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Strength to beat eating disorder

22nd December 2015

Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder – many of them teenagers.

Sarah Leanne Pustkowski, now aged 22, from Newcastle, went through this after suffering from anorexia nervosa and clinical depression throughout her late teens.

In 2010, towards the end of her time at secondary school, her health began to deteriorate and she began a battle with mental illness that lasted five years.

Her recovery was gradual, but seeing someone close to her struggle with an eating disorder gave her renewed motivation to get better. They are extremely close to me," she said. "When they fell ill it led me to deteriorate and I relapsed. That's when I realised that the change had to come from me. I had been waiting for someone to say something or do something that would make me better, but I realised I had to start the change. I took a kind of leap of faith. I started doing things people told me would make me better, even though I didn't fully believe it. Gradually I noticed it was working, and I just went from there."

And in May this year Sarah could say with confidence that she had recovered, leaving her determined to use her experiences to help others.

Since October she has been working as a personal trainer at Fenton's Lifestyle Fitness gym, and also runs a blog called 'The Growing Butterfly'.

She offers personal training sessions which include health and nutritional programmes, along with 'self-development support' to help people become 'stronger in body and mind'.

Sarah said: "I've discovered through my own personal experiences that looking after yourself has such a big effect on everything you do. When I was ill I would talk about the sorts of activities I wanted to do when I got better, and my mum said 'the way you talk about getting better and being able to do the things you want to do tells me that you have the willpower to help others get through this kind of situation. That stuck with me, and later I realised just how powerful you can be when you need to be."

Now Sarah tries to help others with their diets, offering nutritional support as a trainer and sharing healthy recipes on social media.

We are very proud of Sarah.

Read more here