A MUM who survives on a diet of only chicken nuggets and crisps becaue of her restrictive eating disorder says she fears she might go BLIND unless she recovers.
Michaela Harris, 26, from Middlesbrough, can’t stomach anything other than the two junk foods – and she fears her kids might copy her picky eating habits.
The mum-of-three has avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), which she developed following a difficult breakup in 2016.
Michaela confessed: “I went through a tough breakup and I stopped eating anything at all, I’d just have a can of Monster for breakfast. There were a few other things I ate but only really small amounts.
“Before, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like and I’d eat pretty much anything.
“I’d eat three slices of bacon, two eggs, four sausages, two pieces of fried toast, three hash browns and beans in one sitting. I could really put some food away.”
She is a stay at home mum to Isabella, seven, Jacob, five, and one-year-old Isla Rose – but she fears they might copy her eating patterns.
“I really worry that the kids will start copying me. My youngest is a fussy eater already. It’s my biggest fear that she’s got it from me.
“The thought of my babies growing up without me because of my food phobia is terrifying. I’m trying really hard to add new foods into my diet now.”
Michaela has lived with the rare eating disorder – which means she can only eat battered nuggets bought from Iceland – for four years. Her weight has plummeted to five stone and she may lose her eyesight if she doesn’t get better.
“If I lose my sight, I know that I’ll have the best people who love me and help me adjust,” she said. “My biggest fear is that I’ll go downhill and lose weight again to a point that I can’t return from.
“I just wish I could eat more and a bigger variety. I’d love to be chubby, it looks great,’ she added. ‘My partner suggested going on holiday next year and it terrifies me.’
Michaela relies on her partner, John Docherty, 40, who has supported her throughout her condition.
“John spends most of the day asking me if I fancy this or that, he will travel quite far sometimes when I want something but can’t find any, he will hunt that thing down.
“Without John I wouldn’t be here. He is constantly trying to encourage me and make me feel good about myself, telling me I’m doing really well even if I’ve only eaten three or four strawberries.
“He is always keeping an eye on my moods, he notices when I’m slipping with food and will then up his attempts to get me eating again.”
Michaela said she has tried seeking professional help – but no one has been able to help with her condition as well as John.
“What he does goes above what any sort of paid carer would do for me.
“He cooks for me pretty much most of the time because I can’t stand to smell my food too much before eating it as it can make me feel really sick.
“He’s stood with me for hours at a time trying to think of something I will eat, he goes to the ends of the earth to help me.
“He’s a superhero in my eyes and I imagine I frustrate him half to death sometimes but he won’t show me that and he stays patient.
“He’s done more to help me than any doctor, specialist or hospital that I’ve ever been under and without him I simply wouldn’t be here.
“To be blunt, if going out involves food, I don’t go out.
“I am trying to break that when I go out with John but no luck so far.”
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