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."

Anorexic Hannah Fuller survived on half a Weetabix a day..

..now she wants to help others by sharing her diary

She looks so healthy now that it's almost impossible to believe that pretty Hannah Fuller was actually dying to be thin.

Her problems started during a family holiday when she became jealous of her slim cousin.

It triggered anorexia which sent Hannah's weight plunging from eight-and-a-half stone to less than six.

She followed such a strict eating regime that some days she was surviving on half a dry Weetabix.

Hannah poured her heart out into a diary while her parents Gordon, 45, and Lizanne, 43, watched in horror as the weight fell off her 5ft 4in body.

Hannah, whose illness started at 14, was so weak that she could barely get out of bed. Her skin turned a deathly grey, her hair was greasy and lank, and she wept at the slightest thing.

She suffered constant stomach cramps and was permanently hungry.

But even when Hannah's periods stopped, and she became terrified of what she was doing to her body, she couldn't stop.

In January 2007 she was seen by a dietitian, psychiatric nurse and an expert in eating disorders.

Over the next six months she was weighed weekly and had counselling.

And one year on, Hannah, from Kinross, Perthshire, has recovered from the disease and now weighs eight stone.

In her diary Hannah, now 16, expressed her darkest thoughts and desperate need to escape "Anna" - the name she gave the voice of anorexia in her head.

February 17 2007

Feeling so angry I could scream. Mum made soup for lunch and I was furious. I feel as if she and Dad are deliberately making it hard for me. Why does it have to be home-made?

It's so she can add more calories, that's why.

At tea, they chose salmon. It was on bread with huge thick slices, probably four times a normal slice. I was fuming.

Now Mum has stormed out shouting about anorexia. I hate this whole thing.

February 18

Feeling like I'm going to burst with anger again. At tea Dad made a stir-fry - it was soaked in oil. I ran upstairs and was ready to make myself sick.

The anorexia voice kept telling me to do it. So I sat there with tears streaming down my face but never did it. I don't want to make myself sick, I'm not that person.

But Anna's still here, telling me to do it and she won't shut up. I don't want to go down that road but, every time I eat, the voice gets stronger.

I'm drained at every snack and meal time.

She ruins it all. I just wish I could have seen how bad it was going to be - I would have run miles away from it.

February 19

Mum promised to give me one ladle of soup yesterday - but she must have been lying.

My life is full of lies and people tricking me. If they lie to me, it just makes it easier for me to lie to them and tell them I've eaten when I haven't. Each time they trick me, it gives Anna a reason to stop me eating.

February 20

I'm confused. I just finished my tea without any problems, so that should be a good thing. I should feel great, but I don't.

I'm scared that this means I am losing the anorexia. And while part of me wants that, the other part is terrified.

I'm scared that if I lose the voice completely I'll become fat again. Also, it sounds stupid, but I don't know who I am or who I'll be without it.

February 21

I got weighed today and I'd lost another half kilo. Dad went mental at me, saying how I'm a horrible person for putting everyone through this. I hate myself for it. I'm dreading telling Mum. I know she will be so upset and disappointed.

February 25

It sounds stupid but it's not the idea of dying that keeps me eating, but the idea I'm letting everyone down. Is that really bad? I don't care what happens to me, just so long as I don't get fat.

February 27

The anorexia voice has been there all day, but I've fought it and eaten everything.

February 28

When I look in the mirror I can see I have put on weight and sometimes I don't like it. I just blend in with everyone else.

It sounds stupid but I feel as if this eating thing made me stand out and be a bit different. I felt as if I could finally be good at something - being thin - and that gave me satisfaction.

March 1

Was weighed today and had put on four pounds. I don't want anyone to know I've gained so much weight because I feel embarrassed.

I feel as if they'll all say to themselves: "She must have stuffed her face like a pig."

March 2

I'm so scared of gaining another four pounds this week. I'm so unhappy I want to die. It sounds extreme but anything is better than this.

I feel as if the doctor is just telling me to stick at 2,000 calories so she can trick me into gaining more weight. She'll say my periods are only going to come back when I'm healthy.

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March 16

I haven't written in a while because I thought things were better and I was beating it.

But yesterday I'd lost weight when I was weighed. Dad went mad at me again. I feel so alone.

I just sat in Perth and cried. People were staring but I didn't know what else to do. It was so tempting just to jump in front of a car, because it feels like that's the only way it will all be over.

March 21

This week has gone so well and I've eaten everything I'm meant to.

Last week I felt so bad, I felt like dying - now I'm just praying I have put on weight. I want Anna to disappear.

April 17

I want to get the calories from good food to make my skin sparkle and hair shine.

Plus, I've been doing other things like having pancakes for breakfast, and big suppers like beans on toast with spread! It seems so stupid that before, if I was asked to eat a piece of toast, there would have been tears and shouting.

May 20

I'm so much more relaxed about food and I've put on weight.

It's baby steps and I've still got a long way to go, but I really feel I'm getting there.

May 24

Now I realise life would be better being a bit overweight and happy, than thin and controlled by anorexia.

I want a rewind button so much.

May 26

Had a really good day today. Dad said he'd work with me to tone my body, which I'm really happy about.

If Dad's showing me, I can get a great body and eat healthily.

No stupid anorexia telling me only to have half a dry Weetabix a day!

I'll look great and she'll be gone! No more sticking-out bones. I'll have curves in the right places.

February 2008

I reached my target weight of seven stone, but more than anything I've stopped listening to the voice of anorexia in my head.

I've learned a lot about myself. I have the strength to achieve whatever I want.

What to look out for

Anyone can develop an eating disorder although are women aged between 15 and 25 are most susceptible.

Warning signs suggesting that a person may be in the early stages of anorexia include...

Frequently talking about weight and shape, and saying things like, "I would be happier if only I was slimmer."

Eating too little or refusing food.

Having an intense fear of gaining weight and an obsessive interest in what others are eating.

Changes in personality and mood swings.

Denying that a problem exists.

Becoming aware of an "inner voice" that challenges your views on eating and exercise.

Obsessional behaviour about food, such as cutting it into tiny pieces.

If you suspect your child is suffering from anorexia..

...you are advised to seek professional help, in the first instance from your GP.

Help and support is also available from the national charity Beating Eating Disorders at www.b-eat.co.uk

The charity Beating Eating Disorders encourages parents to note the following five points...

