'I resented it, I punished it, binged, threw up and purged while pretending everything was fine' – Roz Purcell on overcoming eating disorder

Former model Roz Purcell has opened up about her recovery from an eating disorder, describing her years suffering as “miserable”.

In 2010, she was crowned Miss Universe Ireland and came in seventh at the Miss Universe competition before moving to New York to try her hand at international modelling and eventually moving back home where she has carved out a lucrative career as a blogger, cookbook author and media personality. On social media, Roz is especially vocal about her past struggles and is part of Instagram’s body positivity movement, but her post timed with Eating Disorder Awareness Week features a before and after picture charting just how far she’s come. 

“I hadn’t really planned on putting anything up,it feels like another lifetime & even though I’ve spoken about my food and body struggles on here in the past it never gets any easier,” she wrote. “I feel sad looking back, I wasted so many years putting myself down, missing opportunities and worst of all not being me around my friends and family. I know I was miserable.”

She included a picture of her modelling in a fashion show in 2013 side by side a picture of her beaming in a bikini on the beach on a recent holiday.

“The girl on the left looked at her body as something that was purely for show never once did I think how well my body held all my organs in place or was in anyway grateful for my health,” she said. “I resented it, I punished it, binged, threw up, purged, on repeat, while pretending everything was fine. I used to always just think this was me, this was just how I would always be towards my body and food……but thankfully that’s just not true.”

In recent years, she has turned to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helped change her mindset and adopt a healthier relationship with food and her body and made her appreciate “how important it was for me to change and start being me again”. She credits CBT as being crucial in her recovery.

 “It is very different for everyone, so I can only speak from my own experience – I went to CBT to deal with my control issues around food and my attitude towards my weight,” she told the Sunday Independent last week.

“Irrational and negative thoughts enter all our minds throughout the day and I’m pretty sure that’s normal, but I guess I’ve learnt how to manage them and filter them so that they don’t fester and ruin my day. You have to be patient with it and it doesn’t happen overnight but it will get easier.”

Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, is the national voluntary organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders. Tel: (1890) 200-444, email [email protected], or see bodywhys.ie

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