My name is Eleanor Loseby, I am a freelance creative and published children’s book illustrator from Leicester, UK.
My mission is to use illustration to make people smile and promote mental wellness in an appealing and engaging way.
In 2019 my work was published in 3 American children’s books. “What color is your day?” and “Memory of play” by Camryn Wells are the first two stories in “The Color, Feel, Play Series” teaching children how to explain their emotions to their carers and promote mental wellbeing. In November 2019 “Breathe Up, Wonder Pup” by Angela Murphy was published. The book, often used in primary schools, teaches children about mindful breathing and coping mechanisms for anxiety.
From the age of 4, I was bullied for being in a bigger body than my classmates. This combined with growing up with a society full of diet culture caused me to become self conscious and desperate. My the age of 9 I was skipping meals, trying to fit in and stop the bullying at any cost.
I continued to be bullied all the way through school and despite my desperate attempts to loose weight it never happened. In fact what did happen was the opposite. When this photo was taken I was skipping as many meals as possible, spending hours trying to make myself sick and self harming daily. By skipping meals I had forced my metabolism to slow down so much that, whenever I did “give in” and eat, my body held onto the extra weight to prepare for my next self-induced famine.
I was depressed, had at least 3 major panic attacks a day and was under constant supervision incase I tried to commit suicide.
In 2014 I started the year with the same resolution as I had done for years “I must lose weight.”
That year I ate as little as possible, exercised for hours on end and cut myself off from friends and family that tried to prevent the disaster I was running towards at full speed. Eventually after losing half my body weight in 6 months I was fast-tracked to an eating disorder treatment centre where I spent 5 years as an outpatient. The treatment was directed towards helping my parents helping me gain weight for physical health, while this kept me alive, my mental health still suffered.
I was terrified - but more than that, I was confused, I was a ball of emotions and I didn’t know which way to turn.
I know at this point getting my thoughts out would have helped massively
Skip forward a few years and I reach my ultimate low point. I collapsed, on my own, from malnutrition and later ended up in A&E with a suspected heart attack.
That day was the first time I feared death more that weight gain that would save me.
At 18 years old I got a tattoo of a feather; it had been a symbol of hope since I got seriously ill in 2014. Feathers are often recognised as a symbol of recovery and in this moment, I needed that symbol more than anything. I decided that I had to change and committed myself to living a life without my eating disorder.