Eating disorders can be beaten.

It is a mental health problem.

It's not a dieting craze.

Sufferers are not at tention seeking.

An eating disorder is serious.


середа, 29 вересня 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.

How Long Does it Take To Become Anorexic

How long does it take to become anorexic?

When I found out that the reason she got that fine figure was by not eating I went out and tried it myself. It SUCKED BIG TIME. I couldn’t take it! How can you just stop eating???? I was living with my parents at the time and they always fed me, also I really wanted to eat my lunch and dinner. I tried to become anorexic and failed miserably… 6 months past and I was no where near my goal of looking good enough to get a date and my first kiss :’(

I turned 19 and high school was over, I left high school with no dating experience.

When I left high school I was really determined to find out how to become anorexic skinny. I started speaking to the girls that had the body I always wanted and found out that they were all getting past the stage where they could overcome the HUNGER! I learnt how to do this from them and it actually worked…I learnt a way to become anorexic in a month.

At that time I used to think anorexic was the will to eat less, but later I discovered it was a disease. It comes from the obsession to stop eating. I had that obsession. I even started asking questions like – “how to become anorexic without your parents finding out?”

Yes I lost alot of weight but at a big price – I became completely obsessed with my weight and what I was eating. I developed the disease and suffered from the eating disorder, and the truth is it can never make you simultaniously thin and happy.

Seriously when you develop this habit of eating less food, your body will have to maintian it, and this will make you depressed. When I was anorexic, every day was a challenge. Just walking past a plate of food brought me to tears or worse.

I spoke to that very girl I saw all those years back, she still has a eating disorder and is very depressed.

The truth is I stupidly imagined that I could simply restrict my daily intake to several hundred calories for a few months or so and then begin eating normally once I’d dropped a few dress sizes. If only! Throughout the years, I was either dangerously underweight or putting on pounds very fast.

When I recovered from my eating disorder the weight just piled ALL back. The whole journey was depressing and completely pointless.

But I was determined to find out the real method to weightloss? How is it that girls are able to be as thin as a person that is anorexic but still be able to eat a healthy and normal amount of food. I began asking questions these questions to some of my old school friends (who are now models), and they shared with me their secrets.

The key was to eat small amounts of the right foods that make you feel full but have super low calories. If you do want to know you can now download my free report (too many people were emailing me so now you can just get it on the right hand side THIS IS FOR OVER 18s ONLY)

I lost a TON of weight really fast and by university time I was looking like my photo! The picture to the right under “about me” is me when I was 23. I got my first date 1 week into university and my first kiss from that same boy after 2 weeks of dating…I don’t know how on earth he put up with me but we do get on well together!

I know what you must be thinking is the method safe? and what is the method that all these models without eating disorders actually doing? How is it that these girls were just as thin without having a eating disorder?

My Anorexic friend

So, this is how it goes, at least how I remember it. Well at the age of eleven, yes eleven, I started on the path of anorexia. My whole life I was told mostly by my dad to exercise, and that I was chunky. I hated that, it bugged me, but I did nothing about it. I was plain scared of my dad. He always got mad so easily and was in charge all the time. No one told him what to do except my mom, and even she didn't get anything out of him.

Then a few years later my family moved, in the middle of sixth grade. I went directly from an elementary sixth grade setting to a middle school style setting. I felt like an outsider, it was the middle of year and I was stressed out, I thought eating less would help me feel better about myself. So that's where it began, I was in a new situation, alone, and scared, hating the way I looked and even dressed.

I ate less and less, but not too little, just enough to shed a few fat pounds. I was confident once I liked the way I looked everything else in my life would fall into place too. All the girls at my school were skinnier than I was and I thought if I could be like them I'd be popular and more loved by my friends and family too. They seemed to have everything perfect, those skinny sixth graders. It wasn't fair, why did I have to be the one with a complicated, fat life.

The start of seventh grade was where the trouble really began. I had been in martial arts for the last couple years and the one I was currently in was tough, tougher than any sport there is out there it was like street fighting.

I wanted to be the best, be fastest and strongest, so I came up with the idea to loose just a little more weight than earlier in the sixth grade, less weight means better fitness, at least that's what I made myself believe. Added onto not liking the way I looked, the chunky compliments, and now street fighting, I saw a path ahead of me that did not seem good, but I had no choice.

Popularity, athletic ability, being in control, all revolved around being skinny. I felt like I needed to loose weight and fast. I wanted a good life, and a life in my control.

We were always so busy since we moved in my sixth grade year to a new town. All the stores were at least fifteen minutes away and I felt like I never got to see my parents with all the school work, street fighting, and chores. I was in the car a minimum of two hours a day, riding too and from school. The roads seemed to feel like my real home, always busy, always going somewhere. There was so much stress and no time to relax or play.

One night I just prayed to God that I could be skinny, so that I could be perfect. The next day I felt like God had answered my prayers. I started to watch Touched By an Angel twice a day to embed it's principles in my mind. I figured if I got my spiritual life perfect first, then God would provide me with everything else I wanted to happen.

I tried to do all the chores around the house, be nice and kind, read my bible and devotions at least fifteen minutes every day. I was trying to be like a nun or something, looking back on it I see that what I did wasn't senseless, just desperate. If I was a good Christian I would get to heaven, and that is my goal as a Christian in life. To be like a perfect little angel to my Master in heaven. My first steps to being perfect were becoming complete, except for one problem. My only sinning habit that I could not give up was lying to my parents about eating. That crushed me, but I had hope that one day I wouldn't have to lie to them anymore, but until then, I had to keep being a sinner.

At school I would never ate. I would have a wee bit of breakfast since I read that was the most important meal of the day, but then at lunch I secretly quit eating. I would bring my lunch to school so my parents would think that I was still eating, but then I played with it around my friends. I would try to build the tallest towers or messiest mess I could make with my lunch. I don't think they thought anything about it at first, just that I was being funny. At dinner I would say I just ate too much at school that day but then my dad would make me have a bowl of nuts and ice cream to make up for missing eating.

He knew, I think, all along what I was doing, he just tried to deny to himself, to make himself believe I was going to be ok. When I started loosing too much weight it did not go unnoticed. My dad weighed me in every night, sometimes more than once, and forced me to eat, all the time. It was getting harder and harder to overcome my Eating Disorder, when I was being pushed away by my own dad. Finally one day my dad said he was tired of watching me slowly die and he came into my room one night. He threw a right hook across my jaw and shoved me onto my bed with his hand on my neck ready to choke me, doing anything to get his words through my mind. He yelled one word: "EAT."

