100 episodes

Michelle Sparkes is a physiotherapist, professional counsellor and wellness coach with lived experience of anorexia, EDNOS and binge eating in her teen and early adult years. In this podcast she delivers powerful insights, keys and strategies to help individuals recover from these health and life consuming problems.

Illuminating Anorexia, Eating, Self & Body issues Michelle Sparkes

    • Self-Improvement

Michelle Sparkes is a physiotherapist, professional counsellor and wellness coach with lived experience of anorexia, EDNOS and binge eating in her teen and early adult years. In this podcast she delivers powerful insights, keys and strategies to help individuals recover from these health and life consuming problems.

    Comfort, peace & hope

    Comfort, peace & hope

    Have you ever felt deeply distressed, inconsolable or highly anxious? Right now in my country we’re grappling with the devastating impact of catastrophic bushfires. Closer to home my dearly loved mum is suffering and in decline. It got me thinking about comfort; it got me thinking about you. When we experience distressing emotions (as we do when we struggle with an eating disorder), we need comfort. Comfort that soothes and settles, that brings peace to our soul and fosters hope for the future.

    • 16 min
    Warning…danger ahead!

    Warning…danger ahead!

    I got caught in an ocean current on the weekend and it got me thinking how quickly we can go from being in control (“I’m okay”) to being out of control (“I’m in danger”). The slide from disordered or unhealthy (even sub-optimal) eating patterns and behaviours into a full blown eating disorder can happen quickly. What are the warning signs and do you know how close you are to the ‘edge’? Here’s some thoughts for you. Love to hear from you if you have feedback, questions or concerns. michelle@michellesparkes.com

    • 15 min
    What to do when you’re paralysed by fear

    What to do when you’re paralysed by fear

    Paralysing fear. Feeling stuck and terrified. Afraid to make a “wrong” decision; afraid to make any decision. Acute anxiety is a major feature of anorexia and something most of us will relate to in some measure. Even when you’re recovered from anorexia (as I am), there are times when situations trigger that old emotional response. So what can we do when we experience paralysing fear? Here are a few thoughts. I welcome your feedback, questions or comments. Contact me here www.michellesparkes.com/support

    • 17 min
    Christmas reflection

    Christmas reflection

    When we are locked in the self hatred of the eating disorder ‘cage’ we need to experience ourselves as seen, known, understood, worthwhile, valuable, loved. Even when and especially in the midst of our most acute struggles. For me the heart of the Christmas message is about this. The sound quality of this audio is poor and I apologise for that but I believe someone out there needs to hear this message of hope today. Big hugs to you. 

    • 17 min
    Communicating when it’s difficult

    Communicating when it’s difficult

    When it comes to communicating around a difficult situation or personal challenge I find the following piece of wisdom most helpful:

    “He who seeks good finds goodwill (favour)” Proverbs 11:29

    Attitude is everything. When we approach a difficult communication situation with the attitude that we are “seeking good” – to understand the other, to communicate with respect, to take responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours, to find a good way forward for both parties – we will find “goodwill” or  favour.

    Here are 7 simple principals and strategies that expand on this one key idea:



    * Seek to understand the other.

    * Ask open questions – can you tell me what’s going on for you?

    * Listen, re-state (what you’ve heard, is it what was intended), respond

    * Use “I” language – don’t blame the other, take responsibility for your own feelings, thoughts and behaviours – when X happened, I felt Y, I would prefer Z – can we talk about this

    * Stay open but guard your heart if the other is unable to take responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and behaviours

    * Remember we are all a work in progress – we all carry within us a world and history that is complex, layered and unseen but we share similar fears, desires and needs

    * Treat each other with respect – the way you yourself would like to be treated.



    The ‘golden rule’ (seek good; treat each other with respect) never goes out of fashion.

    • 13 min
    Help for Chronic and Enduring Anorexia

    Help for Chronic and Enduring Anorexia

    What do you say to two brave women now both in their 40s, struggling to stay ‘well enough’ to stay out of hospital after a long journey with anorexia, both traumatised by previous hospital admissions and struggling to know who to trust and where to turn. This is my response. I welcome your feedback and questions, and, as mentioned in the podcast, here are the links to the resources promised:



    * Prof Stephen Touyz : Presentation.

    * Michelle Sparkes : Anchoring Worth and Value VIDEO Teaching

    • 11 min

Customer Reviews

Louiseloulou9 ,

thank you

Thank you to this podcast for illustrating that people with eating disorders are still human and deserve to be treated kindly still, thank you

Aqua-A ,

Illuminating Anorexia

Michelle gives us a personal and powerful insight into a debilitating disease that touches many people in some way. In the most caring and respectful way, she gives a voice to those suffering in what can be a very lonely nightmare and strategies to those who support. I have read Michelle's book and I was so impressed at the way she expressed her vulnerability, authenticity and courageousness. I look forward to listening to and sharing all her honest, informative and supportive podcasts.

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