Get to know #HerByAnya, the stories of our everyday women. Because you deserve to be celebrated as you are.
Meet Tammy, a bonafide @pirouettepixie (she showed us some seriously impressive moves during our shoot!) who wasn’t afraid to get real with us about her eating disorder recovery. Read on to learn how her passion for dance guided her recovery and relationship with exercise.
WORKING OUT FOR JOY
Since 2014, Tammy has been in recovery from anorexia nervosa.
Anorexia is an eating disorder often characterised by abstaining from food due to an intense fear of gaining weight. Sometimes, this condition also causes the person going through it to have an unhealthy relationship with exercise, such as by working out excessively to lose weight.
For Tammy, part of getting better includes reframing what working out means to her.
“Now, I am more focused on doing the activities that I genuinely enjoy, rather than exercising excessively to lose weight,” she shares. “Working out helps remind me that it’s more important for me to be strong and healthy, so that I am able to do the things I enjoy doing and experience what life has to offer.”
THE FIRST WAKE-UP CALL
While Tammy has a healthier relationship with exercise today, her journey hasn’t been without bumps. She’s no stranger to body image issues, for one—and she also tells us very honestly that her recovery began with her being forced into treatment. Due to her physical and mental state at the time, she was even hospitalised.
“But along the way, I realised that if I continued destroying my body by starving and restricting myself, I would never be able to dance again. And that was the first wake-up call I had.”
DANCING TOWARDS THE LIGHT
During our photoshoot, Tammy shows us that she’s an artist and her body is her medium—when she gets into a pose, she dazzles. She is a ballet and lyrical dancer, and she’s a part-time dance instructor too. Her passion for this art form is clear. It’s hard to think that there was a time when she may never have danced again.
“Dance is one of my biggest motivations in recovery,” Tammy tells us, citing her support system of therapists and close friends as well, “because I want to be able to live and have the energy to dance wholeheartedly. I want to continue to grow as a dancer too. Dancing gives me a kind of happiness I can’t find anywhere else, and it’s been my light in times of darkness.”
A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP
Today, Tammy has a healthier relationship with movement and her body. She grows her passion for dance by training in pole and aerial hoop, and when she has extra time, she loves to go for barre and pilates classes.
She works out mainly because it makes her happy, and she enjoys working towards being a stronger version of herself—especially so that she can dance better.
Tammy is a mental health advocate too, and we were so touched to learn that our mission resonated with her 💗
“I’ve been following Anya Active for a long time and I love what the brand stands for: showing grace to ourselves and our bodies.”
For those of us who have struggled—or are still struggling—with body image issues, Tammy’s story teaches us that it’s never too late to be kind to ourselves.
If you like what we shared, and want to share your own story, drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also feel free to share any suggestions on the conversations we should be having with you, our community <3