real life

As Roxy Jacenko was wasting away, her Instagram followers were lapping it up and applauding.

If you are struggling with body image or disordered eating, help is available via The Butterfly Foundation Support Line. Call 1800 33 4673.

Pointing her phone camera toward the mirror, Roxy Jacenko would angle her hips and adjust her active wear, making sure her flat stomach was fully visible for the post. The PR entrepreneur’s Instagram followers lapped it up.



“What a body!”


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@skinsglobal Thursday’s

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Doubling up sessions with @hollyasser at @f45_training_doublebay before the 8 week challenge kicks off on 24 July ????????

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Comments like these, along with the thousands of likes, gave the mother-of-two “a kick”. But it wasn’t enough. Because the truth behind the ‘fitspo’ posts from early 2017 was that she was struggling. Deeply.

“Out of control is an understatement,” Roxy told Mamamia‘s No Filter podcast. “I mean, anyone who looks at my Instagram from two years ago and sees a 49 kilo human… like, it’s not normal. I didn’t eat, I was taking drugs, I was drinking myself into a stupor.”

Jacenko would go to a restaurant with friends and order nothing but caprioskas. She would publicly brag about subsisting on a diet of mini tuna sushi rolls.

“I look back now and I’m embarrassed,” she said. “I thought it was an achievement. It wasn’t an achievement, it was sick in the head.

“But you know, it was applauded.”

The Sweaty Betty PR founder was, at that time, on the brink of a mental health crisis. She’d been treated for breast cancer in July 2016, a diagnosis came just three weeks after her investment banker husband, Oliver Curtis, was jailed for insider trading.

In the months that followed, Jacenko found herself contending with Oliver’s betrayal, being a single mother, her booming business, the scrutiny, survival. She became obsessed with diet, with her weight; one thing she could control in an otherwise chaotic life.


But on a Saturday afternoon in 2017, another day spent at the office, it all came undone.

Watch Roxy on No Filter… (Post continues below.)

Video by Mamamia

“I was driving home along New South Head Road [in Sydney’s eastern suburbs],” she said. “The children were at home with baby sitter, and I passed by the Rose Bay Marina and I remember ringing my mum – she was in Israel – and I said to her, ‘I’m having a nervous breakdown.

“It was a feeling like I’ve never experienced in my life.”

Jacenko phoned her doctor, and asked him to admit her to a clinic; “He said to me, ‘I don’t want to admit you to a clinic because you won’t come out.'”

Instead, with the help of medication and therapy, Jacenko realised what needed to be done to reclaim control over her health, her life.

“I needed to eat. I needed to clean up my lifestyle. I needed to put a focus back onto what was important,” she said.

“Because I’m lucky. Very lucky.”

To hear more from Roxy, including what happened when her husband came home from prison, you can listen to her full interview with Mia Freeman above or subscribe to No Filter in you favourite podcast app.

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Butterfly Foundation: 1800 33 4673.