Current Affairs
Young woman used to hear voice telling her to drink sour milk in order to vomit and lose weight

Remona Meli lived her adolescence as a slave – she used to hear a voice in her head telling her that she is fat and overweight. In the space of 11 years, this young woman went through two types of disorders – anorexia and bulimia. Following the death of her friend in the prime of his life as a result of anorexia, she realized that she wanted to change her life. Over the last six years she has found a balance between the sport of bodybuilding and a healthy diet.

An apple, some salad and chewing gum was the only food that kept Remona Meli going for a whole day. At the age of 12 she became withdrawn, looking at the mirror and seeing herself as overweight, even those she was as light as a feather.

Remona Meli explained, “I used to do things which were out of this world, I even put a radio aerial down my throat so that I would throw up – I used to search online for different ways to vomit. I even used to let milk go sour and then drink it.”

At the age of 19, the combination of anorexia and bulimia caught up with her. She began locking herself up in her home and making all sorts of excuses not to go out – she was not strong enough to walk but was still obsessed that, in other people’s eyes, she looked fat.

Remona said that, “things really took a turn for the worst when I started losing my hair, even my eyebrows, I damaged my skin and the harm I did to my colon to this day is irreversible. I was admitted to hospital several times”.

When Remona was 23, a friend of hers died as a result of anorexia and bulimia and she feared she would end up like him.

“It hit me – when you see your friend like that, who was just 20 years old. On my 23rd birthday another friend came up to me and said when are you going to start eating again – because obviously my bones were sticking out, and the more bones I saw, the less I used to eat. At that point I started to slowly eat again, because due to the problems I had caused to myself, my body at first began to reject food,” said Remona.

Although she still hears a voice telling her that she is still fat, she has managed to take the reins of her life into her hands and has found a balance between training and a good diet. Remona Meli began training in body building six years ago, and now spends around an hour and a half a day doing exercise. She is qualified as a nursing aid, a gym instructor and in diet and nutrition

Aware that she is involved in a sport which is more popular with men, she does not mind going against the stereotype, even though sometimes she is at the receiving end of hurtful comments.

“Some men come to count my weights – in a way it’s funny, but the fact is that there is a certain mentality that women are not capable of lifting or else you have to be taking something in order to have enough strength,” she said.

“They send me messages – are you a man? If you do not even know me, how dare you ask me that? Or else there was  a group of men who began arguing about whether I was a transvestite,” Remona said.

Despite all these obstacles, this young woman is determined to keep moving forward.

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