Loughborough Echo

Woman who battled back from anorexia shares story in book

- By SHANNEN HEADLEY News Reporter

A woman who battled anorexia says her love for writing and studying helped her move forward and focus on life again.

Gillian Entwistle, 36, pictured, said her fight with food started at the age of 16, but it was years later when she discovered her passion for writing that helped her snap out of the “loop of anorexia”.

She has shared her story to show other people it is possible to make a similar positive change to their lives.

Gillian, from Shepshed, said: “In some ways it creeps up on you. One thing I will say for people on the outside looking in is it’s nothing about what you weigh or how you look.

“It was other things I struggled with, like controllin­g my food was a way of me controllin­g my body and not growing up.

“I struggled with the idea of becoming a woman, my body changing and entering adulthood. These things all frightened me.”

Gillian said she was admitted to a psychiatri­c hospital as in inpatient on an eating regime shortly after completing her A-levels.

She said: “I spent six or seven months there receiving treatment. I was living on the ward with other patients going through the same.

“I realised my disease had become so powerful that without anyone stepping in, I was down to weighing just over four stones.

“I was in a position that I had to go. If I refused at that point I would have been sectioned. It was devastatin­g for my family because they realised I had a problem that they couldn’t fix.

“I remember it being a real place of desperatio­n for them.”

When the learning support officer returned home, she said she slipped back into patterns of old behaviour and had to be readmitted for a further seven months.

“Afterwards, my college arranged for me to study every Wednesday for three hours where I studied English and it was there I found my passion for writing. I had found a new goal,” she said.

“I was in such a backwards and forwards loop with anorexia that I was afraid I wouldn’t snap out of it.

“In the psych ward, I wrote every day so it became like therapy for me. Writing has always been such a big part of my life.”

Gillian said her focus for studying and taking her exams the following summer holidays, made her realise that she could live again.

She has published her biography,

Head Heart and Hipbones.

She said: “I had always hoped one day I could put my diaries together and share my story. My book covers that period and gives insight to what it was like.“It’s been many years, and only in recent years I felt able to put things together and start writing my story. I thought it was important to share my experience. I spent many years feeling alone but now I’ve found a comfort in sharing things and I’m I know I’m not

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