Mark Zigelstra had an eating disorder: I only weighed 38kg

Mark Zigelstra had an eating disorder: I only weighed 38kg

The anorexia nervosa he developed is life-threatening. I weigh just 38 kilos at my lowest point. I was tube fed about five times in the hospital. Without that investigation, I wouldn’t have been able to do this interview now.” After a year on the waiting list, he can finally go to the clinic. “It’s been a terrible year, hell. Especially for my father and sister. My father would sometimes sit in front of me crying and ask me if I would come back to dinner please. But a person with an eating disorder is selfish. Everything revolves around me. The whole world was not interested in me as long as I was in control.”

French fries with mayonnaise

The effect of this is huge. I became reclusive, and could no longer participate in anything. When it was 30 degrees in the summer, I was still cold and my hair was fine all over. People took care of me and I felt bad physically. In order to enjoy the food, I looked at the pictures in the cookbooks. I imagined what I would eat when I was better: a bag of potato chips with lots of mayonnaise.”

In the clinic Mark sees the light. I saw a lot of misery around me. One roommate was divorced and her parents no longer wanted to call her. I began to put everything in order, and I realized that I had a beautiful family, that my parents were still alive and that my grandfather and grandmother were already very old when they died. I went to the board and told them I was better. They said, “We hear that twenty times a day, who comes first.” But it was already done. I never had a setback again.”

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Experience Expert

Mark is working fine. He is a successful businessman and enjoys very good food. “I prefer eating out three times a week.” He will be giving lectures at Leontienhuis from 12 March as an expert. “I want to tell people with an eating disorder what I loved hearing at the time. I starved myself and screwed it up, but my life now is absolutely wonderful. I am sorry for my eating disorder and I regret every day that I delayed my recovery. I also pass it on to others: all A day with an eating disorder is too much.”

Do you yourself have an eating disorder or do you know someone with an eating disorder that you want to talk about? You can do this at Mind Kor Relatie at 0900-1450, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., or via chat at www.mind granatie.nl.

Read alsoAnn makes an emergency call to her anorexic daughter: ‘I have less than five weeks to save her life’

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