The Making of mamaVISION


**Excerpt from The Hip Bone Handbook, how to be anorexic.

I started blogging back in 2006. What started as a total whim, has grown to be a part of me. The girls of my blog community created the nickname “mamaV” and quickly took hold of my heart. The vast majority of these young women find my blog while they secretly search for pro-anorexia online.



The thought of Anorexia, as a lifestyle, is so totally preposterous, I have a hard time saying it myself. Most adults are dumbfounded by the topic, as I was when I first caught wind of it.


This is not some random, underground culture. A simple search for the term on Google returns over a million pages of starvation driven content. We are talking deliberate, active, starvation here.

Pro-anorexia, a.k.a. “pro-ana or wannarexia,”  preys on the weak, the young, the insecure. The more the pro-ana lifestyle takes hold of a young mind, followers actually start to refer to “Ana,” their fictionary god who serves to justify their actions.


This topic is ugly and disturbing.

Do not turn away and leave this one for someone else to deal with, it ain’t going away.

These are OUR girls.

You can address this issue head on, in your everyday life, through the interactions of every young person you are in contact with. You need to be aware of what is going on in the minds of young people today, in order to recognize the deadly habits of a pro-anorexic individual, perhaps even save a precious life before it is sucked into the pro-ana culture.


THIN equals beauty in this society.

We are raising a generation of of young women who would rather die, than be one of the ugly ones.

Life goals are not to be smart, or happy, or strong.

Thin is it. And it’s pathetic.


I can’t sit here, silent, when we have healthy, young, capable lives being pissed away while they are busy collaborating online on how to starve themselves to death.

Can you?


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141 Responses to The Making of mamaVISION

  1. Josie says:

    I’ve never met someone who’s been a true pro-ana (as in, a person who genuinely sees anorexia as a lifestyle) before.
    It implies there’s too much pressure to be thin in our society, and there’s ignorance about what anorexia truly is (helpfully encouraged by MVs posting of emaciated girls – not great when most ED sufferers are not thin!).
    If someone truly believes anorexia to be a lifestyle it implies they have anorexia and the starvation has addled their brains. Or it could imply that the person is spectacularly stupid, and in which case i’m surprised they haven’t killed themselves already by other stupid means.

  2. Mrs. B. says:


    I think we have discussed this before. My daughter was not drawn into this lifestyle through the web.

    “the weak, the young, the insecure”….maybe. I don’t think that if you met my daughter, you would say she is really any of those things. She’s an “old soul” who is really struggling with the cultural morasse that she is living in as a 19 year old on campus, when she was raised to behave like a “good girl”. Certainly not weak. She’s very accomplished and smart. Insecure? What 19 year old isn’t? Even though she is really pretty.

    But it all is coming together in a “perfect storm”. The perfectionism, the ideal that perfect is skinny, today’s fashion, the web, etc.

    Josie, the fact is, disordered eating now affects 25% of girls on campus. It wasn’t always this way. Something is up. And it is hard to deny that there is a cultural piece.

  3. Josie says:

    Mrs B – mamaV tends to distinguish between “real anorexics” and “wannarexics”. I’ve never met a “wannarexic” before, though i’ve met countless anorexics (some who frequent pro-ana sites, usually to combat loneliness), and countless people with disordered eating. However, people with disordered eating and anorexics are completely different to those who actively consider anorexia to be a lifestyle.

    And yes, there’s definitely a cultural component to all this. The thin=everything message is impossible for anyone to avoid.

    What i take issue with is mamaV getting so worked up over pro-ana sites when she refuses to understand why they came about – they’re not full of idiotic teenage girls trying out the anorexic lifestyle who mamaV mocks mercilessly, they’re full of desperately unhappy and vulnerable people who have patterns of disordered eating they cannot escape.

  4. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    Is the hip bone handbook a real book? must be banned by now…

  5. mamavision says:

    Josie: The sooner you realize your world view is not everyone’s world view, you will see there is a whole other side to this story.

    You start your commentary “I have never met a person who was a true pro-ana” – does that mean this whole concept is false? I think not.

    I am so bored with discussing this same topic with you, so I hoping you will wake up one of these days and realize at there truly are girls that are 100% influenced by the media and are indeed starving themselves as we speak because they want to look like a hollywood star.

    Did you ever stop to think that the reason you have never met a “true” pro ana is because you are not looking?


  6. mamavision says:

    Mrs B: Yes, a growing cultural piece that can not be denied.

    We have to all realize here that we are aging. Most of us are not young teens, we are not in their heads, we are not living their lives, so we can only observe the influences and make judgement calls on the impact today’s media/fashion has on these kids.

    The mind of a teenager is as moldable as clay. That mind doesn’t always go back to normal shape after the same thoughts, ideas, visions are pounded into it year after year.

    There are endless studies proving this fact, the one that sticks with me is from the Dove Global study where the Island of Fuji had no media influence and no eating disorders. Advertising started on the island where there were none before, billboards, magazines, all with extremely thin models, and typical images we see here in the states. Surprise, surprise, within a few years incidences of eating disorders started popping up with girls verbally attributing the cause to the visual media influence.

    Pretty scary if you ask me.

  7. ibiteback says:

    I don’t think someone becomes a “true” anorexic just from the media. If you have any self-respect you wouldn’t starve yourself at least not after experiencing some bad side effects. But the thing is teenagers don’t always have the best self-esteem in a time with so many uncertains (what will I do with my life? etc.) that would exist even without the media. Yes, the media makes thin okay but that isn’t the only reason there has been a rise in eating disorders.
    Mrs. B- I know you love your daughter but she isn’t “better, stronger” than someone on a pro-ana websites. I feel like this site often makes them into evil villians. They are people who need help not punishment. They need a friend, someone to listen and for some this is the only way.
    I have met wannarexics in day/IOP treatment. One in paticular I remember. She would brag (despite not being very underweight just not eating) about how she saw her nutritionist and she made her drink Ensure and a protein bar. She would constantly ask us well what do you do? Are you bulimic or anorexic? At the center we didn’t say what we struggled with as to prevent triggering. She also would talk about how “well I eat but then the calories just don’t add up and I don’t know why they don’t.” She would also tell us what she would do to avoid eating. Yes she had issues but mostly she wanted to brag and she wasn’t an anorexic but EDNOS who didn’t really need to be in this level of treatment and only served to trigger everyone. Her parents just had alot of money and her mom was probably EDNOS too. She just didn’t even pretend to try or at least be quiet.

  8. Vanessa says:

    first off, i just want to give a big *eyeroll* to mamaV thinking she’s going to save all the poor stupid weak minded wannarexics. as if they are the victims and we with real eating disorders, in cahoots with the fashion industry, are evil and preying on them.

    see, to me, things are really the other way around. i’ve met “wannarexics” and generally my opinion of them is they are silly, young, playing with something they don’t really understand, and ultimately they get bored and grow up to be “normal” western women- women with bad body images, women who are obsessed with dieting and fashion, but who go to college, eventually get jobs, etc. (remember, i am olllld and was involved with proana years and years ago, so i’ve actually seen this process happen in a couple cases).

    while the wannarexics were getting over their phase and getting on with their lives i was losing jobs, losing relationships, being hospitalised for anorexia, becoming homeless, being hospitalised a lot more times for depression and suicidality, living in a shelter, trying to recover, getting a job way below my education level and skills, losing that job, relapsing…

    so, you know what? the wannas are fucking fine. if you want to crusade to help them mamaV, go ahead. i think people with actual eds are their victims. they give us a bad name and they make our communities where we go to for support and solace targets of people like mamaV. well meaning but very stupid people who think closing our communities down will in some way help something somehow. but the people who you think need help don’t need any and the rest of us have serious enough problems that we will be forced into “help” in real life anyway, with very little chance of that help actually succeeding in fixing our mental illness.

    rant over.

  9. Mrs. B. says:

    Not being anorexic or bulimic, I am going to go way out here on a limb.

    First off, there are lots more bulimics than anorexics out there. It is hard work to be an anorexic. I think that more anorexics have a disease that is the eating disorder itself. But I think that if skinny weren’t equated with perfection, anorexics might choose some other weapon of perfection rather than starvation.

    On the other hand, bulimia is growing precipitously. Young girls are looking at bulimia as a quick fix. And it is “easy” at first. And then it grabs you, controls you, ruins your life. I have talked to Josie before how youth and normal lack of impulse control leads to bulimia and disordered eating, and then the damage to the brain and the body that comes about from the starvation, laxatives and diuretics leads to full blown loss of mental health. This group is wildly impacted on the front end by fashion. If skinny weren’t so desireable to these young impressionable girls, they wouldn’t wander down this insane path.

