Body image and self-esteem issues are a struggle many people deal with in different extremes.
Kaitlyn Davidson once weighed 81 pounds but was able to conquer her battle to find a healthy balance in her life. The 24-year-old from Sydney, Australia, struggled with anorexia at an early age.
At her lowest weight of 81 pounds, her body constantly ached and her hair began to fall out. She told News.com.au:
“There’s a fine line between fitness and obsession, and I didn’t realize I’d crossed that line until it was too late.”
“I had two minds, I had my eating disorder mind and my rational mind. I always had to push harder, be better. The better I got, the higher standards I’d set myself. I had to do my usual routine at the gym and if I missed something, I’d punish myself.”
Davidson recalled a difficult time when she was in physical pain, her skin was yellow from poor circulation, her teeth were eroding and her hair was thinning. She added:
“Walking was a struggle. When I sat down, I could feel my tailbone. I could physically feel my heart beating. My heart rate was extremely low, the doctors told me it was going to stop. They said my body had no more signs to give.”
It wasn’t just her body that was failing her, but it seemed her social life was crumbling as well. Davidson, who is from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, said her friends and family members were extremely concerned.
Staff and members at the gym as well as random strangers on the street would also check up on her and ask if she was eating. Despite their advice, the 24-year-old who had dreams of being a bikini model could not accept the fact that she had anorexia. She said:
“I’ve always been a headstrong person. I honestly thought I was more dedicated than others. I wasn’t eating enough. I had so many fear foods I couldn’t touch, I couldn’t even come into some foods’ vicinity. Food wasn’t for energy, it was to be burnt, I’d have to burn it all off.”
Though Davidson’s body was giving out on her, she continued to go to the gym to work out and lift weights as the adrenaline would take over. It wasn’t until she came across Portia de Rossi’s autobiography that she realized the reality of her condition. The road to recovery wasn’t easy for Davidson, who said:
“It’s so exhausting when you’re fighting in your own head and people around you tell you to get help. They want a quick fix.”
“It’s not a linear process. I went through stages where I could eat anything and it would go straight through me, it was just replenishing my body. Then I got into the habit of eating that much and began storing weight.”
“Anorexia is not a body type or a body shape, it’s a mental illness. You still need to treat it, even once the weight has been gained.”
Though many expressed their hesitation to Davidson’s dream of becoming a bikini model, she assured them that she was in a good place and mindset to pursue it. She also has a coach who helps monitors her health throughout her journey.
Davidson is set to compete in World Bikini Fitness and Fashion on May 14 for the second time. She is an avid Instagram user and posts images of her journey on her account. She explained:
“I share a lot of my body because i know what it’s like being that person alone at night, sick, these are the people scrolling through, upset and hating their bodies. If they can see me and feel OK, job done.”
“When I was lying in my bedroom in constant pain, and felt like it was going to end for me, having someone I looked up to made me feel there was a road ahead. And now I’m living the life I dreamt of living.”