Anorexia survivor speaks of battle with the disease

Lucy Guanuna

An Anorexia survivor shared the story of her struggle with the disease to students and faculty as part of Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

Chelsea Roff shared personal accounts of her journey and struggle with anorexia, which she says stemmed from the need to have a sense of control and stability. She said she did not growing up in a violent home.

Roff spent years in and out of in-patient treatment for anorexia. At 17-years-old, and weighing 58 pounds, Roff experienced serious heart problems because of the disease and went to the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

She said the staff’s love and support helped her begin her recovery, as well as being introduced to yoga.

I went from striving to surviving. Yoga reintroduced me to my body and I was able to trust my body again,” Roff said.

Roff speaks regularly at university and college campuses, anorexia treatment centers and yoga studios. She said that speaking out about her experience helps in the healing process and although she has recovered, she is still healing.

“I felt like a thirsty child alone in the desert until somebody came to me with a cup of water, and then another and another,” Roff said of her path to recovery. “Until all of sudden I had all this water and it tasted so good that I wanted to share it with everybody.”

A question and answer session was held after Roff’s presentation. Attendees asked questions on the issues of anorexia and recovery.

“I’ve struggled with body issues and after overcoming that I wanted to help people,” said Margeaux Permutt, 25, graduate public health and nutrition major.

Permutt is also a peer educator for Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating (JADE) and the group hosted Eating Awareness Week. Permut said she was interested in the event because she hopes to become an eating disorder therapist.

Being a curvy girl (myself), girls feel safe coming to me and I wanted to develop the skills to help them professionally,” Permutt said.