23 January 2017

Rebuilding Your Confidence after an Eating Disorder

Many people will struggle with an eating disorders at some point during their life; it is something that can stay with the individual forever, constantly looming in the background. An eating disorder can massively knock a person’s confidence and leave him or her as a shell of their former self. This was the case for actress Amanda Gist, who had to put her dreams on hold to focus on getting healthy again after battling the eating disorder, bulimia.

Plagued with Inner Demons

Twenty-eight-year-old Hollywood actress Amanda Gist gave up on her dreams after spending years battling an eating disorder; the final straw came when producers told her she would need to lose weight for a role. Amanda moved from Nevada to Los Angeles to follow her dreams of becoming a successful actress in 2009. She would attend up to five auditions daily while trying to make time to continue modelling before she was given her first role. Once her acting career was in full swing, she found herself working with some of Hollywood’s finest, including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Christopher Atkins and Greg Kinnear. However, even though to outsiders it appeared as if she had the ‘perfect’ life, she was plagued with inner demons, and her mental health started to deteriorate, resulting in her developing a severe eating disorder.

‘Cheap, Useless and Disgusting’

Amanda weighed just eight-and-a-half stone, but was told that she needed to lose weight; this added more pressure to her already stressful career, and her weight plummeted to seven stone. She turned to caffeine and diet pills as a supplement for food and found that she was losing weight rapidly. She explained, “Hollywood had a toll on my body image. I had a history with eating disorder, and it began to spiral. I would restrict calories and exercise excessively. The eating disorder really presented itself as bulimia. The more weight I lost, the more auditions and bookings I got, it was like clockwork. But the more depressed I was getting… I was going to four or five castings a day, and by the time the day had finished, there was just this hole. I felt so cheap and useless and disgusting, only valuable for my looks.”

Temporarily Filling the Emptiness Inside

Turning to food for comfort put Amanda under a massive amount of strain to try and rid herself of all the excessive calories she was consuming, so she soon began to purge. This occurs when an individual binges on junk food and then makes themselves physically sick to try and ensure they do not put on any weight. “I would go to a fast food place and get in bed with all this food and just eat and cry and watch TV; it was a pretty regular. Food began to temporarily fill the emptiness inside, but to stay thin, I began purging. I would throw up the food. I isolated myself and was suffering panic attacks and was suicidal the majority of the time,” she said. It was the death of the Robin Williams in 2014 that made Amanda realise just how destructive the Hollywood lifestyle could be.

Enough was Enough

She decided that enough was enough in 2015, putting her acting career on hold while she focused on overcoming the eating disorder that was taking its toll on her overall health and wellbeing. She said, “I had to leave LA and quit acting, at least temporarily, and it was the hardest thing I’ve done. The only thing harder than staying was leaving, and I still struggle with feeling like a failure. But now that embarrassment has turned to anger and determination to change the society’s standards. I want to return to acting, but I’ve made a promise to myself that I will only do so when my physical and mental health has recovered, and I am strong enough to stand up for myself.”

Amanda has chosen to speak out about her battle with an eating disorder in the hope that it will encourage others to seek assistance and support when dealing with this issue themselves. She has since set up an Instagram page that acts as a form of support for those in the same position that she was in.

Help when Overcoming an Eating Disorder

You may have found that you are struggling with an eating disorder and are not sure of what the steps are to overcome this. If so, then get in touch with us here at UKAT. We have helped many people in the same situation as you and have excellent success rates with our treatment methods. UKAT clinics have been designed so that individuals feel comfortable and safe within the facilities. And with our friendly, welcoming staff, you can rest assured that you will feel at home. If you require any further information, do not hesitate to contact us today; we would be more than happy to help in any way that we can.

Source: Actress quits after she was told to LOSE WEIGHT despite battling eating disorder (The Sun)

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