Ex­hi­bi­tion high­lights bat­tle with eat­ing dis­or­ders

CRAV­INGS

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

A young mother hopes an art ex­hi­bi­tion de­tail­ing her twodecade strug­gle with an eat­ing dis­or­der can bring some re­lief to other suf­fer­ers.

Her­self is a series of can­vas paint­ings by Angie Ogilvy whose un­healthy re­la­tion­ship with food started when she was 14.

‘‘I was play­ing around with di­ets and things. I thought ‘if I’m thin every­thing else will be won­der­ful’,’’ she says.

The One­hunga res­i­dent was suf­fer­ing from a com­bi­na­tion of the three most com­mon eat­ing dis­or­ders – anorexia, bu­limia, and com­pul­sive eat­ing.

Sur­pris­ingly she was able to keep it a se­cret and not seek help for 20 years.

‘‘I never talked about it, I was really ashamed of it. No­body really knew apart from my hus­band,’’ she says.

‘‘On the out­side I prob­a­bly seemed quite suc­cess­ful, fit, and healthy. On the in­side it was a big strug­gle to present my­self how I wanted peo­ple to see me.’’

Mrs Oglivy was at the height of her strug­gle when she and her hus­band moved to Auck­land five years ago.

She says her faith in God helped her to re­alise that things needed to change and she found a sup­port group.

‘‘It opened my eyes. I saw it wasn’t nor­mal and per­haps it wasn’t my lot and I didn’t ac­tu­ally have to strug­gle on through life ba­si­cally hat­ing and starv­ing my­self.’’

From there Mrs Oglivy vis­ited her doc­tor and started see­ing a ther­a­pist.

‘‘I still kind of strug­gle and I’m still not there, but I know that I’m on my way out,’’ she says.

Her­self came into be­ing around the same time.

‘‘I’d wanted to do an­other series for a long time and this was the big­gest thing in my life.

‘‘It has been help­ful. It makes you sit down and think about it,’’ she says.

The paint­ings are on dis­play at Crave cafe in Morn­ing­side.

Mrs Oglivy is do­nat­ing 15 per cent of sales to A Girl Called Hope.

The char­ity is a res­i­den­tial fa­cil­ity for girls suf­fer­ing from eat­ing dis­or­ders and other is­sues.

‘‘For me it went for 20 years and it would be really neat if I could help just one girl so she didn’t have to suf­fer for that long,’’ she says.

Mrs Oglivy has a two-yearold daugh­ter and is preg­nant.

‘‘Hav­ing chil­dren has been a huge heal­ing process.

‘‘My daugh­ter changed my whole per­spec­tive.

‘‘When I was really caught in the dis­or­der the most im­por­tant thing in my life was to be thin.

‘‘Now she is the most im­por­tant thing in my life which is healthy and nor­mal,’’ she says.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Her story: Angie Ogilvy’s ex­hi­bi­tion Her­self out­lines her 20-year bat­tle with an eat­ing dis­or­der.

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