VESTAL (WBNG) – A Binghamton University graduate spoke to students on Friday at Harpur Edge, after writing a children's book years ago inspired by her past struggles with anorexia.
"Holly the Hippo is about body image, self-love, self acceptance," said author Bobby-Angela Wong.
Wong was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when she was 15 years old.
"I was a sophomore in high school at the time, when my mom approached me and told me she thinks I had an eating disorder. She cried, I cried," said Wong.
Wong was being treated for nearly seven years.
Her battle even took time away from studies at Binghamton University, but it ended up being worth the time.
"I decided that I was sick of it and tired. I wanted my life back because it kind of just got away from me," said Wong.
It was during treatment that Wong found a way to cope: writing.
"It's a way to express yourself and vent and have someone or something listen to you," said Wong.
Wong wrote about a pink hippo who was struggling with self-esteem.
"I took me a while to realize that this could be something more than just a poem in my journal," said Wong.
Her book "Holly the Hippo" was published in 2015.
"I had to get some motivation from outside sources saying this is what a book should be," Wong said.
Now, Wong is fully recovered. She's using her book not only to encourage children, but to tell people of all ages to love who they are.
"There is nothing wrong with who you are. You are who you are and people are going to love you for it and that's all that matters. Everyone should be able to find happiness in their life," Wong said.
Wong plans on writing more books in the future.