In March of that dreaded seventh grade year my dad left, just walked out the door and never came back. I knew my parents were legally divorced but in every one's mind the decision was inevitable. I was happy in a way that I was no longer persecuted because of my Eating Disorder. My abusive dad was gone for good, I was no longer afraid, of him. After awhile I started to miss him and then the realization of my dad's departing hit me, I wasn't good enough for him, so he left my family because of me. All because of me.

I almost never slept anymore, out of grief, sadness, and anxiety. The whole day and night all I thought about was what I needed to eat the next day. I started on some sleeping medications but they didn't work, I was sleep deprived, but I never let it show.

I counted calories constantly and everything I did started to revolve around food. I wanted to at least smell, and see the evil stuff I couldn't have. I watched the food network any spare time I had and I always cooked for other people. I cooked cookies, muffins, even meals, but I would not touch the stuff, just give it to other people and think longingly about all I was missing. Calories,
diet, and exercise had become my whole life. Martial arts, school, video games, wasn't any fun any more. All that there was, was food.

I became depressed and withdrawn. I slipped away from friends, family, and any hope of ever becoming better and having a fun, good life again. I narrowed down to the end of school year by eating nothing. I ate practically nothing for about a month, and how I lived, that was a miracle.

ED was telling me I was fat, not good enough, not the good person I was meant to be, even with all I was juggling and working on. That word, perfect, drove me insane, I couldn't just be good anymore, I had to be perfect. My desire to be perfect probably originated from my OCD. I lost my desire to live, but I didn't want to die because I still wasn't good enough, for me, and I felt, for anyone else or even God. My eating disorder was sawing me down to the bone but I felt I still had to be skinner for everything to be perfect, for many reasons.

My mom had tried to get me into counseling earlier but I hated it, I simply would not go. I knew I had a problem, but I wouldn't let myself get help. I still saw myself as fat in the mirror at 5' 3" and 90 pounds and I still saw my dad's leaving as completely and utterly my fault.

I kept on my path to destruction and pulled on every stunt you can think of to avoid eating. I exercised more. I would hide food anywhere I could at the moment, then throw it in the dumpster in our garage when I had the chance.

I smeared food all around my plate to make it look like I had eaten more. Mostly, it worked, and if I didn't, I said what first always came to mind, "I'm not hungry", which in truth was partially true, sometimes.

Looking back, what was the worst part, was my endless exercise routines. I would exercise everywhere I could, at school, in the shower, and at night in my bed. Every little bit I ate I thought I had to burn it off, so I did, by hundreds of jumping jacks and endless miles of running nonstop on our treadmill.

In a rush to save my life my mom sent me to a eating disorder center in Wickenburg, Arizona, called Remuda Ranch. At this time I had just turned thirteen and fought to go. The last few days before I begun my two month recovery plan at Remuda Ranch, I just stopped eating anything. I knew I would have to gain weight, so why not loose more and feel better before I have to get fat again?

I had all the symptoms of an eating disorder: low blood pressure, off beat and slow heartbeat, always cold, got dizzy all the time, and had absolutely no energy. My body was literally eating away at itself, day by day. All the muscle I thought I was building, by exercising, was in truth diminished by my lack of eating.

Sometimes there were thoughts that popped into my mind, such as, "Why are you doing this, T?" "What's so great about being skinny?" and "How are you really helping yourself?" I knew that I could not give myself honest answers to these questions. My mind wasn't right, I was stuck in the life of a true anorexic.

The day I entered the Ranch I came in at 5' 3" and 76 pounds, I realized that unless I cooperated with the program I would die. I would no longer be able to serve my Savior, or anyone else. No chance of being anything near perfect, if I was dead. That got me bad, that's part of what shifted in my heart. My eating disorder was taking away that chance of me being perfect, and that's really what I had wanted all along, since the beginning of my struggles. If I ate just enough to save my life, maybe I could be the perfect person.

The recovery time at Remuda was rough, but a great program, not because of the program, but because of the struggle to keep with the program.

I learned, and found, nothing there that I didn't already truly know, except myself again. I made many friends and became the old me, a prankster, and sometimes a nuisance to the nurses and MHT's there. I got in trouble tons of times, but realized by the friendship of my fellow ED friends that I was fine just the way I was. Being skinny wouldn't do anything for me in the long run but make me miserable.

Because I terribly loved to eat and hated being down in the dumps with depression and anxiety over something as simple as food. I handed over my trust to the staff and to God most of all. I finally totally devoted myself to recovery after getting on a dose of Seroquil. I think the medication truly helped my decision a lot, though I was still shaky on the road I was trying to jump off of.

My ED was like being on a high speed train that would eventually crash. I had to jump off the train before it was too late to save my life, but then what would become of it if I saved it? Would I die of being overweight, would my life be even more miserable than before? I decided to jump. I'm sure today that that was the right decision to make.

After returning home I went through the eight grade year, getting really good grades, not a 4.0, but on average, a 3.8 that was still good enough for the new me. Through my anorexia I had somehow kept up a perfect 4.0. I was every teacher's pet, and the perfect student. Little did they know, what was really behind the mask that I had placed myself in. I am still good, just not perfect with my studies. I figure school isn't something to stress over, just there to help you not be stressed in the future.

For some reason I started to feel as if I had to make up time from my past ED. I started binging all the time. I ended up going from a healthy 98 pounds to 130 within a month. With the encouragement of my mom, and not wanting to be overweight again, I lost another ten pounds and am now currently 120 pounds. A healthy weight for an advanced martial artist and athlete with lots of muscle mass.

I enjoy martial arts, video games, and irritating my little brother again. I still strive secretly to be perfect, but it's like my old habits refuse to come back again.

My new goal is to be the best in everything I do, since logically no one can be perfect. I've moved my goal from being perfect to just being nearly perfect. Even today, a year after treatment, I still struggle off and on, but I always look to God and my own heart for reassurance that I can still be great, even if not anorexic. I am perfect in His eyes, just the way I am.

-T. Y., 14 yrs. old

вівторок, 28 вересня 2010 р.

Is It Possible to Be Too Thin?

