U.K. Bride Battles Two Eating Disorders in Ongoing Struggle with Weight and Body Image
The recent wedding of 22 year old Malissa Jones to her fiancé Chris Rowbottom has been described as an emotional triumph for the young U.K. woman who has battled two eating disorders, and continues to struggle with anorexia.
Malissa herself reportedly credits her new husband with providing vital support during her battle with anorexia following gastric bypass surgery.
History of extreme weight gain as a child
According to a report in the Mirror News, Malissa admits to having experienced lifelong challenges with her weight. Her whole family was predisposed to being overweight, and Malissa often used food as a way to comfort herself.
By the time Malissa was five years old, she weighed 56 pounds. She continued to gain weight as a teenager due to unhealthy eating habits, and began to suffer from serious health consequences as a result of her obesity. By the time Malissa was 17, she was consuming as many as 15,000 calories per day and weighed 476 pounds.
After unsuccessfully attempting to lose weight with diet pills and counseling, Malissa underwent gastric bypass surgery. The six hour operation appeared to be a success. At last Malissa was able to drop the pounds and rapidly lose the excess weight.
Trauma and body image issues trigger anorexia
However, Malissa notes that her self-esteem continued to be low, in part because she was unable to afford the cost of further surgeries to remove excess skin folds that developed since she lost weight. Although she met her husband-to-be during this difficult time, Malissa endured more heartbreak when she became critically ill with septicemia during a pregnancy. Although she survived after being in a coma for several weeks, she lost the baby.
Malissa was diagnosed with anorexia, following her illness, when she was still overcome with grief and trying to adapt to the emotional effects of the gastric bypass. She ate very little during this time, and continued to lose weight at an alarming rate. Unlike gastric band surgery, a gastric bypass is permanent, and Malissa struggled to take in enough nutrition.
Thanks to continued support from Chris, Malissa is slowly regaining her health. Although she suffered another devastating miscarriage, she remains confident about their future. Her story is a reminder of the complex nature of eating disorders, and the importance of addressing both the emotional and physical aspects of these challenging illnesses.
Malissa continues to see an eating disorder specialist in the U.K. in order to work on issues that contributed to her overeating and anorexia.
Source: Mirror News