You can beat anorexia

Posted 17/12/2016

I am writing this blog to tell you that you can beat anorexia. I have. I can only talk about it freely now because I don’t feel like I know the person that I used to be anymore.

I fought a fairly short battle of three years, but it took me about two years to realise there was a problem. A problem bigger than I could ever have imagined.

My life consisted of excuses to avoid any situation that involved food. I had zero energy and was told that I shouldn’t walk anywhere I didn’t need to so I didn’t burn too many calories. I couldn’t walk up the stairs without getting out of breath. Before I tried to eat I would have anxiety attacks and get pains all over my body and would break down in tears every time I opened the fridge because I didn’t know what I could eat. I began to ‘label’ foods as safe foods. These foods I could eat and know I wouldn’t get fat. Every time I ate something I would look at my stomach in the mirror or fit my fingers around my thighs or arms to check I hadn’t gained weight.

My parents took my weighing scales off me, but when struggling with anorexia you find ways to measure weight loss and gain. I used to love the feeling of being hungry.

Now, you couldn’t believe how different my life is. I work full time as a radiotherapist, go to the gym and eat SO much (of the right stuff). I always try to eat healthily with the fear of relapse because I know how horrible it is to be in such a low and scary place. But if I want to eat cake or biscuits or pizza, I do and it feels so good.

I tried to beat anorexia several times and relapsed several times, but then one day I saw the look in my parents’ eyes and knew what I was doing was killing them as well as me.

I started eating small portions and often, trying to find out which foods I actually liked as opposed to foods I thought were safe foods. I stopped looking at myself in the mirror (apart from to do my makeup) and stopped measuring my legs with my fingers around them. I started to get a little round belly but began to have so much more energy. Food is fuel. Remember that. You need it to live. The more weight I put on the more I wanted to exercise. I set myself a goal weight that I could exercise at, and when I reached it (NOT before) I started doing bits of exercise, little and often. This kept my weight creeping up to a healthy weight because I had a goal.

Life is better now than I could ever imagined. My thoughts of depression, loneliness and pain are finally over. You can do it. Live the life that you deserve.

Contributed by Hayley