There are a number of different disorders that lead to being too thin. For example, anorexia and bulimia are common eating disorders that lead to losing dangerous amounts of weight. In order to achieve a thin physique, individuals who suffer from these conditions will deprive themselves of nutrients essential to the body. Even though these individuals are able to lose large amounts of weight, they are risking their health in the process.

Other individuals suffer from other health conditions that lead to losing too much weight. People who have cancer, AIDS, or some other type of disease can lose large amounts of weight. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, but it does complicate their health issues.

When an individual does not have enough fat and muscle, the body does not function properly. The body needs some stored fat to produce energy. If the individual does not have any fat, it can negatively impact the energy production systems of the body.

Another potential problem with being too thin is that it makes the individual weak and susceptible to injury. When a person does not have any muscle or fat surrounding her joints and bones, she could easily be injured by the slightest unnatural movement. If one of these individuals attempt to play sports or engage in physical exercise, she could potentially break a bone or experience other injuries. By building up muscle, an individual can more effectively prevent injury and keep herself from getting seriously hurt.

What Is the Best Way to Determine My Ideal Weight?

The body mass index, or BMI, is one of the most popular ways that people can find their ideal weight. This number can typically be found for free online, either in the form of a height weight table or a weight calculator. Most methods of determining BMI take into account weight and height only, which means that muscle and frame size are not typically calculated.

In general, a BMI of 18.5 or less is considered underweight. Above that number and less than 25 is the normal range, and a result over 25 is overweight. A BMI of more than 30 is obese. Considering that muscle weighs more than fat, many athletes are told they are overweight according to this method. For this reason, most doctors recommend that this method of determining ideal weight be used only as a general ballpark figure, especially if you have a lot of muscle.

One procedure that is often considered more accurate for those with muscle is body fat calculation. There are ways to measure body fat percentage online for free, mainly by entering measurements of the neck, waist, and hips into a calculator. Weight, height, sex, and average activity level are also factors that are usually considered. Generally, healthy women have a body fat percentage of 25 to 31%, while men are better off between 18 and 25%. To get a truly accurate result, it is often necessary to go to a gym either be measured with calipers or weighed underwater.

Measuring the waist to hip ratio is another method of figuring out if you are at the ideal weight and in shape in general. First measure the smallest part of the waist, which is typically just above the belly button. Next, the widest part of the hips is measured, and then the waist measurement is divided by the hip measurement. For women, .8 or less carries the lowest chance of heart problems, while up to .89 carries moderate risk, followed by .9 or more with the highest risk. Meanwhile, for men, less than .9 is the healthiest number to have, while up to .99 indicates moderate risk of heart problems, and 1 or more has the highest.

Determining ideal weight is a task that can be done online in most cases. If accurate results are desired, going to a doctor or gym to get it done professionally is likely the best method. Not only can reaching an ideal weight make you feel confident, but you will also likely be at the lowest risk for weight-related medical conditions.

Who is Marya Hornbacher?

 Marya Hornbacher was born on 4 April 1974 in Walnut Creek, California, but she grew up in Minnesota, where The Center of Winter is set. Her parents worked in the theatre as actors and directors. In Wasted, Hornbacher recounts that her struggle with poor body image began at the age of five, and that she was bulimic by the age of nine and anorexic at 13. She also developed problems with drugs, alcohol, and other forms of delinquency at a very young age. Hornbacher spent her youth in and out of hospitals, and was finally given a week to live after reaching a low of 52 pounds while attending American University in Washington, D. C.

Luckily, Hornbacher survived and began working towards recovery. She wrote Wasted at the age of 21, blowing critics away with her commanding narrative voice, brutal honesty, and insight despite her young age. Her memoir is intense and frightening in its depiction of eating disorders, but also offers hope through her own steps towards recovery. Hornbacher also maintains a website at www.hornbacher.com where readers can discuss her books, post their own work, and talk with Marya Hornbacher and each other about recovery or any other topics that arise.

Hornbacher continued to struggle with her eating disorder and other self destructive behavior after the publication of Wasted, and she broke up with her first husband due to alcohol and drug abuse problems. She has been sober since 2001. She married again, to a fellow recovered addict.
Related topics Quester

Hornbacher currently lives in Minnesota and focuses on her writing. Her next planned work is a memoir covering the period after that discussed in Wasted, but she also plans to write more fiction. Hornbacher is also an award-winning journalist and a creative writing teacher for adults.

Am I Anorexic?

If you think you might be anorexic, you might recognize some of these symptoms:
1) Often, the anorexic exerts control over food intake because many things in his or her life seem beyond control. You may find yourself eating tiny amounts of food, like two or three carrots a day, or only one food like rice. It is not uncommon for the anorexic to begin with a bent toward perfectionism. In fact, many anorexics are great students, great athletes, and wonderful friends. They try to be all these things, just as they try to get a perfect body.

2) Unfortunately, along with control of food, the anorexic tends to have a distorted image of his or her body. What would seem skinny or unhealthy to other people still may seem fat to the anorexic. Generally, an anorexic’s weight is significantly underweight. As well, if an anorexic visits a doctor and is told to gain weight, it becomes almost impossible to. Gaining weight would mean getting fat, even if the person is dangerously skinny.

3) In medical terms, anyone who is under 85% of his or her expected weight for height and age is a candidate for an anorexia diagnoses, though there are other factors that can lead to a reduced body size.

4)Although many anorexics may say that they are not hungry in an effort to hide their disorder, hunger persists. When an individual truly stops becoming hungry, that is often a sign that starvation has become life-threatening. Until that time, most anorexics are ravenously hungry, yet not willing to eat.

5) In girls, one of the key signs of anorexia is three missed periods or more. Although this condition, amenorrhea, can also result from girls exercising significantly, if you are not an athlete or pregnant, you should be concerned if periods stop.

6) You might also note symptoms like sunken eyes, slow heart rate, and more susceptibility to illnesses.

7) If food intake continues to be too low, the condition can become life threatening. You can have dangerous heart arrhythmias, and the other organs of the body may fail due to starvation.

8) Unfortunately, the anorexic may fail to take note of these symptoms because the goal is to continue to get thinner. This is a distorted view of the body. If other people have told you that you are too skinny, and especially if a doctor has voiced concerns about your low weight, you probably are anorexic.

