A runner from East Sussex has opened up about her struggles with an eating disorder and how running helped transform her mental health.
Twenty-six-year-old Jess lives in Eastbourne and suffered a severe bout of depression in 2017.
She experienced social anxiety and bulimia and was initially running with a ‘very bulimic mindset’ to ‘stay skinny’.
However she soon found running changed her relationship with her body.
‘[It] became a more positive identity for me to hold on to,’ she said in a video recorded for BBC Newsbeat.
‘My mum encouraged me to go on runs with her and I would join her reluctantly, and what I found was I was sharing far more on those runs than I was in my therapy sessions.
‘It made it a lot less scary to open up about what I was feeling.’
Jess added her life has changed greatly since she started running, including a ‘massive difference’ in her confidence.
‘It’s opened up a new environment where I can manage my mental health,’ she said.