"When I was 16 years old, I went on the fad, high school diet, and my OCD and perfectionism turned that into an eating disorder," Tiffany Fraser said. For nearly 10 years Tiffany Fraser used the starvation method called anorexia to lose weight.
"When I turned 25 it really spiraled out of control. I was down to 90 or 95 pounds, 250 calories a day," she said.
Her disorder affected everyone around her. "You know you watch your daughter not eat. You watch your daughter drink. You watch the hair fall out. You watch her weight get down. You suffer every day. You think about it every day," Tiffany's mother, Kathy Fraser, said.
After several hours of therapy Fraser's anorexia sparked alcoholism. It's been a long journey, but this week Tiffany celebrates being one year alcohol free, and she now has a healthy diet. "It's the worst thing you can possibly go through. As a teacher and an aunt of an amazing beautiful 3 year old, I would never want them to have to go through it," Tiffany said.
This is the mentality that gave Tiffany the idea to create South Dakota's only charity and support group for people with eating disorders. When Tiffany needed help for her anorexia and alcoholism, she visited treatment centers in Colorado, Arizona and California. She has finally achieved her goal of getting an eating disorder support group here in South Dakota. Courage to Confront will be held at the Visitation Center in Mitchell, and people are excited.
"The support in the community of Mitchell is outstanding right now. This is something the state of South Dakota needs because there's nothing," Tiffany said.
From anorexia to over eating and anywhere in between, anyone with eating issues is encouraged to check out Courage to Confront. The group will offer private meetings. Occasionally there will be speakers and therapists that attend group meetings. Meetings begin June 6. The first three Fridays of every month will be private meetings for anyone with an eating disorder. The fourth Friday of every month will be open to anyone interested in the group. The goal is to get people back to a healthy, happy life.
"It's about your mental physical everything. If you have self-confidence, that is going to be portrayed, and you are going to look healthy. You don't have to be skinny to look healthy," Courage to Confront volunteer, Lisa Larson said.