If you cannot eat enough food to gain weight, and you limit yourself to very little food, this may be a good indication that you are anorexic as well. In our culture, we are told to watch our weight, and the bodies we see on movie stars are extremely skinny, below normal weight bodies. This helps to distort our image of what we should look like. However, watching one’s weight when one does not need to is a hallmark of anorexia. If a person is below weight, the goal is to get one up to an ideal weight. If ideal weight seems too fat, you may be struggling with a distorted image of what your body needs to look like.
If you think you may be anorexic, the first thing to do is talk to someone who can help you. Maybe that someone isn’t a family member or spouse. It might be a school counselor, a trusted teacher, a friend’s parents, or a doctor. These people can help you explain to family members that you need treatment and support to overcome your condition. The decision to talk to someone may be life-altering for you, as it may help lead you out of a potentially fatal disease, into a healthier and happier life.

понеділок, 27 вересня 2010 р.

Anorexic Model On Road To Recovery

(CBS) Upon meeting Isabelle Caro, the first thing that is apparent is her frailty. She is so tiny that she sways with a gust of wind.

Last month, stripped bare, she was the shocking face of an Italian campaign against anorexia. But the billboard that stunned the world does not even depict Caro at her thinnest. Now she says when she looks in the mirror, she realizes that she is dangerously thin and wants to get better.

"A skeleton. I see a skeleton. But one on the road to recovery," she told CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar.

Caro's anorexia began when she was 13. Her mother, she says, was seriously depressed and her father was largely absent. She spent her childhood in isolation, home schooled and kept away from others.

"I had a very complicated childhood, very difficult, very painful," she said. "My mother's big phobia was that I would grow. She spent her time measuring my height. She wouldn't let me go outside because she'd heard that fresh air makes children grow, and that's why I was kept at home. It was completely traumatic."

Her trauma crystallized into illness as she watched her mother struggle with a 70-pound gas canister.

"She said, 'Do you know how heavy this is?' " Caro said. "I weighed 10 pounds more, and I kept thinking 'I'm heavier than that heavy gas cylinder so I am a burden on my mother.' And that's when I thought about wanting to lose weight, to stop my growth. I dropped to about 58 pounds. My meal was reduced to two squares of chocolate and five cornflakes. That's all I ate all day."
Eighteen months ago, at 55 pounds, Caro collapsed into a coma. After that, she finally understood the truth about anorexia. It is a serious mental illness that kills more than 10 percent of sufferers. She decided she wanted to live, and accepted help. She now weighs 70 pounds.

"I know that it will take time, but I would rather go slowly and surely rather than gain weight rapidly and then fall back into losing it again," she said. "I have to get used to how I look with more weight."

To walk with Caro on the street is to begin to understand how others react to her, their shocked looks, even the stares. She has been accused of being a heroin addict. "I have suffered enormously from the way people look at me," she said. "When I first moved to Marseille, nobody spoke to me, people stared at me. I stopped going out of my house. In cafes and bars they refuse to serve me. And that's why I refused to talk about it for such a long time. I was so afraid of people judging me. People just think you just stop eating but that is not what anorexia is. You don't just decide from one day to the next to stop eating. It's very hard. It's real suffering, and it goes deep."

But with intensive and continuing psychiatric help and good medical care, Caro is making progress. She's beginning to have enough strength to set goals and think about the future.

"I really want to have a child," she said. "And I hope my body will allow me to. My doctor says it's possible. I'm still not having periods -- my body is too weak -- but he says it is possible. Then for a relationship. I don't know yet. I'm with somebody now. I don't want to say very much because it's a bit complicated. At the moment it's more an affair of the heart than a physical relationship because, simply, I'm still very thin and it's still very difficult to enjoy normal physical relations with such a tiny body and a man who is a normal size. I'm still nervous about having sex."

For the first time in a long time, Caro has dreams and goals. The top ranked drama school in France, where she studied, has agreed that she can return to class. She intends to pursue the theater, but she has more pressing concerns.

"First of all, to be able to live," she said. "And to send the message that life is beautiful and it is worth living. You can get better by fighting and believing and by living your passion. And the theatre is my passion and I hope to be able to realize my dream to continue with that passion."

Eating Disorder, How to React as the Family

It is estimated that about 8 million people in the United States suffer from a form of Eating Disorder, 7 million women and 1 million men. One in 200 women in America is an anorexic, and two to three women out of a  hundred in America are bulimics. Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone who suffers from an Eating Disorder.

These statistics are only from the United States of America, so you can imagine the number of people suffering from an Eating Disorder around the globe.

What causes a person to develop an Eating Disorder is not yet fully understood, however, it has been agreed upon by many experts that one of the causes could be the issue of "control". It is also seen that many of the people suffering from and Eating Disorder are the perfectionist kind, gettiing good grades in school, good in extra curricular activities etc. So it is safe to say that most of these people start developing a feeling that their lives are basically run by the expectations and demands placed on them. Eating Disorders usually start around the age of 14 years to 18 years, however, they could start earlier.

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa can cause many different problems which include infirtility, ovarian cysts and electrolyte imbalance to name a few. The last one is probably the most dangerous one as it can cause ventricular fibrillation which can lead to cardiac arrest and can cause death, usually while the patient is asleep.

Most people who have a family member suffering from and Eating Disorder get overwhelmed and extremely upset as a first reaction, usually trying to "knock some sense" into the patient. After that comes the research part where they might try to find something out about the problem of their loved one, and that is when the worry kicks in. The hard part is understanding what you can do to help them.

 How Should the Family of a Person Suffering from an Eating Disorder Act and Deal

First thing to do immediately, is to get professional help. But that is not all, a person suffering from an Eating 
Disorder has very deep rooted issues she/he is dealing with, and is going through immense emotional as well as physical pain. A professional will help deal with the physical pain, even a professional psychiatrist might just be able to uncover the deeper issues, but the emotional healing can only begin with the help of the family.

Following are a few things you can do to help:

1- Never taunt them about their problem, even it starts to get on your nerves. The reason for this is that if you taunt or yell, you will only makes things worse for them and eventually for yourself. Usually one of the issues that the patient is dealing with is the issue of acceptance without being perfect. They need to be sure that they are acceptable even if they are not perfect, for which they would sometimes subconsciously do things to provoke you, because they are terrified that tomorrow they might genuinely be less in some respect and would automatically be rejected, and hence they want to just get it over with. It's strange, but it's very true.

