середа, 3 листопада 2010 р.

Recovering Anorexic Meal Plans

Anorexia can wreak havoc on the body, making the systems and organs weak and severely undernourished. It is important to create a meal plan for a recovering anorexic that will be both nutritious and healthy, and will help the body while not overwhelming the minds with the thought of eating heavy foods. 
Fresh Produce
  • Fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, are both low in calories and high in vitamins and nutrients. Eating fresh produce can help an anorexic feel as though she can eat without worrying about getting fat. The fiber in fresh produce can help correct a dysfunctional digestive system that can result from anorexia. Try to vary the produce, so that the anorexic individual will be receiving a variety of nutrients. Try to avoid produce like potatoes that may make a recovering anorexic feel overly full, which can cause them to feel anxious about eating.

  • Lean Proteins

  • Eating lean proteins will help the body rebuild lost muscle tissue and can give a recovering anorexic person more energy. Choosing a lean protein, like chicken breasts or tenderloin, instead of a fatty one, like beef or bacon, will help the recovering anorexic feel less nervous about ingesting it. Try to make it known that the meat is lean and low fat, and prepare the meat in a way that will not affect its overall fat content, such as broiling or grilling it.

  • Whole Grains

  • Grains may be a particular problem for anorexics who have been conditioned to think that carbohydrates will make them fat. This can be remedied by serving only whole grains, instead of processed flours and packaged foods. Chose grains that are minimally altered, including rice and stone ground oats. These grains will nourish the body and aid in the recovery of the digestive system.

  • вівторок, 2 листопада 2010 р.

