Fighting an eating disorder is never as easy as it seems. To most of us, eating is just a natural process, but for others, it takes a tremendous amount of motivation and work to do it.
These 15 inspiring pictures show great people who have managed to win the battle against their eating disorders and now look better than ever.
Jo Thompson was diagnosed with anxiety and an eating disorder at 11. At 17, she was given only 48 hours more to live. However, she applied for and got a job at Mc Donald’s, thinking it would encourage her to eat more. There, she fell in love with her manager, who gave her a lot of emotional support. Now, they are having a happy family, including 2 children, is spite of fears that she would be infertile because of the disorder.
Lauren Bailey had anorexia, a disorder she developed as a teenager, and she used to weigh 50 pounds. She would walk up to 12 hours/day not to gain weight. She spent a considerable amount in hospital, so she decided to do something about it. Now, she is a very healthy person.
This Reddit user had to live with an eating disorder, because she felt this was the only area of her life which she could have complete control over. However, now she is eating the necessary amount of food her body requires and the emotional support of her boyfriend (current fiance) helped her a lot.
Hariett Smith had been fighting an eating disorder for years when she was told she only had weeks to live. At that point, she decided to change something. She weighed up to 70 pounds. Nows, she is weighing 120 pounds and she is very fond of running.
She is Antonia Eriksson and her first picture on Instagram was in a hospital room, followed by the announcement that she was there because of anorexia. Soon her account turned into a diary about her battle against the disorder. Now, she is far more better and she does not hesitate to counsel other people on what foods to eat and what exercises to do.
She is Meg and she says that she went through her hardest period in high-school, when she told her parents about her eating disorder. They went together to a psychiatrist and they were told she would have to spend the next year in hospital. Instead of that, she chose to follow a diet planned by a dietitian and go to therapy. When her body allowed it, she took up lifting weights. It gave her a sense of motivation and she has been doing it for 6 years.
Hayley Wilde had been suffering from anorexia for years and she had been hospitalized several times before being told she would only live 10 days more, after a dramatic drop in weight. Her mother helped her change her eating habits and Hayley also managed to have a baby boy after switching to a better lifestyle.
Matthew Booth’s way to cope with stress at school became anorexia. He got so bad that one day his heart stopped. Then he realized how badly that had hurt his mother, so he became very motivated to fight and win against the disorder. He has gained weight in time and he has also been able to lift weights for muscle growth.
Brittany used to be 15 pounds underweight, but now she is a “quirky, plus-sized ED survivor”. She also is an eating disorder recovery advocate.
Kate Puncher had anorexia for fear of being dumped by a boyfriend who did not want her to gain any more weight. Fortunately, she broke up with him and eliminated his negative influence. Her new partner bought her a wedding dress two sizes larger for determining her to gain weight. Willing to marry the man she loved, she accepted the challenge and it did her a lot of good. The couple had a daughter later on.
Heather Franks was so skinny, that doctors told her she would have to be internalized. However, one trip to Disney World changed her outlook on life. She said she was sitting at the restaurant when she realized that no one there knew her or her eating struggles, so she ate a slice of pizza. She loved it and back home she started eating normally and gaining weight.
Morgan has a fast metabolism and she has always been the slim type, but when she realized she was weighing 113 pounds only, she admitted she had a problem. Her boyfriend started worrying for her too, so she tried to do anything that stood in her power to overcome anorexia step by step. Now, she is living on a balanced diet and exercise.
She had 103 pounds, which was way too little for someone 5’7″ high. However, she gained 25 pounds in the next 16 months and her smile in the second picture is very suggestive for her better state of mind and general health.
Rachel Johnston once had only 63 pounds. She claims she had developed anorexia because of her obsession to look like models and celebrities appearing on magazine covers, which already were photoshopped. Nowadays, she and her mom are fighting against magazines’ and advertisers’ policies of digitally modifying the bodies of their models, because this can dramatically influence girls’ self-image.
Reddit user flyingsqueak works as a trapeze artist, but her anorexia was a drawback in her career. Sometimes she would feel so sick that she had to miss practice. Because she wanted to achieve her fullest potential, she gained weight and everything in her life improved.
These pictures are the proof that beating an eating disorder is possible. Talking about the problem with your loved ones is crucial, and remember, the power is all in your mind. (h/t: distractify)