2- No lectures, please don't give in to your desire to lecture them, awakening their conscience or sense, that doesn't work. A mind full of confusion and pain is incapable of understanding all that. What you CAN do is let them know that you acknowledge that they have a problem, and encourage them to speak out. Let them know that they can talk about anything they want to with you. They might have many complaints, most of them might even seem baseless to you, but it's essential that they speak out. It will not only give you important insight into what they are going through, it will also give you a hint as to how best their problem can be dealt with and you could speak with the psychiatrist/psychotherapist about it too.

3- Find hobbies for them. I don't mean come home one day with a box of crayons and chart paper. You could start knitting in front of them, ask them what combination they think would look good for this new sweater that you have decided to make, what design, get them involved, gradually you could get to start knitting and it will take up a lot of their time and would help them calm down. Also, creating something beautiful will encourage them and would improve their self esteem. You could also introduce them to photography in the same way, or some puzzle game that would be fun yet challenging that would keep them involved for long hours.

 4- Encourage then when you see improvement. Tell them you are proud of them and that you think they could help other people deal with their Eating Disorders, find online forums for them to join, when they talk to other
people who have similar problems, they will feel they are not alone and also, by helping others, they will feel more in control of their lives and would feel better about themselves.

5- Change what you watch on TV. TV is full of people who seem to be "perfect". Perfect teeth, perfect hair, perfect bodies, perfect careers, perfect love lives, they can make a very healthy person feel bad about her/himself, imagine what it would do to someone with and Eating Disorder. Instead, try to switch to other things that you know might interest them. Programs about building models? cars? The other day I saw this wonderful documentary about four animals' lives from conception to birth. Those people had cameras inside a shark womb and a penguin egg! It was just amazing and kept me glued to the TV for the entire length of the program. Find things like those for them. It might develop their interest in one direction.

6- Encourage their social life. Take their friends into confidence, tell them not to mention the Eating Disorder or to feel sorry for them, but to just come around or take them out, the busier they are with their social life with their close friends, the less time they have to think about their food issues.

7- Give them facts about nutrition and calories. Let them read articles about calories, fats don't mean they will make you "fat", how many calories per day are needed to "survive", what is the normal weight range for people their age and height, so that they know that they are NOT over weight. Tell them how their hair gets thinner without proper nutrition and what they need to eat to make sure they have healthy hair. It is shown that most anorexics and bulimics actually are encouraged to eat better for the sake of their hair. They need to have the facts, being objective about things can help. But please, don't think that once would do it, you will probably have to remind them ten times a day.

8- It is essential that you understand what they are actually going through. An anorexic or a bulimic does not have a normal appetite/satiety cycle. They cannot accurately tell when they are hungry, bulimics find it hard to tell whether it's hunger that they are feeling or is it another "binge purge attack" coming up. What you can do is that when they are calm, you can ask them to come to you the next time they feel like eating. Tell them you will not stop them from doing what it is that they want to do, but you just want them to tell you. When they do come to you, you can ask them when was the last time they actually had something to eat, help them calculate the number of calories they have had, tell them that even if they want to eat lesser calories than are required even for "survival", they have a margin and they can eat.. say.. an apple without having to throw it up or without feeling guilty.

9- Encourage them to earn money. And that too through things they make themselves, encourage them to make and sell things. They can turn their hobby into a small business, this will keep them involved and the money that comes in would be a good reward.

10- Last but not least, you might have to hospitalize them. This is a matter of life and death and should not be taken lightly. The above mentioned ideas could help make this easier, or they could help deal with the problem at home. But whether they need to be hospitalized, or you decide they should stay at home, remember that it's going to take time.

I myself am a recovering anorexic bulimic. I had an attack of ventricular fibrillation when I was 22 and when taken to the hospital, I had dilated pupils, no pulse, no breathing. I was pronounced dead after they gave me a couple of shocks with the defibrillator, my mom refused to give up and on her demand they tried one more shock and I came back to life. I know what it feels like to suffer from an eating disorder, and trust me, it's not all about losing weight to look your best.

I hope this article would help some people out their who have a loved one who is suffering and they don't have a clue what they should do and are in a dilemma, like my family was. I have listed things that helped me the most. I still have not regained my normal menstural cycle, I might never be able to have a baby, and I might have pushed myself into early osteoporosis, but I'm alive, happier and healthier than I was before, and I am hopeful.

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.


пʼятниця, 24 вересня 2010 р.

Pro-Anorexia Messaging On Web, In Teen Mags

It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Amazingly, in recent years, Eating Disorders (ED) have gone from disturbing to almost glamorous. Given the user-driven content of the internet, pro-anorexic websites have provided millions with tips and the tools to achieve unhealthy behaviors. In response to these “support groups,” social networking sites are being forced to monitor their group pages.

Given Facebook’s popularity among the teen/college crowd, one would naturally think first to look there for pro-“ana” sites, right? (ana is slang for anorexia) Well, no, not me. As an avid F’book user, the option never crossed my mind. Given I’m not looking to join a pro-ana site, but I didn’t even think Facebook had them!
B-eat, an eating disorder charity is calling on MySpace and Facebook to do something about the pro-anorexia groups. As of right now, both social networking sites remove content that is seen as “dangerous”, or could encourage young people to do dangerous things, but these groups until now have been left untouched. Research shows that young women exposed to pro-ana websites feel more negative, have lower self-esteem and are more likely to compare their bodies with other women, reports BBC News.

To take matters into my own hands, I picked up my detective badge and went straight to …. Facebook. I searched the groups with the keyword “pro-ana.” Someone apparently made a group called Pro-Ana but it’s actually in support of a friend named Ana, who is apparently super nice and has friends who lack something most of us have, common sense. My search for pro anorexia provided more accurate results, yielding 49 groups.
Apparently there are 1,386 members of the “Facebook to remove pro-anorexia and bulimia groups” Group, which is great and all, but still isn’t a pro ED group. I found one group with 16 people that claims it is pro-ana… hardly a “community.” “Get Thin or Die Tryin’” has over 2,000 members. Their community appears to be fairly tight however it is not exactly pro-ana, but rather they want to end discrimination against thin people. Here is an except that I actually think is pretty funny:

Thinspiration: We love Gisele Bьndchen and Kate Moss!
**IMPORTANT: PLEASE DO NOT post pro- eating disorder content. We are strongly against these practices. You will be deleted and banned. The title is a spin on 50 Cent's album Get Rich or Die Tryin'. For people who actually take the name seriously, they really need psychological counseling. There's no substitute for common sense. We also do not care to be politically correct.
Would you assume that a group called "Get Rich or Die Trying" is intended for suicidal CEO wannabes? Why does "Get Thin or Die Trying" - one word of difference - imply that we're goddamn anorexics?-Laura LeGault!”

