Laxative weight loss success stories or catastrophes? In this article, two women, Natalie Bradley, and Anna Fields, will tell us about it.
Natalie Bradley, who is now 32, went through an incredible journey. She went from being morbidly obese to facing a battle with anorexia. She believes that the lockdown period played a vital role in saving her life.
Natalie’s worrying reliance on laxatives
Natalie Bradley, who’s 32 years old, found herself in the hospital just before the whole country went into lockdown. She was trying to lose weight in an extreme way.
For many weeks, all she consumed was Diet Coke, and she went to the gym twice a day. She also became addicted to laxatives, taking a whole box every day. This made her heart rate drop dangerously low, and she often fainted or collapsed. Doctors even warned her of a possible foot infection because of excessive exercise.
“In 15 months, I went from almost 19 stone to 7 1/2 stone,” she told the Manchester Evening News. “I couldn’t stop myself. If I hadn’t stopped in time, I would have died.”
Natalie decided to lose weight because she faced a lot of health problems from being very obese. She couldn’t get dental treatment, needed crutches to walk, and had prediabetes, sleep apnea, and a bad back.
She used to take morphine for her back pain, but she accidentally took too much. That’s when she realized she needed to change.
At first, eating better and gentle exercise seemed good, but she got obsessed. She kept losing weight, but it never felt like enough.
Natalie went from wearing size 22 and 24 clothes to size 4 and 6.
Natalie had been in a psychiatric hospital when she was 16 and struggled with her mental health and weight for the next 10 years, often going back to the hospital.
She hit rock bottom when she was admitted again in February 2020. She spent two weeks without eating and just wanted it all to end.
Her life took a big turn when lockdown started in March.
“I needed to slow down,” she said.
Natalie couldn’t go to the gym or buy laxatives as before. She had to make a change herself.
Now, Natalie is at a healthy weight, thanks to social workers and charities. She learned how to handle her thoughts.
Women of Worth, a charity for women, gave her valuable support. Bury charity BIG in Mental Health also helped her a lot, especially during lockdown when she could only get help over the phone.
Eating better was tough at first. She only ate specific foods like jelly, fruit, chocolate, and sweets. During lockdown, when people were panic-buying, it was even harder.
“I had to face my fear of going grocery shopping,” she said. “But I managed to do it.”
“They thought I wouldn’t make it,” Natalie said, thinking back to her years in the psychiatric hospital.
“I never thought a pandemic would save my life.”
Now, Natalie volunteers at BIG in Mental Health, the charity that supported her. She calls people to check on them and makes arts and crafts to raise money.
“I want to give back for all the help I got during lockdown,” she said.
Only now, after everything, can Natalie see how sick she was.
“I didn’t realize it then,” she said. “Every night, I thought, ‘I won’t wake up tomorrow.'”
Even though she still struggles with her mental health every day, Natalie is proud of who she is. She’s alive and loves helping others.
Natalie hopes that sharing her story can give hope to others dealing with eating disorders.
“Recovery is possible, and you shouldn’t give up,” she said. “I’m not saying it’s easy, but don’t give up. Recovery is achievable and shouldn’t be put off.”
Hooked on Laxatives: The Extreme Diet That Nearly Killed Anna Fields
“I remember being 16 years old, stepping into the shower one morning, and feeling an odd sensation in my skin. I thought the water was too hot at first, so I adjusted the temperature. But in a matter of seconds, my ears started ringing, my head pounded, and I found myself gasping for air, leaning against the wall, slowly sinking to my knees. Despite shaking my head, I soon ended up lying face down on the shower floor with water pouring over me, and then everything went black,” Anna Fields shared in an interview with Marieclaire magazine.
“My journey began in the sixth grade when hormonal changes wreaked havoc on my face. My mom took me to an eye doctor who gave me thick glasses. I was far from the picture of a perfect teenager, often spending Saturday nights reading romance novels or munching on potato chips, wondering if I’d ever find a partner.
In the middle of the night, my mom would be waiting in the kitchen, ready to comfort me with peanut butter on Ritz crackers, asking, ‘Want a sandwich?’ My weight stayed steady thanks to good eating habits and Mom’s Southern cooking generosity. Public school in Burlington, North Carolina added to my insecurities, surrounded by cute cheerleaders while I felt like an unwieldy buoy. It all changed in ninth-grade gym class when someone shouted, ‘Everyone duck–there comes thunder!’ That’s when I decided to become popular and successful, which meant losing weight,” she added.
“My initial attempts were in vain, trying fat-free lunch meat and chicken noodle soup. Even my Granny Ruth’s ‘buttermilk and cornbread diet’ couldn’t help. I needed something drastic. My solution came in the form of an all-girls boarding school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Tenth grade brought late-night talks with my roommate and newfound companionship,” Anna Fields continued.
“After venting about my weight, my roommate suggested a pink laxative pill that would change my life. And it did. The next day, I felt the burn, stomach cramps, and a significant loss of water weight. I started taking laxatives daily, using them as my secret weapon to fight off excess pounds. With their help, I managed to shed the weight, even though it meant frequent trips to the bathroom and creative excuses to skip class. The results were undeniable, and my confidence grew,” she told Marieclaire magazine.
“I had many secrets, and they kept piling up. A classmate introduced me to a stomach-toning exercise, which I diligently performed four times a day. I’d measure my waistline, and if it exceeded my thumb and forefinger, I’d punish myself with a meager half cup of bran cereal. I was determined to please everyone and become the ideal Southern lady. By 11th grade, I had reached a size 2, and I was turning heads,” Anna Fields explained.
“My life wasn’t without its struggles. I spent prom night on the toilet, and my body became resistant to just two pills a day. I had to up the dosage to four. Lunches with friends turned into solitary affairs in my room. I became obsessed with eating—or rather, not eating. My mind wandered in class, daydreaming about TV shows. Despite my efforts, I still felt ‘too thick,’ and they called me ‘Anna-rexic.’ No one spoke out against this dangerous path I was on,” she added.
“After two and a half years of strict discipline, my mission came to an abrupt end in the shower one morning. I lost consciousness, and it’s unclear how long I was out before my roommate saved me. Without her, I might have drowned or suffered even worse consequences due to my extreme diet. That day marked a turning point. I vowed never to jeopardize my life just to stay thin,” Anna Fields said.
“Changing my habits wasn’t easy, but over time, I managed to let go of laxatives and obsessive calorie counting. During college, I still battled with excessive exercise and never sought professional help. Slowly, my focus shifted away from weight issues, and I began enjoying foods I once denied myself. I invested in comfortable clothing and picked up writing as a hobby, which filled the void left by my obsession with size. Today, I’m a happy and healthy 28-year-old who finally feels beautiful both inside and out. But a small part of my former self lingers in the mirror, reminding me of the girl who once dictated what my real body looked like,” she concluded.
Please note: The preceding content is for informational purposes only. Results will vary from one individual to another. You may try Laxatives at your own risk. Please, always consult your doctor before starting any kind of treatment.
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