A Whitnash woman who has overcome anorexia is sharing her story to help prevent others from going down the same path.
February is National Eating Disorder Awareness month (NEDA) - and Michelle Mumford, who spent around six months at Warwick Hospital recovering after nearly losing her life to anorexia, has started writing a blog to help encourage others who think they may be at risk to seek help.
Michelle first realised she had an eating disorder at the age of 18 while at university.
It started out as low self-esteem and trying to be “perfect” - but when she began to diet and exercise more, she lost weight and felt good about it.
She said: “I finally felt as though I was doing something right.
“But it was downhill from there. The more weight I lost, the more I wanted to lose.
“At my worst, I was living on soups and salads and eating no more than 100 calories a day, visiting the gym for hours and walking everywhere possible. Every single calorie that passed my lips had to be accounted for.”
Michelle was losing around half a stone a week, then became incredibly weak, would pass out regularly and was unable to take in what little food she did try to eat. Realising that her body was rapidly deteriorating, Michelle admitted herself to an inpatient unit at Warwick Hospital - and it took six months for her to recover.
She said: “I soon learnt that eating disorders are not about food or weight, they develop as a way to show that you are struggling. They come from a need to control something when all other areas in your life are out of control.
“Recovery is possible - you just have to decide that you want it enough. You need to work hard and trust the process because it works.”
Michelle’s blog is at thisismerecovery.wordpress.com
Find out more about NEDA at nedawareness.org