‘I just didn’t care about life… all you care about is exercising and calories. It’s an obsession.’ For Christie Swadling, this ‘obsession’ almost claimed her life.
Desperate to become a Victoria’s Secret model, Christie pored over their pictures, TV shows and diet plans – she says she wanted to look like Miranda Kerr, with a thigh gap, and was obsessed that she didn’t look like the models she aspired to be.
Starting dieting at just 12, by 16 Christie’s health was at serious risk. She would exercise for up to four hours a day. All of her loved ones were desperately concerned about Christie – rightly so, as she collapsed on her 17th birthday, ending up in hospital ‘practically on her deathbed’. Given her vitals, one doctor was amazed she was still alive.
It was the wake-up call Christie needed – and she realised she’d lost most of her teenage years to an eating disorder and she didn’t want to lose any more. With her family’s support, she began a high-carb diet to help her gradually gain weight.
‘It was very hard,’ says Christie’s mum Fiona. ‘I thought I’d done something wrong as a parent. I didn’t really know about anorexia… It was very hard to watch her kill herself slowly.’
Now Christie, from New South Wales, Australia, has put on 2st and she is determined to help others suffering from eating disorders. She’s made YouTube videos, including Anorexia Nervosa Almost Killed Me, to try to ‘take weight off their shoulders and almost like save someone’s life.’
Now, says Christie, she is ‘enjoying life, not hating it’, and she is determined to have a great future.
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