Women share personal eating disorder stories

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    By Brittany Savage

    About one out of every 100 young women between ages 10 and 20 is starving themselves, according to Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc.

    To conclude the “Body Traps” seminar for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, three BYU students shared their success stories of conquering eating disorders.

    “I have a lot of great blessings in my life,” said Jill MacAllister, student and mentor for the Women”s Services and Resources eating disorders” support group. “I”ve recovered from an eating disorder.”

    Students Kyndra Claypool and Carrie Frost also offered their advice on battling eating disorders. All three students are mentors for the support group.

    “It”s a blessing for me to be able to talk with those who are struggling,” MacAllister said. “It”s worth it to get help. It”s worth it to talk about it.”

    Many BYU students struggle with eating disorders and are faced with the misconceptions of the world.

    “Your identity becomes this thing that you hate,” MacAllister said.

    Misconceptions that start at a young age can become part of a regular thought process, she said. People don”t think rationally when faced with an eating disorder.

    Claypool said she faced the misconception of having to be perfect.

    “Perfectionism is a big key word with people struggling with eating disorders,” Claypool said. “I always felt a step behind. I could have avoided that by being confident in myself.”

    Finding help can be very difficult for people fighting this inner battle.

    “It”s like suicide, it just takes longer,” Claypool said.

    It was a matter of life or death that inspired her to change, she said.

    “It was wonderful to get help,” Claypool said. “It”s OK to admit you need help.”

    Divine intervention played a key role in these success stories.

    “I am a daughter of God,” Claypool said. “My body is a temple. My body houses my soul. I want to do all I can to house my soul.”

    “I wanted to be healthy; I wanted to be happy; I wanted the spirit back,” MacAllister said. “People can”t do it alone. I know I couldn”t.”

    The three all agreed getting help required a big change in thought process and life-style.

    “Work to be happy with yourself,” Frost said. “It”s OK to feel happy.”

    The support group meets every Wednesday evening from 7:30 until 9 in 1520 WSC, and anyone can participate in the group.

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