Severely anorexic woman who plummeted to 5st builds self-transformation fitness program and is now an inspiration to many!
When she was 13, Athina Crilley's desire to lose weight and slim down turned into a dangerous addiction which resulted in several hospital visits
Athina Crilley had barely turned 13 when she got all worried about her weight. At 133lb, she believed she was overweight, and the desire to slim down and lose weight took over her. Thereon her tryst with exercise and diet began. It all seemed to be going well at the beginning, she felt lighter and was starting to lose weight; however, things went downhill soon after. She dropped a staggering 3st (42lb) in just five months, and that's when her parents started to notice that something was not right.
She recalls, "at first, I just wanted to lose a little weight, but then it started to escalate. It felt good at first, but after a while, I just started to feel weak every day.” Crilley's parent admitted her to the hospital for the first time. Although she recovered, she always found herself relapsing and in a span of a few years, things started to get worse for her.
Crilley became addicted to her extreme weight loss regime and was finding it hard to balance. Meanwhile, she was constantly going in and out of the hospital.
Her eating disorder reached dangerous heights while she was in college. Crilley would wake up at 7:00 am but would not eat or drink until 7:00 pm in the evening. She was addicted to counting her calories and restricted herself to eat a minuscule 400 calories a day.
“I was only eating about 400 calories a day and I usually spent about two hours exercising. I would get up at 7 a.m., go straight to the gym, go for a run, go to my uni lectures and then I finally ate when I got home at 7 p.m. Before then, nothing passed my lips, not even a drop of water," she said. However, she knew this wasn't just affecting her body but her overall health: “It was affecting me in every way possible. Aside from the physical aspect, I was staying home a lot and isolating myself from everyone. Just getting up and going to class was difficult."
At the hospital, Crilley was put on a diet of 2000-calories per day, but as soon as she was out she would go back to her usual dieting and exercise, which resulted in extreme anorexia. It was during her final year at University that Athina realized the seriousness of her condition and decided to devise a plan she was comfortable with. She started by adding calories with each passing day instead of jumping to 2000 cal per day and gradually improvised as she went on.
“In the hospital, they basically force you to eat 2,000 calories and I always relapsed shortly after. My method when I finally recovered was instead of getting up to that amount little by little over time. I didn’t consciously count the calories I was adding. I found that I was just hungrier day by day and added small amounts each time I ate."
With the help of her own recovery method, she was able to successfully gain 3st (44lb) over the course of a year. The 5’4 biochemistry major was enjoying this new transformation which started two years ago. Crilley now consumes up to 2000-calories a day and trains for five days a week in the gym, and that's not just it, she has turned into an inspiration for many others.
“Eventually, I had to devote less and less time to my illness and recovery just became easier. I’m in my last year of university and I’m spending most days in the gym. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of these things if I didn’t recover."