“Doctors Warned My Heart Would Fail On Flight” – Skeletal Woman Beats Eating Disorder After Five Year Battle
A skeletal woman – who was warned by doctors that her heart would fail if she boarded a flight – has finally reached a healthy weight after a five-year battle with an eating disorder.
Emma Oldfield, 23, from Clacton-On-Sea, Essex, was forced to cancel her holiday in 2016 due to doctor’s concerns her internal organ couldn’t withstand cabin pressure on the plane.
At her lowest weight, Emma’s rib cage was exposed and she was wearing a dress size 4, but after finding a love of the gym and newfound self-confidence, she is now at a healthy size 10.
Emma, a children’s entertainer, said: “I’ve had to cancel my last three summer holidays due to the fact I wasn’t healthy enough to fly.
“I was supposed to be going to Spain in 2016, Prague in 2017 and Turkey last year.
“My eating disorder started around the age of 18 shortly after my mum passed away from cancer.
“I used food and body image as a way of coping with what felt like my entire life falling apart – I always had body image issues.
“I began losing weight and through working 12 hour shifts as a waitress, biking to work daily and not having enough time for breaks and food.
“This spiralled fairly quickly and I viewed food as guilt and attached negative connotations with the feelings of being full.”
Last year, when Emma was at her ‘worst’, she was warned by doctors that due to being so underweight she was a risk of sepsis and a cardiac arrest.
Emma previously had to leave her job as a camp counsellor in America in 2015 to come home and receive treatment for her eating disorder.
But a year on from her lowest point, Emma is the healthiest and happiest she’s been for a long time and is on the road to recovery.
She said: “For me there was no ‘light bulb moment’ – I didn’t wake up one day and decide to stop my behaviours.
“It was gradual, it took time, tears and determination, I always wanted a life without an eating disorder and I was fully aware that it was killing me.
“It was making me weak and hurting those around me – as well as myself – but my behaviours and habits were so ingrained I just didn’t know how to stop even though I was at death’s door.
“With the help of professionals and eating disorder services I was able to progress and start introducing new things, adding them to my routine and embedding them before I moved forward with the next step.”
Following her recovery, Emma no longer cut out certain food groups deemed ‘bad’, doesn’t skip meals anymore and has a free and flexible diet.
Emma added: “I would be lying if I said I was ‘cured’ and I didn’t have set backs, but overall I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve been in years.
“I will never deprive myself of life again all be it pressures from society, perfectionism, stressful life events or anything else that might happen.
“Since speaking out about my battle, lots of people have thanked me for my honesty and hope.
“I have worked so hard to get to where I am today and I hope my journey inspires at least one person to know the future can be what you make it.”