Ali Valenzuela - Hachette Children's Group

Ali Valenzuela

Since she was 14, Ali has been struggling against the anorexia which followed obsessing about exercise and eating. In 2007, she was close to death - and needed specialist facilities to help save her. Out of her fight for the treatment she needed and then, following her partial recovery, her fight for the same support for her fellow sufferers, Ali has become an assertive and articulate young woman determined to see positive benefits from her difficult experiences.
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Hodder Children's Books

Weighing It Up

Ali Valenzuela
Ali Valenzuela

When Ali Valenzuela was 14, she started to exercise obsessively and limit her food intake - all following an incident which completely undermined her self-confidence. By the time she was 18 - and sitting A-level exams - her weight had fallen below 40kg (less than 6 stone) and was on the brink of death. At that point she was admitted to hospital, but had to be sent to a private hospital in Bristol as there were no appropriate facilities nearer home (Swansea). She spent 3 months there - although her local health authority would guarantee funding for only 6 weeks at a time. Since she left hospital, Ali has got involved in campaigning for proper facilities for treating eating disorders, has been doing temp jobs, and has a place at university when she is strong enough to take it up. Ali has written this book, based on her own diaries, because: 'I want people to understand that there is more to anorexia than looking thin; this is an illness that will destroy the lives of the sufferer and all who care for the sufferer, and the thin appearance is only a physical outcome of the pain and torment that goes on inside. 'Unlike a lot of sufferers, I feel open to talk about my experience, as I feel it may help other people and I feel it helps me if I'm honest with myself about what I went through. I believe everything happens for a reason, and just because I went through a difficult experience, doesn't mean that something positive cannot come of it.'