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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.”