    These girls may not be anorexics, but they become very very sick. Vanessa, you are right that they have a higher recovery rate, but they also have a higher SUICIDE rate, because of their impulsivity issues and they definitely haunt the pro-ana/pro-mia sights for tricks and “trade secrets”. I don’t see how anyone can look at the precipitous rise in bulimia among college aged women and NOT attribute it, in part to the culture.

    I’m living this. And it’s a nightmare.

  10. Josie says:

    Mrs B – i think i might be agreeing with you a little

    MamaV – there’s a big difference between considering anorexia as a lifestyle (aka, being pro-ana) and starving yourself to look like Nicole Richie. You can starve yourself but not want to be anorexic, or even visit pro-ana sites.
    I agree completely that our culture has a massive impact on the self-esteem and eating habits of young women. But implying they’re all wannabe-anorexics is insane.

  11. Sass1948 says:

    man this is like a circle! where are you going with this mama? still.

  12. kelly says:

    ok at first i didn’t care…

    but mamaV these images are very triggering. I thought i was doing good today; thought i could come to this site for positive support and i see fat ass thighs, someone shoving food in their face–then skinny girls right beside it and it sends me off on the whole cycle.

    others have told you the images are triggering but you just don’t seem to give a fuck…your site might as well be pro ana…it doesn’t matter what your message says–these images are more powerful and reinforce what i try to fight…why do you feel the need to keep posting these images? can’t you just link them? or just post them once and be done? but no you have to keep beating your point to a bloody pulp so you help no one and the people that reach here for support are screwed!

    yes i agree that the media has a role to play and i see skinny people and ads all around me all day but when i come to my place for support (which the ED inside me screams at me is wrong…i should not seek support) the ED in my brain tells me i can never be good enough…

    i don’t know why i wasted all this time typing this…others have typed it before me and others will type it after me but you won’t give a fuck mamaV will you? At least in a ‘pro-ana’ community i know the thinspo is gonna be there…fuck this…i’m not gonna eat dinner…not gonna eat ever and run till i die…you support pro ana mamaV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Mrs. B. says:


    Sorry you’re so mad at Mama. She is so on your side. Mama is really bringing a lot of attention to people who don’t get it at all. It’s hard to both not be triggering and to make her point. Maybe your idea of using links is a good one. Some how she needs to throw this media crap into the faces of people who make decisions about it.

    Guys, I love Friday nights. What not to Wear is on. I love that show because it is so about raising every woman’s positive self-image. My daughter and I have always enjoyed watching it together. I miss her a lot when it is on. :)

    We get to spend almost the whole day together tomorrow. She’s getting her hair done and we’re going to go get her some art supplies because she has found her “creative side”


  14. Sass1948 says:

    hey kelly – i think mamav wants to get her point across about pro ana to unaware adults. wasn’t that the point of the hand book to? to educate parents? perhaps us suffering with ED aren’t the right audience? s’wat am starting to believe anyway…

  15. Emily says:


    i tottally agree with u about the images– they are triggering– it does make what mama-v has wrote tottaly pointless, because people with ED’s will read this, and just see the pictures and think god i wana be like those skinny girls- ( at least thats how it used 2 make me feel and sometimes still does).
    u idea about using links- is a good idea.

    Hope u are well

    take care
    Emily XXX

  16. vive42 says:

    mamaV doesn’t bring in readers who are clueless parents that need to know about these things, her own post makes it clear that the ONLY people who read her are proana. who she then bitches at. no wonder she’s so controversial?

    too bad she isnt in the compassionate understanding and help business. but no, she would rather make gross overgeneralizations and misrepresentations about the proana community and then if you press her she says “oh i know there are shades of grey, i just never talk about them or admit them in any of my posts.”

  17. Mrs. B. says:

    Mama V definitely pulls in “clueless adults”. I’m one of them.

  18. ibiteback says:

    Mrs. B-
    I think Vive meant parents that don’t know their daughter has an eating disorder or that they are visiting these sites. A clueless parent wouldn’t know that these sites existed. That is just what i think she meant.

  19. Mrs. B. says:


    I didn’t take offense. It’s OK. But believe me. Frantic, clueless parents look for any help, wherever they can find it when their children are suffering.

  20. misslacey123 says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and haven’t had a chance to read all your posts. I don’t necessarily agree with everything you say, but in a word to your overall effort – thanks. We need more women like you in the world to fight :)

  21. Danyel says:

    MammaV, I haven’t heard from you since our last email together – I’m not really sure if you’re even getting them when I sent but I just wanted you to know I’m still constantly on your site and I am subscribed so that I receive emails so I stay in the loupe!
    Also- just wanted to say I’ve started the adventure toward recovery and it toally sucks. But, thanks for givin’ me something to look at when I need a distraction! :) Feel free to comment on my blog.


  22. Sass1948 says:

    that post by “danyel” kinda answers some of my niggles. mamav IS helping young women in some small way & that is enough in my view. but i guess this blog just may become a little repetitive for someone like myself who has been reading a yr now & does not seek help from mamav.

  23. MotherLove says:

    The god Ana

    “Ana,” their fictionary god who serves to justify their actions.

    2 Timothy 3

    1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

    9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

    10But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

    11Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

    12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

    14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

    15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    Tell the truth.

  24. Danyel says:

    I do understand where the frustration comes from, the images are triggering and I try to sweep over them quickly. I do enjoy MV’s website though. I find it interesting.

  25. Mrs. B. says:

    Mind you, my daughter is in a Christian treatment facility and she is rebuilding her relationship with God, each and everyday – but there is another patient there who reminds me of you. My daughter loves this girl, but this girl is constantly throwing out “scary” scripture to everyone and making people feel like they are suffering because they are “bad” and God doesn’t like them anymore.

    The image of Jesus that my daughter has drawn closer to has been one of a more gentle and forgiving Jesus. That’s the one that God sent out to gather his flock. That’s why we go out and feed the homeless and love the sufferers. That way they can see that we live our faith. People who have turned away from the light sometimes begin to turn back when they are warmed by it. If it burns, they turn back away.

  26. Vanessa says:

    argh! once again i was logged in as vive42 and didn’t realise it. so yes, vive42 = vanessa sorry if that caused any confusion.

    and mrs b- ibiteback was right, i was talking about parents that weren’t already tuned in to these issues by having a child with a known ed. also, i think you are a huge exception on this site, very very few parents are here, mostly its people with eds, people that find the site through proana in some way. mamaV’s own post makes that clear, people find the site by searching for “thinsperation” but one thing mamaV doesn’t mention is that she seems to tag all her posts “thinsperation” as an attempt to snag those exact people! she wants proanas to read, and she wants the controversy and comments that brings her. i’m sure if she knew how to snag parents she would, but she has no idea how to reach them so she just writes a site that seems to be read mostly by consumers of the proana message, who she then bitches at and makes fun of.

    in my opinion, that kinda sucks.

  27. Sass1948 says:

    quoting scriptures detaches one from committing to real emotion. it’s also thoughtless behaviour to those who are not christian. detached emotion & thoughtless behaviour = unchristian :-)

  28. Lily says:


    Why do you keep posting pictures of emaciated girls over and over again? how do you justify it? the shock value? Surely, if you disagree with magazines etc. posting models with unhealthy body weights you would make sure not to post these images yourself? I assure you, we know what skinny looks like at this stage. If you ever had an eating disorder you would recognise that these images are very triggering to the eating disordered population (ie.your readers).

    Who is your target audience?is it parents?people ignorant of EDs?those running the fashion industry? You need to decide- because the audience you are getting at the moment is a vulnerable group; mostly young people, mostly those in the throws of anorexia, bulimia,binge eating or Ednos. And you are in danger of doing damage.

    I have been hurt by this site, I know that has not been your intention, but more through your ignorance of the realities of eating disorders. If you want to change things, if you want to make a difference (is that really what you want?) I think the sensationalist, shock style writing has to go. Issues, such as why the media might be encouraging disordered eating, need to be dealt with more sensitivity and explored in more depth. There is no depth here.

    At the moment you seem to be advertising ‘pro-anorexia’ to people with eating disorders and those on the cusp of them 99% of the time.
    What is the point?


  29. Mrs. B. says:

    Vanessa and Lily, good posts. I certainly understand your perspective.

    I do think that Mama’s vantage point of frustration after coming out of her position as a model has left her with some agitation about people in that industry who have no respect for health and wellbeing. Especially in her role as a mom of young children.

    I get really “pissed”, myself, when I see the “role models” that are being pushed off on us in the media and I get mad right along with Mama. But I must admit. Most of the women who are dedicated to her site are suffering and are impacted emotionally in a different way than I am by these images.

