An inspirational young Angus woman who has battled an eating disorder is taking on her toughest challenge to date.
Laura Davidson, 25, of Forfar has broken her silence to prove “it’s ok not to be ok” in the hope of encouraging others to seek help.
She is taking part in the Edinburgh marathon on May 27 to raise funds for Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.
She turned to its website two years ago when things “came to a head”, and was able to take part in discussions on a message board on its website.
She said: “There is an on-line live chat room every night for every kind of eating disorder where you can ask questions and chat to other people with similar issues.
“I was eating, but I just wasn’t eating enough and was over-exercising. I just slipped into a habit and, all of a sudden, it became a way of life.”
The trainee Guide Dogs mobility instructor found she had gone from being overweight to the opposite extreme of exerting herself too much and not giving her body “enough fuel.”
“As I became more intense with my exercise I began to restrict my food even more, leaving me underweight and unhappy.
“I was covered in bruises, I was cold and tired all the time but I thought, if I ate, I would end up back being ‘chubby’.
“It has taken a long time and a lot of help along the way but I am finally on the right path.”
After seeking medical advice and advice from a dietician, Laura is steadily turning a corner with her weight gain and is now focusing on training for the Edinburgh marathon.
She has to undergo regular health checks and weigh-ins in the countdown to the big day.
With the help of her personal trainer, Jo McKenzie, she has also started strength training which is making her stronger and is helping her gain weight.
Laura has set up a JustGiving page in the hope that her marathon effort will raise £600 for the charity.
She said: “Beat was vital in helping me to get where I am now.
“I want to do something to raise awareness about eating disorders and the help available.
“Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes but with the right help we can all get there.
“This will be a massive challenge for me. Not only do I have to run 26 miles but I also have to adapt my eating habits to make sure I am getting enough fuel.
“If I can help some else who is where I was nine months ago then that would make it all worthwhile. Any illness can be a very lonely place but Beat showed me it’s not just me.”
Laura is no stranger to personal challenges.
Four years ago she took part in a triathlon to raise funds for the Scottish Network for Arthritis in Children and two years ago completed the gruelling Coniston Challenge in the Lake District with a team from Guide Dogs.
Anyone wishing to donate can visit Laura’s Just Giving page on www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-davidson26.