    Interview With An Anorexic

    I have very little sympathy for someone whose disease involves poor self-image. The idea that perfect control over your body is possible is so WASPy, as is the idea that other people actually spend their time caring whether you reach it or not. Much more attractive to me are people whose problems come from seeking out all that is invisibleŠ like that fad I read about in Vogue where young people cut themselves every day. The silent suffering and self-containedness of anorexia, in the grand scheme of life, is really worthless. Internalized drama is everything pathetic about drama with none of the majesty. Anorexics never kick out the jams. At least "diseases" like gambling or alcoholism, or even spousal abuse, involve interaction--a tipping-back-and-forth balance of guilt and fury and love and hatred, a shouting match with your girlfriend when you arrive home sans grandma's earrings. At least alcoholics have camaraderie--anorexics are eternally alone, single piranhas circling. (An anorexic sees another anorexic, she thinks, "Damn! Another skinny bitch on my turf!") And in the end, those anorexics will force you to take care of them while looking like they never wanted help, like they never hated you or wanted you miserable: "Oh no, it was all inward-directed violence." My foot! I fucking hate passive-aggressive behavior.
    While my sympathy is small, my jealousy is big. Anorexics always seem to have more thoughts than I do. All those intricacies and picayune habits. My body is just something that walks me to the store—it's no battlefield. Where do they come up with these ideas?I just want to write, have sex, fight with my boyfriend, hire someone to clean my house, figure out how to be funny, and go to Japan someday. Keeping my consumption of peas to 7 per day, while not letting the fork touch my lips, just doesn't enter in the picture. And I just know the swanky homosexuals who disapprove of everything under the sun think those spotty-haired scrawny girls are more worth talking to than I am.
    Maybe it's just the word "anorexia" I love—spread out like a fishing net over the stars, filaments so thin they're barely visible. The girl herself is a constellation of fine, blow-dried hair, shiny clothes, peeling nails, and jutting bones—you have to connect the dots because there's nothing in between. My best friend for the last 13 years has been anorexic to varying degrees: She is driven by egotism, perfectionism, and what people I never want to meet would call "issues of control." She ate only chips, iced tea, and jalapeño peppers for her main meal every day for a solid year. She'd go to three different stores to buy these items, as if some poor clerk might be keeping track, thinking "If she eats chips, she needn't eat jalapeño peppers as well." If she ever bought anything else, say a cup of soup, she'd talk about it with the person at the cash register (and anyone else around), pretending it was for someone else: "I guess this is the kind he wanted, I don't know..." Eventually, she stopped talking to clerks altogether. She'd pass them a note that said, "I am a deaf-mute. I am picking up some turkey soup for my friend. How much, please?" She was always getting in car accidents, and every single month she thought she was pregnant.
    The cool people are always selfish and dramatic. Unlike, say, depressives, who sink down into the same old patterns of self-destructive behavior and never get out of them, anorexics have a constantly expanding galaxy of ways to have problems. They lie. They black out. They hemorrhage. All the anorexics I've known steal boyfriends. Things always "happen" to them: People molest them when they sleep, ex-boyfriends steal their gas cards, or things go wrong when they try to kill themselves and they end up stuck in the loony bin for the weekend. They have mortal enemies. People put curses on them! It's an extravagant, silent life, the life of the anorexic. A guy recently told me his sister had been having a telepathic relationship with Martin Gore of Depeche Mode for the last 8 months—and had even gotten pregnant from it! "Wait!" I said, "Does your sister have an eating disorder?" "Yes," he said, "She's a fruitopian. She hasn't eaten anything but fruit for years."
    I got anorexic/bulimics all over my life. One of them is my son's baby-sitter, Chance Provencal—so I interviewed her. Throughout the interview, Chance peeled and ripped up an onion that was sitting on my table. You can hear the low crackle of the mutilation throughout the entire tape.
    Lisa: When did it start?
    Chance Provencal: When I was 18. I never thought about how much I ate or how much I weighed until I had this one boyfriend. I was 120 pounds and he was like, "Oh, I like my girls to be skinny."
    Lisa: "My girls." Sounds like a pimp.
    Chance: The thing is, he was fat! He was! "I like my girls to be 100, 105 pounds." No matter how much I tried to cut down on my eating or exercise more, I couldn't lose any weight. So I just kind of like ate what I wanted and then got rid of it.
    Lisa: You puked.
    Chance: Oh yeah, I puked and I starved, alternately. I did a lot more puking than I did starving. It was easier to just puke it out.
    Lisa: How often did you throw up?
    Chance: Sometimes just a couple times a week, sometimes a couple times a day. It depends on how much I ate that day. Because there are days where I won't eat at all. I found that if you wake up in the morning and you don't eat, you can go longer without eating. But once I eat, I just have to eat and eat and eat.
    Lisa: How come after you dumped that boyfriend you still had the eating problems?
    Chance: Because after that it was an obsession to be skinny. All my friends down in Maryland are really skinny—between 90 and 105 pounds—and I felt fat.
    Lisa: What if you got a bunch of fat friends, would that help?
    Chance: Probably not, because then I'd be mean and want to be even skinnier. I have fat friends now and I continue to be skinny because they all say, "Look how skinny you are, look how tiny you are," and I like it.
    Lisa: What's the lowest weight you ever got to?
    Chance: 85 pounds. I didn't get lower because I was taken to the hospital pretty early—[starvation] was harder on me than most people because of my diabetes. I got down to 85 with painkillers. I think painkillers are the best diet drug. You really don't get hungry! You just lay in bed all the time and lose the weight. But when you're not tired, they make you just jump up and run around and not think about anything—just keep going.
    Lisa: Were you able to hold down a job at this time?
    Chance: Not then, because I had an ovarian cyst, so I was out of work because of that. I never wanted to count calories. I'd just eat a piece of lettuce, drink water. I didn't want to do this whole thing of eat one M&M, exercise for three hours. I was never that meticulous about it. I'm too lazy.
    Lisa: Did you go to the hospital by choice?
    Chance: No. I couldn't really fight it by that point because I was just too out of it. I was too weak and half in and out. My boyfriend at the time took me because I was bordering on unconsciousness. My roommates called him up and said, "Her heartbeat's really low, she's not responding to much, she's dehydrated." So he came and picked me up and took me to the emergency room.
    Lisa: Is this the one who likes his girls skinny?
    Chance: No, a different one. This boyfriend never said I was too skinny.
    Lisa: How did people treat you while you were recovering in the hospital?
    Chance: Some were really nice and sympathetic, some were mean and heartless. They'd say, "Well you got yourself into this and you ought to know better and I don't feel sorry for you!" Other people would say, "Oh, you poor little thing." The counselors were nice, but a lot of the nurses were mean—the fat nurses. But you get that no matter what you're in the hospital for—some nice nurses, some mean.
    Lisa: How much weight did they make you gain before you could leave?
    Chance:: 10 or 15 pounds.
    Lisa: How did you gain the weight? Did you get an I.V. drip?
    Chance: Yeah. They gave me the saline solution, then glucose. They were talking about putting that tube in my nose.
    Lisa: Why? Were you afraid to eat?
    Chance: No, they just felt it was so necessary at that time, but I was like, "No, no, no, I'll eat!" And then I had to get monitored every time I had to go to the bathroom. I had to call a nurse and leave the door open part-way so they could make sure I was going to the bathroom and not doing other stuff.
    Lisa: How long did it take you to gain 10 pounds?
    Chance: It took a couple months, because your stomach shrinks, so what was a normal meal to me would be like a snack to someone else. Even now, when I don't eat for a while, my stomach shrinks, and then I'll eat just a couple bites and I'm full. I can't eat another bite, and that's fine for me! After that I went to my boyfriend's house and he was fat and his whole family was fat, and they took care of me. They made sure I got fed. And he worked at Taco Bell so I got to eat tacos all the time. They were trying to force me to eat, and then when I'd feel sick they'd tell me, "Oh you're fine," and like force-feed me, and then I'd really be sick, and throw up.
    Lisa: How do you feel when you see a fat person?
    Chance: I don't know, I think a lot of fat people are beautiful. Sometimes I want to be fat, have a little extra meat on me. But I can't bring myself to actually do it. But sometimes I get mad at fat people because I think they're gross and disgusting, other times I think they're fine, I think they're beautiful. My good friend Cindy, she's overweight, and sometimes I think, "Fat pig!" and then other times I think, "Oh, she's fine."
    Lisa: How do you feel when you see a skinny person?
    Chance: When I see someone skinnier than me, I get mad. This one lady, she was so skinny, I kept looking at her and thinking, "There must be something really wrong with her. She must have cancer. She is impossibly skinny."
    Lisa: Was she elegant or grotesque?
    Chance: She was grotesque. It was really nasty.
    Lisa: Did you realize you looked disgusting when you were that skinny?
    Chance: No. Because you have your own image of what you look like. There's this mirror over at Rick's house that I call the Skinny Mirror because I looked in it one day and I looked really thin. Everybody said, "You're just saying that." But then this guy's girlfriend looked in it and she said the same thing, so we call it the Skinny Mirror now. So whenever I feel fat I go look in the Skinny Mirror. There's days when I look at myself and I think, "Wow, I look great, I can live with this." And there's other days when I look at myself in the mirror and start scrutinizing every inch of my body: "My butt's fat. My legs are fat. My gut is fat." But I don't ever want to go through hospitalization again, I'll never let myself get to that point again. I have a messed-up esophagus now from making myself throw up so much. Sometimes I'll just chew on a pen cap now, and I'll gag. Because I used to stick my toothbrush down there, my fingers, anything. And now when I throw up it really hurts and burns, it feels like my whole chest is gonna cave in.
    Lisa: When you were so skinny, what did your skin and hair look like?
    Chance: I did get that light layer of hair that you grow. It's baby-blonde color. That extra layer that keeps you warm, because you get so skinny your body can't keep itself warm.
    Lisa: Was it all over your body and face?
    Chance: Not on my face so much. It was mostly on my midsection, on my back and front.
    Lisa: How did your boyfriend feel about you having chest hair?
    Chance: He was kind of disgusted by it, but he really cared for me, so he didn't let it really show. There was no physical relationship at that point, because I was too weak and he was too afraid he would break me. He was really delicate with me all the time. If he held my hand, his hand would completely wrap around mine.
    Lisa: Do you still get urges to not eat and to throw up?
    Chance: I still do. There are days where I won't eat at all. Just because I'm afraid I'll get to the point where I'm too fat again and then it will start all over. Other days I'll eat like a pig and then I'll feel awful for weeks after. And I'll be like, "Well, I can't eat for a couple days because I ate a lot yesterday." I haven't thrown up lately. I was doing it a couple months ago, because I'd eat so much I'd have to. And then you know, when you throw up you get dehydrated, so I'd drink like a whole gallon of water and then I'd have to throw that up. I used to throw up every night still last year.
    Lisa: Do you take painkillers now?
    Chance: I did the other day. But a lot of doctors are cracking down on what they give you. I had a kidney infection two weeks ago and they wouldn't even give me painkillers for that. Which is good, because I was addicted to them really bad. When I stopped taking them, I went through withdrawal, the shakes. If I even take one or two now, I'll get addicted almost automatically, so it's good they don't give them out as easily anymore. You don't think about a lot when you have painkillers. Painkillers are deadly, not just for the obvious reasons, but because of the way they make you think and act. I'm proud that I stopped, the painkillers and the eating disorder. I still have my days. They say it's never really cured, you always have it in the back of your mind. It's just a matter of controlling it. I don't make myself throw up anymore. When I look back at what I used to do, it really kind of disgusts me.

    понеділок, 1 листопада 2010 р.

