Thanks to the ‘right approach’ from her boyfriend, one girl was able to battle back from anorexic to live a healthy life as a bodybuilder.
She now trains for four or five days per week, is a ‘much more positive’ person and learned that ‘food is fuel’ as opposed to being a reward or punishment.
At her lowest weight (7st 1lb, or 45kg) she was a UK size two. Danielle is now a much healthier 9st 5lbs (60kg) and a UK size eight.
A lot of people in my life, who I love, came to me and told me I was too thin, that I needed to gain weight, that I needed to stop exercising. But I was never willing to listen to any of them.
The only person that was able to get through to me was my partner at the time. He approached me in the right way, it wasn’t an attack, it didn’t make me feel defensive or protective of my eating disorder.
He just came into our bedroom one night while I was studying, left me with a bowl of pasta and I, of course, told him I wasn’t hungry. He said OK and just left the bowl there.
Yet, when he returned, the bowl of pasta had been eaten, but instead of making her feel guilty about it he sat next to Danielle and told her ‘this has to stop’.
I just started crying because I knew he was right and it was a huge reality check,” Danielle added. “Also, when I started weightlifting, I realised I wasn’t ever going to be able to get strong and grow muscles without eating more food.
After watching many female bodybuilding blogs and reading blogs, Danielle learned how to fuel her body properly.
The obsession came when Danielle put on the traditional ‘freshman 15’ – the number of pounds put on my students in their first year of university.
That, plus two part-time jobs and degree work saw Danielle become overstressed and overworked.
It felt like my eating disorder was the only thing in my life I could control.
I knew if I ate less, ran more I’d lose weight and that consistency and those results were something I could count on in my crazy busy life at the time.
The most difficult part if getting rid of the ‘eating disorder voice’ that continues to tell you all the way through recovery… that you shouldn’t do it, Telling that voice to shut up is the hardest thing ever because it’s such a loud, powerful voice in your head that overpowers all other thoughts
Danielle described how she felt ‘delicate and tiny and beautiful’ but later realised that she was anything but learning to bodybuild showed that calories are important – by dealing with this, the body can do amazing things.
Danielle is now on a mission to help others inspire themselves and learn to self-love.
My advice is to forgive yourself. It’s OK to forgive. You forgive other people for hurting you, it’s OK to forgive yourself too. And then once you can finally forgive yourself, the great battle of learning to love yourself begins.
Danielle says that everyone ‘deserves’ to love themselves.
Hope her story inspire others to come out with flying colours.