Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Many of us struggle with our appearance and weight for a variety of reasons.

Even with movements to love ourselves at any size or with more realistic-looking models in advertisements, many people struggle with eating disorders every day around the world. 

This woman is sharing her story to help others going through an eating disorder. 

Annie Windley is from Derbyshire, England. She is in recovery after years of suffering from undernourishment and now hopes to share her story to help others in her shoes. 

The heaviest weight Windley ever hit was never over 29kg, roughly 63 pounds. Her low weight resulted in a multitude of medical complications and put her at high risk of a heart attack. 

The 21-year-old battled with her eating disorder for five years, a challenge even today. While suffering, the Woolley Moor resident underwent a multitude of hospitalization and medical treatments. 

However, according to the young woman, she was able to use her love of running as a method to help her begin to recover. She even completed the Chesterfield Half Marathon in October of last year.

In one of her social media posts, she said, “I came to the delightful realization that rehabilitation is a breathtaking process that should be thrilling, unforgettable, and amazing. I believe that my anorexia will always be a part of me, but I’ve learned to control it and stop thinking about food.” 

According to Windley,  “Changing for the better is never too late.”

It was in 2012 that Annie received her diagnosis, and two years later when her recovery began. In October 2017, she finally decided to fight against her eating disorder.

“I can’t say exactly what occurred, but this time, it was just for myself,” she said online. 

“The battle was incredible, and each day was marked by excruciating feelings and extraordinary bravery. 

“I’ve put on three stones in the last four months, and I’m now at my heaviest since 2014.”

Her experiences have taught her that it is peoples’ treatment of themselves and others that matters more than anything else, including physical appearance. 

“These are the things that will make you happy and are things that are crucial to you,” she said. 

Focusing on respect for others and on her own love of running is truly what saved her. Putting the energy she had previously put into restricting her food intake into something that felt like success changed her mindset entirely. 

“Pay attention to your enthusiasm and drive to succeed where you wish to go.”

Eating almost nothing but a piece of bread most days previously, Annie was so sick and underweight that she would previously often feel faint or fall. Now she is moving to a healthier weight along with a healthier mindset when it comes to her relationship with her body. 

“We must show our disorders that we are able to do so. We don’t want to spend our lives feeling unhappy and full of regret over the things we weren’t able to do due to anorexia.”