Overeater and Anorexic Fall in Love at Eating Disorder Clinic
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They may look very different, but their not-so-different underlying struggles helped Lizzie Elsburg and Chris Glasgow fall in love at a California eating disorders clinic. Elsburg, 24, was severely underweight and in treatment for anorexia, while Chris Glasgow, 28, was obese and in treatment for compulsive overeating, when the two met in August 2012 at Pacific Shores Hospital. Elsburg says "it was a little weird at first," because while she was encouraged to consume a diet of high-calorie foods, he was put on a strict low-calorie diet: "It felt like we should switch plates." But she eventually realized that their food issues were actually pretty alike. "I use food by cutting it out, he uses food by overdoing it, so it's the opposite but serves the same purpose," she says. "We recognized that we were both determined to beat our eating disorders—and that's what drew us together." Elsburg says at first she "couldn't understand how anyone could let themselves get to that size," but after getting to know him she "was able to see past his body issues, because I have body issues too." Two months later, Glasgow proposed, and Elsburg accepted. However, she says the wedding—which is planned for next summer—is "contingent" on his achieving his goal of a healthy weight. "If he went back to eating fast food and junk food, the relationship wouldn't work," she says, "from a health standpoint and from a point of physical attraction." Glasgow admits there is "a lot on the line," but says the ultimatum makes him realize "just how important it is to stay on track." The couple is now living near each other in Virginia and both are continuing their treatment through weekly counseling sessions.