As a child I was always conscious of my weight. I was healthy and active but loved food and was naturally a bigger build, which created a lot of anxiety around body image from a early age.
I tried everything to loose weight, some heathy but the majority was fuelled by looking a certain way rather than feeling good. I developed bulimia, along with binge eating and ended up putting on more weight than I was to begin with. Fast forward two years and I was determined to do it for the right reasons, I exercised regularly and cut out meat and dairy from my diet and I started to see results. I didn’t realise at the time but the restrictive eating and intense exercise became obsessive and I couldn’t see the impact it was having on my physical and mental health. With support of people around me, I’m trying to sustainably gaining weight again (something I never thought I’d find myself doing) and reversing the negative stigma I have around food.
Eating disorders aren’t discriminative of age, gender or background. It's an irrational, but very real feeling that with awareness and a shift in a perception of body image and diet culture, can be overcome. What we see and engage with day-to-day plays a fundamental role in our perception of what we think we deserve and how we think we should look, which is partly why around 1.25 million people in the UK are currently suffering from a form of eating disorder. I only heard about the work of Beat towards the end of my journey but I hope by raising money it enable them to reach out to those who need the support and treatment, and prevent as many people from ever seeing food as something that shouldn’t be enjoyed.