Anorexic whose weight dropped to four and a half stone has overcome her illness
A young woman whose weight dropped to FOUR-AND-A-HALF-STONE after she refused to eat food and water, has battled back against anorexia.
Leanne McKillop, 31, from Greenock, Scotland refused to drink and would only eat a small amount of watermelon, every few days.
Leanne’s weight plummeted to four-and-a-half stone at her lowest and her kidneys were the in same condition as those of a 98-year-old woman.
But now brave Leanne has her life back on track and thanks to the support of her family, is now weighs healthy eight stone.
Leanne, who is now studying a HNC in health and fitness, said: “I’ve only just realised what food tastes like again. At the height of my illness I never believed I would get better and that’s a horrible thing to feel.
“The stigma from other people just makes it worse but I am so pleased I have managed to recover and get my life back on track.”
Leanne started suffering with anorexia at 14, after feeling like she was being compared to her two older sisters and brothers and feeling like an “outcast” at school.
The fitness student’s problems worsened when she left school and her anorexia manifested into a dangerous fear of consuming anything- including water.
Leanne became obsessed with exercise and was eventually banned from her local gym.
She said: “I was on a mission to lose weight and it was a downward spiral.
“I got banned from the gym in Greenock because I was going three times a day.”
Leanne got a job in a call centre but a throwaway comment from a colleague sent her spiralling deeper into the illness.
Leanna said: “My boss at the time said to me: ‘Can you not buy a pair of trousers that fit you?’
“And that was stigma to me. You wouldn’t say that to someone who had cancer.
“In my head it just played with me – they thought it was a fleeting comment but they don’t understand what it does to you.”
Leanne was hospitalised when her weight dropped to below five stone.
Leanne said: “I was in and out of hospital. The nurses kept trying to feed me chocolate. I wouldn’t eat. They didn’t understand my illness. There was no help for me there.
“I got frightened to drink water. I wouldn’t drink or eat anything and I lost a stone and a half in two weeks.
“Then my kidneys packed in. Doctors said I had the kidneys of a 98-year-old.”
Brave Leanne hit rock bottom and realised she needed to turn her life around, when her sister was about to be engaged but her family had to rush to her bedside, instead of celebrating.
Leanne said: “I gave up on life.
“My sister was meant to get engaged but they had to come and get me and I ended up in hospital – that was a kick up the bum.
“I knew then I was ruining other peoples’ lives. I went to see my consultant that Monday and he was lost for words.
“If he was about to give up hope, I knew it was bad.”
Leanne said the sight of her dad in tears also “broke her heart.”
After undertaking her slow recovery in rehabilitation centre the Priory, Leanna has now turned her life around and lives in her own flat with her two cats, Amber and Tallulah.
Leanne said it took her years to accept that she had an eating disorder and the stigma of mental health needs to end to help others recover.
Leanne said: “I was afraid to leave the house. People think it’s best to be secretive about mental health but we all need to know more about it and speak up.
“I don’t want anyone else to lose their life. I am now happy to be a healthy weight and be getting on with my life.”