Joanne Ellul Lanfranco went through a long 11-year battle with anorexia, but she has managed to beat it and turn her entire life around. She never had any issues with her body, but when she went through a bad breakup at just 18 years of age, she was devastated. And that’s when things took a turn for the worse.
“At one point, my diet consisted of just one packet of crackers for a whole week,” Joanne told Lovin Malta. “My achievement used to be going to be every night knowing I hadn’t eaten anything at all.” It didn’t take long for Joanne to start losing weight at an alarming rate, and she very quickly dropped from a healthy weight of 55kg to 35kg.
Eventually, Joanne’s anorexia starting having negative effects on more than just her weight. At times, her heart used to skip a beat, forcing her to temporarily stop doing even the most mundane of physical tasks, like walking. Specialists warned her family that at any time, her heart could just stop beating.
“One day, I realised I couldn’t carry on living this way, and I signed up to a gym,” Joanne said. She got on a meal and strength training program with a personal coach. Soon after, she discovered a new passion; bodybuilding and powerlifting.
Joanne is now 29 years old, and she’s gained back all her weight.
“I have God, my coach and biggest friend Kevin, and my family to thank,” Joanne said. “Without them, I would not be alive today. I would not be happy, healthy and strong enough to keep going!”
“Let professional people take care of you,” she concluded. “Your mind would be too much in control and wouldn’t let you gain your life back. Professionals have studied our mind and body. They know what’s best for us. Trust the people who love you the most. The eating disorder does not love you; it has stolen your life from you.”
Clarification: Joanne Ellul Lanfranco did not do “a lot of cardio with her personal coach” as stated incorrectly in the video. Cardio can actually be harmful to people battling anorexia. Apologies for the unintended error.