Life After an Eating Disorder

'I Just Want This So Badly'

Renn maintained her waiflike size until she turned 16, when she signed with an agency and left Mississippi for New York to officially start her modeling career. Renn found the job more grueling than glamorous.

"I would do jobs, two, three jobs a day," she said. "I would work out for two or three hours at three in the morning, because I'd been working all day. And I just remember … crying on the treadmill, thinking, 'Wow, I just want this so badly. I want to do what I came here to do.'"

Finally, Renn hit her lowest weight, 95 pounds, and her body began to rebel. Despite all her efforts to stay thin, she began to gain weight.

"I'd been working out for long, long hours, and I started to put on weight, because my body wasn't agreeing with me," she explained. And then it hit her: "I'm not naturally a size double-zero."

After this realization, she went to her agency to see what could be done.

"So, now I'm at a size 6, and my agency said, 'Well, maybe you should go on a diet and lose a bit of weight.' And I said, 'Well, the thing is, you don't know this, but I was at the gym for eight hours yesterday, and I need to find a different way."

This moment would change Renn's career and her life forever.

Olympic Dreams

Where Sigler and Renn had dreams of stardom, Ashley Dalton dreamed of Olympic gold. A champion equestrian with a passion for life and for horses, Dalton hoped to make it to Athens, Greece, for the Olympic trials.

"Riding, for me, gives me purpose. It gives me everything," she said. "It's like when I'm on a horse … everything just seems to slip away, all the worries, and I just feel really connected to myself and to the animal, and it just gives me a sense of being."

Dalton's passion and Olympic dreams soon turned into an obsession and a nightmare.

"I used to live for my goals, and I'd measure all my successes by how I attained my goals," she said. "I didn't realize it was happening. I was riding a lot and going to school and … juggling many things and being a perfectionist."

Dalton became obsessed with excelling at everything, especially when it came to her riding. To make up for any mistakes or shortcomings, she began training harder, exercising more intensively, and without intending to, eating less and less.

"As much as I thought I was eating, I wasn't," she said. "You get busy. You keep yourself really preoccupied and you just kind of forget about it." She wasn't trying to lose weight, she said. "I was trying to be fit. I was trying to be the best rider I could be. I was … trying to be perfect."

For Dalton, the dream of becoming an Olympian came to a crashing halt.

"I was riding, and I was doing fairly well," she said, "and then the more weight I lost, the worse I would ride. It finally got to the point where it's like I wasn't strong enough to be able to ride. I started falling … off my horse."

'Life After Anorexia'

After a long struggle, Sigler finally decided to go public with her eating disorder. For her, life after anorexia would mean helping others who suffer from eating disorders reclaim their lives.

Sigler became a spokeswoman for the National Eating Disorders Association. And when that wasn't enough, she embarked on a mission that brought her to the Monte Nido treatment center in Malibu. She became a mentor to six young women who were living at the center, all struggling to survive. Dalton was one of those young women.

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