An obese woman shed an unbelievable 19 stone – but became so terrified of gaining weight that she ended up developing anorexia.
Lisa Milburn, 32, who once weighed a whopping 29st 7lbs, became obsessed with losing weight after a three-year mission to slim down.
At her worst, the admin worker, from Edinburgh, weighed herself eight times a day.
After surviving on 300 calories a day, Lisa dropped to just 7st 10lbs and was diagnosed with atypical anorexia – a form of eating disorder where victims don’t meet the low weight criteria for a diagnosis of anorexia but display the same behaviours.
Thankfully, she has now made a full recovery, and weighs a healthy 11 stone.
Lisa says: “It was a scary time of my life. I went from one extreme to the other and took my weight loss too far.
“It became an obsession and I loved seeing the number go down each time I stepped on the scales.
“Now I want to show people that even though weight loss can be amazing, there is the potential for it to become dangerous.”
Lisa, who is currently travelling around Australia, had struggled with her size throughout her childhood.
She was obese as a teenager and her weight hit 29st 7lbs at the age of 20.
Lisa says: “Three meals a day wasn’t enough for me. I would eat a burger as a snack, followed by a dessert of crisps and chocolate.
“I was huge and wearing size 32 clothes, but for some reason, it didn’t bother me.”
It was only when Lisa watched a documentary about an American man who weighed half a tonne, did she become concerned about her bulging waistline.
She says: “I was so shocked at his large size and seeing him bed-bound and crippled with health problems made me cringe.
“It was then I realised I would share a similar fate if I continued eating the way I was.
“The fear factor set in and I knew I had to lose weight.”
Lisa joined Scottish Slimmers and began eating healthy meals and took up swimming four times a week.
Within three years, she had lost an astonishing 19 stone and weighed just under 11 stone.
Lisa says: “I felt fantastic, and to give my confidence another boost, I had a breast enlargement, taking me from a 32AA to 32E.
“I also had a tummy tuck to get rid of my excess skin, and joined the gym.”
In September 2009 she moved to Donaueschingen, Germany, to work as an au pair.
But her busy job left her unable to regularly exercise, so she began skipping evening meals to compensate.
Within a year she had lost another two stone.
By January 2011, after returning to the UK, her weight had dropped to 8st 7lbs.
Forced to visit her GP by her worried mother, Judith, 55, Lisa was diagnosed with atypical anorexia, meaning she had the tendencies of an anorexic, yet her weight was within a normal range.
Lisa explained: “The diagnosis didn’t faze me at all and I continued restricting my calories.
“I didn’t see my weight as being low enough for me to have a problem, so I would say all the right things in front of people, but then secretly carried on starving myself.”
Soon after Lisa’s periods stopped and she developed osteopenia, a medical condition in which the protein and mineral content of bone tissue is reduced.
Nine months later in October 2011, she was skipping breakfast, snacking on celery for lunch and weighing out 300g of vegetables for dinner.
She was also walking eight miles a day in a bid to burn off the 300 calories she was consuming.
Eventually, Lisa stopped drinking all liquids, including water, after 3pm, and soon her weight had fallen to 7st 10lbs.
By Christmas 2012, she was wearing size six clothes.
A month later she became hysterical when she weighed herself and discovered she had gained 3lbs.
She says: “I called my mum and just sobbed down the phone to her about how disappointed I was in myself.
“When I’d finished, she told me how ridiculous I sounded.
“She said if I carried on the way I was going, I would kill myself.”
With the support of her family, Lisa slowly began to increase her calorie intake.
She says: “It was really hard at first but I knew I had to get better.
“I started eating three meals a day again, and stopped weighing myself completely. I even threw my scales out!”
After eight months of recovery, Lisa returned to a healthy weight.
She now weighs 11st and is a size 12.
“Having gone through so much and suffered at both ends with my weight, I haven’t let it hold me back.
“I’ve taken my health for granted twice, but now I’m determined to never let that happen again.”
News Source MirrorNews