    The Woman’s Day Slimdown with Joy Bauer:

    Here are four sample menus. All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks are interchangeable. (But you can’t eat a dinner for breakfast, or vice versa.) You can swap the protein at a meal with another protein on the approved list (Foods Allowed at Meals); just keep serving sizes the same. You can also swap any of the nonstarchy vegetables in the menus for others on the list (and those are unlimited!).
    Day 1
    • Omelet made from 3 large egg whites (cooked with nonstick cooking spray), unlimited diced veggies of your choice (from approved list), your choice of approved seasonings, and 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat or nonfat cheese
    • WHOLE serving of approved fruit
    • California-style turkey sandwich: 1 slice whole-grain bread or 2 slices reduced-calorie whole-wheat bread (any brand, 45 calories or less per slice); 4 oz turkey breast; 2 thin slices avocado; unlimited tomato slices, lettuce, arugula, and/or spinach; mustard
    • Baby carrots, unlimited
    • 1/2 cup nonfat or 1% lowfat cottage cheese with unlimited sliced green, red and/or yellow bell pepper strips

    • Skinny Dinner Salad OR 2 cups Skinny Veggie Soup
    • Grilled fish with salsa: 6 oz baked or grilled white fish (halibut, cod or tilapia); 1/4 cup mild or spicy salsa
    • Green vegetable: Unlimited steamed asparagus spears, broccoli, sugar snap peas or green beans
    • HALF serving of approved fruit

    Day 2
    • 1 cup whole-grain cereal (any brand, 150 calories or less per 1-cup serving and 3+ grams fiber) with 1 cup skim milk or lowfat soy milk
    • HALF serving of any approved fruit
    • Chicken Caesar salad: Unlimited Romaine lettuce (chopped); 4 oz grilled skinless chicken
    breast; 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan; 4 Tbsp light Caesar dressing (any brand, 80 calories or less per 2 Tbsp)
    • 1 oz reduced-fat or nonfat cheese
    • 1 rice cake

    • Skinny Dinner Salad OR 2 cups Skinny Veggie Soup
    • Grilled sirloin or flank steak: 5 oz lean sirloin or flank steak, seasoned as desired with allowed marinades/
    • Fresh spinach leaves (start with about 4-6 cups) sautéed with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 clove garlic and seasoned with your choice of approved seasonings
    Day 3
    • 1 /2 cup dry traditional oatmeal (or 1/4 cup steel-cut oats) prepared with water and topped with a HALF serving of any fruit of your choice
    • 2 large hardboiled egg whites (discard yolks) or 2 scrambled egg whites or egg substitute
    • 5-oz turkey burger served on a bed of mixed greens or spinach (unlimited amounts) with lettuce, tomato, onion and/or pickle
    • 2 Tbsp ketchup or salsa (optional)
    • Raw or steamed vegetables (unlimited approved veggies)

    • 1 small apple and 10 raw almonds or 15 pistachios
    • Skinny Dinner Salad OR 2 cups Skinny Veggie Soup
    • Teriyaki of beef, salmon, chicken or tofu (5 oz protein pan-grilled with 2 Tbsp low-sodium teriyaki sauce, 1 tsp finely minced ginger and black pepper to taste)
    • 1 cup steamed snow peas
    Day 4
    • 2 slices reduced-calorie whole-wheat toast with 2 level tsp peanut, almond or soy nut butter spread (1 tsp each slice) topped with one HALF serving of any approved fruit of your choice
    • Omelet made with nonstick cooking spray, 4 egg whites, 1 cup broccoli, any seasonings on food list, and 1/4 cup reduced-fat or nonfat cheese
    • Unlimited lettuce and/or spinach leaves with 2 Tbsp light dressing (40 calories or less per 2 Tbsp)
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen edamame (green soybeans), boiled in the pod
    • Skinny Dinner Salad OR 2 cups Skinny Veggie Soup
    • 5 oz grilled, roasted or broiled lean pork tenderloin, seasoned as desired, with unlimited steamed asparagus spears, snow peas or green beans
    • HALF serving of any fruit of your choice


    1200 Calorie Diabetic Meal Plan


    The 1,200-calorie diabetic meal plan is a reduced-calorie meal plan that is often prescribed to individuals who are attempting to lose weight. The meal plan involves three meals and two snacks and includes portion-controlled snacks.

    Meal Planning

    According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with diabetes should avoid skipping meals and snacks because doing so can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. As a result, diabetics need to make sure that they eat a well-balanced meal or snack every four to five waking hours. When the daily caloric limit is only 1,200 calories, the meals and snacks will need to consist primarily of low-calorie foods.


    Carbohydrates are the main nutrient that will raise blood sugar, so diabetic individuals need to moderate the amount of carbohydrate that they consume at one meal or snack. The American Dietetic Association explains that carbohydrates can be found in foods such as fruits, starchy vegetables, grains, milk, yogurt and desserts or sweets. Controlling the intake of these foods is important because eating a high amount of carbohydrate in one sitting can cause high blood sugar. Over time, uncontrolled hyperglycemia will severely damage the body.


    Diabetics are at higher risk of developing heart disease than their non-diabetic peers. As a result, the American Heart Association encourages diabetics to consume a diet that is low in saturated and trans fat. These two fats are found in animal products, like butter and lard, and processed foods, like fast food and pastries. The healthy fats, unsaturated fats, are ones that are found like plant-based products. Olive oil, avocado and walnuts are examples of healthy fats. However, since the 1,200-calorie diabetic meal plan is low in calories, even the healthy fats should be limited to small portions.

    Diabetic Serving Sizes

    A food's diabetic serving size, or diabetic exchange, is determined by the food's nutritional content. For example, a carbohydrate-containing food would have a diabetic serving size that is equal to approximately 15g of carbohydrate. A few examples of diabetic serving sizes of carbohydrate-containing foods are one slice of whole grain bread, one corn tortilla, 1/3 cup brown rice, 3/4 cup blueberries, 1/2 grapefruit, 8 oz. low-fat milk, and 6 to 8 oz. light yogurt.

    Sample Menu

    The following meal plan provides roughly 1,200 calories and follows the recommendations for a low-fat, carbohydrate-controlled meal plan.

    Breakfast: 1 cup cooked old-fashioned oatmeal with artificial sweetener; 1-1/4 cup strawberries; six almonds; 1/2 cup scrambled egg substitute

    Lunch: Two slices of light wheat bread; 2 oz. lean turkey meat; 1 oz. fat-free cheese; lettuce, tomato, and 1 tsp. light mayonnaise for sandwich; one small apple; 6 to 8 oz. light yogurt

    Snack: 1 cup celery and carrots sticks with 2 tbsp. hummus

    Dinner: 3 oz. skinless baked chicken; 1 cup steamed broccoli; one small sweet potato with spray butter; 1 cup blackberries

    Snack: 6 to 8 oz. light yogurt, or 3 cups popped light popcorn


    Healthy Meal Plan: Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op

    I am so pleased with the selection of healthy fruits and vegetables in today’s Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op share and looking forward to healthy high fiber dinners this week.  Today, we’re eating leftovers to make room in the fridge.  My father-in-law is in town this weekend, so I’m making a big dinner tomorrow night along with Blueberry Pie!
    Sunday:  Grilled Lemon Chicken, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Salad, Lemony Quinoa, Blueberry Pie for Dessert (I will be substituting granulated fructose for the sugar and serving with Greek yogurt, instead of vanilla ice cream to lower the GI).
    Monday:  Chicken Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
    Tuesday:  Roast with Carrots, Celery, and Salad
    Wednesday:  Ginger and Lime Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash, Grilled Cauliflower with Lime Cream
    Thursday:  Cream of Mushroom Pork Chops, Salad, Roasted Yellow squash (I’ll thinly slice the yellow squash along with red onion and put it in a 9 X 13 baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper and bake at 400 for 25 minutes).  When I have zucchini, I add it to this dish.  It’s my favorite healthy vegetable side dish and I’m lucky to have a mom with a huge garden and I get to eat this dish often.
    Friday:  Leftovers
    We will use all the bananas, nectarines, bananas, and grapes for breakfast and snacks.  I’m looking forward to trying bananas and nectarines in my steel-cut oats.

