Thatcham woman walking 10,000 steps a day for eating disorder charity Beat
A THATCHAM woman is making a final push of a year-long fundraising challenge for a charity close to her heart.
Molly Alder set herself the goal of walking or running 10,000 steps a day for Beat, an eating disorder charity which supports people with disorders and the mental health problems associated with them.
The charity is close to Miss Alder as she has lived with anorexia since she was 14 years old.
Miss Alder, 26, said that eating disorders took a physical and mental toll, and that getting up in the morning or leaving the house was a challenge in itself.
She said: “A common pattern of mine is not wanting to leave the house or see people.
“I am often paralysed with fear about doing this.
“Another common pattern of mine is not wanting to exercise because I fear ‘feeling’ my body and realising how weak it is.”
Miss Alder has raised £1,498 after setting an £800 target for the challenge, which marks its anniversary at the end of April.
The money can help run Beat support lines and recovery services and donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/10ksteps-molly
She said that the challenge had helped her.
“I started once lockdown had fully hit,” she explained. “I was unemployed at the time and the walking was just a really good outlet to get out the house.”
After a few months Miss Alder decided to push on to six months, then nine and thought she could achieve a year.
“I’ve really liked it. It’s really helped clear my head.
“Sometimes it’s been horrific to just get out of bed, especially when I was unemployed it was hard to find the motivation.
“It’s been a challenge, but really rewarding.”
Miss Alder chose Beat as she has used the charity when had been “really struggling” with her anorexia, which she said had blended into binge eating over the years.
She said: “They have helplines and there’s always someone at the other end.
“I know that my mum has used the service because more often than not when you have an eating disorder it’s not just that person who suffers.
“It touches families, loved ones and friends – I know my mum has used it a lot and she said she has got a lot of tips.
“Sometimes there’s nothing you can say and it’s just being there.”
Miss Alder said there wasn’t much information and raising awareness of the conditions was important to help people as “the support is how you get better”.
And with some people feeling isolated and charities seeing a rise in demand for services, Miss Alder advised people to seek help. “While I don’t suffer from it any more, there’s always that thought that it will creep up on you.
“You learn to control it and recognise the triggers and behaviours.
“It’s been a while, but ultimately I am now fully recovered.
“It’s been such an isolating period. Left to your own thoughts, if you lose sight of what reality is and you get lost in your doubts and fears, you can have a warped perception.
“It’s not just about your body and how you view yourself as a person.
“Talk to anyone you can about it and just open up.
“Don’t let that fear win because you will never get where you want to be and you will come out better for it for challenging that doubt.”