  30. Josie says:

    Good points Lily <3

  31. Lily says:

    Hi Mrs B.,

    I really appreciate that you heard what I wrote, thanks :-) means a lot, I was kind of expecting to be attacked for writing my point of view.

    Lily xx

  32. Lizabeth says:

    Here’s something to think about:

    about six or seven years ago (when i was maybe 12?) i already had a horrible body image but had not yet developed an ED. my best friend’s older sister was the most beautiful girl i’d ever seen and she rather openly suffered from anorexia. i already had the ED mindset but not the ED itself, and this instilled in me the anorexic ideal, that anorexia is a glamorous and glorious thing, if i could only be anorexic, wouldn’t everyone love me? wouldn’t that be dreamy?

    so here i am now, almost 19, letting this mess of disorders destroy my life. i have nothing else because i’ve made this the core of myself. i have no protection from this because this is my protection from the world. i use pro-ana sites because i am horribly lonely and no one in my actual life could possibly understand, or even want to listen to me whine. i see those wannarexics and some of them will be fine, but what about the ones that aren’t? obviously, if they’re going onto these websites and LOOKING for a disorder they’re in some kind of pain and turning to ‘ana’ for help is going to fuck them up, too.

    everyone deserves compassion and no one deserves an eating disorder regardless of the severity–i understand that there is a difference but i think we should be concerned about EVERYONE, not just the “real victims”.

  33. Lizabeth says:

    ALSO, i originally found this website when i was (shamefully) looking for triggers to make me sicker. and, because i am a smart girl, i read what she was saying and i’ve been coming back to this website whenever i need a strong perspective– however overdone it might be, it’s still comforting to remember that there are people out there who care about this.

    so thanks, mamaV.

  34. aileb says:

    Mama, why did you have to go and trigger me like that?

    A pressed on the blue google

    link and on one of those

    sites they showed me how to

    make speed! Then, I spent

    hours and hours looking

    through tips. Next

    time, you should make it easier

    and just give us the links to the

    most active sites.

    I wish your blog was about more than just about exposing all the ugliness and madness of these sites.

    This disease is killing me, sometimes I can’t take it and I put it on display too.

    They might not be able to feel it, but if they see it, then I have raised awareness.

    It’s a sick twisted game that I play.

    I’ll wear my size 00 pants and get the most incredible buzz when they feel lose. I don’t care that they’re worried that I might pass out. I’m raising awareness!

    I can’t help but hide my grin when they say they’re worried that I lost weight again. I’m raising awareness!

    Why can’t you Raise Awareness by directing the parents and the unaware to ANRED or the Something Fishy Website? Or help raise money so that more people can get treatment. You could also go after the insurance companies.

    Then you could pimping a new name: Super MamaV!!!

    Well your job is done! The sites have been exposed. Now what?

    Billboards were so last year.

    Raising awareness doesn’t keep them coming back and talking.

    Mama, I love what you stand for. I am not attacking that, it’s the images that have got me thinking about my pro “ana” days.

    I have not talked to them on the message boards since I visited your site last June. :)

  35. Mrs. B. says:

    Please don’t raise awareness by hurting yourself. Please. Since my daughter is in treatment I am so much more aware of how much pain our young women (and some men) are in. Please let someone help you deal with your pain. Do not become a human billboard.

    Life is beautiful. As my daughter moves more confidently into recovery, she is realizing how much she has missed and how much she IS missed. Sitting with a friend or with her mom talking about what she’s feeling….reading a book…painting a picture….going for a walk in the sunshine. ED took all of that away from her, which is why everything seemed so dark.

    My daughter had a LOT of pain that she felt nobody would love her if they knew about. Family therapy really helped us get to a point where she began to feel unconditional love again. She is in a faith-based program, and the unconditional love of God was also a part of her treatment. Now she is able to deal with her personal therapy. She is living a life again, and she is very excited and hopeful. It CAN be that way for you.

    Mama is right. Pro-ana is about sharing misery. The reason I love this board is because for the most part, the women on this page are not pro-ana, they are seeking support in a place that is NOT pro-ana. Sharing of misery does not build broken lives.

    The women here are strong and smart. They support, they share, they help one another (and me) understand.

    Personally, I feel like the Something Fishy boards are almost like Pro-Ana Boards. There are very few people on the family and friends boards who are involved with people really in recovery. They are the people mired in the pain. On this board are people like Josie and C. and so many others who REALLY are beating ED. They struggle and they talk about it, but ED willl not win.

    Mama HATES ED. And that is why I love her and her Board.

  36. kelly says:

    Mrs. B-

    you talking about your daughter gives me hope. I am her age and it kinda makes me think that i can be excited too. But then again i live on my own and don’t want anyone near me. my mom said to me the other day i would get over my sickness better “if i would just eat…” but i like hearing about your daughter…it makes me happy that she has a good chance of making it even if i don’t.

    ya know the more i think about mamaV the more i think she still has an ED. It seems that she can put up a strong image of hating it but really puts up that image so she can still have an ED without anyone suspecting it. ED’s are sneaky like that. And i’m very disappointed that she still hasn’t commented on people’s responses to the thinspo images…maybe she thinks if she doesn’t respond she can put up another post next week and we will all forget about it…but im not…you are pro-ana mamaV and before you write me off as ridiculous look at the images you post. you know who your readers are…you took a survey…i know you aren’t dumb…you know what you are doing…

  37. Mrs. B. says:

    My daughter didn’t want anyone near her either.
    She wouldn’t answer my calls. She’d scream at me and throw things. She was using substances to numb her pain. She wanted NOTHING to do with God. It was heartbreaking.

    Are you a student now or are you just living on your own? Are you close to your mom? Believe me, Kelly….I didn’t “get it” at first, either. I told my daughter to just “stop it” several times before I really DID start to get it and I realized that she was dying. And we have had HOURS of therapy with really talented people to rebuild trust. She had overspent, broken rules, lied…..and I had violated her personal space and humiliated her. There was lots of “crap” to push aside. But unless your mother is really messed up, she wants to help. She just does not understand. You and a therapist can help. Once again, she calls me her best friend, and there is nobody I would rather be with. She had an 8-hour outing over the weekend and it was one of the happiest days of my life.

    Don’t give up on your mom, Kelly. And don’t give up on finding help. And if your mom can’t get her arms around this, find SOMEone who can. And you may start with a crappy therapist. Find another. You DESERVE to have a beautiful life and you can have one. You’ll still have crap in your life….we all do, but you can find the light.

  38. aileb says:

    If pro-ana is about sharing the misery and MamaV is about exposing it.

    Then, I’m caught between the too.

    It’s agonizing to know that I can’t commit to recovery because of my ties to these girls .

    For years, I shared the “misery” with them on a daily basis.

    I know, now, that those sites are deadly but they were there for me when I thought I had no one.

    At the time, I could not fully see how dangerous they were.

    The damage has been done. I am 55 pounds lighter, have almost all the eating disorders in the manual, tried all 200 tips and tricks, swallowed every diet pill and laxative combo available, and my lab results are pretty scary.

    Mrs. B.
    Your daughters’ story gives me hope and your words brought tears to my eyes.

    Mama, just remember that we are not all strong like you yet.

    There are some images that some viewers are just not ready to see.

    I don’t want to stop reading your words. So I guess, I’ll prepare myself mentally before I come on here again.

    One day, I’ll take you up on the challenge and expose these sites for what they are. Right now, I’m still reeling from the effects.

  39. ibiteback says:

    Mrs. B-
    Although I am happy for your daughter, I feel like your postings about her progress are very unrealistic. Maybe she just didn’t have her eating disorder for that long or was really ready for recovery but the things you post about her just seem so unrealistic to me. I have had treatment for over a year and I still haven’t gotten anywhere close to where your daughter has gotten to. I think by you saying these things is setting an unrealistic standard for people. The way you make it sound it is as if her ED was some bad mistake and you she has just been enlightened or something. You say she is just enjoying life again and wanting to paint and stuff. Recovery (at least for me) isn’t easy and smooth and joyous. It sucks every single second. You can read my blog etc. for my perspective. I can barely get through the day. My parents understand nothing and my weight can’t be controlled. I just haven’t seen someone progress like your daughter. I’ll just say it again it seems unrealistic.

  40. Mrs. B. says:

    I understand what you are saying. And part of my daughter’s good initial recovery is because she is in it 7 days a week for 24 hours a day and she has really only been full-blown in her disease for about 1 year. We did the outpatient thing last summer, and she thought she was really clever and she basically blew it off for the summer. She liked her therapist, but although she felt that the therapist was good, she didn’t really know anything about eating disorders. Don’t get me wrong. We expect more days of hell ahead of us. And we are prepared to deal with them. But she is in treatment with all women who have HAD eating disorders. Her support group has become huge. Different people say different things about this, but therapy with women who have “been there” really worked with Jessica. She just can’t out B.S. the B.S.’ers….so to speak.

