Ruth Hughes’ story of anorexia in middle age appears in WOMAN magazine.
IN August 2009 and following her own diet plan, as she lost the pounds, she still felt her stomach was too fat. She cut back her diet even more, giving up dairy products and meat in an effort to get the slimmer tum she wanted. She even went to see her GP to ask for a tummy tuck – but was refused.
In hindsight Ruth can now see that the fat tummy was really just loose skin where she had lost a lot of weight – but she was so intent on getting a flat tum that she continued until she became anorexic. By October 2011 she was 7 stone and by Christmas 2011 she had dropped to 6 stone 3Ib. By then she was existing on a few rice cakes and black coffee.
It was only when she felt too weak to get out of bed that her worried husband rushed her to the doctor’s and she was diagnosed with anorexia. Her doctor told her she had to start eating immediately – if she didn’t she would starve herself to death and in weeks she could be dead.
The doctor’s blunt diagnosis was the wake-up call she needed and although it was hard, Ruth began eating more, introducing all those foods she had denied herself.
Ruth who runs a small holding with her husband, is now in recovery. But she wanted to tell her story to warn others of the dangerous of dieting.
She says: “People imagine anorexia only happens to people in their teens but I am proof it can happen at any age.”
In fact, with so much emphasis put on being slim and with celebrities constantly discussing how they lost weight, it’s not surprising studies show anorexia in middle-age women is on the rise.