Perth woman Sophie Smith reveals how obsession with being healthy ruined her life –

Posted: March 1, 2020 at 4:44 am

without comments

A student has described how an obsessive healthy eating disorder known as orthorexia nearly ruined her life and warned that is it dangerously common.

Sophie Smith, 21, from Perth in Western Australia, recalled how her obsession with size began when was just 15, after she was weighed as part of a biannual fitness test in her physical education class in high school.

Feeling less confident as her weight was slightly higher than the other girls, British born Sophie who moved to Australia when she was 10 - said she began actively researching ways to lose weight and eat healthy.

The science and arts student said over the next few years she soon spiralled into a dangerous obsession with food and exercise and said that the stress and pressure of trying to be 100 per cent healthy all the time turned her into not a very nice person.

The young woman said it got to the point where her mood would determine on how much she weighed each morning while she also weighed most of her foods and tracked every single calorie.

She never ate any type of bad foods and even forced herself to work out every single morning, even when sick.

Sophie added that she became scared and anxious going on family holidays, and never enjoyed celebrating Christmas or birthdays, because she was so worried about gaining weight.

More on

And as she always avoided going to social events due to having no control over the food, it was difficult for her to form and maintain solid friendships or have any type of social life.

She said: Growing up, I always felt good about myself and had a positive relationship with food.

My obsession with being healthy started when I was about 15. I went to an all-girls private school and part of our fitness class was to be weighed.

I was scared of knowing the number on the scale during the fitness test and I knew everyone was probably comparing their weights. I felt alone, like I was the only girl gaining weight.

I was scared to go on family holidays because I wouldnt have control of the food or exercise.

Thats when I decided to start doing things about my weight. Id look up top tips about how to avoid getting fat and I made up a list of all these foods that were bad for me.

Id weigh myself every day and none of my family ever knew. It was very compulsive, and my mood depended on how much I weighed that day.

I told myself to get down to a certain weight. I wanted to be the lowest range of healthy as I could be on the BMI scale.

Id be very strict in following all the rules. Id have to exercise everyday even if I was sick.

Sophie said she would not go to social events and rearrange plan to avoid meeting at cafes and restaurants.

I was scared to go on family holidays because I wouldnt have control of the food or exercise. Id terrified the whole time that Id gain all this weight, she said.

It was really damaging to my life, but I just couldnt see it at the time.

At 16, Sophie was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis - inflammatory bowel disease - which she believes could have stemmed from her eating disorder and the amount of stress and pressure she put on herself to be healthy.

I think more people have orthorexia than they realise.

Although she never got down to a dangerously unhealthy weight, she said she did lose around 20 per cent of her body weight while going through her struggles with orthorexia.

I think more people have orthorexia than they realise. It is so hard to recognise as from the outside, there is nothing bad about being healthy, Sophie said.

But when that stats negatively impacting your mental health and life, thats when it becomes dangerous.

It was not until a family holiday to Melbourne in September 2017 with her mum Clare and identical twin sister Eloise that she realised how much her obsession with being healthy impacted her life.

Instead of enjoying her holiday, Sophie said she was constantly anxious that she was not getting enough exercise and was stressed that she could not eat her usual healthy diet.

The turning point was when I realised things were getting out of control and I wasnt enjoying myself anymore, she said.

What should have been great family holidays became sources of stress and anxiety. I could never enjoy myself or fully let go and be in the moment.

I just felt so much guilt and shame all the time. If I ate one tiny chocolate, Id feel bad all day.

Over the next two years, Sophie saw a psychologist and a dietitian to help overcome her eating disorder and to restore a healthy relationship with food.

She also began taking care of her mental health by unfollowing toxic diet culture accounts on social media and focused on body positivity.

Sophie said she feels she has recovered from orthorexia and no longer feels obsessed with healthy eating but instead, allows herself to eat whatever she feels like and do exercise she enjoys, while also taking rest days.

Now the inspirational young woman is raising awareness about this relatively unknown eating disorder, as she believes it is far more common than what people realise.

My life is so much better now. Im not weighed down by any mental baggage and I feel free and happy, she said.

- Caters

See the original post here:
Perth woman Sophie Smith reveals how obsession with being healthy ruined her life -

Related Post

Written by admin |

March 1st, 2020 at 4:44 am

Posted in Nutrition