“I felt really uncomfortable in my own body, and I felt like I was fat.”

 On this week’s edition of our Summer Sessions, Dara Hayes (aka DJ Tigerlily) has had a really tough history with eating disorders, and this week we showcase her story as we go through our most memorable podcast gems of 2017 on the fourth and final episode. After Dara shared her story we were really given a greater understanding of the mindset of girls with eating disorders.

“I grew up in a household where we were conventionally really healthy. My mum and dad always put a lot of effort into putting good, whole foods on our plate. I was always the healthy kid in school.” (12:26-12:38).

Despite a healthy childhood, Dara found that the early years of puberty were as hard on her as other girls – there’s always another girl who’s skinnier than you, or prettier than you, and it’s so easy to compare yourself and start to see parts of yourself negatively.

“The night that it started I was sitting at the computer… and my mum yelled out from the kitchen “Dara do you want some dessert?” … and I just thought, oh no I feel fat, I’m not gonna eat that.” (13:46-14:02)

“I just restricted what I ate to a really bare minimum and exercised a lot.” (14:11-14:16)

Kristie has also had her own issues with bulimia in the past, so she really relates to Dara’s struggle. No matter how healthy or strict you are with your diet, you can still struggle with your self-esteem and body image: “I reckon I was probably about 18/19 where for a bit of time I became bulimic. I would crazy binge when my parents were out – things I didn’t even want to eat – because I had been so stringent and strict with myself that I wasn’t allowed to eat those things.” (14:57-15:13)

Having never struggled with an eating disorder before, Stace was curious as to how you feel when suffering – do you FEEL fat? Dara had a really great way to explain the mindset: “You look in the mirror and you feel like you don’t like the way you look. You feel fat. Whereas you can obviously still see that you’re in a regular-ish body weight zone, and you might perceive yourself as being heavier than you actually are. But I didn’t necessarily see myself as fat or obese.” (16:34-16:56)

Dara has managed to get to a place in her life where she has a really healthy relationship with food and her body. She puts a lot of thought and consideration into her social media posts, because she knows how much power it has in shaping girl’s perception of what’s healthy or desirable.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, make sure you give them love and support, but you can also call the Butterfly Foundation for advice or information, on 1800 ED HOPE.

Here are some other great resources for you to check out:

Reach Out – http://bit.ly/2qO8HEv

The Butterfly Foundation – http://bit.ly/2bN1oVy

The Eating Disorders Helpline – http://bit.ly/2EpOTt1

Centre for Eating & Dieting Disorders – http://bit.ly/29p5DCL

Eating Disorders Association Australia – http://bit.ly/2CVdtp9


Hear the full chat on the fourth and final episode of our 2017 Summer Sessions (12:14):


Author The Thinkergirls

Stacey June and Kristie Mercer are The Thinkergirls — who talk all the thoughts you’re thinking but not saying. You can find the girls on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. You can listen to the girls on their podcasts or around the country on the national radio show on the KIIS network.

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