    Meal Plan

    Regardless of what anyone says about you and your weight, you should follow this basic principle. Eat 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) EVERY day as a minimum.

    Cereal with milk (try sliced bananas IN your milk); lactose intolerant? Try Soya milk instead of milk.
    1 or 2 eggs (any style - to make it easy, try buying those microwaveable egg poachers; makes one egg in 32 seconds).
    Apple or fruit of some type
    Orange juice or apple juice

    Pasta - carbs are good for energy when you most need it. You can try canned pasta like chef boyardee Mini ravioli (yum!) or lasagna or pizza (Dr. Oetker pizzas are small but are ready 15 minutes! my fav!)
    Bagel or piece of bread (or pizza instead)
    Fruit (apple, or fruit cup)

    Meat protein: preferrably chicken breast or fish but steak does me good!
    Salad: green spinach with mushrooms, tomatoes, radishes, or garnish with whatever you like; try some tofu cubes with some balsamic vinegar
    Soup: try canned soup like italian wedding soup from Campbells (yum!)
    Rice: a small amount of carbs is good for dinner time
    Fruit: apple or orange
    Dessert: yogurt or slice of apple pie
    Drink: Juice or even a glass of red wine

    If you follow this simple principle (3 meals a day), you should be fine. Any other snacks in between would be bonus. Snacks like granola bars or peanut butter sandwich contain good fats that will help you maintain and gain weight. But don't skip breakfast! At least have that one egg a day in the morning.

    пʼятниця, 29 жовтня 2010 р.

    A Day in the Life of an Anorexic: An Aide to Those Who Can't Identify

    Anorexia is a very hard for people to understand. Many see it as a harmful lifestyle choice. The truth is, it is a mental disorder and not any more a choice than depression or schizophrenia is. Some wonder, what is it like to go through a day in the life of an anorexic? The answer may be a bit tough for some to take.

    But let's imagine...You wake up in the morning and your stomach growls. You take a shower and when you get out you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. You wind up wasting 10 to 20 minutes staring, pinching fat here and there, sucking in your stomach, imagining what you'll look like 5, 10, 20 pounds less.

    Before getting dressed, you weigh yourself. You must weigh yourself naked because you are afraid that anything, even your socks, will add weight to the scale. You step on and off about 3 times until you are satisfied you are given an accurate number. If the number is higher than yesterday by even a tenth of a pound, you will feel like you want to die. If it is lower, you are momentarily happy but you remind yourself you have a lot further to go.

    You get dressed and go down to the kitchen, take a look at everything there is available to you, but you stop yourself from having a bite of anything. You tell yourself that the feeling of a hunger is a good one, that you need to keep strong because giving in would be giving up on yourself.

    You go through the day thinking about food. You go to work or school, you socialize and smile, but in your head you are thinking only about food. How much you want it, the reasons you can't have it, how you are going to avoid this meal and cut the calories on that meal.

    You've given yourself a maximum daily allowance of calories, a number that is probably 5 to 10 times below what your normal intake should be. If you manage to stay under, it is a good day. If you go over, even by 10 or 20 calories, you are disgusted with yourself. So disgusted that you feel you could scream.

    You spend your time online looking at pictures of models and researching every tip in the book. How to dress to look thinner, what foods will fill you up quicker, what exercises will tone which muscles.

    You over exercise on very little energy because of the lack of nutrients in your system. You feel like you are going to faint, but you push yourself anyway. That voice in your head is telling you than being thin is worth it.

    You start to have a mental list of your "safe" foods. You fear certain foods to a point that if you are faced with them, you feel like you might cry. In fact, you probably will. You can't eat out with friends anymore because you can't stand not knowing all the calories in your food and they can't stand watching you suffer.

    It will hurt to sit because you will feel your bones grinding against the chair. You will find your hair falling out more than usual. You will risk early onset of osteoporosis and possibly a heart attack.

    You spend your night lying in bed, planning what you are going to let yourself eat the next day and you can't sleep until you have figured it out.

    You have your moments throughout the day where you fight with yourself. Where you want to just force yourself to eat. The times when you realize what you are doing to yourself and you are nothing but scared.

     But the anorexia becomes a voice so strong and powerful that you feel like the real you has been forced into some back corner of your mind, struggling to be heard. You don't know what to do or who to turn to because you feel like no one understands.

     You finally get yourself to sleep, not knowing whether you will wake up in the morning. The next day, you go through it all over again. So please, before you pass any judgments on someone dealing with this terrible disease, understand the suffering they go through on a daily basis.

    And if you know someone who is suffering from any eating disorder, get help as soon as possible.


    вівторок, 26 жовтня 2010 р.

    Anorexia Hypnosis Script

    One of the few things experts agree on when it comes to anorexia is that the disorder itself is a paradox. While anorexia sufferers may feel in control their behaviour may be quite out of control. While they struggle to achieve happiness they often end up feeling despair. In her book The Golden Cage Hilde Bruch identified the patient's need to establish a feeling of control in her life as a central feature of anorexia. Focusing on controlling the body helps those who suffer from anorexia gain a much needed feeling of self-esteem. Exerting control over the body is a poor substitute for an ability to wield true control in life.
    In the early 1900s Pierre Janet was perhaps the first to document his use of hypnotherapy to address anorexia based on the fact that hypnosis was effective in treating underlying problems of self confidence, low self esteem stress, and depression. These days Newsweek, Pediatric Nursing, and University of Maryland Medical Center are reporting how hypnosis has been a successful part of a program for anorexia treatment. Hypnosis has the potential to not only strengthen self-confidence but it can help those under stress learn to cope better. Reduced stress levels contribute to healthier eating habits, improved body image, and greater self-esteem.
    A 1988 article in the International Journal of Eating Disorders noted three basic elements to successful hypnotherapeutic treatment for anorexia; body relaxation, reducing external sensory stimuli, and suggestions that inspire behavioural changes. Hypnotic World anorexia scripts include all these elements and more.
    Because of the paradoxical nature of the disorder this anorexia hypnosis script uses a combination direct and indirect suggestions. Because of the need for control in this group, indirect and permissive suggestions are more effective. Indirect suggestions enhance rather than challenge the patient's need for control. This script also engages a sense of control through visualization of the metabolic "control room."
    Clients are invited to "achieve a state of mastery over the most intricate functions of mind and body." Indirect therapeutic suggestions are also aimed at providing a safe and comfortable environment to enable the client to gain weight. Indirect suggestions also help to restructure the client's attitude toward food and help them complete any unfinished developmental tasks.
    This anorexia hypnosis script also engages positive visualizations designed to associate food with pleasant memories to increase consumption. The metaphoric imagery of the control room offers clients a visual way to influence metabolic changes to increase the amount of fuel delivered to the organs. The idea of controlling micro functions like increased blood flow and desires for healthy food is an ideal way to redirect the client's focus on acquiring control. On a different scale imagery is also engaged in this anorexia hypnosis script to improve self-perception for example experiencing a body with "curves in just the right places."
    Direct suggestions are aligned with maintaining a healthy body and increasing food intake. More general suggestions that inspire the client to feel better and better every day enhance their sense of effectiveness in the world helping them feel less out of control. This hypnosis script also uses positive post-hypnotic suggestions for healthy nutrition and positive self-image.
    The script uses the direct access to the subconscious available during hypnosis to plant ideas designed to help clients overcome their resistance to change. The underlying emotional conflicts that contribute to the development of eating disorders are subjective. The general goal of this hypnosis script is to help patients develop feelings of control or even mastery over their thoughts and actions.
    Given the high hypnotisability of most eating-disordered clients the use of hypnosis is very appropriate for counteracting anorexic symptoms, strengthening the ego, and restructuring cognitive behaviours. Hypnosis is an effective adjunct to any treatment program for anorexia enabling clients to experience success quickly and without complication. Each happy, successful client is a living breathing recommendation for your services and our scripts. 

