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Dublin: 7°C Monday 17 January 2022

Woman walks 364k in a bikini to raise awareness of eating disorders

There are 200,000 people in Ireland registered with eating disorders.

Image: An Trek Fada via Bodywhys

A WOMAN WHO has spent the last 12 days walking from Belfast to Wexford to raise awareness of eating disorders will arrive at Wexford Bridge today.

Bettie Marie Burger Smit is walking the 364 kilometre trek in a bikini and psychedelic shorts to highlight the work of Bodywhys.ie, the eating disorder charity of Ireland.

The hotel manager started the walk, officially known as ‘An Trek Fada’, on bank holiday Monday 5 May and today she will finally finish.

Bettie Marie said:

As a 5ft 11, distinctly pear shaped woman, I have probably suffered from self-consciousness all my life.

“To be different is a huge burden we carry, and it is only if you are surrounded by people that celebrate your differences that you learn to like yourself for who you are, rather than what you look like”.

Mean Streak

Bettie Marie says “many will say that eating disorders is a first world problem and it probably is” but she also added that “that does not take away from the incredible debility this strikes some people with.”

There are 200,000 people registered with eating disorders in Ireland.

Through the internet and sites like ask.fm, there is a mean, superficial streak that has entered in our young people’s lives that we never had to deal with and as superficial as it might seem to us it’s very real when differences are highlighted on social media and bullying sites like that.

Bettie Marie undertook this challenge to highlight this social problem and raise awareness and valuable funds for the BodyWhys Charity.

She said “It’s been an extraordinary journey down the beautiful East Coast of Ireland, reminding me how very beautiful this country is.

Marie Source: An Trek Fade via Facebook

This has been a journey as much of self discovery as what I as an individual can do to make a small difference to someone.

Bettie Marie walked an average of 28km per day and in true Irish style, it wasn’t always dry but she found a way to overcome the weather…even in a bikini.

rain coat Source: An Trek Fada via Facebook

The weather has been a little difficult at times but when it rains I have taken to wearing a transparent rain mac over my bikini!

Bettie Marie has received support from people around the country on her trek.

One farmer even decorated his tractor to show his support yesterday.


Bettie Marie will arrive at Wexford Bridge at 3:30 today.

To donate click here, almost €2,000 has been raised so far.

You can reach BodyWhys Ireland at www.bodywhys.ie or phone their helpline at 1890 200 444.

And you can check out Bettie Marie’s blog at bettieboep.com.

Read: Men being treated for eating disorders up 67% in the last five years>
Read: Facebook leads to ‘negative feelings’ and poor body image – study>
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