28-year-old Kristina Vassilieva was once so thin from her battle with anorexia that she couldn’t wear clothes meant for adults, and instead had to shop in the children’s section in order to find anything that would fit her. Only 14 years old when her eating disorder first began to develop, Kristina tells Daily Mail that by the time she was 18 she had shrunk to only 98 pounds and had a BMI of 14.9, putting her dangerously underweight.
She said: ‘By my late teens, my interest had become dangerously obsessive. Transfixed on losing weight, my weight quickly plummeted.
‘I was seriously underweight and had to shop in the kids section for my clothes.
‘I would wear clothes for children aged 12 to 13 when I was 20. The fact that I could fit into them was a positive thing for me.
‘By the time I hit my early twenties, every tiny mouthful of food I swallowed left me feeling sick with guilt.
‘That’s when I developed bulimia, bringing up anything I did allow myself to eat.’(via)
Kristina’s diminishing weight quickly lead to an onslaught of health problems, and by 2012 she had finally realized the damage that she’d done to her body by starving herself. Describing herself as having flaky skin and hair that couldn’t help but to fall out, Kristina went to her mother for help and finally admitted that it was time to get help for her disease.
She said: ‘My bones jutted out, my skin became flaky and my hair started to fall out. My hair was very thin on top and I could see my head through it.
‘My cheeks became so swollen, I looked like a hamster. My face was misshapen. I had insomnia and I wouldn’t sleep for days.
‘I broke down in tears. I barely recognised myself. I was emaciated, I was dying.’
She said: ‘That’s when I told my mum what she’d been longing to hear for years – I wanted to get better.(via)
Kristina was immediately given psychiatric treatment, however she says that “after years of reading up on human biology I knew exactly what I needed to do.” Rather than shock her system by loading up on calories in order to make up for her eating deficit, Kristina gradually reintroduced foods back into her diet and took up light exercise in order to increase her endorphin levels. Why the exercise during such a fragile time? She says that she wasn’t going to beat her eating disorder “while I was unhappy.”
And not only did Kristina recover – she says she saw her “dull skin and hair was glowing” as she progressed through her treatment – but she began to see exercise as a way to meet new people and become more social:
She said: ‘After starving myself for years, I realised I wanted to go into fitness full time. It was time to take care of my body.’
She said the exercise also gave her a routine and she joined sociable exercise classes, she found it made ‘eating healthier easier because it gives you a purpose’.
Kristina said: ‘It’s been a long journey but I now weigh over 12 stone and couldn’t be prouder of my sculpted shape.’(via)
Kristina now not only donates her skills towards helping others who suffering from the same unhealthy habits that she dealt with, but was crowned the UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation South Coast Champion 2015. And despite the path she took, with all its bumps and mountains, she says that she doesn’t regret working through her anorexia.
‘I’ve learned what I’ve learned through this and I’ve channeled my passion into something useful so I can help other people.’
[Via Daily Mail]