Lexi comes from a 15 year lived experience with Anorexia and Eating Issues. She has made a full recovery over the last 12 years through lifestyle and is on a mission to help others get there too. Lexi is a speaker for The Buttterfly Foundation & Eating Disorders Queensland, Yoga Teacher & Practitioner, soon to be clinical nutritionist and Mum to a 3 year old girl. This is her story.
At seven years old was the age it all started that lead me down the long, heavy road of a battle with Anorexia Nervosa, Eating & Body Image issues that continued for 15 years of my life. I experienced bullying on the playground, a hurtful comment that essentially triggered that path of excessive dieting, calorie counting and exercise to a full diagnosis of an Eating Disorder. I was essentially a happy child and nothing more than the usual “puppy fat” for that age but here was my first experience of society telling that I wasn’t ok the way I was.
The Eating Disorder continued into my teenage years and whilst friends were excited about birthday parties, I was worried about my weight. I was very functional, you will find most of those with Eating Disorders particularly Anorexia are and generally get by in life with a smile on their face and telling everyone everything is fine. At 14 years old, it became very evident to everyone that there was something physically going on. The school intervened and spoke to my parents and we decided that a change from the environment may help improve “the situation”. My parents, school and well, society, we didn’t know anything about Eating Disorders nor Mental Health at this time back in the early 2000’s. You only have to pick up your phone in current times and there is a conversation to normal issues that people may be going through, however not back then. I had never heard of an Eating Disorder let alone known of anyone who had been through something similar and I can tell you as a teenager, I couldn’t have felt anymore weirder.
I was sent to boarding school with good intentions (and free will) however over the next 3 years the Eating Disorder really took a hold. Although I was with 200 other girls, with the voice of the Eating Disorder I had never felt more alone. I continued to do well at school and was even elected as School Prefect, however in my senior year, Anorexia took a hold and I was unable to finish school, instead start what was to come a vicious cycle of hospital admissions.
During my time with Anorexia, I saw up to 25 hospital admissions in medical, Intensive Care Units, Inpatient & Outpatient Programs as well as moving interstate for treatment. It was a time of my life where I thought I would be at university, working towards my dream career as I always had an industrious flare, instead I and everyone around me were wondering if I would even wake up the next day from being in such a fragile state.
I cannot tell you what the exact turning point was, with Eating Disorders, there is hard to see anything to recover for when you are in the midst. I do know that the original perks the Eating Disorder gave me were no longer there and I was increasingly becoming sick and tired of always being sick and tired. I tried with conventional treatment over the years, all keeping me alive to date and serving a purpose, however it was more an overall look at lifestyle and other modalities that put me on a strong path to recovery. Yoga being a fundamental tool and I still continue to practice daily as I continue down the path now of what I like to call “discovery” – always learning new things about myself and not that I was ever ineffective with an Eating Disorder, I was unaware of how to work with my drive.
I never would have thought a full recovery of a life free of food issues, weight or shape, and even the life I live now to even be in the picture 5 years ago. I believe recovery is possible for everyone, it doesn’t come without hard work, but I can tell you what is on the other side is worth it.
The Carousel would like to thank Lexi Crouch for her article.