By Liana Jacob
MEET the stunning brunette who overcame her battle with anorexia that reduced her to just five-stone after hating the way she looked in a photograph.
Teenager, Caitlyn Miller (17), from Manjimup, Western Australia, was just 13 when she saw a photo of herself that made her hate the way she looked that she avoided food whenever she could, consuming under 200 calories a day, while working out every day for a few hours. This extreme lifestyle caused her to shrink to 5st 1Ibs and she was only able to wear children’s sizes.
After living her life in and out of hospital; being forced to recover in an inpatient programme, while attending counselling and therapy, she realised how much of her life she was missing, and this encouraged her to welcome the recovery. Following a stable exercise routine and eating plan, the five-foot-five Aussie is now a healthy 7st 5Ibs and a UK size 10.
“I vaguely remember seeing a photograph of myself and instantly hating the way I looked and how big I looked,” Caitlyn said.
“Even though I was surrounded by loving family and friends I felt so alone. No one understood me, or my feelings and I felt like everyone was against me.
“I was constantly cold and miserable. The only happiness I found was when the number on the scale went down, but even then, it didn’t last long.
“I felt like an outcast and a recluse; I stopped being social and stayed at home all the time. I was perpetually afraid of the tiniest bit of food and always felt guilty for not exercising or burning calories. Living was a chore. I hated myself and I hated my life.
“At first my recovery was forced; I was put into an inpatient program to gain back the weight whilst receiving counselling and therapy.
“I had eight hospital admissions and the first few as soon as I was discharged I immediately lost all of the weight I’d gained back.
“Slowly things improved. I started to realise there was more to life than the confides of a hospital room. I never wanted to go back to that horrid place and I think that’s what made me choose recovery.
“It’s changed my life for the better in all possible aspects; I’ve reconnected with my family and friends.
“I got back my independence and the chance to live like an actual teenager and not have my freedom taken away.
“I’m no longer afraid of food, hell, I love food now. I’m no longer cold all the time, or miserable and bitter towards people.
“I’m having opportunities I never thought I’d be able to have and I am now achieving things that I never thought I’d be able to achieve if I’d followed the path that anorexia wanted me to take.
“I’m still not one-hundred percent happy with my body, but then again no one is. Now I wake up and embrace myself and I’m able to cope with how I look and how I feel in myself.”
While she says that taking the first step to recovery was the toughest part, she says it is completely worth it.
She now consumes over 2,000 calories a day, exercises for 40 minutes to one-hour at the gym five days a week and she plays female football and soccer.
“My family and friends always say how proud they are of me and how happy they are for me. I’m honestly so lucky to have such supporting and loving friends. My family even tear up sometimes,” she said.
“I want to be able to be an example to people that recovery is 110 percent possible. It will take effort and a lot of discomfort but in the end, you’re fighting for your life here.
“You have to prioritise what’s important; would you rather live alone, imprisoned in a skeletal body and unable to be happy or would you rather have a healthy body that allows you to live your life and be happy?
“I’ve learnt to accept that this is my body and it’s the only one I get. With recovery I’ve been able to sculpt my body to how I want and now I can be happy and healthy with the way I look.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/caitlynmareemiller/