Day 3: Eating Disorders Don't Just Affect Girls - They Affect Women Too!

24 February 2010, 05:00

Heart spoke to Tracey Folley, a 43 year old from Luton, who has been anorexic for the past 30 years.

Heart caught up with her last week when she was at Caraline – a part-time counselling service based in Luton, that currently helps 70 people in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

When she was younger she lost five family members within five years, but tells us that wasn’t the trigger for her eating disorder:

“That was a hard part to take but when you’ve had five members of your family go in five consecutive years that’s hard hitting but it’s always been with me. Since I was a child and brought up in children’s homes it was always with me so I’ve never actually gotten over it and I never knew what it was until last year, and now I know I can fight it.”

The lowest her weight has ever dropped to has been 5 stone.

Click here to hear what Tracey has to say when asked what it feels like when she does manage to eat

For the past year she has been going to group therapy sessions at Caraline in Luton, and says it’s something that she can’t live without:

“When I was diagnosed I was relieved because I thought I was mad. I know it’s a mental illness but I didn’t realise it was happening, it takes over so suddenly and once its got you, its like other addictions. It took me 30 years to get here but maybe it will take me another year to get out of it and I will be cured.”

With eating disorders, Tracey told us it’s about “deep down hatred for yourself””, but with help and encouragement anyone can beat it.

Click here to listen to Tracey's plans for the future

Click here to listen to the full interview

If you need some help and advice, or just someone to chat to about eating disorders you can call Caraline on which is based in Luton, by calling 01582 457474 Monday – Friday 10am-3pm.

You can find more information on their website at