Eating Disorders within BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Communities

Eating Disorders among the South Asian British Population… A Personal Reflection by a South–Asian British Recovering Anorexic. From a young age, I’ve spent my life fighting Anorexia Nervosa, a serious psychological Eating Disorder. Even now I find it difficult to articulate how deadly this Eating Disorder is. As a South-Asian British recovering anorexic I’ve experienced

Words from a Wiser Me

#WFAWM – ONE High school was difficult. At the start I was confident, focused and had many friends. However, over time and due to my commitment to sport, it emerged that only one or two friends would understand my lack of social interaction outside of the school gates. This left me quite isolated and often

#WFAWM Felicity’s Letter

Hello young wee Felicity, With a large milestone birthday coming up in 2021, I thought it a good time to get in touch. It’s funny how we attach so much meaning to these birthdays, whereas they are just marking the passing of another year, another decade. Fundamentally we are the same person before the minutes

Obsessive desire by refusing to eat

In months of denial I just wouldn’t accept, a horrifying mental illness that just crept and crept. Work, walking and weed was my only block, the ignorance to my body pained me like a timeless clock. The words ‘eating disorder’ I refused to believe, a question I now ask myself why was I being so

Molly Hall

Start Volunteer What is your role as a volunteer at First Steps I have only recently joined the social media team for First Steps, with an interest in helping to contribute ideas and create new content for the social media, website and newsletters. I hope to tell real stories of what it is like to suffer

Dealing with the Difficult Disconnect

‘I’m sure my arms look bigger than they did yesterday. ‘My thighs are chunkier too. ‘I can’t even bring myself to look at my tummy and these shorts buttoned up much easier than this a few weeks ago.’   These are the thoughts I had this weekend, catching sight of myself in the mirror and

Misconceptions About Eating Disorders

I’ve lived with an eating disorder for over ten years now and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or read comments about my condition which are simply untrue

I am recovered #MeWithoutED

It was a very surreal feelings being on the other side of an illness you had battled with for so many years. I had finally made it to a place, that until recently, I only ever dreamed of. Discussions around the topic of “recovery” were always ones in which I was keen to push the

Benefits of Support Groups

The benefits of group support Anyone with an eating disorder will tell you how much courage it can take to confide in somebody about their difficulty. Such complex struggles are often so hard to explain and there’s always a fear it might not come across properly or that someone won’t understand. It can be massively

what actually is body image

Mental Health Awareness Week: Body Image “I hate my arms.” “My legs are huge.” “My hips stick out too much.” “I wish my waist was smaller.” …sound familiar? This week we mark Mental Health Awareness Week and you’ll probably be aware that the theme for 2019 is ‘Body Image’ – very appropriate for many of us

Eating Disorders and Easter

Easter can be a very difficult time, like most social occasions, the common theme is company and food, but it’s important to remember not to isolate yourself socially. For many, this is a time for families and friends to come together and indulge in Easter Eggs; it’s a long weekend for everyone to spend in

A Poem for World Poetry Day 2020

The Dread (A poem about living with depression) Each day when I wake in the morning The Dread’s lying there by my side With its arms wrapped tightly around me Squeezing all of my air from inside The Dread looks at my day laid before me And whispers that I’ll never cope Its heavy fingers

Stepping into recovery

It was while being sat in a cafe being faced with a cup of tea (with milk in it) that it really snapped in my brain just how much of an irrational place I’d got to with regards to ‘recovery.’

My irrational anorexia recovery

Stepping into recovery… It was while being sat in a cafe being faced with a cup of tea (with milk in it) that it really snapped in my brain just how much of an irrational place I’d got to with regards to ‘recovery.’ I’ve been living with this disease, anorexia now since I was eight


University – what kind of associations do we make with this word?

Most people will tell you that it will be the best years of your life, you’ll make friends for life and you’ll ‘find yourself’. Although for many students this does happen; university can often live up to our expectations (and then some)!

Eating Disorders in the Workplace

How to manage your eating disorder in the workplace

I’ve heard it said that living with an eating disorder is a full-time job in itself. So how on earth are we supposed to find the time and energy to balance work around our difficulties with food?

National Child Measurement Programme

Obesity: 22.4% reception year children and 34.3% of year 6 pupils (10-11 year olds) are overweight according to the National Child Measurement Programme (NCPM)

Dr Anthony Natt

#MeWithoutED our own Skills for Professionals retired General Practitioner shares his story.

