At 18 years old, Christie Swadling's biggest concern should be her subject quota at university.
But instead she is battling an ongoing eating disorder and advocating a healthy diet to other young sufferers.
'Photoshopped adverts of models like Miranda Kerr definitely started off my body image issues because you think that's how you're meant to be,' Christie told Daily Mail Australia.
'I became skinnier than those models and because of my disease, stopped thinking about the models altogether and became obsessed with just losing more and more weight.'
The social media motivator has had over 630,000 views on her 'Anorexia Nervosa nearly killed me' video on YouTube and has more than 8,000 followers on Instagram, illustrating her arduous journey from anorexia to finally gaining weight and then her changing her relationship with food. [caption id="attachment_69897" align="alignnone" width="634"]
Christie's weight dwindled to just 31 kilograms before she was hospitalised and then began to gain weight[/caption]
As a young girl, Christie was bullied for being 'chubby' and told to 'go back to Maccas'[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69901" align="alignnone" width="634"]
Christie wants to tell her story to others in order to motivate them to improve their quality of life[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69905" align="alignnone" width="306"]
She collapsed due to malnutrition on her 17th birthday and was in and out of hospital constantly[/caption]
Christie's struggle began in primary school when she was bullied for being 'chubby' due to her unhealthy diet.
'My family never had a healthy diet, I was always the kid that everyone was jealous of as I had the chocolate, the chips, the McDonald's,' she said.
'I got chubby at a young age and was bigger than all my friends.'
The teenager from East Gosford, New South Wales, about an hour and half north of Sydney, was mocked for her weight and called names like 'thick' and was constantly told by high school bullies to 'go back to Maccas.'
It was at this time that Christie began to exercise. [caption id="attachment_69907" align="alignnone" width="634"]
She had no energy and a terrible relationship with food and even stopped being able to get out of bed[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69909" align="alignnone" width="306"]
Christie is pictured here at one of her thinnest points[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69910" align="alignnone" width="306"]
she is now on the mend and has gained over ten kgs[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69913" align="alignnone" width="634"]
'I was eating next to nothing, maybe two meals less than 300 calories and there was a devil in my head telling me to be skinny constantly,' she said[/caption]
Motivated by her healthy, soccer-playing dad, she began to play different sports and found happiness there.
It wasn't until severe dieting began that Christie ran into trouble and she lost the ability to walk and became bed-ridden.
'It became a problem when I lost a lot of weight - 13 kilogram, I realised I was smaller than Miranda and one moment I liked it and then I didn't like it at all.
Her weight dwindled down to nearly 30 kilograms and she lost all energy
'I was eating next to nothing, maybe two meals less than 300 calories and there was a devil in my head telling me to be skinny constantly.' [caption id="attachment_69915" align="alignnone" width="634"]
Christie (left) says the disease began when she compared herself to skinny Miranda Kerr and other models[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69916" align="alignnone" width="634"]
The social media motivator has had over 630,000 views on her 'Anorexia Nervosa nearly killed me' video[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69917" align="alignnone" width="634"]
'I've had plenty of young girls tell me that I'm saving their lives,' she says[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69919" align="alignnone" width="634"]
She is now doing yoga and pilates to build her strength after being so weak during the peak her illness[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69921" align="alignnone" width="306"]
In her new Youtube video, Christie shows what she now consumes during the day[/caption]
Her family did not notice her internal battle until it began to show physically, prompting her mother to take her to a doctor.
'I ticked some boxes and they said: 'OK, you have an eating disorder', so they gave me some tips and told me to come back in three months,' Christie said.
Christie got steadily worse after her diagnosis and was admitted to hospital where again her condition stabilised and she was released.
It wasn't until she was admitted to hospital for the third time after she collapsed on her 17th birthday that she began to change her thoughts toward food and started eating properly. [caption id="attachment_69922" align="alignnone" width="634"]
A happier and healthier Christie now enjoys her time with her family and friends and does not worry as much about her body image[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69923" align="alignnone" width="306"]
Christie aims to help others by advocating a healthy lifestyle on her Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and blog[/caption] [caption id="attachment_69924" align="alignnone" width="634"]
Now improving, the NSW-based teen hopes to help others with same battle[/caption]
'I looked in the mirror and felt disgusted at what I saw and became aware that I was slowly killing myself,' she said.
'I just started eating and eating and eating, it was that easy.'
Christie now follows the '80 10 10 ' raw food diet and is inspired by social media health motivators like 'Freelee the Banana girl' and Loni Jane.
She is back to exercising and is keen to improve her strength and flexibility through yoga and pilates whilst documenting her ongoing journey to her followers.
'I've had plenty of young girls tell me that I'm saving their lives,' Christie said on being asked if she believes she is an influence to her hoards of her fans.
'I've helped so many already and I know that if I put my mind to this I could help so many more.'
Source: Daily Mail
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