By Alexandra Nemeth
My problems started in high school when a friend introduced me to a model & dancing company. The pressure and expectations were high at both the school and model company. My problems started one day when the company owner said I had to lose more weight.
Other team members heard this and they all came to talk to me and advised against it. But I was the new one and the youngest and I also knew we were all competing for jobs. I ignored their concerns and slowly I began to develop an eating disorder.
My parents didn’t see much of me during my four years at high school, I left at 6.30am every morning and didn’t get home before 8-9pm. So, I started eating less and less and the little food I had in my tummy was still making me nervous so I made myself sick. I noticed at handball training that I was getting weaker and couldn’t perform at school either.
After about six months my parents noticed my weight loss, they thought it was due to my manic school and après school schedule. My father took me to the doctor one morning and I was told that I had to start eating, otherwise I would be in serious trouble. I got to the point when my dad had to carry me to the GP where I had to face the brutal truth: if I didn’t start eating and kept it in, I was going to die.
There wasn’t a group or a qualified professional to talk about my eating disorder, so we did what the doctor advised and focused on eating my favourite food. To begin with it was just small portions but they increased each day. I got a Kcal scale and had to measure everything I ate to make sure it was between 1500-1800 calories. It was a long road to recovery, but I knew I had to keep on the right path or I could become seriously ill…or worse.
I truly believe my body still hasn’t fully recovered but I am much stronger in mind. Nowadays I enjoy good food and spend a lot of time outdoors, training or planning my next expedition.
I have always been an outdoor and adventurous person, even during my teenage years when I struggled with bulimia and anorexia, playing sport and keeping active saved me. My terrible experience with an eating disorder made me stronger and shaped me the person I am today.
Photography came into my life when I was 14. Little did I know back then that my greatest passions; photography, motor racing and adventure would join together,
I left my office job and became a professional photographer in 2011. I gained my International Sports Press card and shot at the most fantastic motor races and classic car events. As a young woman, it was a fantastic achievement.
I finally had the time to take a month off and flew to Nepal in 2012. Spending 3 weeks trekking in the Himalayas off-season was incredible, incredibly hard, and unforgettable. The morning I spent on the top of Gokyo Ri capturing the sun emerging behind the tallest mountain in the world was the moment of my life. Everest seemed so close I could have almost touched it.
Since then I’ve climbed the highest peaks in the UK, completed a winter mountaineering course in Scotland and spent a month in the Swiss and French Alps hiking and taking photos. One of my pictures of Mont Blanc Massif has recently the won a photography award for Berghaus. In the last 10 months I exhibited in 4 art galleries and had 3 sold out shows.
Now I am planning to complete the seven summit challenge, which are the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. It was first completed in the mid 1980’s and since then only 350 people joined the elite club.
My goal is to climb the seven peaks successfully in the next 2 years followed by a photography exhibition in the UK, Europe and America. An UK and a Hungarian based eating disorder charity will benefit from my exhibition and receive 10% from each picture sold. Wherever possible I’ll work with local expedition companies who support charities, ie. Aconcagua Expeditions (Unicef )in Argentina.
My entire journey will be based around health, wellbeing and doing something extraordinary. I believe beating anorexia was my first step 14 years ago. It is one of many more steps I will be taking in the next couple of years. But no matter how rough the terrain, that first one, will always be the hardest.
To see Alexandra’s photographic work please visit http://alexfineartphotography.com/