    пʼятниця, 22 жовтня 2010 р.

    Anorexia and today's world

    So it seems that neither most men nor most women find thinness beautiful or appealing in a direct, aesthetic way. For men it may represent indirectly their own status, through the rarity and social cachet of female thinness; for women it may represent something enviable: the different and self-controlled. But is this enough to sustain a physical ideal for long? Grim fascination and a status symbol seem a somewhat fragile basis for a whole cultural and physical obsession.
    But does the anorexic care about any of this? She sees something fascinating in those as thin as or thinner than herself; she narrows her gaze to the single features that obsess her most (tummy, upper arms, thighs, whatever); she finds goals to aim for in catwalk cheekbones and means of attaining them in packaged-food nutritional information; once she starts trying to recover, the endless images of protruding breastbones and sunken eyes on society's most prized women don't make it easier. But while society may thus endorse certain anorexic habits, and facilitate others, and provide, in the early stages at least, positive feedback on the results, the physiological aspects of self-starvation remain untouched by social patterns. Although the incidence rates of anorexia are lower in third-world countries, it is by no means absent, and seems to be sharply rising (see, for example, Makino et al., 2004). Nonetheless, when I see an image of, say, Keira Knightley in a skimpy dress, I feel sick and confused that she should be celebrated for her looks, while starving women in less sickened nations would kill for all the food she rejects, and which we praise her for rejecting.

    What is the attraction here?

    But it's impossible to say to the family scraping a living from a drought-ridden field, we're no happier than you are (though it's true: Geoffrey Miller suggests that ‘all advertisements for non-essential goods should be required to carry the warning: "Caution: scientific research demonstrates that this product will increase your subjective well-being only in the short term, if at all, and will not increase your happiness set-point"'); it's impossible to dampen the human ambition for progress, for ease, for choice. And the closer we come to achieving total ease, infinite choice, and complete ‘modernity', the more glaring will its down-sides become: the obesity, the anorexia, the mental illness. And it is ironic that the West's millions of dieters are reacting against the general trend towards obesity, and that the fewer but growing number of anorexics manifest both this reaction against excess and fatness, and the mental illness that has invaded all sorts of spheres of life, from OCD to social phobia.

    Anorexia is as necessary a consequence of an over-developed society as dieting is: it combines the taboo of mental illness with society's highest prize, and therefore it induces a sort of mild schizophrenia in the rest of society, who condemn it with one breath and wish they might emulate it with the next.

    Anorexia and today's world

    Still, not everyone turns to anorexia to perfect their bodies - indeed, anorexia is usually about other things as well: about control, or emotional sedation, or other things to which body-image is only an obvious focal point. Most people respond to the excess of cheap, easily available food with anxiety and with dieting, or with plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is the obvious quick fix to body anxieties, but not everyone (yet) has the courage or the cash to undertake it. The cheaper if slower, safer if less dramatic options are exercise and dieting - the latter in particular a commercial paradise: estimates of the annual US revenue from the dieting industry range between $40 billion and $100 billion (see Laura Cummings on how all dieting products are predicated on their failure). Dieting is a much more efficient way, in the short term, of losing body fat than exercise alone: you can eat in two minutes a blueberry muffin that will take you 35 minutes to ‘burn off'. The trouble is that dieting never works in the long run: self-deprivation induces desire, which makes ‘relapse' more and more likely; and each time weight gain happens, loss and gain get easier - each time, instability increases, and the cause of the initial overeating may of course never have been addressed, and if not will surely persist.
    The sheer number of people on diets and ‘failing' at them means that those who are perceived to have ‘succeeded' attain an almost mythical status: they can resist despite (in many cases because of) the excess all around; their bodies testify to their perfect resistance. The apparently clearest example of such people are anorexics. But while anorexia may seem the epitome of the successful diet, it is in fact the antithesis of the diet: the point becomes the process not the end-point; breaking the rules is not forbidden, but impossible (otherwise it becomes a different eating disorder: binge-eating or bulimia); society's approval is less meaningful than internal compulsion. The great sanction of all obsession, health (note the rise in the ‘healthy eating disorder' ‘orthorexia') is no longer relevant, and sickness becomes undeniable.

    I'm not entirely sure whether non-anorexics are in general truly horrified by the sight of a successful anorexic, and how much this horror is usually mixed with a fascination mixed more or less with envy. I think that especially amongst women, there is almost always some jealousy born of insecurity. When I was ill, I knew that I made people awkward, I was told of many instances of guests writing to my mother after they'd left and saying how ill I looked, and asking her, pointlessly, whether she wasn't terribly worried; but I remember, too, how at the very height of my emaciation (see the 'before' photo of me here), when my mother and her partner held a ‘house-cooling' party in the house of my teenage years, a friend of theirs, a painter, told me how striking I looked, and how she'd love to paint my portrait sometime. She was thin and odd-looking herself, and nothing ever came of it, but still, throughout it all there were enough instances of admiration to make those of simple horror far from the rule. My mother talked in the radio interview we gave recently about going on shopping trips with me, and how despite rationally disapproving of and fearing my excessive thinness, she couldn't help thinking, and saying, when we tried similar things on, how much better they looked on me. Fashionable clothes are designed for the very thin, and difference from the norm is always appealing too.

    This isn't quite true, though: the obviously abnormal in other ways - the albino, the blind man, the woman who can't walk - are rarely considered attractive. But fat has become far more offputting to people than extreme thinness, whether or not it springs from illness, mental or physical (the Daily Mail, covering the story of Cheryl Cole's malaria, includes a gloatingly glamorous photo entitled ‘Weight loss: Mrs Cole looked incredibly thin at the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards on June 8'). Thinness is good because fatness carries with it numerous moral and character judgements concerning greed, gluttony, and lack of self-control, and thinness means the opposite of all these, however superficially.

