Joanne’s Recovery at 54




Recovery at 54



Focus your conscious mind on things you desire not things you fear.  Doing so brings dreams to life.



Dear Readers,


Please find below a very inspiring story from Heal ED. Thank you Ali for sending it to us. This makes us believe in Recovery. Indeed, Recovery from ED is possible at any age, all you’ve to do is believe in it.











The reason I love success stories is because they make you think…

“If they can do it, then, well, maybe I can do it”

And yes, that is right. You can do this.

So I have another success story for you.

Here is an honest and powerful recovery story that was emailed to me just last friday.





Recovery at 54


“Hi, my name is Joanne Sanderley and I am 54 years of age.

I have suffered from an eating disorder for 40 years, since the age of 14  and thought I would be an old lady still suffering from this crippling condition.

My journey with body image and dieting started when I was 14 and my sister and I decided to have a competition to see who could go without food the longest and loose the most weight.

I lasted a whole week and from then on starving myself, bingeing and purging became a huge part of my life.

Initially I felt good and in control, it was something in my life that was mine, no one could take it away from me. Then the bingeing and purging took over and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to bring up food. I was like wow I can eat whatever I want, I can gorge myself til bursting then just bring it back up.

It took over my life, even if I ate a few crackers I would bring them up as well. What was so horrific about this was I didn’t even need to induce vomiting. I would just bend over the toilet and everything would come back up .

As I got older I would have periods of recovery and then something would happen or I would eat too much on a dinner out and just have to get rid of it. I hated having anything in my stomach. It just felt wrong! This became my life for so long it was what defined me.

I couldn’t imagine life without it.

Then when I was 26 years old I managed to get pregnant and realised to protect my unborn child I would need to stop this addictive behaviour! The horrible thing about this condition is that you feel like you can stop it at any time but just when you think you have it in control something happens and off you go again. So this pattern of bingeing and purging still occurred all through my pregnancies!

Sadly I was not able to tell anyone not even my closest friends about what I was doing, it was all just too shameful and too overwhelming.

Last year at the age of 53 when I was stooped over the toilet trying to vomit something hit me, it was like omg you are 53 years of age – you need help – you can’t keep doing this. So that’s when I looked online and discovered the bulimia help method! I have not looked back since.

I read the book twice, started doing the structured eating and following it to the tee. I loved the constant flow of emails and encouragement I would get from Ali and her team even though I had never met them or spoken to them in person. Every week there would be an email with encouragement and uplifting advice on how to move forward and how you really can recover from this disease even if you have had it as long as I have!!!

The support from the programme has been more than I could have hoped for and I felt like you guys were really reaching out to me personally even though I know you have thousands of subscribers and people in the same boat as me.

At first it was quite difficult for me as I did get bloating of the stomach and I hated the thought of putting on weight but once I realised this was all part of the recovery process I accepted it and just kept going. For me personally it was the regular flow of emails and contact that I had from ali and her team which really helped me believe in myself and help me through the dark times.

So I would like to thank ali and her team from the bottom of my heart for saving my life and giving me hope. I am now 54 years of age and have been bulimia free for 8 months. I have finally been able to tell my husband and my children and am very positive about living my life free of this crippling condition!


Auckland New Zealand


About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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