Alice Renard

The Big Jump

Fundraising for Beat
raised of £450 target
by 9 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Event: The Big Jump, on 15 May 2021
The Big Jump 2021
Campaign by Beat (RCN 801343)
On 15th May 2021 our incredible team of skydivers are taking to the skies for The Big Jump to help end the pain and suffering caused by Eating Disorders.


My website:

If you made a donation and want to receive a drawing, please get in touch with me at


A week ago today, I was discharged from the hospital where I have been receiving treatment for an eating disorder.

I can’t remember when the eating disorder started. I remember turning 5 and making a fuss not to eat my birthday cake. I remember my relatives being upset because meal times were complicated with me. I remember, at age 6, staring at my stomach in the bathroom mirror and deciding to go on a diet. At 8, I had a meltdown at school when I learned that potatoes did not “count” as vegetables. At 12, I was so terrified of being poisoned by the food served at school that I was only eating bread slices, until a member of staff joked that I was ‘going to swell up with all that bread’. I remember too much of the eating disorder and too little of my teenage years. Day by day, step by step, bite by bite, the eating disorder took everything away from me: my energy, my focus, my smile, my beautiful curls, and any desire to live. 

The eating disorder was my desperate attempt to cope with anxiety caused by the collapsing of my childhood and the beginning of my teenage years, a time when I realised that adults were imperfect and that everything was out of control, violent, unpredictable, scary, and disappointing. The eating disorder was a safety net that gave me a sense of purpose and control, a way to stop the changes going on in my body and remain a child, to hide from the ugly reality of the adult world. Controlling my diet, weight, and exercise was my way of coping with a painful realisation that things didn’t always get better as I grew up and that adults were sometimes as bad as my school bullies, if not worse. I had always idealised grownups and their “world” as a society of superior beings full of integrity, virtue, and honest principles. I thought that everything that was wrong in my life would be sorted out as I grew up, but it became even more complicated, frightening, confusing, overwhelming, and unbearable.

With a history of digestive illnesses, anxiety, low self-esteem, perfectionism, and hypersensitivity to smell and textures, the eating disorder thrived in my disoriented and frightened teenage mind. The illness quickly took over and subjugated my thoughts and behaviours. I turned into a puppet, tyrannised by my own thoughts for over a decade.

I became aware that I was ill and not simply “careful with food” a few years ago. But I thought I had control over my actions and thoughts. I thought I had control over the eating disorder. In fact, I was at my worst when I felt that I was in control of the eating disorder. It took me 14 attempts to manage to reach the GP reception and not run away with an excuse. I sat down in front of a doctor in a white plastic chair. It was November 2018, I had just started university in London and had been picking up handfuls of hair after every shower for almost a year. 

I did not take off the thick winter coat in which I was hiding, hiding my body that had been tortured by the eating disorder for years. I did not take off my hat either, covering my head and hiding the bald patches on my scalp. The GP asked why I was there. I took the notes I had written down out of my pocket. I wrote down what I had to say. The day before that, I was in the same situation, having to answer the same question, though facing a different GP. I was so terrified that I faked a cough and a painful throat. The day before that day, I faked a persistent stomach ache, and it goes on. I couldn’t open up, take the leap, and reveal the biggest secret of my life. It was a secret I had cherished, cultivated, and protected for more than ten years, a secret that had destroyed my body and mind - my life as a whole.

The GP looked at me, and asked me the same question again. I was so scared I went mute. I was paralysed by fear, by the fear of losing this “thing” that had become the only reason I had to get out of bed. I was petrified and motionless, curled up in my coat on the edge of the plastic chair. It felt like the chair was on top of a skyscraper on a windy day, like everything was unstable . I was staring at the seven short words I had crammed on the little creased piece of paper. It felt like an eternity. My eyes were darting back and forth between the notes and the bright computer screen that was hiding half of the doctor’s face. I wondered what lie I could tell this time, what health problem I could fake to justify my visit and run away from this suffocating room. I was staring at my piece of paper and saw the grey skin around my wrist in the gap between my coat and gloves. I looked at my corpse-like wrists covered in lanugo, and I took the leap. I talked.

“I think I have an eating disorder. I need help”. The GP stopped looking at the computer screen for three of the longest seconds of my life. They looked me up and down, wrapped in my fluffy coat, up and down again, and finally said "just eat 3 healthy meals a day and it’ll be fine" while standing up to show me the way to the door.

I took the plunge. I asked for help after years of physical suffeirng and mental torture. I plummeted to the very bottom. I crashed. I walked outside the GP in tears, went to the gym, and tortured my body with exercise, rules and numbers, over and over again until a member of staff asked me to leave.

A few months later. Same coat, same gloves, same hat. This time, I went to a psychiatrist. “You don’t have an eating disorder if you eat bread”. Two months later I was admitted to the hospital. The eating disorder had gone too far. My body was shutting down.My organs were failing.

While laying under the blinding lights of A&E, the truth about the illness was revealed when I took off my coat and when my blood tests results came back. Since the first time I dived in and asked for help, I had been falling deeper and deeper into the illness. Every day I kept falling and crashing even further, thinking I had reached the very bottom, thinking that things could not get worse, and then the next day arrived, darker, deeper, and more bitter than the last. 

Throughout my treatments and therapies, I learned to reconnect with the things I used to enjoy, like playing the piano and spending quiet time on the sofa reading books and drawing. I channelled my perfectionist anxieties, dark fears, and painful deceit, and poured my heart out using pen and paper.

I have decided to raise money for Beat. Without their help pages, instant-chat helplines, and encouragement to get support and keep fighting even when medical professionals fail to help, I would not be where I am today.

Eating disorders are among the deadliest of mental illnesses, and yet people are still being refused treatment because of a lack of understanding, training, and awareness, and because of pervasive stereotypes about gender, age, ethnicity, and BMI, even among medical professionals.

This is my first fundraiser for Beat, and it won’t be the last. I will not run, climb, swim, or walk for this fundraiser. Rather, I will keep the promise I made to myself when I was discharged from the hospital. I will enjoy quiet cosy moments on the sofa, with my dog, books, and pen and paper.

For every donation made, I will send a drawing to you. It will be a drawing of your choice to thank you for your generosity. You can request a specific drawing, ask for an existing one, tell me a story about yourself or something you like to inspire a drawing, or let me choose what to send you. I will cover the costs of postage myself and all donations will go to Beat. 

Your donation will help Beat provide support for people who, like me, suffer from an eating disorder. Your donation will help Beat to answer every phone call, carry out awareness campaigns, organise weekly support group meetings and provide guidance for people who are suffering everyday and need support to take the leap to seek medical help.

Recovery is messy, draining, terrifying, and exhausting. Recovering means allowing yourself to be submerged all at once by years of emotions that had been suppressed by the  reassuring layers of the eating disorder. Recovering means letting go of control and falling into a seemingly never-ending abyss of anxieties and fears.

I am hoping to raise £450 for Beat by the 15th of May 2021 If I succeed, then I will take a ‘leap’ once more, but this time by doing a skydive for Beat. I will jump for recovery.

Thank you,


My website:

If you made a donation and want to receive a drawing, please get in touch with me at

About the campaign

On 15th May 2021 our incredible team of skydivers are taking to the skies for The Big Jump to help end the pain and suffering caused by Eating Disorders.

About the charity


Verified by JustGiving

RCN 801343
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. Our mission is to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. These serious mental illnesses ruin and, too often, take lives. Our Helpline is available online or by phone for anyone suffering, as well as their family and friends.

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