Josie Larder

I now cannot recognise the terrified, isolated, angry, anorexic girl I once was.

I am now a mother, a wife, a friend.. a Woman.

I am #MeWithoutED.

And now, that is the way it will always be.


Recognising that each eating disorder is unique for every sufferer is the first step to recovery, a multidisciplinary team approach, services built around the individual across NHS and in the community with compassionate staff skilled through training and experts by experience can keep people with eating disorders out of hospital by working with them to support independence.

Hope Virgo Blog

Hope Virgo is a mental health campaigner and expert by experience having recovered from anorexia now actively promotes eating disorders prevention improvements for people in the UK.

#MeWithoutED it will always be part of my past identity and I cannot change that but now I am so much more than it. I am an Author, a runner, a campaigner, and a sister.

Tom Fairbrother

Tom Fairbrother founded #TrainBrave after his two year struggle with bulimia and binge eating disorder and being encouraged by a coach to lose weight in order to enhance his performances.

#MeWithoutED I know that there is more to life than restricting food, losing weight, and all the physical and mental consequences of those actions.

Alex Staniforth

Alex Staniforth is an adventurer, speaker, author and charity ambassador. He has made 2 attempts to climb Mount Everest and completed numerous endurance challenges

#MeWithoutED having positive things and goals to aim for has been my biggest weapon for fighting my bulimia, as they give something more positive to focus on and feel good about.

Victoria Linthwaite

If you could give advice to someone experiencing something similar to what you experienced, what would you say?

#MeWithoutED I’d say admit it sooner. Don’t be scared to say that you think you might be getting a problem.

Image Credit:


#MeWithoutED sharing is key and the secrecy involved in eating disorders is what gives them their strength.

So break down its power and it will start to weaken.


#MeWithoutED I’m now able to actually say what’s on my mind, without being afraid of what my mind might force me to do as a punishment behind closed doors.


#MeWithoutED you don’t realise how much it strips from you and forces you into becoming a different person until you make that first step in recovery.

Claire Dickinson

#MeWithoutED anorexia was absolute hell. It wasn’t a choice and it isn’t something I’d wish on anyone.

Fae Stubbins

#MeWithoutED my Eating Disorder does not define me.

My mental health does not define me.

Love Yourself: How To

Most people with eating disorders have huge difficulties with the idea of loving ourselves and that’s what has led us down this tricky path.

We often don’t deem ourselves worthy of love, care and nourishment because we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin.


Eating Disorders Awareness Week 25th February to 3rd March 2019

We asked three #MeWithoutED questions to a range of people recovered or in recovery from Eating Disorders – Read their responses here.

The Benefits of Befriending

Having an eating disorder can feel like a very lonely place.

You may be surrounded by caring, empathetic people yet somehow still feel alone or like you don’t want to burden anyone.

You might also need some friendly advice at an unconventional time when your usual network of support is unavailable.

Being more Mindful on Social Media

It wasn’t until I attended a recent support group at First Steps titled Social Media Influences that I started to see things differently and alter my perspective a little more.

We touched on false portrayals, image enhancement and the freedom to pick and choose what we do and don’t want to see.

It was all very eye-openining and helped me to come up with 5 key things to consider when using social media sites…

How to be a Student in January

With exams coming up and post-Christmas blues, it’s easy to fall into a negative thinking trap that can really take over your January.

Given that exams require your 100%, it is important that you feel at your best – both mentally and physically. Both go hand in hand.

5 Great things about First Steps Support Groups

Five great things about First Steps support groups

“I think a support group could help me but I’m too scared to go” thought I, in the run up to attending my first ever group at First Steps.

New Year Current Me

There’s no doubt that this year has been one of the hardest years of my life. And now it’s coming close to that time when there is some sort of unidentifiable hope for a new start, fresh year – no problem.

You are not alone

September swings around again, pushing out the (slightly) warmer weather and shades and sweeping in the autumnal breeze and the return of the coat.

Difference is What Makes Us Unique

Eating disorders can be triggered by a number of factors and they’re different for every sufferer. I feel that the media is one of the most unhelpful influences and the mainstream representation of body image can be seriously damaging, particularly for young women.

White T-Shirts & BBQs: Enjoying Summer with an Eating Disorder

Here we go again. Summer is almost here, which for all its shiny pros also comes with a multitude of cons for those in recovery from an eating disorder.

