If you think we chose Mallory Faye to be our February cover woman just because she’s gorgeous, a talented country singer/songwriter and a newly published author, you might want to think again, although those are pretty amazing accomplishments for a young 18 year old. We chose Mallory to be our cover woman because she has been inspiring thousands of people to make better changes in themselves and for the world. How is she doing it? With her story. Here it is.
For a large part of her life, Mallory struggled with anorexia. Beginning around age 3-4, she found herself becoming body-conscious. “As I aged, the thoughts I had towards myself intensified,” said Mallory. “I’d tell myself that I was fat … not good enough.” It was in 2nd grade that Mallory began to binge. “I wanted to fill a void and I didn’t share my emotions with anyone,” she says. “I gained weight and I was too embarrassed to eat in front of people. I would take pride in the fact that I could go the whole day without eating.” Despite happy appearances, Mallory’s life was about to be dealt another hurtful card. “I then dealt with some trauma in the 3rd grade,” she quietly adds. “But I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t want to be me, and all I felt was that I was disgusting. I got really good at hiding everything.”
It wasn’t long before Mallory began high school and thought she could make some changes to her destructive behavior. “Even my positive path was destructive,” says Mallory. “I used to think that if I just reached the weight goals I gave myself I’d be successful! But the truth is I got so emaciated, I was having seizures, my hair fell out, and I couldn’t get out of bed. I was basically dying. When my parents initially found out, it was because my friends told a social worker at school. When I was in the hospital for treatment, I had to write that I had an eating disorder because I couldn’t make myself say the words. All I could think to myself was that I am an object living behind steel bars. I can’t put all of the blame on media, but I always wanted to be a singer and media pretty much tells you that you have to look and act a certain way. It had a strong impact on me. I always say that when it comes to my eating disorder, genetics held the gun, but my environment pulled the trigger.”
After facing the inevitable, Mallory realized that in order to live, she would have to change everything. “I was in recovery until the end of my junior year of high school,” says Mallory. “Finally, at age 17 I was able to say that I was recovered- but I’m reluctant to say that word. There’s life, stress, and triggers happen. Plus, people tend to think that recovery is a closed door- that the voice will never go away. For some people that’s the case, but for others it can lead to more struggles with perfectionism. Recovery boils down to this: It happens when you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. If you don’t want it, nothing positive is going to happen. To fight a self-loathing voice in your head and what society says, you have to realize that your inner voice sounds different than all that noise. You’ve got to break the chains and fight all of the negative messages because at times it literally feels like the emotional pain is going to kill you.”
Treatment for Mallory was bittersweet. While she was getting better, her work was difficult. She had to meet with a case manager twice a week, participate in role playing, body image exercises and have a meal plan. Her life was extremely structured. As an outpatient, she had to see a therapist twice a week. “When my therapist told me what a healthy weight for me was, I thought to myself that I’d rather die than weigh that much,” Mallory remembers. But she went on, and didn’t give up. In fact, she turned her pain into her passion. Mallory is now a public/motivational/keynote speaker on eating disorders, body image, embracing change and supporting a loved one with an eating disorder. She is a member of the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, as well as the National Eating Disorders Association. “I became an ambassador in January and I travel nationwide. I go to college part time, but my speaking opportunities keep me very busy,” Mallory adds.
Although Mallory’s story is one of hope, it’s because of her determination to face her fears. She co-wrote the song ‘Something To Live For,” and recorded it in Nashville. She was also awarded a publishing deal and just released ‘Be FreED,’ a book dedicated to helping people overcome their eating disorders at any age. It will be availible for purchase on March 11th, and you can order here and on her website: www.malloryfaye.com
If you or someone you know might have an eating disorder, please seek assistance. Talk to a trusted adult, friend, or your care provider to determine your best options.