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A woman has opened up about the summer she spent at fat camp at age 15, saying she struggled with disordered eating for years after losing 40 pounds in 10 weeks. 

In a series of TikTok videos, Hannah, 28, detailed how she was put on a strict diet low-calorie, low-fat diet while attending the now-defunct Wellspring Adventure Camp in her home state of North Carolina in 2009. 

‘I want to preface that I chose to go to fat camp willingly,’ she told BuzzFeed. ‘I struggled with my weight at an early age after some traumatic things in my life, and desperately wanted to fit in with my peers, so my parents had the means to send me, and I went.’ 

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Hannah, 28, shared a series of TikTok videos about the time she spent at the now-defunct Wellspring Adventure Camp in her home state of North Carolina in 2009

Hannah, 28, shared a series of TikTok videos about the time she spent at the now-defunct Wellspring Adventure Camp in her home state of North Carolina in 2009

Hannah, 28, shared a series of TikTok videos about the time she spent at the now-defunct Wellspring Adventure Camp in her home state of North Carolina in 2009

Hannah was 15 and weighed around 216 pounds when she started fat camp

Hannah was 15 and weighed around 216 pounds when she started fat camp

She lost 40 pounds in 10 weeks by following a prescribed low-calorie, low-fat diet (pictured)

She lost 40 pounds in 10 weeks by following a prescribed low-calorie, low-fat diet (pictured)

Hannah was 15 and weighed around 216 pounds when she started fat camp (left). She lost 40 pounds in 10 weeks by following a prescribed low-calorie, low-fat diet (right)

The HR consultant, who started dieting in the fourth grade, explained that the camp’s advertisements made its weight-loss methods seem scientific and effective, but they weren’t sustainable in the long run. 

Hannah reflected on her time at fat camp in a now-viral video that has been viewed more than 2.2 million times since it was posted on March 16. 

She described Wellspring Adventure Camp as being like summer camp with ‘a lot of fat kids,’ saying she had to do a weigh-in as soon as she arrived. 

‘They immediately weigh you when you get there and go ahead and tell you your BMI and tell you that you’re overweight, which, duh, I knew,’ she said. ‘They give you your little book where you literally track everything that you eat. You also track your steps on a pedometer every day.’ 

The HR consultant described Wellspring Adventure Camp as being like summer camp with 'a lot of fat kids,' saying she had to do a weigh-in as soon as she arrived

The HR consultant described Wellspring Adventure Camp as being like summer camp with 'a lot of fat kids,' saying she had to do a weigh-in as soon as she arrived

The HR consultant described Wellspring Adventure Camp as being like summer camp with ‘a lot of fat kids,’ saying she had to do a weigh-in as soon as she arrived

Hannah, who weighed around 216 pounds at the time, said everyone was basically on the same diet depending on whether they were male or female. She was put on the less than 1,200 calories and less than 20 grams of fat per day eating plan. 

‘Literally, like what is that? For a toddler?’ she asked. 

Hannah went on to film a number of follow-up videos about camp while answering viewers’ questions about her experience.  

The photographer, who shared a photo of herself crying when her family visited her at camp, said their cellphones were taken away as soon as they arrived. The only way they could communicate with their friends at home was through letters. 

Hannah said their cellphones were taken away as soon as they arrived. The only way they could communicate with their friends at home was through letters

Hannah said their cellphones were taken away as soon as they arrived. The only way they could communicate with their friends at home was through letters

Hannah said their cellphones were taken away as soon as they arrived. The only way they could communicate with their friends at home was through letters

Hannah was put in the smallest cabin with 16 other girls in bunk beds. There were only two showers, two toilets, and two sinks, so they had to shower in rotation

Hannah was put in the smallest cabin with 16 other girls in bunk beds. There were only two showers, two toilets, and two sinks, so they had to shower in rotation

Hannah was put in the smallest cabin with 16 other girls in bunk beds. There were only two showers, two toilets, and two sinks, so they had to shower in rotation

Hannah recalled being put in the smallest cabin with 16 other girls in bunk beds. There were only two showers, two toilets, and two sinks, so they had to shower in rotation. 

‘You got five minutes to shower to preserve hot water, but if you were one of the last on the list you were gonna be showering cold,’ she said. ‘It was horrible.’ 

Schedule-wise, they were expected to be active from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with breaks for breakfast, lunch, an afternoon siesta, and dinner.    

‘It was a very controlled environment in regards to the food, so a lot of people would lose weight really quickly, obviously,’ she explained. ‘One, because you’re eating less than 1,200 calories a day, and really the food had no nutritional value. It was just about being low-calorie.’