Saying yes to recovery

‘Do I actually want to get better?’
A question that has occupied most of my thoughts for weeks now as I’ve batted from one side of the argument to the other.

Holding the Power

EDAW 2019 – An advertisement, a post on social media, a ‘harmless’ comment, trying on new clothes; these can all hurt and trigger a downward spiral, whatever stage of recovery.

The fact that I can still have a meltdown has shown me that food still scares me.

Yes, Men Have Eating Disorders Too

Let’s break open a health and body issue: Boys and Men get Eating Disorders, too. A blog from

Let’s talk about Eating Disorders – EDAW 2019

Keeping accountable is a huge step towards recovery.

By talking about your daily challenges and putting this scary thing into words strips the eating disorder of any power it holds over you and makes it that bit more manageable.

Treatment and Recovery: Molly shares her experience of First Steps

When I went to my GP about my eating disorder, they suggested that I seek the support of a charity which would wholly offer me accessible and efficacious treatment

Body Positive Power

Book Review – Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe (@bodyposipanda)

Float Away

Living with an eating disorder is mentally exhausting. Its difficult to explain to others what its like to constantly have thoughts about food going round and round in your head, day in, day out, like a broken record. The continuous bombardment of these thoughts and urges completely envelopes you, so much so that it seems you have little space left for anything else. So much so that it feels so much a part of who you are.

The Escalator

I sometimes feel that living with an eating disorder is like being on an escalator going the wrong way. At the beginning, you have unknowingly taken the wrong route, and stepped onto the escalator going in the opposite direction.

Summer Troubles

Yes! It’s finally summer! This season brings assurance that you don’t need to take a coat out with you and you may even need your sunglasses, but it also brings a number of challenges. It’s perfectly ok to be anxious about the summer months.

Stumble, Support and Strength

A positive approach to recovery is key, and with a progressive attitude you can silence the nagging voice and take control; but don’t expect never to fall again. You are allowed to have a blip, to stumble, to take a step backwards and grapple for a helping hand to find your feet again.

Spontaneity: Nothing Bad Will Happen

One of the ways I cope with my eating difficulties is making sure that I remain in control of what and when I eat; making meal plans, preparing my own lunches and scheduling regular gym visits.

Looking Back

These couple of months has been very busy in terms of birthdays for me: no, I don’t have multiple birthdays! However many of my friends have theirs.


“You were born to dance to the beat of your own heart; to roam without cages; with the innocence of a child, and the free spirit of untamed horses; I hope you laugh without stopping, live with abandon, and love that’s all there is; stay wild!”


We are all models. Yes that’s right. We all have the potential to be positive role models to everyone we ever come into contact with. What a fantastic opportunity.


Christmas is considered one of the best times of the year: family, presents, love, laughter, joy and- like most other large social occasions- food. For individuals with eating disorders, that last part is particularly hard to deal with.

Eating Disorder Charity, First Steps Derbyshire shortlisted for Health Service Journal Award

Eating Disorder Charity, First Steps Derbyshire shortlisted for Health Service Journal Award.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (2016)

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups and charities across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities.

The Locked Door

In the past few weeks I’ve experienced snippets of all the good things life has to offer, and it reinforced the notion of how much this illness makes me miss out on and how much it sacrifices my future.

A New Start – You are Not Alone

Now if you’re into musicals then you may have heard of a new Broadway musical called Dear Evan Hansen. If you haven’t heard of it, then I highly recommend looking it up and listening to the soundtrack. One of the repeated phrases is “you are not alone” which echoes throughout the song “You Will Be Found”. Never feel you are not important and have no one to talk to. Even amongst change, you can find people who will be there for you, listen and help.

The Creature

I often imagine the eating disorder as a little, annoying, scheming, evil, ugly creature, sitting on my shoulder, always there in the background, nagging and niggling constantly throughout the day. It plants horrible thoughts in my head about the next mealtime and craves anxiety to fuel its mischievous nature. Fighting it off is difficult, it may be little, but it has a strong grasp and you need to work harder and harder every day to try and shift it. But it dislikes laughter. Positive feelings

Be the change you want to see

We are all models. Yes that’s right. We all have the potential to be positive role models to everyone we ever come into contact with. What a fantastic opportunity.

Opinion and analysis

If you would like to share your experience of being involved in a research study, or contribute as a blogger please contact us so that we can share this and encourage others to come forward.

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