Height: 5ft 1in
Weight: Varies between 9st and 9st 7lb
Food consumption: Three meals a day plus snacks
Food favourites: Pasta, tomatoes, chocolate
Exercise: Cycling 1-2 miles daily
Why she stopped dieting: I first started to dabble with dieting at the age of eight, and at 16 I just stopped eating. I was plump, not fat. As a result I became anorexic, losing four stone over 18 months. Later I developed bulimia: by the time I was19 I had not eaten a meal in four years. I overdosed several times and had psychiatric counselling.
The realisation of what I was doing to myself came when I was 21, literally overnight. It was the night before Christmas Eve and I had been taken into a psychiatric ward and the people I saw there made me frightened.
I realised that I had a choice, it was up to me, and that I had more to give to life than being obsessed with food. All the problems with food, with not eating socially, with being afraid of chocolates and cakes, disappeared overnight.
Pros: It is so liberating. I love cooking food, I love going out to eat with friends - my social life is much better. I love experimenting with new flavours and tastes, having a bit of what I fancy.
I now do all the normal things around food because I am no longer afraid of losing control. It's wonderful being able to go round Sainsbury's and not worry that I'd come home with foods I should not have. I'm also able to store foods in the house without worrying. At the moment I have a kilo of chocolate downstairs, given to me as a joke. I occasionally nibble at a chunk but I'm no longer afraid I'll eat the whole lot.
I also have more energy for other things. When you're dieting you spend so much time thinking about food, avoiding food situations.
Cons: I can't think of any. I suppose the tough thing is to feel all right about my body when we are bombarded with images that you must be a certain size. But I'm short and round and that's the way it is.Reuse content