Ana is a way of life!

If u wanna be thin, u have to have control…
U can control ur life from inside out… u can… so do it…
ANA is a way of life so embrace it!
If u eat again u can never be like her …
if u eat u will stay fat…
if u eat noone will ever remember u as beinf that pretty thin girl…
if u eat the string around ur waist will get too tight…
if u eat no guy will ever eant u…
if u eat clothes will look horrible on u…
if u eat u will look like fuckin whale…
if u eat u will feel ugly and look ugly…
DOnt eat Love urself !!!


5 tips for making the scale serve you

Instead of becoming a slave to your bathroom scale, turn the tables and make it work for you:
What will you do with this information? If losing weight makes you feel like celebrating with chocolate cake, or gaining weight causes you to throw up your hands and eat everything in sight, skip the scale. On the other hand, if you use the information on the scale, either up or down, as just one link in your network of strategies, then it may be beneficial.
Only weigh yourself first thing in the morning. Weighing after each meal, after exercise to see how much you "burned" off (it's more likely lost water due to sweating than actual body fat right after exercise), or when you've overeaten to see how great the damage is just aren't effective. In fact, they can cause more harm than help.
Most scales are inherently inaccurate, so don't rely on the numbers too much. Instead of the exact number, look for trends. No one knows exactly how much you weigh unless you tell them!
Our weight fluctuates daily due to changes in hydration and menstrual cycle. Sometimes what we think is extra body fat is really just water retention.
Develop other weight control strategies that don't include the scale. Some women can tell if they're on track by the way their pants fit. Look for positive markers of success such as following an exercise program, making healthy eating changes, keeping a food and activity journal or practicing mindful eating. The reality is that if you make positive changes in these areas, you'll lose weight. You don't need the scale to tell you you're succeeding!(err, yes I do.)

Daily weighing isn't for everyone

Many weight loss programs suggest weekly, instead of daily, weighing. Fluctuations in water retention, time of the menstrual cycle, and the inaccuracy of scales are all mentioned as reasons to weigh weekly instead of daily. Weekly weights provide a better overall picture of weight status, and still give enough time to make adjustments in activity and eating habits before weight gain gets out of control. Kelly Brownell, PhD, director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, believes that regular weigh-ins are most helpful for people who are succeeding with weight loss, and potentially a problem for those who are at a weight plateau or losing very slowly.

When the daily weigh-in leads to negative emotions, an "I'll never succeed" attitude, or a rush toward jelly donuts to soothe injured feelings, it's obviously not a positive weight loss technique. People struggling with depression are advised to stay away from the scale, which can potentially be a source of even more negative thoughts. Often people caught in disordered eating weigh themselves compulsively, obsessing over every small change in weight. In all these examples, getting rid of the scale is more effective than regular weigh-ins, no matter how infrequent.

Daily weighing helps people lose more weight

According to a study of over 3,000 people in weight loss and weight maintenance programs conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, daily weighing is an effective strategy. Of those studied, 20 percent reported never weighing themselves, while 40 percent said they weighed themselves daily or weekly. Those who weighed in daily lost 12 pounds on average versus an average of 6 pounds for those who weighed themselves weekly; while those who skipped the scale gained 4 pounds on average.

Lead researcher Jennifer Linde, associate professor at the University of Minnesota, states that daily weighing is independent of diet and exercise techniques that promote weight loss. She suggests that it may be easier to make small, daily corrections in activity levels and food intake rather than trying to compensate after a larger weight gain over a period of days or even weeks.

Participants in the National Weight Control Registry, made up of more than 4,000 people who've lost -- and kept off -- at least 30 pounds, often weigh themselves daily. According to Rena Wing, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School, daily weighing helps alert people that they're heading into the "red zone" of gaining more than five pounds. If someone notices early that they're on a weight gain trend, they can take immediate steps to stop the weight gain.

четвер, 23 вересня 2010 р.

How is anorexia diagnosed?

Anorexia nervosa can be a difficult disorder to diagnose, since individuals with anorexia often attempt to hide the disorder. Denial and secrecy frequently accompany other symptoms. It is unusual for an individual with anorexia to seek professional help because the individual typically does not accept that she or he has a problem (denial). In many cases, the actual diagnosis is not made until medical complications have developed. The individual is often brought to the attention of a professional by family members only after marked weight loss has occurred. When anorexics finally come to the attention of the health-care professional, they often lack insight into their problem despite being severely malnourished and may be unreliable in terms of providing accurate information. Therefore, it is often necessary to obtain information from parents or other family members in order to evaluate the degree of weight loss and extent of the disorder. Health professionals will sometimes administer questionnaires for anorexia as part of screening for the disorder.

The actual criteria for anorexia nervosa are found in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR).

There are four basic criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa that are characteristic:
The refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height. Maintaining a body weight less than 85% of the expected weight.

An intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though the person is underweight

Self-perception that is grossly distorted, excessive emphasis on body weight in self-assessment, and weight loss that is either minimized or not acknowledged completely.

In women who have already begun their menstrual cycle, at least three consecutive periods are missed (amenorrhea), or menstrual periods occur only after a hormone is administered

The DSM-IV-TR further identifies two subtypes of anorexia nervosa. In the binge-eating/purging type, the individual regularly engages in binge eating or purging behavior which involves self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas during the current episode of anorexia. In the restricting type, the individual severely restricts food intake but does not regularly engage in the behaviors seen in the binge-eating type.

Anorexia Nervosa (cont.)

Given the complexity of anorexia and how many people with this illness continue to suffer from it despite receiving treatment, researchers are seeking to better understand how this illness develops and how it is most effectively treated. For example, as individuals with anorexia tend to have low levels of cortisol in their blood, and behaviors like dieting and exercise tend to increase cortisol levels, giving anorexia sufferers cortisol supplements is being explored with some success. The best approaches for psychotherapy in adults with anorexia, the role of genetics in the development of this disorder, and the effectiveness of various medications in treating anorexia are other areas of continued need for research.

