I am 23. I led a high achieving, healthy active lifestyle until about 6 years ago when Bulimia slowly introduced itself into my normal, happy life, I nearly lost my scholarship and it ruined my VCE which I was unable to complete and was continued by many months of incredible ups and downs.
It then progressed to Severe Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Anorexia, hospitalisation and long stays in inpatient facilities for people with similar issues. Everything seemed like a temporary fix, a week after finishing programs I was back to my old habits.
About 18 months ago, with my barely manageable eating disorder, I moved by myself to a new town ... I needed a new start, fresh faces and thought a change of scenery would help and it did :) I met my current partner after the first month of being here and he's been nothing but supportive of all my issues. To look at and meet me I'm you're average bubbly, blue eyed, blonde hair, healthy looking girl and I think it was quite a shock when he first he learned what the "other me" was like.
After 6 months however things started to go downhill with my health - my asthma, hay fever and eczema went crazy - which had only ever happened occasionally over my life (but never all at the same time) as I've had them all since I was a baby.
What really bothered me was a rash on my face that I had never experienced before - swollen lips, eyelids, dark red blotches underneath my skin, which turned to swelling, my skin flaking off and incredible itchiness!! As my self-esteem wasn't that great anyway, this was a huge blow. I quit work, uni, and it ruined my social life.
I thought it may have been the natural environment around me, new town, new plants, pollens etc as it was sometimes accompanied by sneezing. My crazy eating habits were another likely culprit.
I went to the Doctor, he gave me some steroids which cleared it up but kept coming back. Then turned to allergy testing, cutting out certain foods through a nutritionist , gluten, all the usuals etc. Useless. Used all natural makeups, moisturizers, cleansers etc. Useless again ....
I've always known that preservatives aren't good for us, always eaten well in the past and thought of myself as fairly educated about food (that might sound strange when someone has an Eating Disorder but it's very common) but because additives had never been a problem in the past it never occurred to me that they could be the cause.
I found your website by chance whilst researching the issue on the net and along with your website's helpful info, photos and testimonials I knew I had found what I was looking for. I started cutting out the 600 number flavour enhancers and the 200 number preservatives (I wasn't aware that dried fruit could be so delicious but deathly for my skin!! I'd always make sure there was no added sugar but that's all I worried about) ... Anyway, instant recovery ... now I'm trying to cut out the rest of the nasties too - in both foods and makeup.
We have always eaten loads of fruit and veg and always go organic when we can afford to but it's hard trying to buy food that both my boyfriend and I will be happy with as he's an eating machine who's affected by nothing and never puts on weight ;) We're getting used to it ... we're happier.
I myself have SO much more energy it's unbelievable, I'm sure it neurologically changes something in your head. My eating disorder - it was currently Bulimia 1-5 times a day and Binge Eating everyday - has been completely stopped.
It's been nearly 2 months - I feel so free. Where it used to be constant, I now rarely have my crazy OCD thoughts filling my head with foods, food info or body image. I know it's only early days but I'm optimistic and am going to try my absolute hardest ... I honestly haven't felt this good in years.
I've never seen any information about the links between food additives and Eating disorders - I definitely intend to research this further.
Thank you so much for being a revolutionary voice and caring enough to share your knowledge with the rest of the world. You have seriously changed my life and inspired me to take action. - Jayne, by email