By Ann Carter
At the age of 18, Lucinda Hoffman suffered a mental breakdown. When she was 8, her family went through a lot as her father fell ill. She started to use food as a way of coping with her emotions. As time went on, this began to spiral out of control and it progressed into anorexia.
It was during her first year at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst that Lucinda hit an all time low. The independence that came with living away from home pushed her over the edge. At the end of the year Lucinda decided that leaving Bathurst was the best thing for her health and she was then admitted to rehab.
Eating disorders aren’t that simple. Approximately 9% of the Australian population are effected by an eating disorder. Removing the stigma and challenging the assumptions that persist about eating disorders is the key to greater understanding and improved health for those who struggle with this illness.
Addressing eating disorders at schools and universities provides an environment that promotes and models healthy behaviours and body image. Like many women, Lucinda believes eating disorders are not spoken about enough. During her time at an elite all-girls private school in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, Lucinda was never taught about the one thing which is so prevalent in young women’s lives; eating disorders.
“It got to the point I was so sick, I couldn’t go outside and I was like, wow something might be wrong with me”
Lucinda is passionate about helping others understand the truth about eating disorders. She believes the best step someone can take is talking about their concerns and realising they are not alone.
“Asking anyone for help is a great step, young girls are not alone, so many Australians are going through it, let alone people around the world”
Now, a few years later Lucinda has just written a memoir, “Living with Lucinda” which discuses her history. This details what she has been through but largely focuses on her eating disorder. Although she is still recovering, Lucinda wants to show that there is a lot more to eating disorders than meets the eye but more importantly there is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Butterfly Foundation supports those suffering from eating disorders and body issues, they can be contacted on 1800 33 4673 or on there website.