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Learning more about anorexia may help you save someone's life

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Student is documenting her recovery from anorexia on Instagram to raise awareness about the illness

From SheKnows Australia
Amalie Lee is recovering from anorexia and she's dedicated her Instagram account, @amalielee, to documenting her health journey.

More: Anorexic woman near death makes a heartbreaking plea for help (VIDEO)

Lee, who according to the Daily Mail is a 20-year-old student studying at the University of Roehampton, London, has reportedly been struggling with an eating disorder since 2012, but two years ago she sought help from an outpatient centre. She has since gone on to share her past health struggles and her recovery in an honest and inspiring way.

Her account features pictures of herself, which range from her eating both healthy snacks and junk food to before-and-after shots of her body.

In recovery from eating disorders, there is a lot of focus on the physical part. Being ill means looking physically ill; dry skin, hair falling out and a thin and fragile frame. But guess what? Most ED sufferers are actually normal- or overweight. For me, recovery meant going from a body seen as abnormal and unappealing by others and society in general. But for some, recovery may mean letting go of a body seen as "fit" and ideal by society, and instead embrace a higher body fat percentage. A woman might get praised for her six pack, when she is in fact eating 1000 calories a day to maintain a body fat percentage so low that she does not even have her period. Social media rationalize eating disorders at times. It is not healthy to be ripped for fat. It is not healthy to eat restrictive. It is not healthy to obsess over weight and food. But fuck, it is a money maker. Zero calorie noodles, magazines lurking us with headlines that suggests we need to change. And the approval. The likes. But in the end, does it really matter? Back to recovery. Not everybody who recovers will end up on a perfect bmi of X. Mind-blowing fact: you can be healthy without looking like a fitness model, and people who looks like fitness models are not always healthy. I am damn proud of my physical change as you can see, and I enjoy showing you my progress. But always remember that healthy is not a look, and neither is recovery. #realcovery is for everyBODY

A photo posted by REDEFINING HEALTHY (@amalielee) on

That's how I do#girlswithgluten

A photo posted by REDEFINING HEALTHY (@amalielee) on

Ok, time to answer some frequently asked questions from here and on my other social media platforms!"How do you eat and exercise?" I eat whatever I want when I want to. I am a vegetarian, and I eat a lot of fruits yet also chocolate. I don't exercise much - some strength at home now and then. "What was your lowest weight?" 4 kg. It was on the 11th of march 1995"*Insert something german*" I'm sorry, but I unfortunately don't speak a word german!Please translate for me, I want to read! I get a lot of german comments for some reason. "Do you have a boyfriend?" No, and I like it that way at the moment. I don't like being too attached or dependent on others. Though I enjoy meeting guys, I need my space, and being my own, free. For now. "What languages do you speak?" Norwegian, english and spanish - my spanish is a bit rusty though. After a few glasses of wine I also speak swedish and danish. "*Insert recovery question*" Please see - I've most likely answered it there, and I unfortunately don't have capacity to answer all recovery things"What are you studying?" I'll start a bachelor in Psychology & Counselling in London in September. ... Anything else? Comment below and I'll try my best to answer! (Body chain @lovelyofsweden)

A photo posted by REDEFINING HEALTHY (@amalielee) on

More: The most common eating disorder is one you didn't know existed

Lee is raising awareness for eating disorders and her account already has almost 60,000 followers. This is good news and it's wonderful to see that she has taken control of her life, but Lee's story is just one of many.

According to, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder with three key features, including fear of gaining weight, distorted body image and the inability to maintain a healthy weight.

It is often difficult to tell if someone is anorexic, as they try hard to conceal their eating habits, but there are definite signs to look out for:

  1. Sufferers tend to be infinitely critical of their body and are constantly looking for flaws.
  2. They are obsessed with weight and constantly feel "too fat", despite being underweight.
  3. They deny accusations that they are "too thin" and attempt to conceal their true size (with baggy clothing, layers, etc.).
  4. They suffer dramatic weight loss without any medical reason for it.

Of course, these signs are not all-inclusive, so if you feel that you know someone suffering from an eating disorder, please seek professional help.

More: 17-Year-old suffered heart attack after years of extreme dieting

When talking to someone you love about an eating disorder, offer support in any way you can, but tread lightly because there are certain things that you should avoid saying. The National Eating Disorders Collaboration of Australia suggests the following:

  1. Don't place blame on the person, pressure them or manipulate their feelings, and avoid language like "you" are making me stress; instead use "I".
  2. Try not to mention food, but instead speak about the person's feelings.
  3. Don't threaten the person with punishments if they do not eat or don't do what you want them to do, as this can make things much worse.
  4. Try to listen to what the person has to stay instead of counselling them and dominating the conversation.

If you know someone who may be suffering with anorexia, please seek professional help in addition to gathering information and learning more about this disease.

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