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Anorexia Nervosa Health Center

Living With Anorexia: Carré Otis

The supermodel's bout with poor self-image and anorexia led to emotional breakdowns and finally heart surgery at age 30.
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Finally, Anorexia Takes Its Toll continued...

My body could not take it any more. By Christmas I had a seizure, and was taken to the hospital where tests revealed that years of malnutrition had taken their toll on my heart. I needed heart surgery.

At that point, I had life decisions to make. I needed help. I needed to make a change, or clearly my body would not hold up. At that moment, I finally admitted how out of control I was, and knew that I was not ready to die. I was ready to embark on the road to recovery.

Several years later, the struggle is no longer the reigning factor in my life. My size and shape no longer determine how I feel on any given day.

I still have a nutritionist I call and check in with, as well as many friends who I call when I feel triggered and in need of support. But today I have the tools to deal with the emotional triggers that arise. My focus has shifted from an obsession with weight to a desire for optimum health. I try to approach food and eating from a nutritional standpoint, and make sure that what I put in my body is balanced and beneficial as well as responsible towards my needs both physically and mentally.

I recently moved away from Los Angeles in an attempt to broaden my view and get away from the unrealistic attitudes I see so predominant around the "industry." I even limit the magazines I read to those that are focused on wellness and intellect, as opposed to those savagely dissecting celebrity life or the fashion magazines that perpetuate an unhealthy female image.

I encourage young women to find their own voices and speak out. Being active in the community, and developing a self beyond the physical is crucial. We must feel connected to one another to learn and grow as individuals, and find ways to relate to one another beyond body image and society's mandate of thinness.

We are far more than this body. We come in every shape and size. Our differences are to be embraced and celebrated. By honoring the differences in ourselves we learn to honor and be compassionate towards others.

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