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How One Australian Woman’s Journey Is Changing The Way We View Eating Disorders, For Good

'A Peace Of Nourishment', presented by Rebecca Gibney, is a must-see

From the outside, Kylie van der Veer’s life was seemingly perfect. She was a well put together woman with happy relationships and a steady job, but behind closed doors the bubbly and vivacious Kylie faced an internal struggle that only she knew about, and unfortunately, another 1 in 10 Australians face the same battle. 

“I’ve done enormous amounts of damage to my body that, walking down the street I look completely normal, but there’s a lot of stuff I have to deal with for the rest of my life because of the decisions that I made,” the 42-year-old says. 

Van der Veer falls among the ten per cent of the population that suffers an eating disorder, and among the three quarters who don’t seek effective treatment. 

From the age of 15, Kylie began to starve herself to, in her own words, feel worthy and began bingeing to feel nothing at all. Eventually, twenty years later everything began to take its toll. In 2012, after binge-eating so heavily, Kylie ended up in an emergency room with a hernia having split the lining of her stomach. Just three days after leaving hospital, Kylie’s cycle began again. 

“I tried to get help numerous times but never really found the support that I needed,” Kylie shares. “I think at the time I wasn’t really ready to get well, you need to be ready to get well.” 

“It’s an absolute never-ending cycle,” she adds. 

Kylie van der Veer seeks treatment on ‘A Peace Of Nourishment’ (Credit: ABC)

With one of the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and no clear pathway to recovery Kylie set out on a recovery journey, with the help of her partner Annie, that would not only help her overcome her own illness but help others too. 

A Peace Of Nourishmentpresented by Rebecca Gibney, is an intimate look at Kylie’s road to recovery over a four year period. In the two-part series and under the guidance of Claire Middleton OAM, the founder of the Butterfly Foundation, Kylie explores a variety of treatment options, consults with leading experts, therapists, authors and advocates, in hopes that others will use it as a resource for themselves.  

Rebecca . Gibney
Rebecca Gibney shares her own mental health battle on ‘A Peace Of Nourishment’ (Credit: ABC)

While the documentary gives insight into what it’s like to overcome an eating disorder, it also delves into the lives of those that have loved ones affected. Kylie’s partner Annie was not only the one who encouraged her to seek treatment but also helped in her journaling process that eventually led to A Peace Of Nourishment. 

For carers, Kylie says, it’s most important to take care of yourself. “Carers, firstly, need look after themselves and make sure they stay really strong and knowing that the person that they’re working with is very vulnerable. We just need to know that you’re there and that if we need you and want to open up to you that you’re there to support us.” 

As for Kylie’s desire to share her four-year-long journey with the world? To provide an optimistic resource for others suffering from mental illness. 

“The main thing, because it is such an isolating illness, is that people need to know they’re not alone,” Kylie says of the documentary. “That there are other people out there and there are people who have gotten well from this. I was really hoping to reduce the stigma not just with eating disorders but with mental health.” 

A Peace Of Nourishment will also be shown in schools, to help young people recognise early signs of illness and how to seek help. 

You can watch ABC’s Compas episode, A Peace Of Nourishment, on ABC iview. For more resources from Kylie visit here

If you, or anyone you know is experiencing an eating disorder or body image concerns, you can call the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (ED HOPE) or visit

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