Group targets eating disorders

Happy and healthy: Nicole McDermid hopes to build the Sydney chapter of Project Heal to help people battling eating disorders. "I'm a testament that recovery is possible." Picture: Helen Nezdropa
Happy and healthy: Nicole McDermid hopes to build the Sydney chapter of Project Heal to help people battling eating disorders. "I'm a testament that recovery is possible." Picture: Helen Nezdropa

NICOLE McDermid knows from experience what it's like to have an eating disorder.

The Blacktown resident is sharing her story to help others and break down the stigma attached to eating disorders.

Last year, she became founder and director of the Project Heal Sydney Australia chapter, a non- profit organisation that raises funds for those suffering eating disorders.

A trivia night fundraiser will celebrate the chapter's launch in Lalor Park on February 28.

Ms McDermid, 29, was diagnosed with eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) in 2011 after growing up as an overweight child who bullied at school.

A person with EDNOS has many symptoms of anorexia or bulimia but doesn't meet the full criteria for diagnosis of either.

"I lost a lot of weight in a short space of time, quit my job and became isolated," Ms McDermid said.

"It was the darkest period of my life.

" I would spend days on end in bed with the doona over my head.

"The turning point was my friends and family telling me how sick I looked.

"They mean the world to me so hearing that feedback was worth something."

It took 18 months for Ms McDermid to get her life back on track.

"It took a long, long time for me to give recovery 100 per cent," she said.

"It was one of the best and worst experiences of my life.

"There were a lot of tears, tantrums and wanting to give up. For every step forward, there were two steps back.

"I had people around me but it was up to me to put in the hard work."

Funds raised will go towards Project Heal's treatment grant fund to help those who can't afford treatment.

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