Emma has a lived experience of an eating disorder, triggered by her experiences of being a child in an obesity clinic. Emma's Story highlights the devastating consequences of being guided to lose weight as a child.
"By trusting a paediatrician, a member of an esteemed hospital, my family were sure of the safety attached to such an attempt. Nothing bad could happen, under the gaze of a doctor. At that first appointment, I was given a list of safe and unsafe foods. My weight was recorded, and its magnitude brutally acknowledged."
Robin was 16 when she was advised to restrict her diet in order to lose weight. The prescription was motivated by a prognosis suggesting premature death without immediate weight loss. Robin is now 64, and her experiences in childhood have resulted in years of weight cycling and disordered eating, as well as the psychological burden of self-loathing.
"I had been a fat kid all my life. Some of my earliest memories were of being teased and bullied because I was fat. So when my parents told me they agreed with the family doctor that I needed to lose weight, I too thought it would be a good idea. I was tired of people being mean to me and excluding me because of what I looked like. I just wanted to fit in."
Rachel has a lived experience of an eating disorder, her mother being told to cut back on the amount of formula to feed Rachel as a baby. Rachel spent her childhood, teenage years and young adulthood stuck in negative self-image and damaging attitudes to her body and her self. Rachel now advocates for Health At Every Size.
Every time I was on a diet as a kid, I would eventually sneak food and eat as much as I possibly could while I had access. I would hide food in my room. I would eat as much of the forbidden foods while I was at friend’s houses because I knew I would get in trouble if anyone in my own house saw me eating it. My body was doing what it needed to do to keep me alive. It was saving me from starvation and making sure I had what I needed while I could. My body was doing the hard work of protecting me from the famine these diets were inducing. And each time my body overpowered my resolve to stay on my diet, I felt more hopeless, more wrong, and more like a failure.