I beat anorexia – Did you suffer with anorexia? How did you start your road to recovery? Are you now following your dream career? Perhaps you’ve even become a model? Do you have pictures which show how thin you were, and how much healthier you look now? Would you like to share your story to help raise awareness?
Price guide – £300 – £1000
I helped my boyfriend/ husband overcome anorexia – Did your partner suffer with an eating disorder? Did you help him overcome it? How? Would you both like to share your story to help raise awareness? We will need pictures to show how thin he became and pictures of him now to show how much he’s recovered
Price guide – £400 – £2000
New love saved me from anorexia! – Did you suffer with severe anorexia? Were you at your wits end? Or were you in denial about your condition? Did it take a new man to help you realise you needed help? How did he turn your life around? We will need strong pictures to show how thin you were and pics of you and your new partner now to show how far you have come
Price guide –£300 – £1600
My best friend/ sister/ mum died from anorexia – Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one and raise awareness in their memory? Did they suffer with an eating disorder and were unable to beat it? We can promote any charity which may have supported them as well as raise awareness of anorexia and other eating disorders to help and inspire others. You will also be able to go through the article before it goes to print to ensure you are happy with it
Price guide – £600 – £2000
Christmas dinner saved my life! – Did you suffer from an eating disorder? Perhaps you were anorexic? Was there something special about Christmas which turned your life around and got you on the path to recovery?
Price guide – £300 – £1000
Unwrapping the bar of chocolate, I broke off a large chunk and pushed it into my mouth. Before I knew it I’d demolished the whole bar. Shrugging, I simply threw away the shiny foil packet – and started on another.
I felt the sugar coursing through my body and felt good. But once the binge was over, and I looked around at the pile of empty wrappers, I felt ashamed.
But food was the only thing that helped. After being sexually abused when I was younger, I was still struggling to escape the horrific memories.
Somehow, eating food until I was sick made me feel better. It made me feel numb, and I would do anything to silence the disturbing memories playing round and round, in a loop in my mind.
Mum encouraged me to eat and seemed pleased that I had such a healthy appetite. “I’ve made you your favourite,” she’d say, plating up a large helping of creamy lasagne.
I wolfed the huge portion down greedily – but what mum didn’t know, was what I did next, to purge myself of the guilt.
“Thanks mum,” I smiled, putting my plate in the washing-up bowl. “That was delicious.”
Then I quietly took myself upstairs, locked myself in the bathroom – and threw it all up. It was a routine I’d been repeating for some time and I’d noticed the bingeing sessions were taking their their toll on my body.
By age 17 I was 14 stone and with a BMI of 31.6 I was officially classed as obese. Looking in the mirror, I would burst into tears at the sight of my wobbly reflection. All I could see was my flabby tummy and huge thighs.
The abuse was over, but although I’d gone to police, there was nothing they could do. My abuser had gotten away with it, and I was left feeling completely helpless.
I hadn’t chosen to be abused, and I reasoned that dieting would give me back the control I so desperately craved.
I dreamed of being thin, like models in magazines and decided I’d do anything to slim down. Convinced that losing weight would make things better and help me cope, I began an extreme diet in April 2007.
I consuming just 100 calories a day. I spent hours obsessively checking how many calories was in what I ate. Then I read about the latest craze – the baby food diet, followed by Jennifer Aniston.
Maybe this is the answer, I told myself as I headed for the shops.
Finding myself in the baby department, I was amazed. Each jar of pureed fruit or vegetables contained between 40 and 100 calories. I ate just one jar day, and soon the weight began falling off.
Friends and family were quick to compliment me, and I enjoyed the attention. I could feel my bones protruding through my skin and instead of being disgusted I was excited.
It spurred me on, and I quickly forgot what normal food was like. The baby food all tasted the same, but I didn’t care – I just wanted to be skinny.
Soon though, friends’ compliments turned to concern, and they begged me to stop the diet. Walking around college I would attract strangers’ stares as my clothes failed to conceal the bones underneath.
After six months Mum noticed something was wrong and she became suspicious of my eating habits.
“What happened to my hungry girl?” she said, pushing a big helping of shepherds pie towards me. I pushed it away, and refused to eat.
“I’m not hungry,” I said. But Mum was having none of it. I’d always wolfed down her home-cooked meals, it didn’t stack up.
She forced me to clear my plate, but later that evening I went to the toilet and vomited it back up. Other times, when she wasn’t looking, I’d stuff food up my sleeves and throw it away upstairs.
Keen to catalogue my extreme diet, I photographed myself nearly every day, and felt a rush seeing the bones sticking out of my body.
I tried hiding my fragile frame in baggy clothes, but my bony wrists and gaunt face revealed the truth.
By October 2007 I’d given up hiding it, and even ate baby food in front of Mum and Dad.
“Try a few vegetables,” Mum pleaded. But I refused, and left the table. From my bedroom upstairs, I could hear Mum crying. It made me feel guilty, but I couldn’t help it. I was obsessed.
The following month, in November 2007, Mum took me to the doctors, who weighed me. I was just 4st 11lbs.
“You have anorexia nervosa,” said the doctor, matter-of-factly. “You need specialist help.”
Mum burst into tears and I just sat there in silence. I didn’t want help, because I knew that meant eating. But they didn’t listen and that Christmas, I was sectioned.
I had to be force-fed through a tube, and doctors had to restrain me as I fought back. I hated the thought of any food going into my body.
For the next three years I was in and out of hospital. Even there, I learnt new tricks to lose weight, like hiding food and taking diet pills.
Then, in November 2010 I collapsed in the street. In hospital the doctors told me I’d had a heart attack. I was only 20-years-old.
Finally, what I was doing to my body really hit home. I was shocked and for the first time I was confronted with the reality that I was killing myself.
I finally realised I didn’t want to die.
“I want to get better,” I told Mum, and agreed to be readmitted to hospital. There I was put on a strict 1000 calorie a day eating plan and my weight slowly crept up.
In April last year, weighing eight-and-a-half stone, I was discharged. I destroyed my scales and went out with friends to celebrate for the first time in years.
Now, I’m at university studying art, and I’m in a long-term relationship. I don’t know if my fertility has been affected, but my body will never be the same again.
I take 12 tablets a day because my stomach has been so badly damaged. Every day will be a struggle but I’m confident that I’ll maintain my healthy weight.
I went from obese to anorexic in well under a year – but now I’m determined to beat my body issues for good.