Like Born to be You Facebook page Follow Born to be You on Twitter Join Born to be You Network on LinkedIn
My Story

Born in the winter of 1974, in KwaZulu Natal. Into a very loving and supportive family, who welcomed the birth of their first daughter and grand-daughter.

As the first born, I was the "apple of my parent's eye," the perfect, idylic daughter.

My Dad - a Civil Engineer, my Mom - a Nursery School Teacher and younger brother who I was very close to. We both completed primary school in Gauteng and matriculated in the fairest Cape.

Always having a positive, outgoing, bubbly and cheerful personality, I was privileged enough to continually have many close friends, throughout the years. My parents often claimed that I had a degree in socialising!!!

I was the go-getter, the achiever, the girl who knew what she wanted and went all out to achieve it! I became prefect; scholar patrol; received awards for academic achievement for 7 consecutive years; dancing awards; Friendliest Matric Pupil award and Human Relations award – Dale Carnegie. A girl who had big dreams!

Despite my achievements, I never excelled to the same extent as my both my Dad and brother had. I constantly felt that I had failed to meet their expectations. (Which surprisingly, in hindsight, was not true)

So what went so horribly wrong?

Behind this very confident exterior which I portrayed to all around me, was an extremely sad and lonely young girl. I perpetually felt unloved and often felt inferior to those around me. I had a terribly poor self-image with continual feelings of worthlessness, which resulted in me feeling,

 “Never quite good enough!”

Whilst in the midst of studying for my grade 7 prelim exams and growing through adolescence - a hormonal and physical change all on its own.  My parents’ separated and my life, as I had always known it to be, quickly came tumbling down. I didn’t have the life skills necessary in order to cope with all of these changes occurring right before my eyes.

The paramount changes which were occuring, were the following:

  • Growing through adolescence - the normal physical and hormonal changes which each individual experiences whilst growing up
  • As the woman’s daughter was a champion horse showjumper. (With dozens of trophies, citation awards and rosettes displayed on the family mantelpiece) I interpreted my Dad’s decision of moving out, being due to the fact that it was “I” who wasn’t good enough! (As I felt as if I didn’t excel in academics/sporting activities to the extent that the daughter, nor my Dad, nor my brother had excelled)
  • Having been with my friends for 7-10 years of my life, graduating to high school and then relocating from Gauteng to Cape Town 6 months later proved to be extremely unsettling and a huge shock! For the second time in 6 months, I didn't know anyone.

Whist all these significant changes were occuring, I began comforting eating! I turned to food as my emotional crutch which proved to suppress all of my innate feelings of negativity and desperation. Within two weeks, I had gained 10kgs!!!!

I was feeling incredibly anxious and distressed with all of this excess weight. At the same time, my self-esteem was sabotaged by ongoing destructive messages lingering in my mind.

  • Hello, "Fattie!"
  • "You're a compulsive eater!"
  • "You have the figure of a Grunberger wine bottle!"
  • The look of "shock" from my grade 4 school teacher's face, as I climbed onto the scale

This excess weight began changing my personality and I soon began withdrawing from society, as well as my dancing. I had been dancing since the age of 5yrs old and hid now at the back of the class.

This sudden and rather drastic weight gain brought about its own anxiety and distress. Then one day, I stumbled across an article on bulimia in a monthly fashion magazine. I thought to myself, well here’s clearly my solution to lose weight! Every girl’s dream come true!  Eat everything which your heart desires, no additional exercise required and in an easy, effortless manner, you eradicate whatever you have feasted, by purging!  Wow, a brilliant idea - or so I thought!

What this article failed to mention, were the utterly devastating, life-threatening side-effects, which is the price you pay. I had no idea of the road ahead which I had chosen to take. This disorder soon becomes a behavioural trait and your emotional crutch. In time you come to realise it has become an addiction and a potentially lethal disease.   

I never cease to wonder, if perhaps I would've chosen a different path had I known the facts?

Within an extremely short period of time, I become the victim to the dreaded disease, “Bulimia Nervosa.” Little did I realise that I would still be suffering 13.5 years later from this “monster within!” My every waking thought was consumed with food and my weight. If I wasn't binging or purging, I was already planning my next binge.

I remember getting home at 2am, after going out with friends and cooking meals conconcted from the entire contents of the fridge, and then some. Constantly binging, I was completely consumed. Living a nightmare that I desperately prayed to awake from.

So, when did I reach my “turning point” you may ask?

