Tyson Busby has battled eating disorders. He’s turned his life around and now tries to help other men.

Langley man wants to help other men with eating disorders

An Aldergrove man is raising awareness so men can reach our for help.

Tyson Busby suffered from bulimia for seven years.

He was finally able to get himself into a treatment facility for eating disorders.

The Aldergrove resident will be one of the four panel members speaking on his battle with eating disorders Jan. 30, in an effort to raise awareness on the stigma of eating disorders and size-shaming.

Busby endured several traumatic events in childhood.

When he was five, Busby said, he watched a friend in the school yard die, after the hood of her coat got caught on a slide on the playground.

When he was seven, he was molested by a male babysitter several times.

Busby was raised by his mother and step-father, and did not have much contact with his biological father.

In high school, Busby also dealt with personal body image issues.

“I’d make the joke first so I didn’t have someone make the joke about me,” he explained.

At 18 years old, Busby ended his relationship with his father.

“That’s when my eating disorder started,” he said. “I didn’t know what I was doing, it just made me feel good mentally.”

Busby turned to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for his depression and bulimia, and became involved in the drug trade.

“To cope with my depression and eating disorder I did a lot of drinking, which I see a lot when I meet some people with eating disorders,” he said.

After meeting his girlfriend – now his common-law wife – Busby discontinued his criminal activity. His purging became a silent suffering, and the trauma from his childhood began to take its toll.

“I was very good at hiding my eating disorder… It was just an everyday thing,” he said.

Busby recalled purging “40 or 50 times per day.”

During this time, at the age of 24, Busby made several attempts to find help for his eating disorder.

“It was very hard for me to find help, because there wasn’t a lot about men and eating disorders,” he said. “This was when I lost all hope, and that was my bottom line.”

Busby attempted suicide twice within two days.

Shortly after Busby was admitted into the Looking Glass residential care program on Galiano Island.

“If I was 25, I wouldn’t have gotten in, and I don’t think I’d be here today,” he admitted.

It’s estimated that between 500,000 to one million Canadians suffer from an eating disorder, according to the Looking Glass Foundation.

It’s estimated that between 500,000 to one million Canadians suffer from an eating disorder, according to the Looking Glass Foundation.

He hopes that participating in the panel discussion will begin to relieve the stigma around eating disorders, particularly with men.

“There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about [eating disorders],” he esaid. “I’m proud I overcame it and I now try and give back because I was given my life back to me.”

The panel discussion, titled Interrupting the Stigma: Putting an End to Size-Shaming, is part of the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign in recognition of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb. 1 to 7).

The panel discussion is from noon to 1 p.m., in the Main Lecture Theatre at UBC Robson Square. The discussion is free to attend, but space is limited. Tickets can be downloaded at pedawpanel.eventbrite.ca.

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