Brink of death to triathlon dream: Surviving worth the fight
AFTER a year of "absolute hell" recovering from her anorexia nervosa, Callie Peut is finally healthy enough to fulfil a lifelong dream.
The Sunshine Coast woman was last year on the brink of death due to a 16-year battle with the eating disorder. Now she's training for the Mooloolaba Tri, raising money for the local charity she says saved her life.
Callie, 28, was admitted to an emergency department last year where she says her doctors deemed her "as good as dead".
It was when her diagnosis changed from anorexia nervosa to chronic and enduring anorexia nervosa that she decided something had to change.
"I was like 'I'm going to get better now to prove them wrong'. Either I needed to recover or not recover and just die," she said.
"I purely thought of it like 'I can't say that I can't get better if I don't try'."
Callie spent an "absolutely horrible" several months beginning her recovery process.
"It was absolute hell. I truly believe that eating disorder recovery is not meant to be fun. It was the worst feeling I will probably ever have," she said. "Every day I was fighting against my own brain and my own brain was trying to kill me."
But thanks to her incredible determination and the support from Sunshine Coast-based eating disorder charity endED, Callie has made it through to the other side.
While she says it's still a daily struggle, fighting her eating disorder was worth every battle.
"I definitely will get to lunchtime and think 'I don't need that'. I still have to actively have that thought and go against it," she said.
"I treat food like my medicine, and if I don't take my medicine then I'll become unwell again, and I do not want that.
"Every single day it's still a very cognitive decision to do the right thing."
Callie said reminding herself how much better her life was on the "other side" of her eating disorder helped her to not slip back into unhealthy eating habits.
"I get to go out and have dinner and drinks with my partner and my friends and my family," she said.
"I get to see my mum and dad take me out for a meal and smile at me. They don't have to worry about what I'm choosing or what I'm eating or talking me down because I'm having a panic attack.
"I get to go surfing in the mornings, whereas I wasn't allowed to before because my heart might have stopped. I get to do a triathlon because I'm healthy enough to do it.
"It's worth it. I'm so proud of myself."
Callie first connected with endED lived-experience recovery coach Millie Thomas through social media before committing to receiving treatment, a connection she says every sufferer would benefit from.
"(endED's) work is so important, and I really believe there's a massive calling for it," she said. "After having been in a lot of hospitals for eating disorders, I know how bad they are. And I know how much I wish I could go to a facility like the one they're building."
She said anyone suffering with an eating disorder should have hope, never give up and look for answers.
"If you're really serious about getting better you will do the hard things, and the hard things are having people around you that will keep you accountable."
To donate to Callie's endED fundraiser, click here.