How Chocolate Helped Annie Overcome Anorexia

Annie Windley, a young woman from Derbyshire, East Midlands, bravely fought a long and challenging battle with anorexia for five years. During this time, her weight dropped to a dangerous 60 pounds. However, Annie found an unlikely ally in her struggle: chocolate.

Conquering Anorexia with Chocolate

Despite being admitted to the hospital five times due to her severely malnourished body, 21-year-old Annie discovered that chocolate played a significant role in her recovery. One evening, she allowed herself to indulge in a single Lindt Lindor that she had been craving for a long time. Surprisingly, she didn’t gain any weight after eating it, which helped alleviate her fears about food.

Over time, Annie gradually regained her normal eating habits and triumphed over anorexia. Today, she weighs a healthier 99 pounds. Annie is now sharing her story to inspire others and raise awareness about anorexia.

Overcoming Fear of Food

Annie admits that the fear of eating was extremely daunting for her. She recalls refusing meals and even trembling and becoming agitated at the sight of food. At her worst, Annie couldn’t even be in the same room as food. She resorted to eating only toast with jam or low-fat ready meals to avoid gaining weight.

“I used to think that even eating a small piece of chocolate would cause instant weight gain,” Annie reveals. “But that day when I finally had the Lindt Lindor, I realized that eating wasn’t as terrifying as I had imagined.”

Annie reflects on her journey: “I was so obsessed with becoming smaller and smaller each day that I ignored the risks to my health. Looking back at the pictures, I realize how scary I looked.”

Uncovering Anorexia in 2012

In 2012, Annie’s battle with anorexia came to light when she was diagnosed with the disorder. She faced bullying from her peers at Monkton Combe boarding school in Bath, UK, and struggled with her weight. Her condition also affected her academic performance, forcing her to withdraw from sports teams.

“I used to be very active and involved in athletics, hockey, tennis, javelin, and netball,” Annie shares. “But once I started losing weight, the nurses became concerned and pulled me off the teams because I didn’t have any more weight to lose.”

Despite the challenges she faced, Annie has taken steps towards recovery. In October 2017, she decided to confront her eating disorder, gradually incorporating regular healthy and balanced meals into her routine. With support from her uncle, she overcame her fear of weight gain and adjusted her diet to include nutritious options.

Today, Annie enjoys meals like crumpets with tea for breakfast, avocado toast with hummus and poached egg for lunch, and dishes such as salmon with potatoes and vegetables or chicken risotto for dinner. She also treats herself to a protein bar as a snack.

Inspiring Others on the Path to Recovery

Annie regrets not seeking help earlier, as her struggle with anorexia affected her education and limited her opportunities for personal growth. Her words of advice to those who are too afraid to speak up are powerful:

“I wish I could tell my younger self to stop and cherish the time I wasted. It’s important to reach out for support and not feel alone in this battle. Anorexia is not about attention-seeking; it’s a complex mental health issue that is difficult to explain to those who haven’t experienced it.”

Annie’s courageous journey serves as a reminder that recovery is possible, even in the face of tremendous challenges.


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