My brother was the first to realise that I had a serious problem, which I could not control alone. Mortified at his discovery, I begged him not to disclose my ‘shameful secret’ to my parents. I also deviously planned binge/purge episodes when he wasn’t around, doing everything I could to hide the severity of my disease.

I was caught in a world of lies, deceit and manipulation, which continually resulted in feelings of tremendous guilt and shame. It was a vortex that perpetually destroyed my self-worth, reaffirming the belief that “I was not good enough!”

I had been suffering from bulimia nervosa for approximately 2.5 years when my parents were informed. At the time, they were completely ignorant of bulimia nervosa. 

Over several years, my family was very supportive in seeking medical assistance for me and taking me to various therapists, whose sessions they also attended. Without truly wanting to change, neither their encouragement nor seeing many of the country’s top specialists could help me recover from this extremely complex disease.

"When the student is ready, the professor appears."

One evening, whilst watching a television programme, “Carte Blanche” I found the therapist who would help me on my road to recovery. I was impressed by the fact that, as a psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, she’d also completed her thesis on bulimia nervosa. Hypnotherapy resonated with me as, in addition to dealing with your conscious thoughts and behavioural patterns, you also examine the underlying belief systems that determine your outlook and actions.

During 10 months of intense sessions, we confronted the lies I believed about myself. Often, misinterpretations of things that my schoolteacher, family members and other influential people had said to me, became the foundation for an entire deception regarding who I was to take root. Finally, I understood where the destructive thoughts and behaviours that were eating me alive had emanated from.

The next step was to forgive the many people whose comments and/or actions, regardless of how they were initially intended, had so deeply affected me. Forgiveness was a critical step for me as up until this point, I had carried all of my suppressed emotions of hatred and resentment. It wasn’t until I had confronted all the contributing factors and forgiven the relevant individuals that I would be able to change my thoughts and behaviours and finally relinquish my obsession with food.

The turning point came when my dental surgeon said I was destroying my life and he could no longer assist in repairing my teeth. Having had my first tooth flling at the age of 21, I was horrified to discover that the purging had completely erroded my teeth. Enamel is the strongest substance in the body and the fact that my repeated purging had eroded all of the enamel on my teeth, proved to be a huge wake up call for me!

Still, this devasting reality became my turning point. My point of no return, as I finally awoke from my nightmare! The last day I purged was on the 15 October 2002.

Thanks to the abundant love and support of my incredible friends and family throughout the years. I am now able to look back as a fully recovered bulimic.

My two absolutely amazing angels, Tristan and Paige, remain my constant teachers of unconditional love. In turn, I shower them with love, reassuring them that they are indeed perfect and special, exactly as they are right now! We are truly blessed!

Office National is South Africa's largest independently-owned, commercial and retail provider of stationery, office furniture, computer products, business technology, canteen and janitorial products, with more than 73 outlets and R500 million in annual turnover. They believe in the importance of sharing my story, due to the increased effect that this disease is having on young South Africans today.  I gratefully acknowledge Office National’s support as we work together to help change lives.

I am passionate about reaching out to assist others, sharing my journey of self-destruction, realisation and rehabilitation through speaking engagements countrywide. I am committed to reaching out a helping hand to others who struggle now, as I suffered once before.

 

A special word of thanks -

Thank you to each and every one of you, who's lives I have been truly privileged to share. Each and every one of you have a very special place in my heart and without you all, I wouldn't be the person who I am today!

Thank you for all our laughs, love, joy, tears and inspiring words of encouragement continuously extended along the way.

I am eternally indebted to you all.

All my love, appreciation and gratitude,

The South African Despression and Anxiety Group
Cresent Clinic

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
lies within us.

Changing circumstances requires a change of attitude.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Hard times are like a washing machine that twists, turns and knocks us around. But, at the end, we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you choose to
react to it.

A new day – with new blessings. Don’t let yesterday’s failures ruin the beauty of today, because each day has it’s own unique promise of love, joy and forgiveness.

Friendship is like money, easier made than kept.

 

BORN TO BE YOU! Inspirational Speaker/Author
Home | My Story | What is Anorexia Nervosa | Warning signs & symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa | Diagnoses
What is Bulimia Nervosa | Warning signs and symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa
Binge eating and purging | Causes of eating disorders | Side effects of eating disorders | When to see a Doctor | The Facts
Advice for sufferers | Parents Advice | Treatment | Testimonials | Inspirational Spreaking | Contact
Disclaimer

 

 

Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com