Bye, bye Ana & Mia

I want to share with you some of the inspiring messages I have received on my blog relating to the Ana & Mia craze on the web.

For those of you new to my blog Ana is code for Pro-anorexia and Mia is code for Pro-Bulimia. These terms need to be known and understood by parents, doctors, teachers, and others who are role models for children.

To the Ana & Mia’s out there, you do not need to be concerned that I will seek to take away your right to express yourselves online. What I do hope is that when you exhaust yourself with your Ana & Mia lifestyle, you know help is out there. You will exhaust yourself, if you don’t end up in the hospital first. There is no happy ending for Ana & Mia, the lifestyle is a literal nighmare….and those of you promoting this lifestyle know this truth in your heart.

Below are the bold and brave statements I would like to call to your attention. These women deserve some recognition for working to kicking Ana & Mia to the curb:

Leah: I absolutely loved your Ana & Mia video! I’m 25 and have struggled with anorexia/bulimia since I was about 12. I’m currently in the process of recovering. When I was younger, I used ana/mia sites for the ‘tips and tricks’. I loved that I could lose myself in the site to keep from eating. Now that I look back I realize that I was going to be hungry no matter what and a website wasn’t going to keep my stomach from growling 24/7. It helped me to believe that what I was doing was okay. Even now, I have to be really careful about avoiding these sites. (and they are EVERYWHERE!) It’s such a major trigger for me now. Looking back, I realize how disgusting the pictures are, and I would never want to be that thin, but I was. I had such a distorted self-image that I was always positive I was 50 pounds heavier than the pictures. Now I’m finally able to see myself as I am, and I’m beginning to accept the fact that I could stand to gain a few pounds. The pro ana/mia sites only help to keep you stuck in that cycle. Thankfully, it’s a cycle that I’m finding my way out of, slowly but surely.

KAY: I applaud you for shedding light on the role that the web plays. Sadly, i have to admit that i am a member of many of these sites. I have always thought of the pro-ana sites as a place to go and get “support.” I figured because the people on those sites are going through what i am going through, then there would be no judgement. I have recieved and given advice on the various postings, but i have always thought of it as giving anorexia and bulimia a “safer” alternative..to minimize risk (if there is such a thing). I did find that these sites start to consume every part of my day. Instead of doing research for term papers, i am busy looking up more tips. Bravo to you and chris athas for uncovering these things, and trying to help people avoid these evil pitfalls.

Kristi: The author of Ana Creed, intended to give others insight to the depths of dispare suffers of eating disorders sink to.

I wrote this creed about six years ago. And when I wrote it, I was already mostly over the attitudes described. I no longer feel this way about myself or my life or food. However, I think that it does give a very accurate depiction of the depths of self hatred felt by many people with an eating disorder.

I’ve also recently found out that this creed has been adopted by a number of “Pro anorexia” sites, without any attribution or copyright information. If you find such a site, please let me know: I do not condone a pro anorexia attitude nor is this creed intended to express such. I wrote it in order to give other people an understanding into the feelings and thoughts that underlie an eating disorder. I have no affiliations or links with any of the pro-ana sites out there, nor do I recommend this creed as a way of living, even though, in the midst of anorexic starvation, it can seem like the only way to be.

Ana and Mia when you are ready for help, it is waiting.

Call the eating disorders hotline 1-800-931-2237.

Email me.

Confide in a parent, teacher or friend.

You can create a better life for yourself.

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13 Responses to Bye, bye Ana & Mia

  1. Emily says:

    Leah and I check your site almost everyday. Tonight when I checked I found it quite appropriate that her comment was on here. Unfortunately, Leah couldn’t read with me tonight because she is at the hospital in the ICU for problems related to her eating disorder. Even though she has been doing well in her recovery, the damage she did continues to haunt her. I can’t thank you enough for sending the message that eating disorders are incredibly harmful and there is tons of help out there.

  2. mamavision says:

    Hi Emily: Thank you for letting me know what has happened. I just posted on your blog as well. Leah, there is a better life out there just waiting for you. I hope this set back does not discourage your recovery efforts. You are not alone! It sounds like Emily takes good care of you, and I am going to be keeping an eye on you as well :)
    Take care, you are in my thoughts,
    -mamaVISION

  3. Dave says:

    Hi, I’m a journalist who stumbled across a huge pro-ana network on Xanga.com. It totally stunned me that teen girls glorify anorexia and show readers how it’s done (oh, and posting “We Don’t Promote Eating Disorders” so they feel better.) The most disturbing one was a “University of Eating Disorders” website that must have taken days to craft. It’s patterened after a college where you can get a “degree” in EDNOS, with “programs” like “”Portion Distortion”, “homework assignments” and “final exams” What can I do about this? I don’t want to endorse it but if I leave comments like “this is stupid” and “you’re killing yourself” I’m afraid they’ll shut me out. This is really SICK.

  4. This is the power of blogging. You just never know the impact of your message, and how it can help others. I’m so glad that you decided to blog and share your gifts 😉

  5. Barbara says:

    I’m the mother of an 18 yo woman who has had AN for almost 2 years. She admits only to EDNOS because she is careful to eat at least 1200 calories a day and says she is not restricting. I know she’s got AN and she’s not ready to change. She has started going onto Ana sites regularly. I know this because she’s started erasing her history, which she’s never done before, and one time she left the screen up by accident. What can I do to help her? Every time I start to talk about it and tell her I think she’s restricting, she gets angry and denies it. She does have a therapist whom she sees for her depression. They both seem to think that when that gets better she’ll be able to deal with the AN. Is there an on-line support group for people like me? What can I do to help people with EDs in general? Thank you so much for your site. “If you save one life, it is as if you saved the whole world.”

