At the age of 19, Susan a once vivacious teenager was about to have her world turned upside down following the end of a romantic relationship. Read on as she shares her experience with an eating disorder, being in a toxic relationship and how she overcame to finally become the woman she has fallen in love with.

So I spent most of my teens the sassy plump mixed race girl with big hair and an attitude. A label I was okay with! I would always speak my mind and I didn’t care what people thought of me.
I was 19 and very much in love, my boyfriend at the time was deployed to Afghanistan which broke my heart. Before he left he had 8 ‘words of encouragement’ for me “Don’t gain any more weight whilst I’m away.”
I laughed this off and kissed him goodbye for three months. Then heartache set in, I was worried sick about him but also very lonely bored and “FAT”.

I came across an advert for one of “Those” shake diets. Someone was advertising sponsorship at a fitness studio in exchange for sharing my journey via video blog. It came with a hefty bill for the shake but this was too good to be true so I applied and got accepted! I had to sign a contract agreeing to do at least 3 classes a week, and document my ups and downs.
I rallied up quite a following, I went from 218lbs to 168lb. People were always telling me how great I looked and how proud they were! It felt nice.

I ended up doing 3 hours of classes A DAY sometimes more to keep myself busy.(Which I now attribute my weight loss to) I became obsessed with shake dieting thinking it was some sort of miracle formula. This diet taught me nothing about what I should be eating but it did teach me to starve myself. During this period I was on a high dose of anti depressants prescribed to me on the basis that I was sad because my boyfriend was away…
He came back and was amazed by my transformation but obviously not amazed enough because 7 days after his return he cheated on me. I tried to forgive him but I couldn’t as I’d spent the whole time he was gone getting my body the way he wanted me and it turned out I still wasn’t good enough.

So I went looking for people that wanted my new body, and I found them. People that had ignored me before were finally giving me the time of day and I didn’t really know how to act. I was newly single and newly skinny! I knew they only wanted me for sex; truth is I only wanted them to fluff my ego. I came off my anti depressants like sex was now my miracle cure.

Then I met a new guy, he had a 6 pack and was really into his sport! He was the coolest guy I’d ever met. He told me he didn’t want a relationship and I was determined to change his mind. We hung out ALL the time and did everything together. To me, we were always together. But he’d never admit that. He went away adventuring for 8 weeks and I was determined to get my body right so when he got back he couldn’t possibly resist making me his girlfriend. Because his commitment issues had to be something to do with the way I looked?! So I worked real hard and lost another 14lbs. When he got back guess what?! He still didn’t want to call me his girlfriend. Weeks went by and I had started to chunk out a little, I was super tired and always hungry. YEP YOU GUESSED IT, I was pregnant. This guy who didn’t even want to be my boyfriend had gotten me pregnant. Which he was obviously very unhappy about. He told me that now things had gotten so serious he wanted to be with me, but not with a baby. I’d been after this man for well over a year and he had finally deemed me worthy of his love. I’d have done anything for him. So I got a termination. He wouldn’t take me to the hospital for my consultation and he reluctantly held me whilst I writhed in pain back and forth to the toilet until it was all over then he then went and played tennis.

I was so depressed, trying to find something to take my mind off of what I’d put myself through for him. I was riddled with guilt. So I comfort ate. Everything in site. Soon enough he had something to say about it. “If you get over 12 stone again I won’t want to be with you” I had just gone through hell for him and I wasn’t going to have him leave me because I was fat; this wasn’t going to happen to me again. I was so upset, he wasn’t comforting at all but food was.

So I thought, what if there was a way to eat food but not gain weight. I could just throw it up again right? So that’s what I did. In restaurants, public toilets, friends houses, ANYWHERE even when I was on holiday. No one paid close enough attention to notice. I was good at losing weight so why would they start questioning me now? I got down to 144 lbs, you could see my abs. I was still sad and I needed help so I told him. His response was “well just stop doing it” I thought okay he doesn’t get it…so I went to the doctors. they gave me anti depressants and sent me on my way.

There was no help for eating disorders in my area; no groups NOTHING. I even looked into retreats, I really wanted to get better. My friend started picking me up at 5am to go to the gym so I saw an outlet for my calories, she bought me a calendar to mark my days sick free and I got control of myself the anti depressants went in the bin again.

He never asked if I was getting better or if there was anything he could do. I realise now, that its because he never cared about me. After 3 painful years, of his controlling and manipulative behaviour, I had finally had enough of putting myself second and I left him. In hindsight, without going into too much detail, my emotionally abusive relationship was what was dragging me down the most. Not the guilt of a termination or being fat.
Fast forward a few months, and I met the one. I know he’s the one… it’s true what they say when you know, you know. He was in awe of me when we met and 28 lbs of love chub later he still loves the bones of me. He loves me so much that for the first time in 5 years.. I’m starting to love me too! I still battle my demons occasionally but I don’t battle alone any more. I Now work out because I enjoy it. And I eat because I enjoy that too.
after all that I’m now a 24 year old phat sassy woman with a big fro and SERIOUS attitude and DAMN PROUD OF IT.

Image: shutterstock