    Is it perfect? No. I still worry like crazy. Who knows if she’ll be back in college by the fall. Doesn’t matter. Taking the pressure off of her was really important.

    One of the things she has done to help herself was get rid of all the shame. How did she do that? She tells EVERYone what is going on in her life. Getting rid of the secrets has taken away the need to hide them.

    She has also been in treatment with an interesting assortment of girls, all who come from different perspectives, but who all add something unique to one another.

    Ibiteback, no offense, but you are a very “glass half empty person”. My daughter is (was) too. She started her treatment with other “glass half empty” people. She didn’t feel any hope at all until she went to Selah House. This place is VERY different than anyplace else we have found.

    This is her THIRD place for treatment. Like I said before….if you don’t find the right place, MOVE ON. Hope is a huge part of recovery. What I hear that is missing in you is hope. That was what LED us to send her to Selah House. I had found several girls who had been to other places who were getting nowhere, who went to Selah and have finally made progress. What they are doing there is working for us where other kinds of treatment had not.

  41. MotherLove says:

    Proverbs 12:1 NIV
    Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.

    Proverbs 12:1 KJV
    Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish

    I pose a question witch 2 translations are better?

  42. MotherLove says:


  43. MotherLove says:

    wise words from a wise man

    YouTube – Leonard Ravenhill – Go For Their Consciences

  44. MotherLove says:

    God please help
    we are caught up in the web of the world

    YouTube – Paul Washer Project

    Blind no more. Please help us be blind no more.
    Open our eyes…and our hearts.
    Christ came to Save our souls….
    the flesh is not the band aids
    we want to live forever….

  45. aileb says:


    No offense but YOU are not

    really posing a question. You

    are just regurgitating someone

    else’s words.

    This is suppose to be a pro-

    recovery site :O I think

    regurgitating is frowned upon


    Why do you fell the need to hide

    behind some else’s words?


    Does what YOU have to say not


    Why do YOU think that

    the weight of your words won’t

    have the same impact as L.R.?

    Go ahead, ask your question or make your point again in your own words. You see the anorexia makes it hard to focus.
    Do you know how that feels like?

    Ohhh! You know, it might even
    be interesting to hear YOUR answer :)

    Mother Love, I know it’s my
    first week on this board and all
    but aren’t we suppse to stick to
    the topic. You know, exposing
    the websites*

    Your quote call me silly and sinful!

    Is this what you do? Attack the
    sick? Do you visit the cancer and HIV support websites too?Or is your love just reserved for us here at MamaV.

    My pretty mouth will frame the phrases that will disprove your faith in man-fiona apple

  46. MotherLove says:


    It’s a privilege to have this opportunity
    to spread the good news.

    I earnestly pray God’s word be preached.
    Including that quoted by and L.R and Paul Washer.

    Christ is the great Physician.
    anyone who is sick can turn to him.
    But you have to turn to him in TRUTH.

    You soul is what he cares about.
    and so do I.

    Do you prefer the KJV or the NIV?

    Let me know when you are ready to get started.

    I care about you, your future and where you are going.

    You will need a bible handy.

    Although Mama V is trying to get everyone involved to help one another with eating disorders,

    If you are not comfortable conversing here on the blog for all to see,
    Would you like my email address?

    love you!
    -Mother Love

  47. Mrs. B. says:


    This is a funny line:

    “This is suppose to be a pro-

    recovery site :O I think

    regurgitating is frowned upon

    here! ”

    My daughter and her friends in residential have come up with a ton of inside jokes that are really funny about ED….but I have been told that ED jokes can only be delivered by ED people, so I won’t share them:) But THAT was a good one.

    Girl, you are gonna be great.

    I also believe that throwing scripture at people like a weapon is really unkind. Christ and his word are healing, and my daughter thinks that her faith is a huge part of her recovery. But she has been focusing on loving and redeeming scripture. Christ fed the hungry and healed the sick. He didn’t throw stones at them.

  48. MotherLove says:

    Help for those who miscible and are tired of it.

    YouTube – What Would the Modern Preacher Have Done? (Paul Washer)

  49. MotherLove says:

    Question, what part of the bible states the word is a weapon?
    Please use scripture.
    If it be a wepon,
    please elaborate on how to wield this weapon,
    and the ways on how it affects the soul of the believer verses the non believer.
    according to scripture.
    Please give reference to scripture.
    If you are having troubles or mis quote,
    I will gladly step up and help or admonish.


    -Mother Love

  50. Sass1948 says:

    agree with ibiteback – there is a wiff of unrealistic idealism going on there, so i quit reading anyway

  51. Josie says:

    Referring to Mrs B’s daughters recovery –

    I think it’s possible that Mrs B could be missing something, as we know better than anyone how devious anorexics and bulimics can be!! But it’s also possible that she is doing absolutely fantastically.

    Whatever the case is, there ARE people who successfully recover from EDs, and there IS hope. One of the big disadvantages of getting support online is you rarely meet people with positive stories of recovery, because those people aren’t looking for support anymore. But don’t forget that those people exist. Mrs B’s daughter is likely one of them, i’m one of them too.
    Deep in an ED and/or depression it seems like recovery is an impossible dream, but it’s not i promise.

    And though Mrs Bs daughter is so SO SO incredibly lucky to have a mom like she does, it doesn’t mean that a person can’t achieve without loving support or even professional help either. Some of us aren’t that lucky.
    My mum died of a long battle with cancer, my dad’s awol most of the time, and i could never find proper treatment cos i wasn’t a bag of bones. I was alone, apart from my online support. But i made it, though it took so much determination and so many set-backs. Piles of self-help books and programs, learning everything i could, chatting on pro-recovery boards, chatting to pro-ana friends about their experiences with recovery… and i did it. It’s possible.

  52. Mrs. B. says:

    You know what guys,
    I KNOW that my daughter is more likely to have ups and downs than not. I’m really ready for it. It will hurt like hell, but I’m ready…and so are her friends and therapists. But my daughter went from “super achiever”, National Merit Scholar, cheerleader, homecoming queen, to unable to get out of bed, laxatives and diuretics and pot and abusive relationships and overspending and kidney infections and hospitalizations.

    We had the therapist who didn’t know anything about eating disorders, then the therapist who told her that her life HAD to be hell for a LONG long time, and then MAYBE she might get a little better, who then sent her to a drug rehab center where she was surrounded by meth and coke users for her laxative abuse (?!) And then we found Selah House.

    She has cleaned up her body. She can POOP on her own again and feels GREAT about that. (Me too!) She knows that she can eat three delicious meals a day and sit at table with other people and have FUN again. She has found a really authentic church that she loves. Despite the way ED treated people for the past few years of her life, she still has a lot of people who love her, and a lot of new people who love her, and will continue to treat her at Selah.

    She has been able to find new ways to express herself and she is able to say “NO” to people when she needs to (SuLeah, do you hear that?) That has been such a huge change. I used to always tell her things that I thought might be good for her and she would go right along. Now she says, “We’ll see.” And then we laugh. She waits to see how she feels. She’s learning to deal with the impulsivity. She doesn’t make a lot of quick decisions. She isn’t going to go to med school anymore, like she planned. She’s not going to put off living until she’s 30 to be a doctor, just because she can. She’s going to live.

    We talked last night a lot about church. I told her that I wanted to find a church where I could get more involved – small group – missions – the gamut. She looked at me and asked me why I felt like I needed that. I told her it was because our family had so many blessings. I felt that I was called to give more. She said, “Mom, you take care of Dad (my husband has health problems and is a doctor who works very hard), I’ve been sick and you’ve taken care of me, you work and take care of the house and my brother. God is proud of you. You don’t have to do any more to please God. You don’t have to do everything.”

    You know what? She’s right. She is internalizing things. Her mother has a Martha syndrome. She has a Martha syndrome. We’re giving it up together. (If you don’t know the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible, read it. It always made me mad because Martha worked so hard and Mary got Jesus’ approval because she was able to live inthe moment. And I was such a Martha.

    God wants us to LOVE one another. He doesn’t want us to BE anything.

    ED doesn’t want you close to anyone because he wants you all to himself. You all deserve way more. Not so that you can become something, but so that you can love others.

    Josie, thanks for your words. You are remarkable to me, as are all the women on this Board. Recover is possible, even if it is not in a straight line. Supportive POSITIVE relationships are part of that. Good counseling from people who understand, a support network, friends, family if the relationships are healthy….all of that helps. I think it would be hell alone.

    But nobody here is really alone. Because we are all here. But for those of you who are here and are not reaching out past this Board, I personally, would encourage you to do that. Like Josie, you can use books and free groups and other resources on the internet.

