Calia Afeltra

Coming home to Calico

Fundraising for Beat
raised of £450 target
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Event: The Big Jump 2022, on 1 October 2022
The Big Jump 2022
Campaign by Beat (RCN 801343)
Our annual skydive day is back for 2022! On 1st October 2022 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.


I am hoping that my story will encourage others in a similar position to reach out for help and to remember that you are not alone!

I remember when I was about 19 years old, a stranger came up to me while I was dancing carefree at a party and said ‘Don’t ever lose your free spirit.’ I am now 33 and my life looks very different to what it did at 19 and I realize that not only have I lost my free spirit but I have actually lost myself.

I have been battling with an eating disorder all my life. It has manifested itself in different ways over the years, but it has been my coping mechanism, my desperate attempt to feel in control of my life. Giving me a false sense of security as I go out into the big bad world. As you can imagine, with such a traumatic experience like the pandemic, things only began to get progressively worse and I started to feel both my body and my mind slowly starting to give up on me. From years of restricting calories and compulsive exercise, my body not only shut down my reproductive system, but also all the love and enthusiasm I had for life. 

After hitting rock bottom several times and carrying on in denial that I had a problem, thinking that I was the one in control, I realized that life wasn't going to allow me to ignore this anymore. When I tested positive for Covid earlier this year and was forced to rest, I really used this time to think about the life I want to live and the person I want to be, realizing that I hated the person I had become and didn't even recognize her anymore.

Luckily I recovered from Covid, but it was during this time that I finally admitted defeat, and I was finally honest with myself and I made the decision to surrender, fully commit to this recovery and fight this illness. I would need to make choices that contradict everything society tells us about health and fitness; this all consuming diet-culture is more detrimental that we can even imagine, and it's everywhere. 

So, what did this mean, ultimately…this meant putting away my scale, adjusting my 'goals' on my apple watch, deleting the My Fitness Pal App (this app should be illegal), stopping all intense exercise and increasing my daily calorie consumption significantly. I don’t even know who I am without all of these metrics… and while many people won’t understand, it has been a dark and lonely journey to get to this place and this is the scariest thing but also the bravest step I could ever have taken, to give up that control, to learn to trust my body and learn to love myself from the inside out.

Over the past 4.5 months, my body has changed dramatically, I have gained over 10kg (that was actually the easy part) the hardest part is unlearning the deeply ingrained beliefs and behaviours, the part that no one else can see, and accepting that my path looks different now, and that this is right for me... not anyone else... ME. I am taking one day at a time and applying conscious and deliberate effort, focusing on the longer-term benefits of having a healthy and fertile body. Where I won't feel trapped in an isolating mental prison of compulsive exercise and restrictive eating.

A few weeks ago, I was walking in the park on a beautiful sunny day in London, I thought… I am blossoming like this flower… I am coming home to myself, I am reconnecting with that free spirit who used to dance like no-one is watching, what is more beautiful than that?

And that is why I want to jump.... because everyday I am that tiny bit closer to being free and I want to help others get the support they need so they can be too!

About the campaign

Our annual skydive day is back for 2022! On 1st October 2022 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


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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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