In the Spotlight: Anorexia
For my latest Blog I’ve decided to put Anorexia in the Spotlight because during my time working within Gyms, I have come across many people who have suffered from this mental illness. Most recently I have a client who has suffered from Anorexia and after many years of anguish, she has now come through it and feels much more positive about her future.
Jess recently joined the Gym and wanted to take up the Personal Training offer, mainly to help her with motivation. After an initial consultation, it started to become clear as to what journey Jess had been on in recent years. It sounded all to familiar with what I’d heard before from other clients, recovering from Anorexia.
Jess has a story to tell and I wanted to share it with you, so I asked Jess to put together a few words which would explain some of the issues she has had in recent years:
“When Matt said he would like to include my story within the Clarence Park Health Suite Blog I was very excited, but I had no idea how to start! So here goes… When I was 16 years old (just over 4 years ago) I was diagnosed with the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa. This followed a very tough few months of constant panic attacks and crippling anxiety.
My eating disorder was absolutely crippling, not only effecting my relationship with food but with my body and exercise. Everything to do with these things became obsessive. I was constantly weighing myself, checking the calorie content of every food I ate and exercising excessively in secret. Due to my rapid weight loss and deterioration with my Mental Health I was sectioned and admitted into a Psychiatric Ward for young people with eating disorders. I was on the ward for 8 months. During these 8 months I should have sat my GCSEs but as I had to leave school (and the resources we had in the ward school were very limited) I agreed with my Health Team to only sit 4 of them. Despite hardly no revision, because of low concentration levels (all I could think about was how much I hated my body and how much I was dreading my next meal) I passed all 4 with amazing grades.
Even though exercise was part of my problem, it really helped me in my recovery. I was put on a strict exercise regime which first started with Strengthening & Conditioning to help me regain the muscle I lost during malnutrition. We then moved on to activities such as Football and Hockey, which made me feel physically great but also really boosted and lifted my Mental Health.
Since being discharged from the hospital I have maintained a good relationship with food, however my relationship with my body has continued to be the main problem. Since my eating disorder admission, I have had two Psychiatric admissions due to Psychotic episodes. Since this, I have really struggled with loud, busy environments and have a huge problem with thinking other people are judging me. I think therefore, even though I want to help build my body confidence, I have swapped and changed or avoided gyms completely. That said, on my first visit to Clarence Park Health Suite I felt such ease. It is such a welcoming and non-threatening environment. Having the support from the team at Clarence Park Health Suite really helps me to feel comfortable and confident when exercising and I really think now that I'm on the road to finally loving myself and my body.”
· 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by eating disorders
· Most common in girls and first signs are usually identified at around 16 years old
· 8% of women will suffer from Bulimia at some stage of their life
· Bulimia mainly effects women between 16 and 40 years of age
· Recent studies suggest 25% of people suffering from an eating disorder are Male
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