Anorexia so nearly killed me
Shannon hopes to inspire others in fightback from disorder:
A YOUNG woman from Coventry has spoken of her struggle with anorexia in the hope she can help others overcome their own eating disorders.
Shannon Finan’s battle with food started at a young age. Even as a child playing with her friends she was conscious of her size.
At 16, Shannon was diagnosed with anorexia.
Now 21, she told of her battle with from the eating disorder which nearly killed her. Shannon said: “I always suffered.
“Playing with friends as a child I would look in the car mirror at my stomach and think ‘why do I look like this?’”
She added: “I went from nine stone to six stone in the space of a year. I was just drinking coffee and liquids.
“Your mind goes once it’s taken over.
“I even contemplated not being here. But I have nieces and nephews and I thought I can’t not be here for them.”
As part of her recovery, Shannon received both in and out patient treatment. She said: “When I was really ill I wrote to the Prime Minister asking for help. I got the same reply every time and I realised he wasn’t going to help.
“I needed to try and raise awareness myself.”
The Coventry native’s through came after hearing about another youngsters battle with selfesteem issued. She said: “For me, one person’s story changed my life.
“I was watching a documentary about Demi Lovato and it clicked that something wasn’t right.”
She added: “Now I want to push my story out there and hopefully it will click with someone else.”
Since beginning her recovery nearly three years ago, Shannon has made it her mission to help others overcome their body image demons. Shannon said: “There is no balance. You’re scrutinised for everything – being too big or too small.”
Through the group, Fixers, Shannon has been able to share her story and recovery with the online community.
Shannon’s story reached a wider platform when her Fixer’s video was shared on ITV news. Shannon told the Telegraph: “It’s been crazy since my video was on the news. It’s been shared through Facebook and got around 9,000 views in a week.”
Shannon is now campaigning for better education in school around the issues of eating disorders and body image. She said: “My main objective is to get the Prime Minister to help me get school curriculums to promote positive body image and self-love.
She added: “I never learnt anything about this, or what foods you should be eating, at school.
“I also want to educate myself so I can give other people the best advice.”
While she is well on her way to recovery, Shannon still has days where she struggles. She said: “When I have a down day it There is no balance.
“You have to pus though so you don’t a rut.”
Every year Shannon marks her recovery day in September by taking on another challenge. She said: “On the first anniversary I did a skydive. Then I did a Wolf Run.
“Maybe this anniversary I’ll do something like go to university, which I wasn’t able to do before.”
Margo Horsley, CEO of Fixers where Shannon helps spread her positive body image message, said: “Young people across the UK are facing an epidemic of unhappiness.
“Some 67 per cent of young people who become Fixers put mental health issues at the heart of the issue they want to fix.
“With this worrying trend predicted to rise, this issue is something that society has to address.
She added: “Shannon is a wonderful ambassador for Fixers. We are proud to have Shannon representing her area at the event next month.
“We are sure her hard work and passion will encourage more 16 to 25-year-olds to come to us with issues of their own they wish to campaign about.” ■ To find out more about Shannon’s story, search Twitter for @road2recoveryx