By Alyce Collins
BLOGGER who gained ten stone in under a year is raising awareness for the rarely known binge eating disorder after the tragic passing of her mum led her into an addictive cycle.
In 2016, Eloise Pascal (23) from Perth, Australia found herself stuck in an extreme cycle of binge eating causing her weight to change drastically from eleven stone at the start of 2016 to twenty-one stone by 2017. Although she had always had issues with binge eating disorder, falling into a deep depression triggered her to fall completely off of the rails.
Gaining 10 stone in less than a year, she became a recluse as she hid away from her friends and family in shame.
Always a lover of food, Ella’s family tells stories of her obsessing over eating junk food from as soon as she could walk. However, later in her childhood, at just six years old Ella lost her mother to cancer. Feeling abandoned in the world at such a young age, it isn’t a surprise that Ella gorged on food to help her through the pain. With her father not in the picture, Ella was raised by her loving grandmother, although safe, she regarded food as her only friend and comfort, as she felt lonely being an only child.
Binge eating disorder is a mental illness from which sufferers experience a lack of control and find it difficult to stop eating.
Sufferers will feel uncomfortably full but continue eating at a rapid pace despite not being physically hungry.
“I hid indoors for months and months during this time, avoiding seeing anybody I knew. I honestly felt like a lost part of my soul” Ella says.
“My regime revolved entirely around buying food and eating it. I could easily eat an entire family feast in one sitting. I felt I had nothing else to live for.
Minimal research has been conducted into binge eating disorder (B.E.D) although studies have shown it to be more common than anorexia and bulimia combined. Studies are still underway to find a more concise root to binge eating disorder, although the most common ties seem to be due to genetics, body image issues, social stigmas, depression, abuse and traumatic experiences.
“Nobody has heard of B.E.D, yet many people live their lives suffering every day without knowing they have a disorder.
“This knowledge gap needs to be fixed, the statistics prove that this is a silent epidemic, and it’s my goal to fill that gap.”
A reason that binge eating disorder lacks awareness may be because a common symptom is to become reclusive out of a fear of social stigma, which can prevent people from reporting their illness. Sufferers usually eat alone so others do not notice their lack of control when it comes to eating.
Binge eating disorder was only recognised as a psychological disorder in the last decade, and since then it’s understanding has undergone a slow increase.
In reality B.E.D has only been seriously considered in the medical field in the past few years, and still to this day, some medical practitioners reject the fact it is an official disorder.
“I spent the entirety of my teenage years battling a disorder I didn’t know I had, before it spiralled out of control.”
Ella believes that if she had had early intervention then her experience would be very different, furthering her motivation to raise awareness for the disorder.
Ella is now inspiring other binge eating disorder sufferers to talk about their disorder and depression. Boasting more than 10,000 Instagram followers, she openly works to raise awareness for the disorder that effects around 2% of the population, most often going undiagnosed.
“It took me completely ruining and abusing my body to realise how serious my disorder actually was. You definitely cannot sweep it under the rug.”
“I decided to start blogging because I wanted to clear myself from the guilt of my extreme weight gain and life long battle against binge eating disorder.
“Once I started sharing my story, people started responding to me saying that they had never heard of the disorder, but they think they might have it.
“People were sending me messages thanking me for sharing my story because they could finally put a name to it.
“Every time I fail in my fight against binge eating disorder I get back up again. Not instantly, but surely enough I always try again. For me, that has been my key.
“If you just keep trying, you’re eventually going to succeed.”
Ella is proud to have lost over three stone to date and hopes to lose the remaining seven stone whilst she works to win her battle against her binge eating disorder.
You can see more about Ella’s journey via her Instagram page, Active with Ella.
For more information see www.mediadrumworld.com