In National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Personal Assistant and wellbeing champ Lauren tells us about living with an eating disorder, the coping strategies she’s put in place and breaking the stigma of a lesser spoken of mental health challenge.
I want to highlight this condition that doesn’t get the attention it deserves
I find that this is a condition that’s very rarely mentioned when talking about mental health issues. So as this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I thought I would write a few words around the battle I’ve had over the years with my eating disorder.
Having an eating disorder affected me both physically and mentally
At my heaviest, I weighed just over 15 stone and was a size 22. When I was 21, I lost a considerable amount of weight by following a diet plan and hit my goal of 10 stone. My head kept telling me “lose a bit more” and “you’ll look amazing if you shed a few more pounds”. I battled with both Anorexia and Bulimia for well over 10 years. At my lowest point, I weighed just over eight stone and wouldn’t allow myself to eat and/or digest food for days.
I understand that this is something I am going to have to live with
I felt that I couldn’t talk to anyone about my issues and that people would probably react badly to what I was doing. I think that finally acknowledging what I was doing to myself wasn’t healthy and would cause long term damage is what pulled me out the other side. I will always battle with that demon in my head, but I now have ways to deal with her!
You need to find the right support to meet your individual needs
Eating disorders are as much a of mental health issue as depression and anxiety. I have found that regular exercise and healthy eating has given me a healthy mind. If anyone feels that they need support, organisations such as Mind, Beat Eating Disorders and National Centre for Eating Disorders provide some great support on their websites.
Find out more about our wellbeing programme here.