What is the prognosis (outcome) of anorexia?

Anorexia is among the psychiatric conditions that have the highest mortality rate, with an estimated 6% of anorexia victims dying from complications of the disease. The most common causes of death in people with anorexia are medical complications of the condition, including cardiac arrest and electrolyte imbalances. Suicide is also a cause of death in people with anorexia. In the absence of any coexisting personality disorder, younger individuals with anorexia tend to do better over time than their older counterparts.

Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the overall prognosis in an individual with anorexia. Despite most psychiatric medications having little effect on the symptoms that are specific to anorexia, the improvement in associated symptoms (for example, anxiety and depression) can have a powerful, positive effect on the improvement that individuals with anorexia show over time. With appropriate treatment, about half of those affected will make a full recovery. Some people experience a fluctuating pattern of weight gain followed by a relapse, while others experience a progressively deteriorating course of the illness over many years, and still others never fully recover. It is estimated that about 20% of people with anorexia remain chronically ill from the condition.

As with many other addictions, it takes a day-to-day effort to control the urge to relapse. Many individuals will require ongoing treatment for anorexia over several years, and some may require treatment over their entire lifetime. Factors that seem to predict more difficult recovery from anorexia include vomiting and other purging behaviors, bulimia, and symptoms of obsessive personality disorder. The longer the disease goes on, the more difficult it is to treat as well.


The desperately thin housewives by MARCELLE D'ARGY SMITH

What on earth is happening to those housewives in Wisteria Lane?

The highest profile female icons on American television, all women in their 40s (except 30-year-old Eva Longoria who plays ex-model Gabrielle), are vanishing before our eyes. Surely none of them weighs more than 7st. And people are starting to notice.Marcia Cross (Bree), Teri Hatcher (Susan), Felicity Huffman (Lynette) and Longoria are now bone-people with bright, tight designer clothes covering their skeletal bodies.

Pale skin is stretched tightly across gaunt faces, cheekbones are razorsharp, rendering their smiles neither pretty nor convincing. Only Longoria's face is still rounded with youth. But if there's such a thing as dress size zero, she must be heading towards it.

These adult women who are obsessed with being thin/thinner/thinnest have the bodies of undernourished teenagers.

And no, it isn't attractive. It's LA. It's California, Land of Plenty, where there's food in abundance yet women think they're alluring if they starve.

It's two fingers to the developing world where people are hollowed-out thin because they are poor and there isn't enough food. Funny how the world's richest and its poorest have bodies that look the same.

Does no one on the set mention that its stars are in danger of losing their sex appeal? Only Nicollette Sheridan (Edie) seems to have any flesh on her limbs.

Ardent Desperate Housewives fans who drool on about the show on various websites are now fretting about the weight of the stars.

"They're way too skinny. It makes them look awful," wrote one. "Women of that age need meat on their bones," added another. "She's LA's answer to Victoria Beckham," was the view of a third.


The most worrying of all is Teri Hatcher. Maybe she felt pressured into 'doing something' when she turned out to be just one of a good ensemble cast and not the star of the show after all.

Tiny Eva Longoria is the one most often described as "hot"; Marcia Cross - who plays the Martha Stewart-on-steroids type - picks up votes as most people's favourite character; Felicity Huffman is an acclaimed actress. But they're all as thin as coat hangers. What do you do in LA when you're insecure and on display? You go on a rigid diet and exercise like mad, that's what.

You probably have your own gym and a trainer who'll bully you daily. You go running carrying weights and bottled water. You eat leaves, air - and maybe the odd raisin.

Hatcher seems to be living on fresh air alone. She appears coyly thrilled not to have the body of a grown-up. She has the "I'll-just-pull-my-sleeves-over-my-hands-'cos-I'm-vulnerable" teenage gestures to go with her teenage-imitation body.

She was described by a British journalist, who met her on the set recently, as looking "shocking - barely there. But the PR company doesn't fly you out to say that".

Bulemic and anorexic

DH stylists have wisely covered Hatcher in layers of clothing to disguise what must now be clinical anorexia. And, no, she's not dating George Clooney.

Yet even Emmy Award-winning Felicity Huffman -one of the most popular and clever actors around - has admitted to being bulimic and anorexic 'in my 20s'.

She describes her weight as "dropping to 98lb [7st]". Judging by recent episodes, she's dropping weight again.

Her co-star Marcia Cross is as thin as any young model on the catwalk. It's not a great look for a woman in her 40s.

But do all these stunning women realise how hard, angular and strained they are beginning to appear? Why do they do this to themselves?

Competitive Dieting, that's why.

It often happens in hit series with a female cast. Once the show rises to the big time, the collective dress size drops.

They vie to be "best-looking woman" each week. But with similar hair and make-up, and the same access to great clothes, the only thing they can do to make themselves different from the others is lose weight.

It happened in Ally McBeal. Calista Flockhart, perhaps in an effort to defend her star billing territory beside the other talented, sexy women in the show, began to get thinner.

She teetered across our screens with her lollipop head and spidery limbs, making us worry that she lacked the strength to open the door to her office.

She, too, did the sleeves over the hands "I'm-a-needy-cute-person" thing. This gesture is very fashionable in Mad Thin World. It drives the rest of us nuts.

And Calista wasn't alone. Her co-star Portia de Rossi, who played ice-cool lawyer Nell, lost so much weight she appeared skeletal, and actress Courtney Thorne-Smith left the series, claiming she'd been pushed to the brink of anorexia.

Competitive Dieting also happened in Friends when Courtney Cox almost lost her looks by turning into a stick insect.

Jennifer Aniston followed suit and began to look too angular when she slimmed down to seven-and-a-half stone.

You'd think the cast of Desperate Housewives, who've been around the LA block a few times, would be old enough to know better. But they haven't learned a thing.

We're witnessing, yet again, women's bizarre masochism and obstinate refusal to "grow up", because staying childishly thin is a way of saying you wish to remain a child. It's to deny a great time in a rounded, sexy woman's life.

No one expects Susan and Co. to look average. Slender and curvy would do fine. But these razor-sharp cut-outs of grown women are making these housewives look so desperate, I may switch my allegiance to watching fat men play darts.