    Of course, not all very thin people are anorexics, but there is, today, in the West, no need to be malnourished in a way that results in thinness. Highly calorific food is cheaper than ‘healthier' food, so today's Western poor are often the fattest: whilst a Gallup survey for the first quarter of 2010 shows 26.7% of American adults to be obese, the difference between the highest earners and the lowest income brackets in obesity rates is precisely 10%. And it isn't the richer who are fatter: the lowest earners averaging 31.7% obesity and the highest earners 21.7%. Everything has turned topsy-turvy.

    Sitting on a sofa in the lounge on the ferry, I wondered, too, about the anorexic lifestyle and modern life. Solitude, secrecy, immovable routine, are increasingly invalid ways of life in many spheres: the social butterfly, perpetually connected, is both the commonplace and the ideal - hence the rise, I suppose, of ‘pro-ana' websites and the rise of the competitive aspects of anorexia to an overt component of some forms of the illness. Does this mean that what I said about external approval mattering less to the anorexic than internal compulsion does not hold? Is the illness itself responding to cultural influences, not only in its prevalence but in its very essence? Perhaps in the early stages: sharing tips, comparing weight and shape, may be paramount, to begin with. But ultimately, starvation takes over. As severe and prolonged malnourishment sets in, everything else becomes less relevant: one is trapped with the solitary mental mantras of food eaten and to be eaten, trapped with the weakness, the cold, the obsessive checking and weighing behaviours, trapped within depression, within sickness.
    It's interesting that most men don't find the anorexic - as commonly publicised in the form of the catwalk model - terribly attractive: men see (even if they don't articulate it to themselves) thinness as sickness of a sort, and therefore as absence of sexual availability, or the potential in evolutionary terms for a sexual, reproductive partner. A woman is rapidly assessed as ‘f***able' or not - and these androgynous creature are not. They are slightly frightening, inhuman-seeming, certainly unwomanly. The ‘glamour model', on the other hand, embodies the feminine, the fertile, the sexually available. The parts of her that represent this - breasts, bum, hips, lips - are accentuated (see another PT blogger on the appeal of breasts); the rest - waists, ankles, wrists, etc. - are diminished to accentuate the former still further. The ideal here also becomes naturally impossible: thin women injected with silicone breasts are common now. Yet those genetically gifted few who attain the ideal naturally are desired by men and admired/envied by women in a simpler (and evolutionarily more direct) way than very thin women are. Women know, after all, what extreme thinness means, how much of a destruction of life it entails, and most, whether through strength or weakness of will, decide to ‘choose life'.

    Anorexia and today's world

    I spent a fortnight on a Greek island last month with my boyfriend, and while I was there felt a splendid simplicity: the routines of breakfast on the terrace with the sun already hot, doing a little academic work, cycling to the beach for a swim, lunch in the shade, a nap on the sofa in the shuttered cool, another swim before sunset, and dinner on the terrace looking out over the sea, made life seem unimaginably calm and beautiful. Walking round half-naked, eating local produce, and entertaining myself with some Joseph Conrad and the beauty of the landscape, I was especially struck by the distance I felt from all the anxieties that modern society induces. Partly that was just the solitude: spending all day only with the person one loves creates a great contentment. But it was also the freedom from advertising, from overstocked supermarkets, from overworked people, from a crowded gym fostering exercise obsessions, from modern life.
    Reflecting on modern society from a distance

    In general I live quite secludedly, not watching television (except the occasional HBO drama) or reading magazines or exposing myself to much of the franticness that often passes for entertainment, but still I felt a great difference, being there. It made me reflect on the nature of this world that has grown up around us in the way it has, and on the ferry back from Naxos to mainland Greece, in between a mind-numbingly protracted game of battleships and a lunch of very un-Greek burger and chips, I had some thoughts about Western society and its relation to anorexia, and to eating disorders and obsessive mental disorders more generally.
    The first thing that struck me was the many irreconcilable oppositions that structure our ideals of body and hence self. For both men and women, there are two extremes of physical perfection promoted to us as desirable: for women, the ‘fashion' ideal versus the ‘soft porn' ideal, that is stick thinness versus busty curves; for men, the ‘fashion' ideal versus the bodybuilding one (see Polly Vernon on how men are ‘subject to increasingly proscriptive and exaggerated notions on the physical ideal'). In each case, the fashion-dominant ideal is historically much newer, but holds increasing sway over the other. The woman's hourglass figure and the man's macho build are still powerful models, but androgynous emaciation seems to be ever more influential a template. Most human beings, of course, fall naturally somewhere in between these two types of ‘perfection': a woman may have curvaceous breasts, but also the wide hips that go with them; a man may have rippling pecs but also some fat round the waist.
                                   Catwalk and glamour models: what lies in between?
    The very point of most of the pictures of the human body that we see published in magazines and on billboards is to induce a mixture of aspiration and self-loathing at the perfection imposed on the real-life model by makeup, camera angles, and airbrushing (see GQ editor Dylan Jones on the ubiquity of these procedures, with reference to Kate Winslet's thighs). The very contours of impossibly slim thighs or an implausibly flat tummy are designed to make us at once dream and despair, and lap up the impossibility because it's what we've come to believe we desire. Body dysmorphia is, of course, made more prevalent by such techniques, which create a gaping gulf between the people we see in photographs and those we see and are in the real world.

    So insistent and insidious are the advertised ideals that it is almost impossible to accept, these days, that one's body is simply a certain shape and will remain that way - and that that is OK. Of course, physical self-improvement has a long history, from corsetry and wigs to lead skin whiteners and Chinese foot-binding, but the methods available are becoming more sophisticated and profoundly effective. Consumerist principles already dictate how we view our careers and our relationships (see Hara Estroff Marano on how ‘we firmly believe that freedom of choice will lead to fulfillment' and how ‘free-market values' ‘seep into our private lives'). In essence, if it doesn't completely satisfy me, I have the right to exchange it for a new one. And this model now extends also to our attitudes regarding our own flesh and blood: if my breasts are too small or my hips too large, I will have them altered to fit my current ideal - or the one which society has imposed on me (though that caveat usually goes unacknowledged).

    The pathological nature of all these impulses to physical picking and choosing is that our bodies don't actually have to do anything any more. Once upon a time, men had to be strong to provide for their women, and women had to have breasts and hips to give birth and nurture their offspring, but today we can avoid the pain of childbirth with elective C-sections and stroll to the corner shop whenever we feel peckish. Now bodies just have to look a certain way, rather than needing to fulfill any physical function. My boyfriend has encouraged me to take up weight-lifting, and yesterday in the gym I got a thrill from squatting 55 kg; but it was an essentially superfluous achievement, something that would once have been useful but now is merely a source of pleasure.

    I sometimes feel a gentle longing to see society pushed back into a state where the problem is finding enough food rather than resisting eating too much; where work means growing crops and milking cows rather than slumping over a PC with Facebook on the next Firefox tab. I know that nostalgia is a pernicious sort of illusion, and that a global-warming induced apocalypse wouldn't simply bring out the best in people, but I do believe it would do away with a great slew of the mental illnesses that are so rife these days. I remember first seeing Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth at the cinema with my mother, when I was very ill, and being plunged into a great and lasting dread of the global disaster that it presented as inevitable, and crying myself to sleep at the thought of how badly I would cope once society did break down. My mother has always liked apocalyptic thinking - she made boxes of provisions in the cellar in preparation for the Millennium bug that was meant to make the West crumble; then the Millennium stores turned into bird-flu stores and then into global-warming stores. She always said how well I'd do in a crisis on a grand scale, because I was so used to hunger and going without - but I knew that my hunger was possible for me only because it was a choice, only because it was the exception, only because I could put an end to it at any moment I chose - but never did choose to.

