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As we mentioned, Gemma shared all of of her story online to help other girls with similar struggles. Hearing it in her own words is very moving.

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“I have suffered with anorexia nervosa and severe depression for 5 years now. In grade 10, when I was 14, I was an elite runner and swimmer, yet I was never happy with body in comparison to the other girls I trained with.”

From there, things went from bad to worse for this young woman.

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“These along with being bullied at school, having a mentally sick sister and a pushy dad quite possibly are the reasons why I decided to start dieting.”

She started as most young girls with these issues do: By restricting food.

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“Initially I cut out all junk food and kept decreasing my food until I got down to almost nothing. The weight dropped off for months, it was the greatest sense of achievement and people commented on how great I looked being smaller. So I wanted to get thinner and thinner, it was something that I was good at.”

During her darkest times, she wrote honestly and painfully about her experiences.

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“Never have I loved myself or never have I been loved. I have been emotionless and numb for over 5 years now. But I am ready to change, I am sick of my life. I want to experience happiness, I want to be comfortable and maybe even learn to love myself, I want to have energy, I want to learn how to eat and not think about it, but most of all … I want to stop merely existing and start living.”