A WOMAN who weighed just six stone when she battled anorexia has credited running for helping her beat the disorder to return to a healthy body weight.
Lara Campana, 33, from Edinburgh, was diagnosed with anorexia when her weight dropped to six stone after she suffered from depression.
She would avoid carbohydrates and sugar at all costs, surviving mainly on spoonfuls of steamed or raw vegetables.
The drastic drop in weight followed a nervous breakdown following a move to the city from Milan in 2012.
Lara said: “When you are anorexic it is very hard to acknowledge that you have a problem. I had left a job that was really getting me down and I began to loose control of my life. I started dieting and because I was heavily involved in sport my weight really deteriorated.
“I stopped eating because it felt like I was actually in control of something. At my worst, I weighed just six stone. I knew what I was doing to myself was wrong but I liked to be in control.”
Lara’s friends and family begged her to get help after her hair began to fall out.
And with encouragement she sought help to get the treatment she needed to beat the disorder.
As her weight began to become healthier, she then took up running to have something to focus on.
“I eventually went to the charity Beat, who helped me realise that what I was doing wasn’t healthy,” Lara said. “Through their help and through my GP, I was able to get my life back on track.”
Lara, who now works as a medical researcher, enjoyed it so much that she began to sign up to running events to raise funds for the charity and give something back to them.
She is now a happy and healthy size 10/12 and her next event will be the Great Edinburgh Winter Run on January 7 which she will be taking part in for the third successive year.
To thank Beat, she set on a mission to raise funds for the charity and will take on the 5km event in Edinburgh in the New Year.
The picturesque course starts and finishes in Holyrood Park and takes participants around Arthur’s Seat.
Lara added: “I had always enjoyed exercise, so after regular visits to my doctor I decided that I would make a return to running and badminton, something that I really missed.
“I kept thinking how fortunate I was to be able to get this kind of treatment for free because others around the world are not so lucky.
“Running kept me focused and to do it for a cause that is close to my heart is really important because they were fundamental in helping me get the help I needed.”
To enter the Great Edinburgh Winter Run visit www.greatrun.org/winter.