By: Carolyn Radnor
Anorexia Nervosa is the most deadly mental illness that affects females. Unfortunately, I was one who suffered from this mental illness, which controlled my life for around two years.
I was a competitive cheerleader at HotCheer Allstars, and I always struggled with conditioning and performing my routines. My uniform was getting tighter, and my routines were getting harder, so that’s when I realized enough is enough. In March 2014, I started to eat healthier and run a little bit more each day. As this continued for a couple of weeks, I started to notice results with my weight, my performance in routines and my conditioning. I noticed that what I was doing was working, so I continued to implement this new “lifestyle.”
Once summer came, I was running about three miles a day and eating very healthy foods—not fried, unhealthy foods. As the summer progressed, the miles I ran increased, calories decreased, and I started to become obsessive.
It was toward the end of summer 2014 that I was starting to cut out certain food groups, such as carbs and fats. I would weigh myself every single day, and if I weighed more one day, I would eat less and run more the next day. I was losing weight rapidly and starting to become the demon my eating disorder made me. It made me quit cheerleading, lie to my parents, hide/throw away food and exercise excessively when my parents weren’t around.
My parents wanted me to seek treatment, so I did! I got a nutritionist and a therapist to try to fight this disorder. It only got worse. I was 100 pounds, eating around 400 calories a day and exercising after eating. I was skin and bones. I withdrew from friends and focused my entire life on my eating disorder.
As I continued to starve myself, my heart started to slow down and work less. On January 13, 2015, I was admitted into Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic: Center for Problem Eating in downtown Pittsburgh. I was there for a month, where I was re-fed and watched like a hawk so that I would not exercise, and that I would eat all my food. I was slowly starting to gain my weight back, and man, was I scared that I would become fat again, but I didn’t!
If it wasn’t for me going to Western Psych, I don’t know if I would be here today. They have taught me that food is not your enemy, but that it is your friend that keeps you alive and functioning. After I left Western Psych, I continued therapy and nutrition appointments, and I started to realize that there was a life in which I wasn’t controlled by a voice in my head.
It was a long and hard recovery process, but it was so worth it in the end. I am now fully recovered and a normal, stressed out, female college student. It is not worth obsessing over food, calories and weight, because there are more important things to life. Overall, talking about my story is very hard and emotional for me, but if it helps prevent people from being trapped in their own mind, then it is worth it.