четвер, 30 вересня 2010 р.

Anorexic Hannah Fuller survived on half a Weetabix a day..


..now she wants to help others by sharing her diary


She looks so healthy now that it's almost impossible to believe that pretty Hannah Fuller was actually dying to be thin.

Her problems started during a family holiday when she became jealous of her slim cousin.

It triggered anorexia which sent Hannah's weight plunging from eight-and-a-half stone to less than six.

She followed such a strict eating regime that some days she was surviving on half a dry Weetabix.

Hannah poured her heart out into a diary while her parents Gordon, 45, and Lizanne, 43, watched in horror as the weight fell off her 5ft 4in body.

Hannah, whose illness started at 14, was so weak that she could barely get out of bed. Her skin turned a deathly grey, her hair was greasy and lank, and she wept at the slightest thing.

She suffered constant stomach cramps and was permanently hungry.

But even when Hannah's periods stopped, and she became terrified of what she was doing to her body, she couldn't stop.

In January 2007 she was seen by a dietitian, psychiatric nurse and an expert in eating disorders.

Over the next six months she was weighed weekly and had counselling.

And one year on, Hannah, from Kinross, Perthshire, has recovered from the disease and now weighs eight stone.

In her diary Hannah, now 16, expressed her darkest thoughts and desperate need to escape "Anna" - the name she gave the voice of anorexia in her head.

February 17 2007

Feeling so angry I could scream. Mum made soup for lunch and I was furious. I feel as if she and Dad are deliberately making it hard for me. Why does it have to be home-made?

It's so she can add more calories, that's why.

At tea, they chose salmon. It was on bread with huge thick slices, probably four times a normal slice. I was fuming.

Now Mum has stormed out shouting about anorexia. I hate this whole thing.

February 18

Feeling like I'm going to burst with anger again. At tea Dad made a stir-fry - it was soaked in oil. I ran upstairs and was ready to make myself sick.

The anorexia voice kept telling me to do it. So I sat there with tears streaming down my face but never did it. I don't want to make myself sick, I'm not that person.

But Anna's still here, telling me to do it and she won't shut up. I don't want to go down that road but, every time I eat, the voice gets stronger.

I'm drained at every snack and meal time.

She ruins it all. I just wish I could have seen how bad it was going to be - I would have run miles away from it.

February 19

Mum promised to give me one ladle of soup yesterday - but she must have been lying.

My life is full of lies and people tricking me. If they lie to me, it just makes it easier for me to lie to them and tell them I've eaten when I haven't. Each time they trick me, it gives Anna a reason to stop me eating.

February 20

I'm confused. I just finished my tea without any problems, so that should be a good thing. I should feel great, but I don't.

I'm scared that this means I am losing the anorexia. And while part of me wants that, the other part is terrified.

I'm scared that if I lose the voice completely I'll become fat again. Also, it sounds stupid, but I don't know who I am or who I'll be without it.

February 21

I got weighed today and I'd lost another half kilo. Dad went mental at me, saying how I'm a horrible person for putting everyone through this. I hate myself for it. I'm dreading telling Mum. I know she will be so upset and disappointed.

February 25

It sounds stupid but it's not the idea of dying that keeps me eating, but the idea I'm letting everyone down. Is that really bad? I don't care what happens to me, just so long as I don't get fat.

February 27

The anorexia voice has been there all day, but I've fought it and eaten everything.

February 28

When I look in the mirror I can see I have put on weight and sometimes I don't like it. I just blend in with everyone else.

It sounds stupid but I feel as if this eating thing made me stand out and be a bit different. I felt as if I could finally be good at something - being thin - and that gave me satisfaction.

March 1

Was weighed today and had put on four pounds. I don't want anyone to know I've gained so much weight because I feel embarrassed.

I feel as if they'll all say to themselves: "She must have stuffed her face like a pig."

March 2

I'm so scared of gaining another four pounds this week. I'm so unhappy I want to die. It sounds extreme but anything is better than this.

I feel as if the doctor is just telling me to stick at 2,000 calories so she can trick me into gaining more weight. She'll say my periods are only going to come back when I'm healthy.

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March 16

I haven't written in a while because I thought things were better and I was beating it.

But yesterday I'd lost weight when I was weighed. Dad went mad at me again. I feel so alone.

I just sat in Perth and cried. People were staring but I didn't know what else to do. It was so tempting just to jump in front of a car, because it feels like that's the only way it will all be over.

March 21

This week has gone so well and I've eaten everything I'm meant to.

Last week I felt so bad, I felt like dying - now I'm just praying I have put on weight. I want Anna to disappear.

April 17

I want to get the calories from good food to make my skin sparkle and hair shine.

Plus, I've been doing other things like having pancakes for breakfast, and big suppers like beans on toast with spread! It seems so stupid that before, if I was asked to eat a piece of toast, there would have been tears and shouting.

May 20

I'm so much more relaxed about food and I've put on weight.

It's baby steps and I've still got a long way to go, but I really feel I'm getting there.

May 24

Now I realise life would be better being a bit overweight and happy, than thin and controlled by anorexia.

I want a rewind button so much.

May 26

Had a really good day today. Dad said he'd work with me to tone my body, which I'm really happy about.

If Dad's showing me, I can get a great body and eat healthily.

No stupid anorexia telling me only to have half a dry Weetabix a day!

I'll look great and she'll be gone! No more sticking-out bones. I'll have curves in the right places.

February 2008

I reached my target weight of seven stone, but more than anything I've stopped listening to the voice of anorexia in my head.

I've learned a lot about myself. I have the strength to achieve whatever I want.

What to look out for

Anyone can develop an eating disorder although are women aged between 15 and 25 are most susceptible.

Warning signs suggesting that a person may be in the early stages of anorexia include...

Frequently talking about weight and shape, and saying things like, "I would be happier if only I was slimmer."

Eating too little or refusing food.

Having an intense fear of gaining weight and an obsessive interest in what others are eating.

Changes in personality and mood swings.

Denying that a problem exists.

Becoming aware of an "inner voice" that challenges your views on eating and exercise.

Obsessional behaviour about food, such as cutting it into tiny pieces.

If you suspect your child is suffering from anorexia..

...you are advised to seek professional help, in the first instance from your GP.

Help and support is also available from the national charity Beating Eating Disorders at www.b-eat.co.uk

The charity Beating Eating Disorders encourages parents to note the following five points...

Eating disorders can be beaten.

It is a mental health problem.

It's not a dieting craze.

Sufferers are not at tention seeking.

An eating disorder is serious.

AS TOLD TO JENNY MORRISON

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