Good Housekeeping South Africa

‘Our mother’s death was the toughest lesson in self-love’

It wouldn’t have been surprising if the death of their beloved mother, Lindy, had completely broken sisters Cairalee Durand, 33, and Nicky Durand, 27. Instead, the tragedy was the spur the Cape Town siblings needed to turn their lives around.

Their mother, Lindy, died three years ago, aged 54, from anorexia, a disease that had controlled her life since she was 16. Inevitably, the devastating eating disorder also impacted her family, with many of Lindy’s struggles defining her daughters’ lives too.

‘Obviously, with our mom suffering from anorexia, looking after our bodies and healthy eating wasn’t something we grew up with,’ says Caira-lee, a digital-media manager. ‘We didn’t have a good example to learn from and neither of us ever learnt to have a positive body image.’

While anorexia prevented their mother from eating enough to maintain a healthy weight, over the years both Caira-lee and Nicky became unhealthily overweight.

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