    I knew that if the world as we knew it ended and I was still anorexic, I'd be crippled by anger at myself, by regret and by the deepest imaginable sadness that I'd insisted on refusing to eat when there was enough. When I then did start to eat more again, a couple of years later, I cried too, because it felt so beautiful and so awful that any food I wanted was there, waiting for me, and that I could choose anything I wanted to make myself better again: an unholy privilege, to say no to food for so many years, and then to have it all there for the taking as soon as I got over that perversion born, at least in part, of over-privilege.

    понеділок, 4 жовтня 2010 р.

    Anorexia: The Body Neglected What, exactly, does anorexia nervosa do inside the human body? The heart and bones suffer the most.

    Anorexia nervosa takes an enormous toll on the body. But that's not all. It has the highest death rate of any mental illness. Between 5% and 20% of people who develop the disease eventually die from it. The longer you have it, the more likely you will die from it. Even for those who survive, the disorder can damage almost every body system.
    What happens exactly? Here's a look at what anorexia does to the human body.
    The first victim of anorexia is often the bones. The disease usually develops in adolescence -- right at the time when young people are supposed to be putting down the critical bone mass that will sustain them through adulthood.
    "There's a narrow window of time to accrue bone mass to last a lifetime," says Diane Mickley, MD, co-president of the National Eating Disorders Association and the founder and director of the Wilkins Center for Eating Disorders in Greenwich, Conn. "You're supposed to be pouring in bone, and you're losing it instead." Such bone loss can set in as soon as six months after anorexic behavior begins, and is one of the most irreversible complications of the disease.
    But the most life-threatening damage is usually the havoc wreaked on the heart. As the body loses muscle mass, it loses heart muscle at a preferential rate -- so the heart gets smaller and weaker. "It gets worse at increasing your circulation in response to exercise, and your pulse and your blood pressure get lower," says Mickley. "The cardiac tolls are acute and significant, and set in quickly." Heart damage, which ultimately killed singer Karen Carpenter, is the most common reason for hospitalization in most people with anorexia.
    Although the heart and the bones often take the brunt of the damage, anorexia is a multisystem disease. Virtually no part of the body escapes its effects. About half of all anorexics have low white-blood-cell counts, and about a third are anemic. Both conditions can lower the immune system's resistance to disease, leaving a person vulnerable to infections.

    Anorexia Damage Starts Early

    Even before a person with anorexia starts to look "too thin," these medical consequences have begun.
    Many young women who begin eating a severely restricted diet stop menstruating well before serious weight loss sets in. Since so many people with anorexia are teenage girls and young women, this can have long-term consequences on their ability to bear children.
    "In truly, fully recovered anorexics and bulimics, it looks like the rate, frequency and number of pregnancies is normal," says Mickley. "However, if you look at infertility clinics, and those patients in the clinics who have infrequent or absent periods, the majority of them appear to have occult eating disorders. They may think they're fully recovered, but they haven't gotten their weight up high enough."
    Many women with anorexia would rather seek fertility treatment than treatment for their eating disorder, Mickley says. And even among women who have fully recovered from their anorexia and bulimia, there may be a slightly higher rate of miscarriages and caesarean sections. "There also may be up to a 30% higher incidence of postpartum depression as compared to other women," she says.

    The Risks of Bulimia

    Bulimia, which often goes hand in hand with anorexia, does its own unique health damage. Bulimics who purge by vomiting wreak havoc on their digestive tracts by chronically bathing them in stomach acid, which can lead to digestive disorders like reflux esophagitis.
    "It feels like I've been drinking Draino," said one woman who posted to a forum on digestive diseases about the consequences of her lifelong anorexia and bulimia. Some reported cases suggest bulimia may have led to a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which may can lead to esophageal cancer.

    Damage from Anorexia May Be Reversible

    The good news: Many of these complications can be reversible -- if the person returns to a normal weight. "The real focus has to be on weight restoration if you want to reverse outcomes," says Rebecka Peebles, MD, a specialist in adolescent medicine at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. "That's the most essential part of treatment. You can't wait around for it to happen. It really is an essential first step in treatment and recovery."
    Unfortunately, say experts, too many people believe that anorexia is strictly a psychological disorder, and ignore its medical complications unless the patient becomes visibly, dangerously thin. "A lot of people -- parents, and even some doctors -- think that medical complications of anorexia only happen when you're so thin you're wasting away," says Peebles. "Practitioners need to understand that a good therapist is only part of the treatment for anorexia and other eating disorders, and that these patients need treatment from a medical doctor as well."
    Studies have found that many people who need treatment for anorexia aren't getting it. In large part, this may be due to cost. Inpatient treatment can cost more than $30,000 per month, while outpatient treatment can run as much as $100,000 per year.
    Melissa Román, a Miami woman who's been in recovery from anorexia for several years, pays $800 per month out of pocket for therapy sessions that insurance won't cover. According to the National Eating Disorders Coalition, health insurance companies pay for an average of 10 to 15 treatment sessions for people with eating disorders, when more long-term care -- as many as 40 sessions -- may be needed for true recovery.
    "Access to care is a huge issue," says Mickley. "Eating disorders aren't staged the way cancer is, so we don't have the way to convince insurance companies that a low potassium level can be like a small metastasis. It's only recently that we've begun to understand the genetic and neurochemical basis of anorexia and say that this is a real illness, not a whim of spoiled rich girls. It's been treated like it's voluntary and willful as opposed to what it is: a serious, life-threatening psychiatric and medical illness."

    четвер, 30 вересня 2010 р.

    Anorexic woman ate one mint a day; Daughter died from heart failure

    Byline: Jacqui Walls

    AN anorexic woman died after eating as little as one Polo mint a day.

    Amanda Bennett, 27, from Repton, Derbyshire, was found in her bedroom after suffering heart failure brought on by a severe eating disorder, Derby Coroner's Court heard yesterday.

    After the hearing her father Ron, 62, claimed that only weeks before her death her family found a series of notes in her drawer which contained allegations about a local police officer.

    Derbyshire police said yesterday they launched an investigation after Amanda's death, which also looked into allegations of indecency against another woman.

    In a statement after the inquest, the force said a police constable was dismissed last week after a misconduct hearing. Miss Bennett's mother, Sue, said her ``immature and sweet'' daughter was eating as little as one mint a day before her death in July last year.

    Amanda had suffered from a severe form of anorexia nervosa for almost 11 years, the inquest was told.

    She was constantly in and out of hospital and spent nearly four years as an in-patient after her weight dropped to less than seven stone.

    ``She was lovely. She was very immature for her age and very loyal and sweet,'' said Mrs Bennett.

    Mrs Bennett said Amanda, the youngest of four children, found it difficult to go away from home.

