As one of Australia’s leading specialists in body image and disordered eating, working as a clinician, lecturer,
researcher and author, Sarah celebrates body positivity and empowerment from Body Positive Australia in which
she is a founder and co-director. We talk to Sarah about finding peace and strength, single parenting and the
importance of being kind to yourself.
My own journey toward empowerment took time.
I came into my own power when I started to stand up for myself and left an abusive situation over 10 years
ago. I started to say ‘yes’ to myself and chose not to listen to the voices telling me I wasn’t enough, or the
diet culture which had told me body wasn’t enough. It is. This process helped me find my own voice and
realise that I am enough, that I am worthy.
My experience with body positivity started with saying ‘yes’.
I didn’t start on this path intentionally. When people asked if I wanted to write a book, to talk to
women, to be in a campaign for all bodies, do things I have never done, I said yes to every one
of those opportunities. And I think the thing that surprised me most was that people wanted to
hear my story! That and seeing myself on a magazine cover!
I’m most proud of being a survivor.
I had some very difficult times with my mental and physical health and fought hard to come
back stronger. I have struggled with post-natal depression and anxiety and am a big believer
in reducing the stigma of mental health, as so many people struggle with it and it's nothing to
be ashamed of.
I had the courage to leave a marriage, which was emotionally abusive when my son was a
newborn and I never thought I would manage - but I did. And eventually, I thrived. I now face
my biggest challenge of being diagnosed with a neurological disease, which means sometimes
I need a walking stick for balance (you can't look glam when you trip over!) or my brain won't
work quite how I would like it to. It's made me see how precious life is and how much we can
take for granted.