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The Running for Real Podcast

Dec 25, 2020

Hope Virgo embodies true Running for Real spirit. She demonstrates the courage of speaking the truth and being honest with oneself, especially through challenges. Hope has written two books sharing about recovery from eating disorders, mental health campaigner helping young people and employers, and is an advocate for people with eating disorders. In this episode, Hope shares with Tina her story of going through years of anorexia and her journey of recovery, with hopes to shed light on this issue that many people are battling alone. 
Hope shares that there are so much shame and guilt around anorexia or any eating disorder, that it’s difficult for people to accept they have a problem and seek help. She was actually an outpatient at a hospital for 6 months before turning into an inpatient at the hospital and lived there for one year. Then came the daily journey of choosing recovery and choosing to move forward with it every day. 

Take Aways

  1.  Embrace how you’re feeling on a day to day basis. Don’t distract yourself from your emotions. It’s braver to say you’re having a hard time, rather than bottling it up.
  2. Once you start showing vulnerability, it helps pave the way for others to feel more comfortable showing vulnerability. 
  3. Have a conversation with someone who’s struggling and ask them what’s going on and how you can support them. 
  4. In America, only 6% of people with eating disorders are actually underweight. While eating disorders are there, they might not be physically apparent but are very much there mentally. 
  5. Hope believes in the power of community to help people through their mental health and eating disorders rather than being institutionalized. 
  6. Be proactive. Have people who help you stay accountable, support networks, and a plan in place.
  7. If you know of someone who’s struggling, do other activities with them that are not related to food or going out to eat.


  • “Eating disorders are a mental health issue, not a physical illness.” —Hope Virgo
  • “People with eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. They can be people of all different races and backgrounds. 25% of cases are actually male. —Hope Virgo
  • “We all have good days and bad days and throughout life, we work our ways up and down that spectrum. It’s about replacing those unhealthy coping mechanisms (whether through food or exercise), and replacing them with healthy things that work (like journaling or going for a walk).” —Hope Virgo


Hope's Website
 Hope's Instagram
#Dumpthescales Campaign 
Hope’s favourite places to go for Support: 
  1. The Hub of Hope (and not just because it has my name!) – it provides a quick way to pull up a list of services in your area. It also has a crisis text message scheme just in case you need someone to talk to
  2. Student Space: Set up by Student Minds has a place for finding support, a place to reach out for support, and blogs to read
  3. The Mix: One of the best sites I have come across! It offers online support, as well as a heap of information. It is mainly for under 25 year olds but there is a lot of great stuff on there!
Eating Disorder Help 
  1. BEAT: BEAT: Helpline: 0808 801 0677 Student line: 0808 801 0811 Youth line: 0808 801 0711 - BEAT provides online support and phone support 
  2. Anorexia Bulimia Care: another amazing safe place for you to go. And if you are over 18 they also offer a be-friending scheme 
  3. First Steps ED: A fantastic charity that focuses massively on early intervention, giving you a space to come and speak out up.  
  4. NEDA  : (US Based) – this organization has some brilliant blogs as well as a crisis text messenger service and helpline  

Support for Families / Carers  

  1. FEAST is for parents and carers of those struggling. But again a really valuable space to go for support and to read blogs
  2. YoungMinds: Parent helpline 08088025544 
University support 
  1. Student Minds: A huge hub of knowledge – have a look at their blogs and their support sections


Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Metpro and Momentous for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.


I am very pleased to have MetPro as a sponsor for the Running 4 Real podcast. As before they were a great sponsor but not everyone could afford their services, and now they have been working very hard on new technology that can be made for anyone. I’m excited to share MetPro’s newest addition––The MetPro Platform, an app that allows you to experience the same science and tailored strategy that their experts use. 

This isn’t a food logging tool or workout app, the MetPro Platform allows you to start ​tracking​,analyzing​, and ​learning​ what your metabolism responds to best. 

Sign up today​ and receive a ​14-day FREE trial!​ ​Click here​ to take advantage of this special offer!

Go here to get 14 days free on the app!


Momentous is having a great giveaway right now but it's not what you are thinking. They are choosing 5 people who will post a photo of themselves on Instagram on how they are doing self care. And those 5 people will win $1000 to be donated to a charity of your choice AND a 1 year supply of a Momentous product of your choice. All you need to do is tag @LiveMomentous and use #progressnotperfection and post the photo anytime before January 1, 2021. AND if you could tag me in there as well that would be great.

 Also you can go here and use code TINA for 20% off any product as Momentous.


The founders, Pernell & Rod, created BLK & Bold with a desire to make purpose popular. They welcome the obligation to equip young people with tools to live their best lives and overcome familiar unfortunate circumstances by turning a daily ritual, enjoying a cup of coffee & tea, into a means of giving back. BLK & Bold pledges 5% of its profits to initiatives aligned to sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development, and eradicating youth homelessness.

Check them out here to learn more about this amazing company.


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Thank you to Hope, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.