Courtesy of Tiara Rain DeHaan-Palubiak
Tiara Rain DeHaan-Palubiak always prided herself on being able to eat what she wanted while still maintaining a trim figure — but the pressure to feel accepted in college led her down a dangerous path.
“I’d always cared heavily about my appearance and felt that the better I looked, the more people would like me,” the now 22-year-old admits in a YouTube video detailing her battle with anorexia.
DeHaan-Palubiak, who typically weighed between 105 and 115 pounds, began restricting her food intake as a result of her insecurities.
(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tiara Rain DeHaan-Palubiak)
"I wanted to lose because people complimented me. People noticed. But most of all, I wanted to continue losing weight because the more I lost, the less empty and alone I felt,” she shares.
By sophomore year, she weighed between 70 and 80 pounds and found size 00 jeans too big. DeHaan-Palubiak knew things weren't okay when she stopped menstruating and began suffering from bloody noses and migraines, but that didn't stop her from working out first thing in the morning.
A phone call from her college's therapy unit ultimately saved her life. “To me, recovery is a series of steps, mostly forward, but sometimes backward or none at all,” she explained to Us Weekly.
“Recovery can look like going out to dinner with friends or a day of forgetting about my weight or calories. I’m at a place where I am healthy,” she added.