Let’s be honest: Eating disorder recovery is hard.
When I first realized I was dealing with an eating disorder — as a sophomore in college — I felt like I had nowhere to turn. I had my counselor on campus who was very kind and helpful. I had my regular appointments with the school dietitian.
But I was missing firsthand knowledge and experience from other people who are in recovery from eating disorders.
My therapist and dietitian were helpful, of course. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to get through the disordered behaviors and reframe those choices into ones that were healthy and nourished me.
But there’s something about hearing from someone else who’s actually been there that no amount of expert advice can replace.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, around 30 million people in the United States are currently living with anorexia, bulimia, or a related eating disorder.
Recovery is a lifelong journey, and that’s why so many people in recovery share their experiences online — so other people have a roadmap and a sense of community in knowing that they aren’t alone.
If you’re looking for real people’s stories and advice to supplement eating disorder treatment from your clinicians, these five YouTubers are a great place to start — approaching eating disorders and recovery in a nuanced and compassionate way.
Plus size model Loey Lane mainly vlogs about makeup, fashion, and the paranormal — but she also talks about how she’s been in recovery for an eating disorder since she was 16.
She also vlogs about body positivity, gym anxiety, and diet culture.
Her video “Fat Girls Can’t Have Eating Disorders” unpacks the myth about what an eating disorder looks like — and the very real fact that ‘fat’ people can (and do) have eating disorders and then aren’t able to receive treatment because they aren’t believed.
Melissa A. Fabello, PhD, is an eating disorder educator who’s also in recovery herself. She vlogs often about eating disorder recovery — what it is, what it means to be in recovery, how you can get back on track if you’re struggling, and how to support your loved ones if they’re in recovery.
She’s also vlogged about eating disorders in the media, self-care, and lesbian and bisexual women in the media.
Her video “What Is Eating Disorder Recovery?” tackles some of the common questions people in recovery have, like “How do I know I’m recovered?”
Chris Henrie vlogs about his personal journey of recovery from anorexia nervosa.
His video “10 Myths About Eating Disorders” goes into depth about 10 common myths people believe about eating disorders, including that men can’t develop them and that all people who have eating disorders are extremely thin.
Chris breaks down the myths in this video, and he also vlogs about eating disorders in the LGBTQ+ community, recovery, eating disorder memes, and male eating disorder symptoms.
Megan Jayne Crabbe, author of “Body Positive Power,” vlogs about everything from diet culture to slut shaming to eating disorder myths.
Her video “Things That Everyone Should Know About Eating Disorders” goes into detail about the myths many people believe about eating disorders — that you have to be thin or underweight to have one, that they only happen to middle class or wealthy people, and that there are more eating disorders beyond the well-known anorexia and bulimia.
Eating disorder recovery coach Mia Findlay vlogs about her personal experience with eating disorder recovery, both as a coach and someone who’s struggled herself.
She covers things like before-and-after photos, fear foods, overcoming exercise addiction, binge eating, and comparing yourself to others on social media.
She also vlogs about pop culture and eating disorders. In her video “Is ‘Insatiable’ Terrible? An Eating Disorder Survivor Responds,” she talks about the Netflix show “Insatiable” from the perspective of eating disorder advocacy.
Alaina Leary is an editor, social media manager, and writer from Boston, Massachusetts. She’s currently the assistant editor of Equally Wed Magazine and a social media editor for the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books.