Jessica leads a revolution to beat body image issues

Jessica Smith - Join the Revolution Photo Contributed NO RESALE
Jessica Smith - Join the Revolution Photo Contributed NO RESALE Contributed

Six years after her swimming career imploded because of her battle with bulimia, the former athlete is campaigning to raise awareness of the twin problems of poor body image and eating disorders.

"After I retired from swimming I began my Join the Revolution campaign on social media," she said.

"I've got thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"As well, I do a lot of motivational speaking around Australia in schools, so I get a lot of followers that way."

Ms Smith has just returned from a holiday in the United States where she made some contacts.

"It's looking positive and I might be able to make an impact there," she said.

As the campaign has grown, Ms Smith has begun to work with The Butterfly Foundation, which is promoting Body Image Week, which begins today.

"It does a great job shedding light on the issues of bad body images," Ms Smith said.

"It's also helped give me a bigger voice to speak out about the things I want to talk about to fight the problem."

Bulimia destroyed swim career

BATTLES with eating disorders cost swimmer Jessica Smith her career as a paralympian.

After competing at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens the former Grafton girl looked on track for a long career in the pool, but by 2007 it was all over.

"It destroyed my swimming career; that's one of the points I make in my talks," Ms Smith said.

"You can't keep training and competing if you're sabotaging your efforts with an eating disorder."

Ms Smith said she still loved to swim and hit the pool regularly to keep fit.

"It still helps me keep fit and stay on track in the recovery phase of getting over my disorder," she said.

"So swimming still is a big part of my life, but not the focus it once was for me."



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