International Women's Day & the Road to Recovery


The staff, students, and volunteers here at the National Eating Disorder Information Centre want to wish you a very happy International Women’s Day. Today, we are highlighting the work of a Rhiannon Flatman, a blogger in Australia, whose writing focuses on her journey to recovery – a journey that many women can relate to. We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating our natural sizes not just today, but all year long.

The Road to Recovery – You Can Do It!

Recovery. There’s no handbook given to us when we make the decision to put our lives back together. We’re not handed a road map of the journey we’re about to embark on. It’s a matter of trial and error. It’s full of mistakes, emotions, scary moments and constant thoughts of “I can’t do this”.

But the truth is, you CAN do it.

If you were strong enough to stop eating, exercise until you couldn’t move a single muscle in your body and completely change your world for the desire to be skinny, you are strong enough to recover from your eating disorder.

After living through the worst two years of my life, I made the decision to get my life back on track. Recovery isn’t easy. It pulls you in hundreds of different directions, makes you angry and plays with your emotions (more than any boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife you’ve ever had!) and makes you believe all sorts of things about yourself that aren’t true. The voices in your head that have been ruling your life for so long, try their absolute hardest to remain in control.

But choosing recovery is the best decision I’ve made in all 21 years of my life. I’ve rediscovered how much I love food. I can now easily eat all three main meals each day, and in between I even do something that six months ago, would have terrified me. I snack. Whenever I feel like it. Whenever those hunger pains start, I find myself running to the kitchen, excited to eat. My mood has improved a great deal and I’m back to having the same amount of energy as a five-year-old.

Rhiannon Flatman

Recovery is a journey filled with every single emotion that a person will experience in a lifetime. Sometimes, all those emotions take over your body at the same time. But even so, I would never go back to how I was living six months ago. Now that I have lived with an eating disorder, I will never go back to being that version of myself.

I love life too much. I love having the freedom to eat what I want, when I want, without a care in the world. I still eat healthy foods 90% of the day. But I also allow myself treats. If I’m craving chocolate, I have some chocolate. And since it is currently summer in Australia, I’m finding myself indulging in a big bowl of ice cream more than once a week. But you know what? Life is too short to deprive yourself of those treats.

Recovery is a journey that you have to want to take. It can’t be forced, and it definitely can’t be rushed. But it’s a journey that I will never give up on. Each day that I am in recovery, and each day that I make a bit more progress, is even more proof of why I deserve to be on this earth.

Just like each and every one of you.

21-year-old Rhiannon Flatman lives in Australia. You can find her blogging about her journey of recovery at