LAURA PAYNE: I replaced my eating disorder with bodybuilding. LAURA PAYNE: Okay. I am eating. COMM: Laura Payne has battled bulimia and
anorexia since she was a teenager. But now the 32-year-old is a champion body builder. LAURA PAYNE: My lowest weight was 82 lbs.
That’s with pants, sweater and everything on it at the doctor’s office. But back then
it’s just like ‘How skinny can I get?’ I do think I replaced my eating disorder with
bodybuilding. With competing you’re still in control of what you eat and how much you
eat. All your food’s accounted for. DANIEL DORETHY: One thing about eating disorders, you don’t overcome eating disorders. It’s
something that you learn to live with. COMM: Laura started to struggle with anorexia when she was in high school. LAURA PAYNE: Starts out because you think
you’re too fat or someone thinks you’re ugly or someone doesn’t like you and then
in college when the social events came along, the bulimia started because that was the parts
where I would have to go eat with fit people that would be the only way to get rid of the food.
So, that’s how that cycle began and I would throw up, it would all my cares would be
away, it made me feel good. Your day is consumed with the thought of food. I remember in class
I’d sit there and looks like I am studying but I’m adding my calories up, ‘If I eat
this. How much is that?’ COMM: When her parents found about her eating disorder they took her out of college until
her health improved. LAURA PAYNE: I am okay now. But it’s not gone. I constantly think about food. I am
constantly worried about how I look or if I have put on too much weight. COMM: Laura met her husband Jason 8 years
ago in her hometown of Odessa, Texas, and began lifting weights with him shortly after. LAURA PAYNE: He has helped me overcome it.
I eat now because of him. JASON PAYNE: I don’t diet. I like to eat. I like to go have ice cream and that is hard
going through this and struggling with Laura. It has taken a lot of patience to get her
to where she is at right now for me. And I am not very patient at all, kind of hard trying
to push that on her and I know I do it more than I should. We are both working on it. COMM: Now Laura consumes 2,000 calories a
day and owns a gym where she works out at least five times a week. And she is also a
competitive bodybuilder. COMM: When I compete, this year I came in at 125. Right now I am around 150. It’s
off-season. So, I mainly eat to lift and be stronger and gain more muscles. This is my
first competition. I won first place here long time ago. Love my long hair. I miss it.
It was fun. It’s hard. It’s frustrating though, because you know you can look like and
then mentally it’s hard because you just, you like, I feel awful right now. It’s 20
weeks of dieting to get to this. COMM: Laura keeps all of her old pictures and food diaries to remind her how far she
has come. LAURA PAYNE: It feels crazy to look at the bones, they stick out or how little my legs and arms
are and face. There’s no butt, no boobs, no there’s nothing. And it’s sad because
girls want to be skinny but none of that’s attractive. COMM: Look at this one because my hair was
falling out at that time. So you can tell in the front that my hair was actually falling
out. COMM: In an attempt not to relapse, Laura has ben seeing the same counselor since she
was 22. DANIEL DORETHY: When she came to me she was consumed in her mental health disorder, which
she was at a dangerous point of her life. At the point of her life to where little mattered.
I think the body building part is related to the disorder. She learned to figure out
what her mental health disorder was and learned more about it than most people would know
even in the profession. So, she was able to take this negative and turn it
into a positive. COMM: As well as worrying about herself, Laura also fears that her daughter Kylie might develop
an eating disorder. LAURA PAYNE: When I found out I was pregnant, the worst thought that I had was, ‘I do
not want to have a girl.’ If I found out my daughter was having similar problems as
I did. It would hurt because I would probably feel responsible. I try not to obsess over
myself in front of her, but it’s hard. It’s very hard. After this competition season it
hit me hard because I gained weight fast and I just broke down in front of her in the car.
You know, I know she sees it. I feel like you will deal with it for the rest of your
life. I think you learn how to deal with it and make it work for you. I think it just,
it’s always back there, always in the back of my mind nagging me. I still obsess over myself.