An Aberdeen teenager has opened up about her anorexia battle which saw her eating just two berries and a piece of lettuce a day.
Anneta Dovinos has since turned her life around after developing the eating disorder around three years ago, and is now hoping to help others.
The 18-year-old, from Aberdeen – who shed more than half her body weight and dropped from 78kg (12st 3lb) to just 36kg (5st 6lb) at the height of her condition – started on the road to recovery after her dad told her she needed to see a doctor about her weight.
And now the Cults Sports Complex lifeguard is telling the story of her recovery, and urging others to get in touch if they want to talk about their own struggles with eating disorders.
She said: “It all started because I was trying to get fit and lose weight. I wasn’t the fittest kid so I was trying to lose weight to feel some confidence in myself.
“When I started losing weight it became a bit more drastic and I became obsessed. I didn’t notice there was a problem because I thought I was doing so well. My dad noticed that I was losing quite a lot of weight quite rapidly. He was the one that told me I needed to stop losing weight.
“I didn’t really take it on. I thought ‘I’m good at this’.
“I didn’t look good at all. I was slowing down and couldn’t keep up. I was tired. It was mainly physically, but in my head as well. I wasn’t concentrating on my school work.
“That’s when my dad said I should see a doctor. The GP looked at me and said ‘wow, you’re really not OK, you’re really skinny’.”
The former Westhill Academy pupil, who is around 5ft 7in tall, was just 16 years old when she developed the eating disorder and was referred to Cornhill Hospital.
There she had regular family therapy sessions and gradually came to terms with her condition.
She said: “It took a lot of time for me to realise that I really wasn’t OK. When you’re anorexic your brain tells you it’s fine to be skinny and eat nothing.
“My goal was to keep on losing weight. When they were telling me to gain weight that was really hard for me to hear.
“It was a huge battle to get my head around the fact that if I continued to lose weight that would just end me.
“It was really, really difficult because my family didn’t understand what anorexia was and I didn’t understand it either.
“It affected me a lot mentally. They were telling me things and I was like ‘that’s not true’.
“I isolated myself because I didn’t want to be around people telling me to eat. I lost a lot of my friends.”
Gradually, over around a year-and-a-half, Anneta managed to change her mindset and reach a healthy weight with the help of her mum and dad as well as her sister Toria, 20.
Her weight is now restored to 78kgs.
And she has now released a YouTube video telling her story, which has had a lot of attention.
Anneta, who has been fully recovered for a year, said: “So many people are messaging to say they can relate to my video.
“It’s mainly Aberdeen but I have had some people from America who came across my video and messaged.
“I was so emotional about it. I was really nervous to put up the video but to have such a good response is the best feeling ever.
“I love when people get in touch. I want to help others.”
Anyone affected by eating disorders can contact the charity Beat on 08088010677.