  6. nikki says:

    hi everyone, been reading all your messages and can i just say it makes a change to read peoples messages who actually want to help rather than just say they do. im 16 years old and have been bulimic since i was 11, its ruined my life and ive recently started restricting, the whole eating disorders thing fucks up your head and you dont realise it . thank you so much for you people who understand and prefer not to give ‘friendly’ tips and tricks when us with ed’s are at our most vunerable. love you all forever yours nikki. xx

  7. Fake Anorexics says:

    MOST of the girls on pro ana-mia sites are OVERWEIGHT. By about 40 lbs. They are going there for diet tips. A look at their height-weight stats will confirm this.

    MOST of the girls are caught up in the FANTASY of having anorexia, because they think it will get them ATTENTION. They are actually trying to GET CAUGHT by friends or parents.

    They post to COMPLAIN that their doctor won’t give them the diagnosis of anorexia because they are, in fact, OVER weight, and that they can’t get ANYONE to believe they are anorexic.

    These girls routinely make a dramatic “confession” of their eating disorder to a friend at school, only to be laughed at by their classmates, because she is obviously a CHUBBY girl and is NOT anorexic.

    Many posts are girls complaining that no one will take their anorexia seriously because they are FAT. They think it is UNFAIR you have to be skinny to be considered an anorexic.

    Look around you. Ana Mia sites are no emergency. Obesity is what is spreading, and is the REAL health risk in this country.

  8. Christy says:

    Fake Anorexics – Impressive. You seem to profess an expertise about pro anorexia/bulimia sites and the people who frequent them. Although, “MOST,” “they,” and “These girls” is quite vague and distanced. Almost as if you really don’t know them.

    On the subject of obesity, much attention surrounds this issue, one now considered an epidemic that affects more than 60 million people. I agree that it is a dangerous health threat that continues to spread. I also think raising awareness is extremely important. According to research, it is the second leading cause of preventable death trailing not very far behind cigarette smoking.
    What troubles me about your post is the false binary you seem to present. Afterall, compulsive overeating, which often results in obesity, anorexia, & bulimia (amongst others) are all categorized as eating disorders. So, while you’re correct about obesity being a REAL health risk in this country, anorexia and bulimia are also very REAL health risks that do destroy lives and are as serious (and real) as other life-threatening diseases. And who decides what is “real” and what is not, or if something is more “real” than another? Seriously, that is arrogant and ridiculous. In other words, it’s counter-effective and inconsiderate to try to minimize a very COMPLEX disease(s) that is a source of pain to many sufferers.
    By the way, there are members of ana/mia sites who are in fact seriously ill and in as critical a position as other people suffering from other life-threatening diseases. Anorexia is the leading cause of death among psychiatric disorders.

    Okay, I didn’t mean to go on. I only wanted to inform your brazen generalizations & unfounded judgments.

  9. Lela says:

    Fake anorexics –

    Obviously you did some extensive and very thorough research on this matter. Where are your statistics?

    Here’s one for you; Anorexia Nervosa boasts the highest death rate related to any mental illness. There’s something to be proud of, ay?

    Obesity can kill….and so can starvation. Just because there are overweight people in this country it doesn’t take away from the fact that ED’s KILL PEOPLE.

    Ana Mia sites are sick and twisted

  10. Chris says:

    America is sick with the obsession of style. America is plagued with people who will look the other way if they are not forced to recognize the facts. Th e face is anorexia and bulimia are just as serious as obesity. Anorexia does have the highest rate of death among all psychiatric disorders. Currently 15% of all people diagnosed with this disorder dies due to complications from it.
    It is so easy to look the other way or accept the alibis of those who are consumed by this disorder. Obesity is impossible to ignore. The fact is both are incredibly potent disorders.
    My girlfriend suffers from anamia. What initially made such a difficult life-threatening disorder was the way people would ignore the facts staring them in the face. She was initially overwieght before I knew her but she took anamia to such an extreme is was as euphoric as heroine addicts high. What it took for her to begin the road to recovery is letting it out. These anamia blog spots are the only place for them to let their secret out which is what they desperately want to do. She got to the point that she couldn’t even walk up a flight of stars before she passed out. I took her to the hospital (she wasn’t happy) and finally I told her parents (knowing they would not initially understand). It has taken years for those around her to recognize that anamia is not something that she did for attention, but a compelling disease. America needs to shine more light upon anamia to the general public. If only I was a politician. Anyone who downplays anamia as a problem (Fake Anorexics) is DEAD WRONG.

  11. Minnie_Moo says:

    To an extent i understand where “fake annorexics”
    is coming from. but VERY minimaly.

    there is a girl i know who has FORCED herself to become an annorexic and it shows.

    Mainly because she constantly tells us how thin she is and how she loves her body how her waist is 22inchs, how she hasnt eaten for two days etc

    with her she doesnt display any of the psycological traits of a true body HATING annorexic.

    Iam in no way agreeing with fake because she is wrong at the end of the day.

    Iam speaking from experience im not just some random person claiming to know what goes through ED suffer’s minds, they are my thoughts aswell.

    I have some form of ED but im not sure whether u would class it as ana or mia.

    i suppose its both. I dont know. im still suffering at 17 n ive had it since i was around 14. and i wont lie it was a result of media pressure. i wanted to be a model.
    standing at 5’11 the only thing,in my eyes, that was stopping me was the weight. as bad as i am aware that it its its now an obsession its a way of life n it cant be stopped.

    Theres nothing much else to say just people should try their upmost hardest not to be influenced by media and other people. you are your own person.

    we all need to realise, including myself,
    this is NOT perfection, its damnation.

  12. Stacey says:

    i am going through blumeia right now cuz i want to be a jokey havent lost wait but ganned it n really dont know how to stop it some one please help

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