'I want to be normal and go out for dinner'
For Georgey Routen, it all started when she decided to cut out junk food and do a bit more exercise.
But it was not long before those good intentions turned into anorexia – and later bulimia – and her eating habits had taken hold of her life.
Georgey was 14 when she started skipping meals during the day and exercising in her bedroom through the night.
But with the help of her family, friends and eating disorder charity Beat, the Market Harborough teenager, who is now 19, has been in recovery for almost a year.
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Now a young ambassador for the charity, she has spoken out about her experiences to raise awareness during Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
"I think one of the most difficult things about speaking about it, and asking for help, is the myths and stigmas surrounding eating disorders," Georgey said.
"I would reach out to people and tell them I was having a hard time, and they would look at me and say, 'But you look okay.'
"Just because you don't look ill, just because people see you eating, doesn't mean you aren't suffering."
Georgey said she started getting concerned about her health and appearance when she was 14.
First she cut out junk food, then meat and finally diary products. Exercise became an obsession, and she would often walk around her bedroom for hours at night.
Her anorexia lasted about 18 months, before concerns from friends and family about her plummeting weight prompted her to start eating again.
She then realised she could trick people into thinking she was better by eating in public before making herself sick in secret, many times a day, for years.
"I was so lonely," Georgey said. "I just cut myself off from everyone, and really, ended up with no friends."
The turning point came when classmates started to apply for university.
"I just thought, there is no way I could cope with university," she said.
"And then I thought, I've lost years of my life to eating disorders, I'm not going to lose the opportunity to go to uni."
Georgey, who rang the Beat helpline, and chatted with other sufferers on forums, is now in her second year at Oxford University, studying history and English, and has been in control of her disorder for almost a year.
"My hopes for the future are to be happy, and healthy, and to be able to do normal things like go out for dinner without any hassle or worry," she said. "I'm getting there."
A Beat spokesman said: "We all need to break the silence about eating disorders so that sufferers come forward."