Tom Fairbrother

How would you explain your identity differs now from when your ED voice was at its loudest?

When I was suffering with my eating disorder, my identity was intrinsically linked with my weight. The numbers on the scales dictated my happiness and how I saw myself. 

Now, my self-worth has improved greatly. I know that there is more to life than restricting food, losing weight, and all the physical and mental consequences of those actions. I’m able to live my life and experience new things, rather than merely existing. 

Did you still feel like there were parts of yourself (hopes, dreams and passions) throughout the time you were struggling with your ED?

No, not really. I was extremely unhappy and felt worthless, seeing the worst in myself at all times, so everything became joyless. My life was effectively on hold during the years I suffered with my eating disorder.  

I could not enjoy anything I was doing as my mind was constantly on food and the next meal, and the deception involved in hiding my disordered behaviour from friends and family.

If you could give advice to someone experiencing something similar to what you experienced, what would you say? 

You have to keep telling yourself that you are worth more than your weight or what you look like. Ultimately nobody cares about your weight, it is only you, and you are in control. Breaking the cycle of weighing yourself, opening up to someone about what you are going through, and realising you are not alone and you are worthy of recovery are so important to living a full and happy life.

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