In my teenage years I, like many others, became very aware of the way I looked. A couple of what should have been throwaway comments about my weight, stuck with me. When I was having problems with friends or felt unattractive, I blamed it on my weight.
Although I wasn’t overweight, I quickly became fixated on how much I weighed and what I was eating. In my head, all I needed to do was reach the ‘perfect weight’ and everything would be OK. I began to restrict what I was eating in a desperate attempt to lose weight. My self-hate quickly escalated, and I began to self-harm too.
I spent hours in bed because I was exhausted and soon my parents realised something was wrong. With their support, I began counselling – but didn’t feel ready to start ‘recovery’ just yet. What was so great at that time was being able to talk about something I had kept a secret from everyone for so long. My counsellor challenged my thinking and at times, it was difficult.
Later, when I felt ready to…