    In the last few weeks of her life, she had conquered her fears of leaving the house and had agreed to be admitted to a specialist clinic for eating disorders in Leicester. Tragically, she never made it.

    Coroner Peter Ashworth told the hearing at Derby Coroner's Court: ``Amanda was clearly a very loving girl and very close to her mother. She was timid and naive but she was also loyal and brave.

    ``It is quite clear that she did not want to die. The idea of her wanting to die or her committing suicide is not one that I am going to consider.

    ``My verdict will therefore be that Amanda died of the psychiatric disorder of anorexia nervosa despite strenuous attempts to help her and towards the end of her life a positive wish to recover.''

    In the statement released after the hearing, Det Chief Insp Glenn Wicks, heading the investigation, said: ``Following the death of Amanda Bennett a team of experienced and dedicated detectives was formed to look into the circumstances surrounding her death.

    ``This team also looked into allegations by a second female against a man who, at the time, was a serving police officer.

    ``A full report was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided not to pursue charges of indecency against him.

    ``However, the allegations resulted in the officer appearing before a misconduct hearing last week to answer allegations of discreditable conduct.

    ``As a result of the misconduct hearing a 47-year-old constable was dismissed with immediate effect.

    ``This type of investigation is always very difficult and my heart goes out to the Bennett family over the tragic death of Amanda.''

    How to Prevent Anorexia Relapse

    Many people work very hard to overcome the eating disorder of anorexia nervosa. While they might feel great after overcoming anorexia, they might fear that they will have a relapse after they re-enter their lives and face the day-to-day stresses. Anorexia is a complicated eating disorder, and those who have struggled with anorexia are vulnerable to having a relapse.

    1. Accept that you will always be vulnerable to an anorexia relapse. Once a person has found a coping strategy that works (even a negative one), he can be tempted to return to it when he is under stress. Keep an eye out for signs that you are moving back into old patterns.

    2. Recognize that anorexia is the symptom of a deeper problem. Anorexia is a coping tool that some people use to manage deep emotional pain. Anorexia provides the illusion of control when the person is feeling like she is free falling emotionally.
    3. Heal the pain that drove the anorexia. Anorexia does not happen in a vacuum. If you have stopped the anorexic behavior without healing the underlying pain that drove you to the anorexia in the first place, you are much more likely to have a relapse. If you have not already done so, seek therapy to heal the underlying pain.

    4. Develop positive coping tools. Anorexia is a coping tool to manage deep pain. As you develop other, more positive, ways to manage your pain, you will no longer need to turn to anorexia to cope. Talk with a friend or therapist about your pain. Write in a journal. Play a musical instrument. Do something that helps you ground yourself and stay in the present moment so you can better manage your emotional pain.

    5. Change how you talk to yourself. As part of the anorexia, you told yourself numerous negative messages, such as that you were too fat and that you were not good enough the way that you were. Choose to stop telling yourself these messages, and replace them with positive ones. Tell yourself multiple times a day that you are precious and deserve to be loved just the way you are.
    6. Love yourself. The key to overcoming anorexia is learning how to love yourself. Do kind things for yourself. Treat your body as you would treat a beloved child. As you become more compassionate toward yourself, you greatly reduce the risk of having an anorexia relapse.

    The anorexic woman who dropped to three stone after walking up to 12 hours a day

    Lauren's weight plunged to less than four stone in 2006 - she says problems stemmed from the early onset of puberty which led to bullying because of her size 

    An anorexic woman who dropped to three-and-a-half stone after walking up to 12 hours a day has battled back to health.

    Lauren Bailey's condition sent her weight plummeting to that of an average five-year-old and nearly killed her.

    The 26-year-old, who would obsessively pace the streets from 6am to 6pm, spent 18 months in hospital in a last-ditch bid to overcome her anorexia.

    Menace of the internet sites urging teenagers to starve

    It has taken her more than a decade to overcome, and now the articulate young woman is speaking out about her ordeal to prove to others that they can battle back from the brink.

    She said: "I have always suffered from anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder since I was a child.

    "What triggered my anorexia was a combination of things. I was going through puberty at nine years old, which was very early then, and I was the only one - because of that I was bigger than the others.

    "I was bullied because I was different - I was into rock music and playing my guitar.

    "When it developed into anorexia, it was after someone told me I should go on a diet - at the time I was 14 and it is very young to be thinking about those things.

    She spent 18 months in hospital to overcome her illness. The breakthrough came when she was allowed to dig her own grave

    "It was then that my obsession with exercise started."

    Lauren began walking 12 hours a day, and when she was at home she would pace around her room. Even when not walking, she would set up puzzles on her ironing board so she could remain standing up.

    She said: "I was walking the streets from 6am in the morning to 6pm at night, or going up and down any stairs I could find.

    "I really don't know how I did it, I shouldn't have been able to walk that far. It was the anorexic adrenaline."

    Lauren only realised she was anorexic after reading a magazine article by a husband speaking about his wife's battle with her illness.

    She said: "I thought, 'Oh my god, that's me - I do all of those things'.

    "I always thought everyone else had the problem and I was doing the right thing. Everyone is obsessed with celebrities and diets and I thought everyone wanted to be like that. I was just the same.
                              Lauren says she wants to help girls beat anore xia and get on with their lives

    "It got out of control. It wasn't about wanting to be thin, it was about wanting to disappear."

    One of Lauren's worst points was in 2004 when she was 23 and her weight dropped to three stone.

    Doctors told her mum Alison Williams, who now works for a mental health charity, they feared her daughter would die.

    Lauren said: "I remember being transferred to an eating disorders unit and they didn't think I would make it through the night.

    "My mum was so worried about me but until I accepted I had a problem there was nothing anyone else could do."

    She managed to put on weight but when out of hospital her old problems returned.

    In March 2006 she was again admitted to hospital after her weight plunged to less than four stone where she spent 18 months.

    But even while on the wards in Addenbrookes in Cambridge, Lauren still was not ready to accept help and continued to continually pace round and round her room.

    After months in the hospital, she finally made a breakthrough.

    Lauren said: "They let me dig my own grave and let me get bad again. In the end they sectioned me because I insisted on going on leave when I was too ill to do so and I refused to give up my exercise.

    "My mum and my friends were great but everyone else was getting on with their lives outside.

    "I got to the point when I thought, 'This isn't getting me anywhere'. I was really miserable and I had no time left in my day because of my obsessions.

    "I am a young woman and I was missing out on so much.

    "I thought, 'I'm living the same sad life in hospital as I was outside. Life can't be any worse - why don't I just give it a go?'"

    Lauren finally left hospital in August 2007 and since then she has been back on track. Although she does not like to talk about her weight, just a glance at her healthy figure shows how far she has come from the skeletal images at the height of her illness.

    She also hit out at the glossy magazines sending out "mixed messages" to vulnerable teens.

    Lauren said: "It annoys me that these magazines complain about size zero celebrities then the next minute they go on about slimming down for summer. It sends out a mixed message.

    "I still have problems but I am enjoying life now.

    "I want to give others hope that they can get over anorexia and rebuild their lives."