Mark Gigstra had an eating disorder: ‘I weighed only 38 kg’

The anorexia nervosa he developed was life-threatening. “At my lowest point I weighed just 38kg. I was tube fed about five times in the hospital. Without that investigation, I would not be able to do this interview now. After a year on the waiting list, he can finally go to a clinic. “It’s been a terrible year, especially for my parents and sister. My father would sometimes sit in front of me and cry. But someone with an eating disorder was selfish. Everything was around me. The whole world was not interested in me until I was in control.”

French fries with mayonnaise

The impact is huge. “I was isolated and could not take part in anything anymore. When it was thirty degrees in the summer, I had a cold, I had hair everywhere. People took care of me. I felt bad physically. To enjoy the food, I looked at the pictures in the cookbook. When I was good I imagined what I would eat: chips pie with lots of mayonnaise.

At the clinic, Mark sees the light. “I saw so much misery around me. One of my roommates is divorced and her parents no longer want to communicate with her. I started to put everything forward, realizing that I had a beautiful family, that my parents were still alive, and that my grandparents were already old when they died. I went to the board and told them I was fine. ‘We ask twenty times a day, come first’. But it was actually done. I never had a setback again.


Mark is fine. He is a successful businessman and really enjoys good food. “I like to eat out three times a week.” He will be lecturing at Leontienhuis from March 12 as an Expert. “I want to tell people with eating disorders what I want to hear then. I was starving and confused, but now my life is absolutely wonderful. I feel sorry for my eating disorder and I feel sorry for being late every day for healing. I pass it on to others: there is more than one every day in an eating disorder.

Do you have an eating disorder on your own or do you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder and would like to talk about it? You can do this at the Mind Kor Relatie at 0900-1450, Monday through Friday from 9am to 9pm or by chatting at www.mind

Read moreAnn made an urgent call to her daughter with anorexia: ‘I have less than five weeks to save her life’

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