A teenager who was so gripped by a deadly eating disorder, she weighed just 31kgs — has revealed how she transformed her life and gained a healthy 20kgs.
Beth Nevey, 23, from the UK is happier heavier after finally seeking help for anorexia — which at its worst saw her exercising for three hours before her school prom because she was terrified of eating the three-course meal.
The young woman’s exercise obsession sparked when she was just 13, after a school kid called her “fat” — a taunt that took her eight years to recover from.
“Before prom, I exercised for three hours in the morning because I was scared of the
calories in a three-course meal. I was so afraid of seeing people and them thinking I was fat,” Beth said.
“I hit puberty before a lot of my friends and I became curvy and had boobs when they didn’t,” she said, explaining it caused some to tease her.
“Some horrible comments really stuck with me.
“I was told I was ‘fat’ and had ‘thunder thighs’ or that I only had boobs because I was ‘fat’.”
The comments sparked an obsession for Beth, which within two years lead to her being caught in a battle with anorexia and compulsively exercising for up to eight hours a day.
As well as tracking her food intake, she completed gruelling amounts of exercise, and her weight dropped dangerously low.
For eight years Beth battled with her eating disorder, admitting she “thrived” when people remarked on her frightenly small size.
“My mum got me to see a counsellor who weighed and measured me and asked me lots of questions,” she said.
But she would use tricks to make medical experts think she was bigger than she was, adding she was filled with fear when her mum “banned” her from exercising.
“I was so afraid of seeing people and them thinking I was fat,” Beth said. “I’d have done anything to continue losing weight.
“I suffered with depression because all I did was go to school, come home to exercise and plan my food. I had no social life.”
However things took a dramatic turn when at 21, Beth discovered the “strong not skinny” movement on social media.
She explained: “I found some accounts on Instagram which inspired me to want to be strong, not skinny. I wanted to lift weights, build muscle and a bum.
I noticed how happy they were, and I wanted to be happy again.”
By this stage, Beth’s body was in agony from years of being malnourished.
“Everything hurt, and I bruised easily as my bones stuck out. Even lying on my front hurt my hip bones,” said Beth.
“I started to notice how I was upsetting my family and friends. It hit home that I was hurting them and that hurt me.”
There was also a warning from her doctor that if she didn’t gain weight soon, she would be hospitalised over health concerns.
“I was making myself ill and I hadn’t had a period for 18 months,” she said.
“The doctor told me that I could damage my body and even be unable to have kids as I was so gaunt and nutritionally deprived.
However her recovery wasn’t a straight forward process and she found gaining weight tough, which was why finding the inspiring body positive movement really helped Beth.
She said: “I love that people stopped focusing on being ‘skinny’ and from this I started eating healthily and doing weight training.
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RECOVERY // TRANSFORMATION POST‼️ . . Yes there is a 20kg difference! Crazy right!!! The change is more than that tho. . I was skinny, unhealthy, gaunt, ill all the time, constant headaches, depressed, exercising 24/7, cardio bunny, restricting my diet, anorexic and suffered with anxiety. I locked myself away from the world, I was miserable and kept to myself. . Now I’m happy, confident, lift weights, build a booty and muscle, got some quads and strength. I love life and fitness. It’s a passion but a healthy one! . RECOVERING AND LEARNING TO LOVE BEING STRONG CHANGED MY LIFE. . My advice to you? Be happy in fitness. Do what exercises makes you happy! And stay HEALTHY! Learn to accept mistakes and failures! And TRY WEIGHT LIFTING! It makes me feel strong and built me a figure. No you won’t get bulky… believe me I promise you❤️ . . . . . . . #transformation #transformationtuesday #anorexiarecovery #gymsharkwomen #recovery #fitness #fitchick #fitnessgirl #strongwomen #girlswithmuscles #girlswholift #strongnotskinny #fitfam #ukfitfam
A post shared by Beth Nevey (@bethnevey_fit) on
“I’m now happy and confident because I understand the importance of nutrition and I’ve learnt so much about exercise. I can socialise with my friends without fearing food and I don’t spend hours doing cardio.”
Beth is now sharing her recovery journey her Instagragm page bethnevey_fit where she recently revealed she’d gained more than 20kgs.
“I want people to remember they aren’t alone, and recovery is possible, and it will change your life.
“Change comes from within, so you need to want to change. Find it within yourself to love yourself enough to ignore the voices in your head.”
If you or someone you know is affected by an eating disorder, please contact The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 46 73