    Oh, and yes, my daughter is smart as all get out and can deceive with the best of them when she wants to. But she truly has told EVERYone in her life what she’s been doing because she doesn’t WANT to get away with it any more. She’s learning how to say what she’s thinking, cry, study the Bible, read, paint, journal, write letters, do therapy for REAL rather than to “look nice”….lots of other things she can do rather than binge and purge. And she likes those things better!

    What things are you missing out on in life that make you feel good rather than ashamed? Shame sucks as an emotion.

    Josie, you are as courageous as anyone I have EVER seen. Totally amazing. And we are so lucky that you are here. I know that you struggle, but dang, girl. You are crazy cool. Such an inspiration and totally honest.

    Sass and ibiteback. You need some hope. Hope is a great motivator. Hope with a plan for setbacks is ideal. But the hope part is important.

    Mrs. B.

  53. kelly says:

    about mrs. b’s daughter…

    why when Mrs. b talks about the good her daughter is doing do people have to shoot down the trials they have been through? saying maybe she didn’t have it that long or whatever…you have ED and it is there all the time just don’t trivialize it….would we rather hear the crap side of mrs. b’s daughter? i’ve been ED for 9 years but if one day i went into recovery and got better maybe someone that came along that had ED for 15 years would just tell me “i didn’t have my ED for that long…” puhleez. when you have ED a day feels like a month. it is torture and the grips are strong no matter how long you have had it….so can we just celebrate the good news? and mrs. b–if she does relapse share that too…but i like how mrs. b tries to find the good in the situation instead of sitting here saying “my daughter is doing ok but i don’t know if i can trust her and im just SURE she is going to relapse..”

    about the scripture–whenever i see MotherLove’s name on a post i scroll right by it…someone that leans on the bible that much is just as irrational as an ED driven person. If i wanted to hear preaching i would go to church or a mosque or wherever i felt lead but here on a forum that isn’t faith based i feel it is inappropriate…

    honestly motherlove…people want to hear what you think…if we wanted the words of some human dudes that lived thousands of years ago there are plenty of resources to turn to during this century…you posting them here doesn’t make people have great revelations…

  54. vive42 says:

    vanessa here-

    i’ve experienced amazing recovery similar to what mrs b describes is happening with her daughter. i find it very believable. for me it didn’t last very long after i left my 12 step program but while i was actively in recovery i was happy and coming alive in a wonderful way. so i very much believe it is possible.

    and there’s no reason to believe her daughter won’t make more permanent gains than i did. especially if her ed didn’t go as far as mine did before she got into a really good program.

    and guys, really, just ignore motherlove. it’s mindless spam, like a spam email to buy car insurance while enlarging your penis. not someone to argue with or pay any attention to!

  55. Mrs. B. says:

    So Vanessa,

    What happened? Why did you give it up?

    And why are people with EDs so hysterically funny?……

    “like a spam email to buy car insurance while enlarging your penis”

    ….and then unwilling to feel hope??

    Oh, and by the way….I’ll share the crap side when it happens….cuz I’ll need to hear how to help her pick herself back up when shen falls. I’m sure it will be happen. One nice thing about really great treatment is that they’ve told me I can call them if I’m worried about what I see. I can be mom. They’ll be the therapists.

  56. Mrs. B. says:

    Dang more typing errors.

  57. Josie says:

    Mrs B – just stepping in to Vanessas defence here – it wasn’t so much a case of “giving it up” – Vanessas relapse and unwillingness to recover is extremely complicated. I think, if i were in Vanessas particular position, i’d be a bit reluctant to recover.

    I was grocery shopping earlier, and was a little inspired on my whole recovery-is-possible-and-great thing i started talking about earlier.
    I remember I wrote this in December 2006, documenting my life with an ED. It’s such a contrast to today. I got back from grocery shopping about an hour ago with yoghurt with the words “incredibly thick and creamy” on it, and lots of new foods i’m so excited to try (new type of apples, some teabags, biscuits, antipasto, the yoghurt…). I went into the kitchen and cut up vegetable sticks to have with dip later, and I made a fantastic (if i say so myself!) apple crumble. I love my food. And though i can’t say i love my life (got a whole load of other personal and psych issues to get through which are much worse than an ED), i do love that it’s free from ED. That’s not to say i don’t have set-backs, like yesterday i had a little binge, and the day before i freaked out when clothes shopping, but it’s nothing to how things were before.

  58. Mrs. B. says:

    As always, great post. My daughter is really into trying new foods right now, too and is looking forward to having an opportunity to cook the foods that the dietician has helped them discover at Selah House. She’s big on the 1/2 bagel with hummas and mozzarella breakfast. She can’t wait to make it for me. She’s also into roasted peppers and interesting salads. She’s in love with ranch dressing. Funny how she wants to try things when before it was only carbs and cheese and sugar.

    How old are you Josie? I’m just curious.

    And what has Vanessa experienced that set her back and made her no longer willing to experience recovery? That makes me sad.

  59. Rachel says:

    I appreciate and commend the eating disorders awareness message MamaV is promoting. We need more people pointing out those destructive forces in our culture that support and enable eating disordered behavior.

    Having said that, I do take issue with the continued posting of pictures of emaciated girls and women on the site. MamaV: I understand the intent – sometimes we need to be shocked from our passive complacency. But these kinds of images also support the idea that you cannot have an eating disorder unless you look emaciated. Women of all sizes can have a serious eating disorder and eating disorders can be dangerous and deadly at all weights.

  60. Mrs. B. says:

    My daughter told me that before she slid off the edge of her eating disorder, her school had a movie about anorexia and bulimia, and the whole time she kept thinking…..hmmm….I’m not thin enough.

    She plans on contacting her High School and asking if she can come in to talk. Everyone knows her. She was always winning academic awards and was a Varsity Cheerleader. She wants to go tell girls DO NOT start this. Get help if you feel yourself slipping to this point. DO NOT START.

  61. vive42 says:

    i’m not sure how to give a shot version of my story that can answer mrs b’s questions, but i’m going to give it a shot (apology about the length, it’s still a relatively short version):

    i’ve sincerely tried to recover 3 times, and relapsed after wards, which makes this my 4th go round with losing weight through anorexic and bulimic means. the last time i tried was the most promising- i got a lot farther along and was a full year into recovery. i’d been of school and work for a long time at that point, and i finally got myself a new job which made it a lot harder to make it to all the 12 step meetings i’d been attending, so i started skipping them. within 2 weeks of the last meeting i’d attended i went from eating a strict sponser-monitered food plan every day to binging every day. for a while i was still in touch with my sponsor but the binging was embarassing and after i gained a certain amount of weight i was too embarassed to face people.

    note that obviously i didn’t want or choose to start binging. but once i’d gained enough weight to be clinically overweight i started to lose any real interest in losing weight in a healthy way- i just wanted my old healthy weight range body back. it took months more of binging and weight gain, until i was clinically obese, until one morning i woke up and was able to restrict again. so i started losing, and at some point i also started b/ping which had never really been a problem in my earlier bouts with ed but became a daily thing this time around.

    now i’ve lost more than 10 pounds above and beyond what i’d originally planned and i’m resistant to trying again. this would be try number 4 and it’s not that i think it’s impossible that the 4th time would be the charm, but it’s so easy for me to relapse and recovery is such a long hard slog, and there’s no guarantee that i’ll end up any better off after all the work i put in than i am now. by past experience it is more likely i’ll end up 50 pounds or more heavier and miserable and desperate to lose weight and anything good i do manage to acheive i’ll only lose it again in another relapse.

    so, i guess the short answer is, i don’t want to try again because i’m scared it will all be for nothing. and please don’t tell me it’s a cop out i know it’s a cop out, i know recovery is good, better, blah blah blah. i’m all for recovery, in theory, for people in general. but for me, right now, i’m not willing to risk hoping again only to have those hopes dashed for a 4th time.


  62. Sass1948 says:

    seems to be contradictions in a few posts alluding to having anorexia but not being thin.
    i understand one can be overweight or healthy weight & have ED, but i think if your gonna label yourself anorexic, or a past anorexic, more than eating distress/unusual eating habits has to be present.
    eating distress can lead to a serious ED, but this means physical deterioration as well as mental, in my view.
    this “i was anorexic but not thin” doesn’t convince me & makes me wonder how many self-diagnosed anorexics post on this blog.

  63. MotherLove says:

    the story of Mary and Martha

    KJV Luke 10 v41
    38Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

    39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

    40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

    41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

    42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

    Luke 10 NIV
    38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

    39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

    40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

    41″Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

    42but only one thing is needed.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

    What did Mary Choose?
    Why was Christ Please with her?

  64. Limafan says:

    I don’ think God likes spammers.

