THE BLOG

The Devil on My Shoulder

04/03/2014 17:07 GMT | Updated 04/05/2014 10:59 BST

Last week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and for all the support and publicity the many charities and support networks had, there is still the unanswered question on everyone's lips. Why?

It's an illness; there is no reason to it. It is a disorder - exactly that. Anorexia buries itself deep in your psyche and common sense goes out the window. It can be triggered by a traumatic event in your life, stress, a childhood where you may have been bullied for your size or shape... the list goes on. Personally I couldn't find a trigger, now I have other responsibilities and those responsibilities require a role model, and I've learned over the years how to flick the override switch and ignore the devil on my shoulder who tells me I'm looking a bit fat. It is encouraging to see so much help available, and the illness actually beginning to be taken seriously. Although, there is a wolf in sheep's clothing out there that you do need to watch out for, Trigger Sites.

There is a whole subculture to this illness that has generated since the advent of Pro-ana, Pro-mia (pro-anorexia and pro- bulimia) and thinspiration sites, people no longer hide away; they share their goals with others. Don't be fooled into thinking this supportive community is full of people who are helping each other to recover, their weight loss goals are not those of the average man or woman looking for a healthier lifestyle, these goals they are hoping to reach are estimated upon how much weight they can lose and just how thin they can become.

The tragedy of an eating disorder is we still wouldn't see it.

The dangerous thing about these sites are their hidden messages, cleverly disguised by latching like a leech onto the current trend for sites about clean eating and healthy living, they maintain a premise of helping and supporting your healthy lifestyle and your weight loss goals. Perfectly innocent from the outside, however, there is an ever-present chilling tone, the subliminal message that once you dig through the gloss of the healthy attitude oil slick come the hints and tips on how to obtain this. Dangerous reading advice such as:

• Take a hot shower, this helps quash feelings of hunger and serve as a reminder that you won't want to dirty your body with food.

• Pinch your thigh and see how you don't need food because you should be eating your own flesh from the inside first, before you are deserving of actual legitimate sustenance.

There are also sections of motivating quotes to help keep your weight loss on track featuring little gems like:

• Every time I have the opportunity to eat, I have the strength to refuse.

• If you have weight to lose, lose it. It wouldn't be there if you weren't supposed to lose it.

These all come with helpful tips such as which brands of laxatives to avoid because some can cause heart failure and you might die...

'You don't want this to happen before you've reached your goal.'

Whether Pro-ana or Pro-mia these sites all come under the same warped banner: this is not an eating disorder- it's a lifestyle.

For all the thinspo pictures you may see - you will never be that person. Our genetic make-up dictates that we are all different. If only we put as much effort into our healthy selves... we would be as beautiful if not more so than those in the pictures.

The tragedy of an eating disorder is we still wouldn't see it.

Asking for help is the bravest thing a sufferer will ever do. This illness you have nurtured, your body, all the things you have gone through together are now in the hands of another person. It's like watching somebody else holding your baby. Letting go and allowing someone to help you recover and believing in yourself enough that you can recover is the hardest thing you will ever have to do. My fear of recovery was, 'if I ask someone to help me recover then I'll end up becoming fat.' Why was this the case? I have no idea, why I am so afraid to gain weight? I have even less idea.

I don't think you ever fully recover from an eating disorder, it sits dormant in your mind, waiting for a trigger, in my case, usually a stressful event or sometimes a job. I work as a model and being surrounded by tall, slim, beautiful people it can be hard not to constantly criticise yourself. I'm lucky, I now understand a certain amount of this - how my brain operates and I can recognise the triggers. I have learned to ignore the devil on my shoulder and can flick the override switch.

I have a photo shoot on Saturday. I fully intend to eat and drink bad things on Friday.