Sarah Rav: Doctor reveals how she battled HORRIFIC eating disorder after nearly dying at 19
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Sarah Rav from Melbourne, Australia, was just 30 kilograms when she was battling anorexia. Since then, she has revealed that she was terrified the illness would take her life. The 24-year-old young doctor opened up about her struggle with a horrific eating disorder and explained how she was able to overcome it after nearly dying at the age of 19. She now uses TikTok to help others who are going through the same situation.
Anorexia, also known as Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder causing people to become overly concerned with their weight and diet. The young doctor previously disclosed that her obsession with "thinness" started after she developed a keen interest in high fashion posts on Tumblr when she was 13 before Instagram flooded with pictures of extremely thin women.
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Speaking to 9Honey, the young doctor said, "I had a Tumblr and was really focussed on high-end fashion, posting models on runways and in magazines, and I wanted to be a model. But I looked nothing like that." She also said that she is fully aware of how toxic and upsetting some aspects of social media can be.
She also explained how she got obsessed with the idea of losing weight and changed her eating habits. She recalled, "I ended up fainting in class, so my friends took me to my local doctor, who just told me I was being stupid and vain and to just eat properly." She wrote on her Instagram post revealing her positive change, "I will forever be so so grateful to those that helped me through the hardest part of my life."
When Sarah Rav, developed an eating disorder when she was 18 years old and in her first year of university. The 24-year-old doctor recalled that she had always been interested in fitness and weightlifting as a young adolescent, but everything changed when she entered university and suddenly became more obsessive. Sarah used to only consume 300 or 400 calories a day and spend three hours a day running at her lowest point. She told in her interview, "I didn't realize until my runs had gotten so long, I was running until my feet were bleeding. It was not sustainable at all."
Sarah claims her "turning point" occurred when a university employee approached her and advised her that she needed to see a doctor before she could resume her studies. "In my head, I was like… This is stupid, what do you mean? I'm perfectly fine," she recalls. She continued, "Then the doctor put me on the scales and told me to go to the emergency department." Sarah, who was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at age 20, was placed on a recovery program, which she could fortunately complete in the comfort of her home. After leaving the hospital, Sarah challenged herself to eat all the foods she had previously denied herself, including burgers, pancakes, and fast food, without engaging in any exercise for two months. In order to rebuild the muscle she had allowed to deteriorate, Sarah gradually started incorporating weight-based gym work into her daily routine and stopped using the MyFitnessPal app to track calories. She gained 19 kilograms and is back in the "healthy" BMI range, raising attention about her disorder.
The doctor is also a TikTok celebrity. She is well aware of how upsetting eating disorder glorification on social media can be for people who are recovering as well as those who are still having difficulties. "Digital well-being plays a big role in one's mental and physical health," she said. She added, "It is really commendable that TikTok has put in measures to stop videos that promote violence or eating disorders. The fact they are willing to step in and take responsibility for their viewership, I am proud of them for doing that."
With the help of TikTok, the internet which was once hazardous for users like Sarah has been transformed into a welcoming and secure environment. She claims, "I will empower my followers to make the right decisions and be smart about who they follow. I want my content to be useful, informative, and to make people feel good about themselves."
Melbourne-based Sarah has over 2.6 million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined – a platform she uses to educate others about the dangers of disordered eating.