  65. Josie says:

    Sass – why does it matter what weight someone is or was anyway? And what clinical labels they have? It’s not right for someone to say they’re anorexic when technically they’re not, but at the same time the stereotype of people with EDs being emaciated is even worse.
    And then, what does “thin” mean? Here where i live you don’t get any treatment until your BMI falls below 13, which is beyond “emaciated”.

    Vanessa – don’t feel you have to explain yourself anymore lovely. You know and understand yourself.

    Mrs B – I’m 20.

  66. Mrs. B. says:

    Um, MotherLove. I know what the story of Mary and Martha is. That’s why I mentioned it.

    The women on this board are smart and if they had interest in reading it after my post, I’m sure they could have found it. But uh, thanks.


    One interesting thing about perfectionistic women that is interesting to me is how devastating it is for them to have recovery “not work” for them, or to end up heavier than they want to be after recovery. Perfectionistic women aren’t big on failing and if they feel that they fail repeatedly at something, they become less and less likely to try again. That makes perfect sense to me.

    I won’t start in on you about how I wish you would try again…..but I do wish you would.

  67. Mrs. B. says:

    Wow, Josie…I am always amazed by how “grown up” the women on this board are when so many of you are so young. I would have guessed by your posts that you were much older.

  68. Josie says:

    Mrs B – yeah, i think a lot of us had to grow up fast! I see myself as a strange merge of a woman of about 30 and a little girl of about 7, stuck in a 20-year-olds body(!). If you met me in real-life you’d see more of the young side, mainly because i barely ever speak. Weird, huh?

  69. vive42 says:

    josie- thanks for the reminder. i do get defensive about the choice not to recover because in theory i am completely in favor of it and in practice i am totally against trying it again. ow! cognitive dissonance!

    mrs b- thanks for understanding. i very much hope your daughter never has to go through 1/10th of what i have with my ed.

  70. Josie says:

    Vanessa – i know i bullied the explanation out of you, but now i feel a little bad because i should have trusted you to have a sensible explanation for why you’re not recovering now!! So now i’m gonna stand by you when the questions like mine come along… hypocritical eh?!

  71. Mrs. B. says:

    Ok Vanessa,

    Simpler question. I know that Josie is 20. How old are you? I’m trying to draw pictures in my mind.

    My daughter gets another pass tomorrow and then again on Friday. I’m picking her up early in the morning and bringing her home. She’ll be home without anything planned tomorrow while my husband and I are at work. She’s to “fill up her day”, start thinking about how she plans to fill her day after she is released, and fix her own meals. I think she is REALLY ready to come home and not have to “therapize” all day every day :) – is that a word? She’s gotten a little frustrated the past few days because for the last week or so, some of the girls have really gotten stuck and they keep going over the same things.

    She’ll get out of residential “for real” on the 29th, and start her IOP on March 10th.

  72. Sass1948 says:

    it matters because professing to be anorexic & sharing a view, then say they’ve never been underweight, undermines their views on being anorexic to me, because of ignorance.
    sure they know themselves & their peers experience & whatever they’ve learned, but have never been a scarily underweight anorexic. there is to me & always will be this difference.

  73. Josie says:

    Fair point Sass – clinical anorexia is a bit different to being anorexic in every way but in weight. Just as long as you don’t forget that everyone suffers, whatever their weight. And the thing about “scarily underweight”… not all anorexics are scarily underweight. When i was clinically anorexic my sister had a lower BMI than me, but naturally and healthily (you can imagine how much that upset me i’m sure!).

  74. Mrs. B. says:

    That is one aspect of anorexia that will always blow me away….the competition that exists to attain the lowest weight….no matter how tall, or what the bone structure. I still can’t believe my daughter was competing to achieve a weight lower than the anorexic in her school “health” film.
    Yikes. Talk about COMPETITIVE!!

  75. ibiteback says:

    Maybe, I’m just bitter. (Ha! and I’m 15) My mom has to see her own therapist and is so emotionally unstable that she can’t handle me being upset. My dad is emotionally absent. i was forced into a treatment (two different) inpatient for 2 months and day for 6 weeks and then got kicked out of IOP for not eating. I was traumitized inpatient and had a horrible experinence. My mom is seeing my old nutritionist who hurt me (emotionally) and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Mrs. B it is great that you are so supportive of your daughter but don’t think she is doing well because she is so smart and creative. I am too. I get all A’s, had a painting excepted into and art show recently, love Marching Band and got into a band I had to try out for. I also have my own ensemble and got my silver award with girl scouts. But I am still doing awful when it comes to my ED. I can’t wait till I’m 18 so my parents no longer legally control me. I just think that your daughter is very unusual and it spreads the myth that “oh, send a person with an ED to inpatient and they get so much better and start seeing life as so wonderful and it may be hard from day to day when they get home but they will be so much better off” Well, that is what my parents thought but I now have PTSD from my inpatient experiences which took me months to start talking about. Sorry for the rant, I mean no offense but I just hate when people think that gaining weight and time in the hospital fixes people.

  76. Mrs. B. says:

    The facts are that most people DO recover to some extent, and families make a huge difference.

    I am really sorry that you do not feel as though your family is supportive. I will tell you that my daughter did not really feel like hers was, either. Part of that was ED and the way that ED affected our family. 6 weeks of being on track physically has unclouded her mind to some extent, and our relationship is so much better. Sometimes adults do not see how much their kids are hurting, in part because they are a little tougher on the exterior – from age, perhaps. It helps them cope, but it makes them less sensitive. Sounds to me as though you need better family therapy and you need people who are more sensitive to your pain.

    My daughter also has a strong faith, which is an asset, too.

    She is also in an amazing place for treatment. We’re so lucky that it is within a half hour of our home. It is a place filled with wonderful people who will always be there for her.

    You sound like an amazing young woman, who the world has much to benefit from. I am going to keep you in my prayers for healing.

    Of course it takes more than weight and time in the hospital to heal. I will pray that the right people come to you to help.

    Take care.

  77. Mrs. B. says:


    one suggestion…you may or may not be willing to try. It is obvious that you are angry, and I understand that. But if you ever feel a tender moment to your parents, you could try to show a little of that to them. Maybe you do. I know several anorexic women now who display a much softer exterior than they feel on the inside. But I suspect that your parents feel a lot of hostility from you and that they feel hopeless.

    If you want their help….if you WANT to recover (and maybe you don’t at this point) a LITTLE tenderness from you would probably help them grab on a lot tighter. I know that it did for me.

  78. Lauren says:

    MotherLove, go proselytize somewhere. or don’t.

    Kelly, my dear, you CAN do this. I had an eating disorder for 10 years. The full-blown ED behavior began when I was 12, and a year ago, I finally took a semester/summer off from college to go into recovery. I’m wary of going into details on this site, as I’m aware they might be used as “tips” or “tricks.” I agree that the ED hierarchy is a bullshit one- who can recover, who cannot, who is really sick, who is not. Pain is Pain, and it’s gross to classify suffering that way. All I will say is that I had an irregular heart beat; I perpetually vomited up blood; and I prayed for death (I’m not religious, mind you). It was bad. And I have recovered. Yes, it was hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I also did everything in my power to avoid human contact, especially friends. This sounds really campy and simplistic, but one step that helped me was finding something that soothed me and didn’t involve people (at the time, I couldn’t tolerate being in public). Explore what that might be for you. For me it was horseback riding. I’m sure you’re used to calming yourself through your ED, but try out a few things. Any little thing you can get your hands on that’s not self-destructive and calms/soothes you in any way is golden, not just during recovery but in life. Which as we all know is so much of what an ED is, a coping mechanism. And GOOD for you for focusing on the positive things Mrs. B says!!!! It’s healthy that you do. Hope is invaluable.

    Peace sister,

  79. Lauren says:

    i biteback,
    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time. I sounded the same way when I was going through recovery. I don’t think you’re correct in saying her progress is “unrealistic.” I think you’re right on the money saying that she was “ready.” Recovery always sucks. Every. Day. of Recovery. Sucks. Plain and Simply. Whether you’re ready or you’re not. But if you’re ready, you do break free faster. It has taken me a year. A year doesn’t feel fast, though I’m told it is. Again I too was ready. I really wanted to be skinny, enjoyed the control my ED gave me, and felt pleasure in hurting myself ALOT… but I wanted some semblance of a life back just a teensy bit more. And so I was ready.

    Don’t give up.

