Mother-of-two reveals how she overcame anorexia to have children
Mother-of-two whose weight dropped to less than FIVE STONE during her anorexia battle reveals how she overcame her eating disorder to have children
- Olivia Cooper, from Buckinghamshire, was admitted to hospital as a teenager
- She said turning point was when she fainted in shower and saw family’s distress
- The accounts manager, now 31, has two-year-old Bella and 10-month-old Jack
A mother-of-two who saw her weight plummet to less than five stone during her anorexia struggle reveals how she battled her eating disorder to have a family of her own.
Olivia Cooper, 31, from Buckinghamshire, was admitted to hospital for 12 months as a teenager, when her weight dropped to just 4st 7lbs.
She said her turning point came when she fainted in the shower while in hospital, and seeing her family’s distress, realised that she wanted to live and have children of her own.
The accounts manager, who is now a size eight and no longer weighs herself, has gone on to have two children, two-year-old Bella and 10-month-old Jack, with her husband Marcus.
Olivia Cooper, now 31, (pictured in the grips of her eating disorder) from Buckinghamshire, has described how her weight plummted to 4st 7lbs when she was a teenager
She explained how she managed to overcome her disorder after realising she wanted to have children. Olivia is pictured with two-year-old daughter Bella
Olivia described how she had been a sporty child growing up, but began to limit her foot intake and become addicted to exercise as she became more aware of her appearance as a teenager.
‘I was very athletic at school, captain of games teams, did sports, was a gymnast as a child, and so I was always conscious of being active,’ she explained.
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‘I think going into my adolescent years I became more aware of appearance and it just spiralled from there – combining not eating with being addicted to exercise I became anorexic very quickly.
Olivia soon saw her weight plummet and would regularly wear children’s clothes, as everything else was too big for her.
Olivia (pictured as she is today) is now a size eight and no longer weighs herself, explaining how she is ‘proud’ of her body
The accounts manager now has two children with husband Marcus, daughter Bella and 10-month-old son Jack
She was admitted to the Highfield Adolescent Unit in Oxford in 2002 for 12 months, where she was closely monitored and had to follow a strict diet plan.
However, Olivia says her turning point only came when she realised she wanted to have children.
‘I knew that I wanted to be a mum. And I knew the longer I carried on destroying my body the less likely I was to have children,’ she explained.
‘When I was in hospital for a year in Oxford it was very strict. We were weighed every Monday and Thursday, we had very strict diet plans, we had to be monitored and observed after meals, I had weekly blood tests to check, well, everything really.
Olivia (pictured during her struggle with anorexia) described how she began restricting her diet and became addicted to exercise as a teenager
Olivia (pictured while battling anorexia) described how she would wear children’s clothes, as nothing else would fit her
Olivia (pictured while struggling with her eating disorder) described how she felt ‘completely lost’ while battling anorexia
‘It was absolutely horrendous. And terrifying. I felt completely lost. I was fighting a constant battle between being owned by the illness and wanting to banish it for good. It was exhausting.’
Describing when she realised the effect of her illness on her family, she added: ‘I had a very bad accident when I was in the shower at hospital. I fainted and banged my head badly.
‘Seeing my family completely torn apart I just thought “what am I doing?” I won’t be dictated to by an evil illness. I knew I was going to die if I didn’t. And I didn’t want to die.’
Now, Olivia says she is happy with her body and proud of it for producing her two children.
Olivia (pictured while pregnant) explained how her turning point came when she realised she wanted to live and have children
The mother (pictured in hospital after the birth of Jack) now has two children with her husband
However, she found changing her mindset towards food the most difficult and she shared her advice to others who may be in the same position she was once in.
‘Getting over the fact that whatever I eat wouldn’t make me fat and that I didn’t need to walk 10 miles a day if I ate an apple was the most difficult thing about my recovery,’ she said.
‘I don’t really have a regime now. I am looking after two kids under three so it’s just full on and hectic but I love cooking, I love food and I love eating. I don’t exercise apart from running around after the kids.
‘Anorexia is not right. You don’t need to be owned by it, life is for living and just to be healthy. There’s so much more to life.
‘I know it is so so hard to think that way when you are in the grip but it can be done! I’m proof.’
Olivia (pictured after her recovery) admitted that changing her mindset towards food was the most difficult part of her struggle
The accounts manager (pictured while pregnant, with daughter Bella ) said she’s proud of her body for producing her two children
Olivia (pictured after her recovery) explained that during her anorexia battle she realised the longer she carried on ‘destroying her body’, the less likely it was that she would have children
The mother-of-two said the support of her husband Marcus has also helped her with her battle
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