health

Shanny wants people to know what it's like living with bulimia.

Content warning: This post deals with eating disorders and may be triggering for some readers.

Since she was just 5 years old YouTube blogger Shanny has suffered from a range of eating disorders and she became bulimic at 13.

Trapped in a cycle of binge eating and purging multiple times a day, she has lost teeth, hair and her freedom; a slave to the eternally too high number on her bathroom scales.

Bulimia is not a “lifestyle choice”, it is a potentially life-threatening mental illness, which is the message Shanny wanted to get across when she posted a harrowing nine minute video showing the reality of her life living with the disease.

A Day in the Life of a Bulimic shows the reality of life with an eating disorder. Source: YouTube

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"This is not my life right now, but I wanted to show how bad it's been in the past," she writes in the description of the video, already viewed more than 300,000 times.

"This is not meant to show how to have an eating disorder, or to give tips on how to be bulimic. This is to bring awareness of how bad it can get and to try and warn people what can happen if you venture down this road and accidentally fall into the trap of [an eating disorder]".

You can watch the video in full here (post continues after):

The video chronicles an ordinary day in Shanny's life at the height of her illness.

She wakes up, weighs herself, then spends several minutes dissecting her appearance in the bathroom mirror.

She shows her missing teeth, thinning hair then critically examines her body.

A photo on Shanny's Facebook page shows the effect of vomitting on her taste buds:

Shanny tells her husband she's planning to spend the day making cards and maybe a video, but instead spends the day moving between her fridge, bed and bathroom.

For nearly 25 years she has been controlled by her unhealthy relationship with food -- in an early video she says she can't remember a time before she had an eating disorder.

A recent photo of Shanny from her Facebook page.

"Eating disorders thrive on secrecy and shame. The more we talk openly about it, the harder time [it] will have surviving inside us," she says,

"This is such a horrific and cruel disease. I'm here to bring more awareness, help people not feel alone in their fight."

For help and support for eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation‘s National Support line and online service on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or [email protected]

Feature image: YouTube

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