  80. Josie says:

    ibiteback –
    gosh, you sound so much older than 15!
    Your family sounds like how my family was when i was younger too. It’s tough, but make sure your feelings and thoughts are heard, however you feel best expressing them.
    I’m sorry your IP experience was so traumatising and awful. It is a myth that everythings-all-better-if-you-forcefeed-an-anorexic, however it sounds like Mrs B’s daughter is getting much more than refeeding where she is, like therapies, which is ideal.
    Don’t beat yourself up if you feel like maybe you’re not trying hard enough, but at the same time don’t give up hope. *Hugs*

  81. Lauren says:

    Damn it! I meant go proselytize somewhere ELSE. Now this shit is going to back 3-fold. Sorry, guys. My apologies.

  82. vive42 says:

    mrs b – i’m downright old for this site! i’ll be 30 in a little more than a month. i’m also a lot shorter than you imagine me (if you’re like everyone else you’ll be picturing someone tall), and i’m also a lot more timid in real life.

    ibiteback- at some point i hope you’ll want to recover for yourself or for the chance to have some kind of normal life with things like happiness and good relationships in it. the unfortunate truth is that until that point any “recovery” you may be coerced into is unlikely to do you much good. on the other hand, it might keep you on the planet long enough for you to come around to the idea of trying to get better for yourself. which would be a good thing, i think, because you seem like so many of us, smart and funny and creative and sensitive, and it would be a shame to lose you from the earth i think, even if i’ve never met you.

  83. Mrs. B. says:


    I agree with all that you say to ibiteback. She sounds like a really terrific person with so much to offer. I hope that she will find peace and hope for recovery as well. And to me, YOU are so YOUNG!! I thought you might be older than some of the women on the board based on your experiences. But hey. I’ll be 50 this year, so there you go. You’re young!

    I’ll say a few positive things about being 50. I’m a pretty well-preserved 50, in good health. With a 19 year old daughter and a 26 year old daughter, both of whom are hip and cool (our oldest was a Deal or No Deal model for a season), I’ve stayed pretty current in hair and clothing styles. But still….the GREAT thing about being 50 is that I FINALLY feel liberated about my body image, which was always poor, even though I was never heavy and have always been well proportioned. Now I think more about caring for myself for HEALTH reasons which is so much more peaceful than trying to be perfect.

    Ibiteback, sometimes people really just do not know how to help and need to be taught and told. In family therapy, yesterday, my daughter’s primary therapist told my daughter to remember that I cannot read her mind. She’s getting better at telling me what she is feeling and thinking and I’m getting better at hearing her, observing her body language, etc. Therapy really can help if you are receptive.

    Today my daughter gets to be at home by herself. Also Friday. She is very happy because after 50 days of residential therapy, she is exhausted and needing some quiet time. Please everyone, send some positive energy (prayer, if you pray) her way.

    Lauren, thanks for the encouragement. Recovery is hard, not only for the one who is sick, but also for the people who love her (or him). It is hard to see pain in loved ones.

    And finally, Josie. You just rock. Seriously. So much wisdom in a 20 year old. I hope that you can conquer all of your demons. You seriously are crazy smart. The world needs more people like you. You give such great support to others, even though I know that you struggle so much.

    And Michelle….You have been constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I am praying for one special person to come to you to give you support.

    Mrs. B.

  84. kelly says:


    you sound like such a strong person! how did you manage to take time off school? i’m in school atm and feel like i can’t take time off…plus my work and everything. i couldn’t even afford treatment. do i want to do it? more than i have wanted air after being trapped under water…i just feel so limited in my options/resources. i also feel like i don’t deserve recovery…i can come here and talk about how i would love it but deep down i don’t feeel like i deserve anything more than hunger headaches all day…

    love you ladies…stay strong…

  85. Mrs. B. says:

    I know that there are women who can focus on recovery and school and work and everything all at once, but omg…..that would be so hard. Because with all of that load you are bound to face enormous anxiety. At least can you cut your school load back considerably and take advantage of resources that may be available at your school for treatment? With so many college aged women suffering, many schools offer significant resources.

    Is there any way that you can take a semester off of school….if not now, at the next break and just work and do an IOP? I know that many programs offer scholarships.

    My rationale is this. You are going to school for your future, but your ED could kill you, so what are you pursuing your future for? YOU DESERVE your future, Kelly. Please take steps to secure it!!

    You were so uplifting to me in your post above to “allow” me to hope for my own daughter. Please allow yourself to want hope for yourself. I know that I want that hope for you, too. You gave me great encouragement and I know that you see that people can recover. You can recover, Kelly, but you need to make the time for yourself and make yourself a priority.

  86. aileb says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Does your college offer counseling?

    I have been trying to go back to work on my Masters for the past 2 years but I can’t because I can’t get my Ed under control.

    I think that it’s not about just taking time off-you have to get treatment during the time off.

    Because I took the time of from school and guess WHAT? I had more time to obsess over my ed!

    Now I am worse off than before.

    I can’t afford treatment-the only way I can see a counselor for free and who has experience with Ed’s is at my college!

    So I have to enroll back to my university to see a counselor and keep my full time job so that my employer will pay my deductibles!

  87. Lauren says:


    I was lucky enough financially to have my parents help me out. Also, I didn’t have to pay for an in-treatment program. I did intensive out-patient, and I had insurance. I’m sorry; I wish I could offer you a load more information specific to navigating treatment expenses. I think Mrs. B throws out a couple of good options. First off, let me just say I COMPLETELY understand how daunting it is to think about investing energy in researching programs and payment packages/deals they offer. If possible, grab a friend or a family member to help. They will love the chance to feel like they’re able to help in some way, no matter how small, and it will help you feel less alone in all of this, less overwhelmed.
    I don’t know how you feel about having a job, like Mrs. B suggested while in IOP. For me in the beginning, it would have been too much. I couldn’t deal with being in front of other people, much less have a standing commitment. A couple of months into it though, I began taking care of 2 small children during the day, and not only did it bring in income, but it did so much for my basic enjoyment of life (If you like kids and get the opportunity, there’s nothing better than watch a child eat. They’re pros!!!). If you do decide to continue with your current job whether in IOP or not, I hope it’s one that makes you feel good about yourself (I understand that’s a privileged position, but if at all possible… this is YOU, YOUR life, we’re talking about, and you ARE worth it.)
    So really we’re dealing with two main pieces here, yeah? Financial ability to take off time and pay for treatment, and are you worth recovery? To answer the latter, a million times YES, Kelly!!! YESYESYESYESYESSSSSS!!!!! You made the comment that i sound like a strong person. I didn’t feel strong. I felt weak. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I felt like I deserved the pain and suffering, and when my therapist told me that I would die from this disease, if I didn’t take action, I thought I deserved that too. But i didn’t, and neither do you. My counselor told me this time and time again, and I wanted to believe it, but I didn’t believe it was true for me. And now I’m going to say it to you: There is SO much life out there to be lived and enjoyed. You. deserve. to be happy. Recovery is about eliminating all of the stuff in your life you just don’t need anymore. You can and will find other ways to calm yourself, feel good about yourself that are so much better than what ED can offer. They’re lasting and empowering.
    Even if you never see yourself being able to accept yourself- I thought Hell would surely freeze over- being in therapy provides a person/people who challenge that, and you can get there by seeing that others believe you’re worth it. And that’s okay. Sometimes, you have to role play, but eventually it will become integrated into who you are. I used to think that was … for lack of a better word, bullshit. Loving yourself is a big concept. Too big for me in the beginning, in fact, so I was ready to settle for acceptance. And I can honestly tell you, I’m getting there. It begins with having a few moments here and there; that morphs into days, and eventually it will be the days that you aren’t okay with yourself that will be the minority. Sometimes, you have to start with “maybe I’m not that bad” to “maybe I’m kinda okay” to “Yeah, I’m a pretty decent human being” to “You know, there was never anything wrong with me to begin with. Kelly as it turns out was a pretty cool chic all this time.”

    Recovery is hard, absolutely, but it gets better little by little. You get to rediscover yourself all over again. Hell, I was 22 when I started eating normally (eating when I was hungry, stopping when I was full, getting touch with what I WANTED to eat; what a concept!), and I grew an inch! What Josie and Mrs. B’s daughter are experiencing DOES happen. Food becomes pleasurable again, as it should be. It becomes nourishing, not the enemy.

    You ARE worth it, Kelly. It’s okay if you don’t feel it on your own yet. Let loved ones be your mirror for now. It will come.

  88. Josie says:

    Kelly – is there a support group for people with EDs in your area? My local one supports people with finding recovery and understanding the financial side, and has a list of places a person can go.

  89. Mrs. B. says:

    Josie, I am sure that is great advice. Find a support group locally and then see, with their help, where there might be additional resources. This whole financial thing is driving me crazy. I feel so blessed that we are able to help our daughter so that the financial part of this is not a problem for her. I will pray that the resources are supplied for those of you who are struggling in that regard.

