Toni Jackson

The Speech that had 450 Eating Disorders Practitioners in Tears [Video]

“Dear Eating Disorders community. It’s hard to feel like you belong in a world that so often criticises, stigmatises and dehumanises you solely because you live in a fat body. Harder still, it’s difficult if you have a lived experience of an eating disorder and you live in a fat body, because there is seemingly no room for you in this narrative.” – Nicole McDermid

I recently attended the Australia & New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders (ANZAED) conference in Melbourne. I arrived a day late and was greeted by a buzz of excitement, energy and connection. It appeared that I had missed a profound moment in the history of Eating Disorders treatment in this country.

The previous day’s plenary, ‘Weight Stigma & Eating Disorders’, presented by Sarah Harry, Scott Griffiths and Nicole McDermid, had rocked the conference to its core.

Social Worker, Counsellor and Eating Disorders Coach Nicole McDermid, has shared that after finishing her speech, she looked up to a tear-ridden standing ovation of over 450 Eating Disorders practitioners.

It was a game-changing speech for an Eating Disorders community who still has fatphobia embedded in its core. Read More

How To Cope With Grief

“Grief is a natural response to loss. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship, pregnancy, pet, job or way of life. Other experiences of loss may be due to children leaving home, infertility and separation from friends and family. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be.

Grief is expressed in many ways and it can affect every part of your life; your emotions, thoughts and behaviour, beliefs, physical health, your sense of self and identity, and your relationships with others.” – Beyond Blue

Someone in my family passed away very recently.

I’d like to share some of the things I’ve noticed about grief.

Grief Is a Strange Creature

Grief may affect you in many complicated and surprising ways.
• It can leave you feeling exhausted.
• You may notice it effects you physically – for example, head aches, stomach aches, or pain in your neck or back.
• You may be fine one day, then cry easily and unexpectedly the next.
• You may sleep more, or much less.
• You may find yourself laughing ‘inappropriately’.
• It can be difficult to believe the person is no longer here.
• You may feel guilty about things that are out of your control.
• You may find yourself in tears at the sight of an empty chair, or from a song playing in the supermarket.
• You may regret that you didn’t do or say more.
• Or maybe you regret some of the things you did do or say.
• You may feel relieved.
• Or irritable.
• Or anxious.
• You might find it difficult to concentrate.
• Motivation can also be low.
• You may feel very depressed.
• Or numb.
• Or angry.
• You may find it unbelievable that the rest of the world is still going about its business.
• Or that the sun is still shining. Read More

3 Self-Compassion Activities to do when You Feel Unworthy

If you are someone who is prone to self-criticism and feelings of unworthiness, I’m sharing these self-compassion activities for YOU.  They are gentle ways to practice being kind to yourself, no matter how bad you are feeling.

The activities I’ve chosen are by three women who are all remarkable leaders in the field of self-compassion – Kristin Neff, Tara Brach and Sarah Blondin.

Safe Place Exercise

Before beginning the self-compassion activities, I’d like to say a few words about safety.

If you find yourself becoming resistant, uncomfortable or angry during the self-compassion exercises, stop.  Take some long, slow, deep breaths and focus on your surroundings.  What can you see and hear around you?  Acknowledge that you are finding it difficult to be kind toward yourself.  Don’t use it as an excuse to be self-critical.  This stuff takes practice. Read More