Extreme eater who only ate bread and chips beat food phobia by taking up bodybuilding
A woman who only ate bread, crackers and chips because she had a phobia of ALL other foods has overcome her fears by taking up BODYBUILDING.
Personal trainer Lauren Levine, 23, has been a fussy eater for as long as she can remember and believes she suffers from selective eating disorder.
Her phobia included meat, fruit, vegetables, and even WATER and she could not eat anything but bread, chips, crackers and plain crisps without feeling sickened by the taste and texture.
Lauren, from Northwich, Cheshire, said: “My safe food was all bland stuff, bread, crackers, and chips – and even then it depended on the look of the potato.
“If chips were over-cooked I would have to pick the crispy ends off and just eat the middle because I couldn’t deal with crunchy stuff – anything hard or with bits is my worst nightmare – everything had to be smooth.
“Any other tastes or textures were just so overwhelming they would repulse me. I think I’ve got sensitive taste buds because I can taste everything so strongly it makes me feel physically sick.
“I can’t even handle the taste of water and struggle to swallow it.
“When I was younger, if food was wrong I would try it but it would make me heave and I would have to spit it out and my mum and stepdad would go mad at me for not finishing it.
“Nothing could have helped me – no matter what they said or did I just couldn’t get it down.
“I came up with ways of sneaking it into a napkin when they weren’t looking or playing with my food so it looked like I had eaten. And at school I would just throw away my packed lunches.
“I didn’t want to not eat. I wanted to be like everyone else. People would tell me how good things tasted and I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.”
By the time she reached her teens, Lauren was suffering bad headaches and sleeping 12 hours a day because she was dehydrated and not getting enough nutrition.
But after developing a keen interest in fitness and bodybuilding, Lauren decided she was going to turn her life around.
With the help of her boyfriend, Alex Moss, 25, a fellow bodybuilder, Lauren can now eat a healthy balanced diet including broccoli, carrots, eggs, chicken, salmon, tuna and rice.
And because she still isn’t a fan of the taste of water, Lauren adds squash so she can stay hydrated.
Lauren said the lifestyle change has given her a huge energy boost to train harder and she just took part in her first bodybuilding bikini show in Liverpool on Sunday, with another competition lined up for next weekend.
She said: “I was fed up with being tired all the time and having headaches because I was eating crap.
“I’d had enough and really wanted to improve my fitness and Alex has been so good and supportive.
“As a competitor in bodybuilding himself he knew that I had it in me but I didn’t think I would ever be able to get this far.
“First Alex made me a jacket potato and I absolutely loved it. That was the real breakthrough because I felt so good to be able to eat a new thing.
“It made me actually want to try new stuff, which I was too scared to do before, and I even ask Alex if I can have a taste of his food now if it is something new.
“He laughs at me because I don’t even know the names of so many foods.
“I always have it with something else I like, like chicken, and put that on the fork last so it’s the first thing in my mouth.
“Now I can count what I eat on two hands, not just one and I feel amazing. My fitness is so good and just thinking about the competition coming up makes me so happy.
“Best of all when people ask me how I got this far with my bodybuilding I can finally tell them it’s through a healthy diet and exercise.”
Lauren is now keen to help other people suffering from selective eating disorder by sharing her story and experiences on social media. To view her fitness Facebook page go to www.facebook.com/xoxlaurenlevinexox?fref=ts