YOUNG VOICES

Sarah Pustkowski Battled Anorexia For 5 Years - But Now She's A Personal Trainer

04/01/2016 14:39 GMT | Updated 04/01/2016 14:59 GMT

A young woman who battled anorexia for five years and, at one point, weighed just 5st 11lbs, has turned her life around by becoming a personal trainer.

Sarah Pustkowski dropped out of university to pursue her dream job, and is now working full time at a gym.

The 22-year-old developed the eating disorder at secondary school, and also suffered from clinical depression throughout her late teens. However after a long battle, Pustkowski, from Newcastle, can safely say she has come out the other side.

"It is safe to be said that this has been a year of remarkable change," she wrote on her blog The Growing Butterfly. Though there have been some terrible hardships and life-changing decisions made, I am heading into the new year, stronger and wiser for them."

The personal trainer continued: "Through ill health, came great sacrifices for my family. Over five years we had not been able to go away on a relaxing holiday abroad, which left us feeling low whenever the summer came round.

"I was always filled with guilt that I was the prevention of their time in the hot Sun, so this year I made it my mission to be in a better position to fly again. Me and my parents, flew to Icmeler, Turkey for our first holiday. Honestly, I never though for a second I would live to see the day were my parents could go abroad again. But there I was, on a boat trip across the Aegean sea, admiring the ancient architecture of Marmaris sitting next to them."

"Seeing images of how much damage I endured through my illness is horrifying," Pustkowski continued. "It is indescribable to view myself in such a malnourished state, yet at the time, I couldn’t see it nor believe it.

"Though this sounds a bizarre thing to say, I am actually rather thankful for my eating disorder, as it has given me a whole new lease of life, being more in touch with the every day, cherishing my loved ones, being grateful for the small blessings and learning to love my true self. My mind is full of amazing things, but sure I am by no means perfect. I still suffer every now and then with doubts of mental struggle, but I am only human!

"On a personal level, I have never felt happier in my own body and mind. After everything, I now have a wonderful relationship with myself, treating myself as I do with others; with love and care."

Family of FOUR + 1 🐶👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Every day I feel this way, but it is highlighted that my loved ones are the greatest #mychristmascheer I could ever wish for. Through everything we have had to face, these three have stood by my side, and fought with all their strength and love. I owe them my life to be where I am today. Yes this is an extremely soppy statement to make, but I couldn't care less. They deserve all the praise and recognition the world has to offer. What ever I do, I do for them. My aim next year is to make them so proud and give back to them for these past five years ☺️ Who ever you hold dear, never let them go. Keep them safe, filled with your love and enjoy each and every memory you create with them 💛💫

A photo posted by Sarah Leanne (@growingbutterfly) on

"When I think back to January, there is no way I would have believed you that I would have left university after the first year, to embark on my career as a personal trainer," she added.

"After making this tremendous decision, so much positivity has come my way. Though these past five years, I have certainly grown to learn that you need to follow your hear, and your life will work itself out eventually, but you need to be willing to let it happen."

Useful websites and helplines:

Beat, call 0845 634 7650 or email fyp@b-eat.co.uk

Samaritans, open 24 hours a day, on 08457 90 90 90

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393