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Fighting Every Single Day: Leanne's Recovery Story


The following article was written exclusively for by Leanne, who is in recovery from an eating disorder.

My life changed forever a few years ago in summer of 2009, when I joined a gym to help me lose weight. I had been quite overweight since elementary school. I had no idea what calories were, what was good to eat and what was bad. Hiring a personal trainer seemed like the right thing to do – someone to help me get on the right track.

Pulling the Trigger

Everything started out normally enough, until I started to become obsessed with losing weight. If I didn't lose a couple pounds a week, my trainer wanted me to write a food journal to see where I was going wrong. "Wrong:" that was my trigger. I felt being assigned the food journal meant I was failing. It was all my fault.

So, not too long after that, I started going to the gym at the crack of dawn. I’d work out for two hours a day, twice a day, or longer. First I cut out fast food, then sweets, and pretty much eating altogether. I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time. I would say I burned close to 1,000 calories a day.

Getting Medical Help

My mom took me to the doctor, and he couldn't even find a pulse. A few days later, I was admitted to hospital because of my very low blood sugar and heart rate. When I was released, I had to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours.

My life was nothing but tests at this point – blood tests, an EKG, etc. We had no help at all during these very difficult years. An ED program at another hospital turned me away because I wasn't sick enough. Even two journalists who wanted an interview never got back to me.

I was too weak to climb stairs, even to lift my own body off the couch. My hair was so malnourished (along with everything else inside my body) that I had to use baby shampoo. I wore children's clothes because a size zero was way too big on me. I felt I couldn't do anything. I just stayed in bed all day long, refusing to eat a thing. I wanted to give up and die.

I think I started to eat more when my grandma was diagnosed with cancer. That made her so happy. It made everyone happy to see me eating again. But that happiness was short lived because I started to purge and slipped into a very deep depression.

Finding a Way Out

I am fighting every single day. I wish to be healthy and make everyone proud. I want to be around for my family, whom I treasure very much. They are my inspiration to live. I just know my grandma, who died in July of 2012, would be proud.

Today, I started a page on Facebook called 'Recovery of Anorexia.' I post encouraging photos and words of wisdom whenever I can. I let others know that they can talk to me or ask questions anytime! I pray someday I will be fully recovered.