Anorexia affects people of all ages. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates that the highest group affected by anorexia are girls between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. The eating disorder makes the person see themselves as overweight despite their actual weight. Even as the individual starves themselves, when they look in the mirror they do not see the actual reflection of themselves. Consequently, starving, vomiting, excessive exercise, the use of laxatives are some of the methods people use to lose weight. Researchers believe there are many factors like genetics, society’s obsession with thinness, and sports that can influence the development of anorexia. Treatment varies from psychological help to medication. The effects of this eating disorder can vary from infertility, heart damage, osteoporosis, among others. Still, there is still hope for those afflicted with anorexia to live a happy, fulfilled, and healthy life.The 19-year-old was getting by eating only a peach a day. The teen says the anorexia began in her early teens when she suffered from stomach pains.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of eating, it was like I was punishing myself,” says Chiara. “When doctors told me my body wouldn’t be able to cope much longer without food I knew it was now or never.”
Last year, the Liechtenstein girl met Jason. She admits they both fell in love quickly.
“He would take me out for meals and buys snacks like popcorn for us to snack on. Soon I found enjoyment in eating again, he helped me recover mentally too,” says Chiara.
Her eating habits have evolved with the teen giving food a chance. “Now I eat ice cream, pizza, and just about anything that’s put in front of me,” she says.
“I wanted to be healthy again for both of us, I wanted us to be able to go out and do what normal couples do and not let an eating disorder control me,” explains Chiara.
The teen shares her road to recovery on her Instagram account.
She says she sometimes forces herself to try different foods without feeling any guilt.
“It was such an amazing feeling to be able to do it and just run without feeling dizzy and weak,” she wrote on her Instagram account. “I’m so glad that I finally managed to reach a healthy weight after 7 years of being underweight.”
“Nobody sees what’s going on in your mind. You can pretend to be the happiest person but deep inside, there’s a different you,” she shares. “So don’t hide yourself from others, open up and talk to your closest friends. It will make life easier.”