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Woman Who Struggled with Anorexia Finds Second Life as Plus-Size Model

Update Date: Apr 24, 2013 02:43 PM EDT

Alice Jackson is one of 30 finalists for the Star in a Bra competition, a modeling contest sponsored by Curvy Kate's, a plus-size lingerie line. Though Jackson is proud of her body now, her position in the contest would have been inconceivable for her seven years ago.

That is because, in 2006, the then-18-year-old suffered from depression, which led to a battle with anorexia. According to the Huffington Post, she started running and living on just lettuce during the day. Her depression was compounded by the discovery that her father had been diagnosed with a cancer, an illness from which he had since recovered.

During that time period, Ms. Jackson's weight plummeted from 137 pounds to 108 pounds - dangerous for her five-foot-nine frame.

The Norwich Evening News 24 reports that her parents discovered her problem when she returned home for a Race for Life fun run. Though her parents realized that they needed to be careful about their word usage, her mother says that she said that her daughter will killing herself.

Ms. Jackson sought treatment at the Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association. That and a trip to Asia helped her regain a healthy weight.

Since her battle with anorexia, Ms. Jackson has become a shoe designer in London. Even before the contest, she volunteered for an organization called I-Eat, a help group for people with eating disorders.

Recently, her friends entered her in the Star in a Bra competition. She was shocked to discover that she had made the top 30, according to The Sun. Since then, Ms. Jackson has advanced to the top 10.

Even if Ms. Jackson does not win the competition, the prize for which includes a modeling contract, she says that she still wishes to build support for people who suffer from eating disorders. "I will be hopefully carrying on my promotion of body confidence and helping those who are recovering from eating disorders," she wrote to the Huffington Post.

The voting for the contest takes place here. Voting lasts until next Tuesday.

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