from now on November 14th. This has been nearly two years in the making and every single page of Inside Out contains my heart, my soul and my love for...

Ask Anastasia: “I had self love, and then I lost it… now what?”

Q. "I used to be one of those people (like you!) who had self love. I was confident, I didn't care what anyone thought of me... and it took me some heavy duty work to get there too. I was bullied as a child for being my weight (I've always been very thin) and the...

Do you feel at home at your body?

Your home is your safe space - it's your sanctuary from the world around you; your place to hide out, re-energize and recharge. It's the place where all your memories are stored. Trinkets line the shelves, mementos line notebooks and reminders of things that you want...

50 flawless comebacks for comments about your weight

Hands up if you've ever been on the receiving end of an unsolicited comment about your weight? Most of us have been confronted with an awkward situation or two where a friend, relative, coworker or even a total stranger took it upon themselves to give us their two...