Thursday, December 17, 2015

She drinks a glass of water in the bathroom. She doesn’t suspect she’s about to die.


The Australian Elle Lietzow lost years of her life due to an eating disorder that almost cost her her life. She wastes away so drastically that she loses the ability to walk. Here is her unbelievable story. Her path of suffering begins 15 years ago. Those days she still had a healthy weight, many friends, and a healthy appreciation for life.
youtube/elletayla
She is a passionate competitive swimmer and is confident about her body. But after she gives up swimming to focus on school, her entire world becomes completely unstable.
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Elle thinks that she has to maintain her slim figure to stay popular. On this day, she decides to regulate her diet to stay skinny. For her biggest fear is ...
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... to be called fat. In elementary school she was bullied because she still had some baby fat. This cruelty gives her a panic-fuelled fear of becoming fat.
youtube/elletayla
She quickly sees success. In her first week, she loses over 10 pounds (5 kg). At a height of 5 foot 4 (164 cm), she weighs just 100 pounds. Then soon less than 90. Her parents begin to worry and she begins therapy at a day hospital.
youtube/elletayla
Out of defiance, Elle begins to binge on food. She devours container after container of peanut butter and entire loaves of bread. Soon she weighs almost 180 pounds (80 kg). She begins to hate herself and is disgusted by her body. So she decides to "lose a bit of weight." But she has just become healthy again. It's hard to believe that the girl pictured here wants to lose 90 pounds!
youtube/elletayla
At first, it works. She achieves a healthy weight, goes out with her friends again, and works out. But Elle falls in love with the feeling of losing weight. In a very dangerous way.
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She becomes thinner and thinner while her perception warps. She eats less and less and works out more and more obsessively. Often she just eats a plate of vegetables for her only meal of the day and then tortures herself afterward with endurance training.
youtube/elletayla
Her ribs begin to protrude, her hair and nails become brittle. Elle weighs just 85 lbs (39 kg), but that is still much too much for the young woman!
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She starves herself down to  79 lbs (36 kg). Because her body has reached its absolute limit she stops eating food completely. She is so desperate that she consumes just a single glass of water a day.
Nothing else!  Her body is in complete starvation mode, all alarms are blaring at full blast: Elle begins to have epileptic seizures and her nervous system threatens to break down. Her toes and fingers turn black because of the bad circulation. And just when it seems like it can't get worse, she even stops drinking water!
youtube/elletayla
Finally, her body gives up. She collapses and is delivered to the hospital with kidney failure. Elle must be treated in the emergency room for 22 hours until her body stabilizes. She wants to leave immediately, but the doctors keep her in the hospital for a whole month. She is still in critical condition and the doctors emphasize that she could have died. She gains 22 pounds (10 kg) and is released. But then ...
youtube/elletayla
... she falls right back into her old habits. She loses weight again. Shortly before a repeat collapse, it becomes clear to her that she won't survive if she continues her behavior. Elle wants to live! She begins to inform herself about dietary habits and discovers ...
youtube/elletayla
... vegan food! This is what saves Elle's life. She begins to learn all she can about healthy food and the inspired hobby cook rediscovers her joy in life. She stops obsessively counting calories and begins to enjoy eating. Since the food is so healthy and tasty, she successfully fights her way back to a normal diet. Elle convinces her family about her new sustenance and can finally reconnect food with pleasure.
Instagram/elletayla
Slowly, and with a good conscious, she can finally sustain herself on the food. She gains weight, can laugh again, and meets with friends. It's as if the person - who was always there - has replaced the illness that had plagued her for so long and almost took her life.
youtube/elletayla
Most importantly: she is happy! And can finally enjoy life again.
Instagram/elletayla

From starvation to food lover - Elle has done it. But anorexia is a terrible sickness that for many will never be completely cured. One in ten of those diagnosed will die. Even men are affected. But stories like Elle are inspirational and give others hope that they can overcome this deadly illness.  If the bravery and the suffering of this young woman also touched you as much as it did me, then SHARE this article with everyone that you know. There's always hope!