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.'
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages, Colour photos - 4 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
- Publication Date: 01/02/2009
- Category: True stories
- ISBN: 9780340988404