Hannah (pictured at camp) was put on a low-calorie, low-fat eating plan in which she ate less than 1,200 calories and less than 20 grams of fat per day

Hannah (pictured at camp) was put on a low-calorie, low-fat eating plan in which she ate less than 1,200 calories and less than 20 grams of fat per day

Hannah (pictured at camp) was put on a low-calorie, low-fat eating plan in which she ate less than 1,200 calories and less than 20 grams of fat per day

'It was a very controlled environment in regards to the food, so a lot of people would lose weight really quickly,' explained Hannah (pictured crying when her family visited her)

'It was a very controlled environment in regards to the food, so a lot of people would lose weight really quickly,' explained Hannah (pictured crying when her family visited her)

‘It was a very controlled environment in regards to the food, so a lot of people would lose weight really quickly,’ explained Hannah (pictured crying when her family visited her) 

For breakfast, they would have low-fat yogurts, bagels, turkey bacon, and egg whites, while lunch and dinner consisted of more foods that were high in protein and low in fat along with vegetables and fruit. 

They were give, snacks between meals twice a day, which were things like 100-calorie Snackwell’s and Fig Newtons. 

Campers were only able to drink diet soda in the cafeteria, and Hannah joked that she was a ‘Crystal Light dealer’ because she snuck some of the flavor packets into camp and would sell them. 

Hannah stressed that her mother paid ‘a lot money’ for her to go to Wellspring Adventure Camp, but the weight loss methods that were utilized were ‘terrible.’   

‘I did end up losing 40 pounds over 10 weeks, and let’s be honest, that’s pretty unhealthy,’ she said. ‘It really kickstarted my disordered eating because you were rewarded for how less you ate. You were rewarded for how active you were.’

For breakfast, they would have low-fat yogurts, bagels, turkey bacon, and egg whites, while lunch and dinner consisted of more foods that were high in protein and low in fat

For breakfast, they would have low-fat yogurts, bagels, turkey bacon, and egg whites, while lunch and dinner consisted of more foods that were high in protein and low in fat

For breakfast, they would have low-fat yogurts, bagels, turkey bacon, and egg whites, while lunch and dinner consisted of more foods that were high in protein and low in fat

'I did end up losing 40 pounds over 10 weeks, and let's be honest, that's pretty unhealthy,' she said. 'It really kickstarted my disordered eating'

'I did end up losing 40 pounds over 10 weeks, and let's be honest, that's pretty unhealthy,' she said. 'It really kickstarted my disordered eating'

‘I did end up losing 40 pounds over 10 weeks, and let’s be honest, that’s pretty unhealthy,’ she said. ‘It really kickstarted my disordered eating’

If she wanted ‘time’ to talk to her family, she had to make sure she walked at least 10,000 steps every day. 

‘We had a restaurant challenge one time where we got to go out of the camp and go to a restaurant,’ she said. ‘So my group went to Chilis, and they told you you could order whatever you want, but it was almost like a test to see if you failed. Most of all stayed on track. There was one kid that ate bad and he was judged.’

While Hannah has a lot of issues about how the camp was run, she said it wasn’t all horrible. She enjoyed some of the activities, like hiking, and she became friends with her fellow campers, though they are no longer in touch. 

When she got home, she bought new clothes in celebration of her 40-pound weight loss and no longer hated shopping. 

‘Everyone was like, “What happened to you over the summer?”‘ she recalled. ‘There’s a lot of validation, of course, but that only lasted about seven or eight months. 

Hannah shared that she spent years dieting to try to lose weight because she ended up gaining back more than she had initially lost

Hannah shared that she spent years dieting to try to lose weight because she ended up gaining back more than she had initially lost

Hannah shared that she spent years dieting to try to lose weight because she ended up gaining back more than she had initially lost

'I think I am in a place now where I finally found something that works for me and that's all about balance,' Hannah said

'I think I am in a place now where I finally found something that works for me and that's all about balance,' Hannah said

‘I think I am in a place now where I finally found something that works for me and that’s all about balance,’ Hannah said 

‘See, camp was designed to be a very controlled environment. They controlled everything that you ate, everything that you drank. You were also exercising for six, seven, eight hours out of the day.’

Hannah said her restrictive diet fell to the wayside once she went back to school and was hanging out with her friends again.   

‘It wasn’t consistent for me anymore. It didn’t really cure my relationship with food [or] my relationship with my body,’ she explained. ‘I started binge eating again, started having unhealthy relationships with food again.’

She shared that she spent years dieting to try to lose weight because she ended up gaining back more than she had initially lost.

‘I think I am in a place now where I finally found something that works for me and that’s all about balance,’ she added. 

Source: DailyMail

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