Laura Payne went through a bad breakup with her high school sweetheart at the age of 16. Pretty normal if you’d think about it, but people respond differently to painful experiences. And in Laura’s case, she developed anorexia, and in a span of three years, her weight crashed to 84 lbs.
It was only when she met her husband, Jason, that she was able to recover and used bodybuilding as a tool for her to restore her health.
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Laura, who is now 32 years old, has gone from eating less than 500 calories a day to more than 2,000 calories daily. Although she is still battling anorexia and bulimia, Laura firmly believes that bodybuilding saved her life.
She said, “I know that I’ve just replaced one obsession with another, but at least, bodybuilding is healthy. I still get to stay in control of everything. In bodybuilding, all of the food is accounted for, so it suits me.”
Looking back, Laura’s eating disorder only worsened when she developed bulimia while attending college. She was later forced by her parents to leave college when they found out how serious her condition was. Laura was then forced to move in with her parents in her hometown of Odessa in Texas, USA, so they could watch over her.
Then Laura met her 32-year-old husband, Jason, back in 2008. Jason introduced her to bodybuilding, which she fell in love with, and she eventually visited the gym regularly. But the journey wasn’t a walk in the park.
According to Jason, he found it difficult to understand Laura’s condition. He said, “Maybe I shouldn’t push her, but I still find it hard to understand having an eating disorder. It’s taken a lot of patience to get her where we are today”
The couple has a daughter named Kylee, who makes Laura anxious because she thinks that her little girl could have eating disorders as well. Her daughter has also seen her break down as she quickly gained weight after this competition season. Laura said, “If I found out she had developed similar problems, it would break my heart because I would feel responsible.”
But Laura is now dedicated to working out at the gym she owns for at least five times a week. She says that it bothers her that she’s not in shape for a competition but that it’s something she’ll have to deal with. She added, “When I competed earlier this year, I weighed just under nine stone, but now it’s off season and I weigh 10.5 stone.”
Despite her weight gain, Laura is determined to get in shape and explains that in order for her not to relapse, she’ll focus on bodybuilding and being healthy.