A student in the grip on anorexia managed to turn her life around following a collapse on a Coventry bus.
Eleanor Loseby had already undergone years of treatment when she suffered a suspected heart attack.
It was that moment the now 20-year-old recognises at the moment she had to fight the eating disorder if she wanted to live reports LeicestershireLive.
An animation and illustration design student, Eleanor said: “I had convinced myself that I was okay but I would get these heart palpitations and one day I was getting off the bus, and I think I had passed out.
“I passed out getting off the bus and was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack.
“You hear a lot of people in recovery of people saying you get this moment where it just clicks.
“I thought to myself I have to get better or I’m not going to make it to 25.”
Her family drove her to the hospital after this incident because she was scared that one day her heart would stop and she would never wake up.
Since then she has battled with the help of a nutritionist and hypnotherapist to reach a place where she feels she has the illness under control.
But the progress has been slow and has involved over a decade of struggle.
“Anorexia is a process”
Eleanor was bullied from the age of four because of her weight.
As a child she said she was a little bit bigger than the other kids and as a result, they would pick on her.
This led her to do all she could to lose weight so that she could look like the others to “fit in”.
However, by the age of nine, it was clear that she had a problem .
“I started very young, even when I was in four-plus I was being bullied because I was slightly bigger than the other kids,” the student from Wigston told LeicestershireLive.
“It wasn’t until I was about nine that I started skipping meals because of those years I was bullied for being bigger.
“I would do this thing, where at lunchtime, I would go and hide behind the toy shed at school so that I didn’t have to eat anything.”
By the time she reached high school, she was still eating normally at home but continued to eat nothing at school.
“For the first year or so I was restricting and then I would eat,” she said.
“But when you restrict your metabolism slows down so you hold on to weight more. So it was doing the opposite of what I really wanted it to do.
“And I carried on like that until I was about 14.”
Eleanor would eat, but would then return to her room for three hours at a time exercising so that she could burn off what she had just eaten. She would also make herself sick.
During her teenage years, she lost half her body weight in six months.
She said: “People would say things like ‘there’s no way she has anorexia, she’s too big’.
“When I was at school someone turned around and told me ‘you’re really messed up around food but there’s no way you have anorexia’.
“During that time I didn’t look anorexic, but anorexia is a process.”
After the age of 14, Eleanor spent four years as an outpatient at Mawson House Health Centre, where she would spend three days a week for months at a time trying to recover her physical state.
She credited the help that she was given there and said that it massively contributed to her recovery.
But it was far from easy, she said: “I knew there was a problem but to an extent, I thought this was what it means to be healthy.
“When I was in treatment someone would say to me you look so much healthier and that would be the worst thing in the world to me because it meant that I had gained weight.
“And if it didn’t affect anyone else then I didn’t care I just wanted the results.”
‘I thought to myself I have to get better or I’m not going to make it to 25.’
The 20-year-old said that the bullying about her weight had always continued, but the group of people doing it changed almost yearly.
“My mental health was so bad for a long time and I wasn’t even allowed in the house by myself.
“Eating was kind of my comfort blanket though, I could control it,” she added.
In the four years at Mawson House, Eleanor said that she relapsed around seven times after she was released.
She said that the medical professionals there were trying to make her gain weight but she “was doing everything to try and stop it”.
Eventually, she left the health centre and thought she had gotten somewhat better before she relapsed yet again while studying in Coventry.
It was this moment she said that potentially changed her life as she collapsed on the bus.
She says she still has moments now where she feels like she’s struggling but has now has learnt to deal with her thoughts and impulses and now wants to help others deal with theirs.
Eleanor also thanks her family for spotting the signs before anyone else, adding: “I couldn’t have survived without them.”
While still studying at university, she has created an illustrated workbook and journal called Dawn. She said that this is the book that she needed when she was going through treatment and recovery.
Inside the book are different treatment methods, yoga techniques and expert advice from health professionals.
She hopes that this book will be a light for people going through an especially dark time in their life.
The book will be released on October 1 and will retail for £18.99. You can pre-order the book by going to Eleanor’s website Eleanor’s website here.
The money she makes will help her to continue to make more things to help people with issues with eating disorders and other mental health issues such as anxiety.
Eleanor also uses social media to spread awareness of eating disorders such as anorexia. She interviews health professionals and nutritionists on her page and also advises those who are struggling with their mental health.
To view her Instagram page and see all of Eleanor’s work, click here.
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