Everyone knows someone who’s battled an eating disorder. Whether they are super models, Kacie B from this season of the Bachelor or even a close friend or family member, this disorder is common.
Eating Disorders can be a very touchy topic, and are not easily discussed. But one of UVU’s own decided to open up and share her story of her battle with anorexia and bulimia. She said she wishes to remain anonymous.
“It’s still too fresh, and I’m not quite ready for my name to be out there yet,” she said.
She suffered from Anorexia for two years starting in her sophomore year of high school, and then began to battle bulimia the end of her senior year until she reached full recovery this January during her freshman year at UVU.
When asked how she got to the point of having an eating disorder, she said there were external pressures.
“Its never just one thing. A huge part was my mom… she has a very stern image of what she thinks people should look like,” she said. “I cheered competitively, but I’m really tall to be a flyer, so they told me if I was going to fly, I’d have to lose weight. I kind of took that to the extreme.”
She also felt internal pressures as a teenager in high school.
“I always had a negative self body image, and I just thought for some reason that if I was skinnier and if I looked cuter in clothes, that I would have more friends, more people would like me and I’d be a better cheerleader. It can start with one thing, but once you’re in that mind set, everything around you affects it,” she said.
After her mom tricked her into going to an EDA (Eating Disorder Anonymous) meeting, she finally consented to getting the help she needed. She was an inpatient at the center for change for a few months and then did counseling and had a dietician.
“When I was suffering with anorexia, I denied it all the time. I never wanted help. I just wanted to stay that thin. My biggest fear was if I got help I was going to gain all the weight back, plus some. That is when I got into the whole bulimic stage. I wish I could go back and get help right away.”
She said her biggest regret was that she set a bad example for the other girls she knew, including her younger sister. She noticed that girls tried to follow in her footsteps, until they saw her go from a talented and strong cheerleader at 5’6 and 135 lbs. to an unhealthy 85 lbs, ending her high school cheerleading career.
The thing she admits helped her the most was the constant support group she had in her teachers at school, her sister, her friends and even the baseball coach who once said to her “guys don’t like skinny girls,” then winked and walked away. She said she always remembers that, and admits it has helped her.
She had one friend in particular that helped the most while she was in her bulimic stage. Her friend would always say to her, “You deserve better than this, you deserve to be happy. Just look at what you really want in life and stop thinking about what everybody else wants you to do.”
Once she did as her good friend suggested, she realized she didn’t even want to cheer in college, she wanted to do so many other things. All of a sudden she wanted to eat because she wanted to have the energy to do those things.
After a long hard three years, she is now fully recovered, confident and loves participating in Yoga, running half marathons and competing in Cross Fit. All because she decided to take control of her life and make the changes needed in order to get her health under control again.
By Chelsea Hunter