A 20-year-old Danish student, who had been suffering from trauma-induced anorexia after being sexually abused, has just shared her incredible transformation photos!
7 years ago, when Mathilde fell victim to sexual abuse at the hands of an older man, her young, traumatized self responded with isolation and anorexia. Mathilde Jensen was only 13 years old when she took a trip with her mother, who had just overcome her depression and anxiety. While on holiday, the young girl encountered an older man who sexually abused her.
Confused and devastated, Mathilde found herself ‘ashamed’ of what had happened to her, and isolated herself from her family and friends. She began to self-harm and developed a repulsive attitude towards food.
Abuse victims develop their own ways of coping with their grief and trauma, and feeling good about themselves. For young Mathilde, it was ‘being the skinny girl’ people looked at when she passed them on the street. She survived on one meal a day containing only fruit and vegetables, and walked 20 kilometers every day. Within the next year, she had lost nearly 30 pounds, shrinking to a mere 67 pounds!
“I started to isolate myself and went totally crazy, and in just eight to nine months I went from 45 kg to 30 kg, and that was first time I got hospitalized,” she described.
During a span of five years, Mathilde was hospitalized 6 times. She continuously suffered from psychosis, and described she ‘cried so many times a day that [her] eyes were always red’.
Finally, at 18, she decided to take a stand for herself and battle the illness that had taken over her as a way to cope with her trauma.
“I had just turned eighteen and was about to start my education and I knew that I would never get through it if I remained living the way I was,” she said.
Now, she weighs nearly 135 pounds!
Mathilde, now a healthy 20-year-old, said she realized that ‘real life’ was about to start. “I could either choose to live and create my own future the way I want, or I could choose to live with anorexia that I knew someday would kill me.”
From working hard to lose weight and starving herself every day, Mathilde has come a long way; she now consumes 6 healthy meals a day – totaling 2,000 calories – and has a regular workout routine. She says she is not working out not to burn calories anymore, but to build muscle mass and to gain strength.
Of course, none of this was easy. The hardest person to convince was herself.
“The first couple of months was so hard. When I started to gain weight, I was so bloated, and my mind kept telling me that I was getting fat,” Mathilde said.
Far from being an isolated, depressed girl, she is now optimistic about her future and has even found a new passion: pole dancing. The new activity has really built her self-confidence and made her feel comfortable in her body again.
She said, “Pole dancing has made me feel more secure with my body; we were wearing almost nothing when we had classes, so I learned to stop wondering about what others were thinking about my body.”
She added that it feels great to be whoever she wants to be; she can eat whatever she wants, and can hang out with her friends, and that everyone around her is incredibly proud of her – especially since they had lost hope three years ago.
“Everyone is so proud of me. Including myself. Three years ago, we all thought I would lose this battle. Even my parents started to lose hope. Everyone is so happy that I finally can live a normal life.”
Talking about how she feels now, she admitted she has days when she has low self-esteem and isn’t confident in herself. However, those days pass; her thoughts are mostly positive and that’s what keeps her going. Commenting on overcoming anorexia, she agreed that the battle is hard, but that it isn’t impossible to win.
“You have to find the strength inside yourself. You must choose life instead of anorexia, because you can’t have both in the end.”