    I’ve been thinking. You hear that this is a rich girls disease. I’m beginning to understand that it is an everygirl’s disease, but only rich girls get to go into expensive treatment facilities and be visible. I’m also beginning to believe that an enormous amount of resources are being expended on college campuses to provide therapy….Thank God, at least, for THAT.

    So here was my daughter’s day yesterday… not perfect, but she’s learning that she’s not perfect….just damn loveable and loved.

    I went to pick her up for a totally unsupervised day. I dropped her off at home and I went to work. She did great through breakfast, and then kept herself occupied – picked up some art supplies, had her snack, did some art projects, did a great job at lunch….and then had a small binge with her midafternoon snack. She said that she was having a lot of negative self-talk about how fat she is (realize that she just came off the non-activity band for having a very low BMI) and she looked all over the house for the scale. I of course, have thrown away the scale. Scales suck.

    She started to tell herself that just a small purge would be OK and she could just stop at that. And she succombed. But I am really proud of her. Why? She had walked right past the laxatives and diuretics in the drugstore, although she had money in her pocket to buy them. She spent a lot of time creating some amazingly expressive art projects, she got RIGHT back on her mealplan for dinner, even though ED was telling her that she shouldn’t eat because she had a binge. AND she was totally honest about her day and felt OK talking about it….huge for her, because she has always had a hard time not being “perfect”. We had a great talk on the way back to Selah House. I love her So So much.

    The plan was for her to have a day with NOTHING to do to see how she would manage, with today’s and tomorrow’s plan being to process what happened, good and bad. We will repeat this on Friday, but she will have an eye appointment and a pedicure scheduled, so it won’t be a completely empty day like yesterday was. She’s thinking that she might want a job.

    She has another week of therapy and “commences” on the 29th, when she will be on her own for about a week – until the 10th of March when IOP starts. I think that she is feeling like she wants to find a way to stay busier. I think that she feels like Lauren. She needs to be busy, but it will have to be something with some flexibility, because treatment is the highest priority in her life.

    Lauren and Josie,
    Your posts are a godsend. Please keep them coming, with expressions of your experience – things that worked and pitfalls. Thank you for them.

    Mrs. B.

  90. vive42 says:

    mrs b- the fact that she was honest to me is the ost hopeful part of your story. your daughter has a long road ahead but honesty is absolutely key. if she’s able to be honest then any problem is adressable, if she wasn’t able to be honest then no amount of money for treatment would help.

    for me, honesty is a problem because of shame. i’m so embarassed when i binge or gain weight i can’t ask for help because i am too ashamed. which means the problem gets completely out of control because people are more likely to notice and intervene when i am too thin than they are when i’ve gained some weight or they suspect i’ve been binging. and the point where i’ve lost enough weight to trigger alarms is practically too late, things have already been out of control for months and months by then.


  91. Mrs. B. says:


    Don’t you have SOMEone you can be completely yourself with who just adores you so much that they just hurt with you when you hurt, continue to love you no matter what, who you can talk to about anything?

    The whole shame thing is so so so hard. It is such a crappy emotion. Since the media has turned bulimia into a sideshow, it is hard to imagine that there are people out there who don’t see it that way, but there are. For my daughter, treatment with beautiful, talented women who are in recovery is allowing her to see that some amazingly terrific women have suffered the same problem and they have conquered the shame and so can she.

  92. kim says:

    mrs. b you amaze me. i think for alot of us with eds shame is so huge and many grew up keeping secrets so believing people actually could love us unconditionally is kind of unbelievable. your daughter is very lucky to have you and her honesty is a sign of huge progress and hope. congrats to you and jessica, i will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. i hope she has a fun day on friday and fun not food is her focus.

  93. Mrs. B. says:

    Thank you so much. I just hope that for the younger girls who still need their parents that they will give their parents a second and third chance when they don’t get it at first. Most parents of talented girls (which most of ED’s girls are) are shocked and don’t respond well when they first hear that their “perfect” child is in trouble.

    Michelle, where are you? You remind me so much of my daughter. I hope you are OK.

    I know that it’s been a hard time, but you are just doing so great.

  94. Josie says:

    Mrs B – wow, you are so insightful! I think you’re partly right about anorexia being a “rich girls” disease, but i think the main reason it’s considered that way is anorexia doesn’t appear in our form in the 3rd world (my theory is that anorexia exists there, but takes a different form without the dieting/weightloss connoctations).
    Your daughter did so SO well. I think if she’d had a perfect day then it might have been a fluke, and put peoples guard down for the possibility of her going wrong in the future. Her honesty is fantastic for the reasons Vanessa mentioned, and returning to her program straight afterwards was incredibly brave – according to my books that’s where recovering bulimics tend to slip up – they think “i’ll just skip this next meal…” which provokes another binge, then purge, and the whole downward spiral.
    More than anything YOUR positive attitude is wonderful – your daughter is so lucky, and it’s going to help so much in the months ahead.

    A week ago I had my first Art School interview. Got a letter today – i’ve been offered a conditional place!!!
    Though the school is my 3rd choice, i’m still delighted, because it shows my work isn’t too bad, and that i can get through interviews (there’s so many things that could have gone wrong – i’m not used to talking, i could have gone mute or had a panic attack or threw up or fainted or run away from the anxiety, he could have seen my terrible SI marks and scars, i could have accidentally said too much about my current situation…but i did it, and even made him laugh)!

  95. Mrs. B. says:

    Woot!! Josie!! Yippee!!
    This sounds like such a perfect match for you! You did it!! Haha!!
    Is this school in your home town?
    I’m so excited you’d think it was me!!!

  96. Josie says:

    No it’s not – all the schools i’m applying to are away from home, each about 2-3 hours drive away. If i do this it’s gonna be such a Big Thing, living away from home and everyone i know, especially considering how sick and dependent i’ve been.

  97. Sass1948 says:

    anorexia is not a rich girls disease. that’s wrong. many young people in the underclass are anorexic, owing to abuse, poverty, low self-esteem. the notion that it’s for more educated young women is INSANE

  98. Sass1948 says:

    also, thats the great thing about the NHS in England, young girls/women do treatment. i know this for a fact. i know the NHS fails many, but not everyone. I for one have never been failed by them. This is why I hate the idea of us losing the NHS, cuz then we’ll end up like US & FRANCE. nightmare for everyone..well, all the poor people, & that’s near enough everyone.

  99. Josie says:

    Sass – the France has a public health service which is better than ours..
    I’d disagree about the NHS being good for EDs. If you’re not under BMI 17.5 you have no hope of help, which is horrifying. And lots of psych treatment is just sh*t due to it all being drugs, drugs, drugs and no therapy. And don’t get me started on anything outside the psych system..

  100. kim says:

    as a kid who was the “perfect kid” in my family, i use to like that role. i knew what was expected and could get the grades and be the althlete that both parents wanted – i was lucky i was born althletic and school was easy for me. now that i dont know how to meet those expectations i am finding myself a failure and a disappointment. i am still on my meds yet feeling so overwhelmed and looking for a way out. i thought living through sexual abuse would be the hardest thing i would have to live through but living is hard when you never feel good enough and you learn you can never be good enough. sorry everyone, but i failed. i feel like i have let everyone down and i really just want out now. i see no future, no happiness, no real me. im tired and i just want to quit. i have learned so much from all of you here though and i thank you all for that. you are survivors, fighters and you can get your lives back. i love you all and wish you happiness and health. xxxkim

  101. Mrs. B. says:

    You sound EXACTLY like my daughter, and YOU MUST fight!!! Please!!

    My daughter pulled out an elementary school paper that she wrote that said stuff like, “I am a good girl. I do what I’m told. I always do my chores”…..blah, blah, blah. Then she was a very good gymnast and moved into cheerleading on a national championship level team. She was pretty and popular, but always a little “different” and quirky. She was artistic…always wanted her hair a different color.

    Then she was molested by a boyfriend, after having had a very strict moral view about sex before marriage. That, her perfectionism, the expectations of others and society….it was “the perfect storm”.

    Please don’t let your current situation define your future, Kim. You are a beautiful child of God, and despite the hell you are living today, there is a plan for you….and even for your suffering. Please wait on God’s plan, Kim. I know that this is not a religious forum, but at my age, I have seen so much suffering and I have seen how that suffering can turn into some kind of blessing. This attitude of hope can really help.

    Love and hugs, Kim
    Mrs. B.

  102. kim says:

    thanks mrs. b. what you wrote actually made me cry. i have been trying to hold on, i just dont know if there is anything left to hold on too. thank you, you have helped so many on this site and you are a true inspiration and an awesome mom. i just dont feel like i have anything left in me. maybe this is god’s plan for me. thanks. xxxlove, kim

  103. Mrs. B. says:

    Maybe going THROUGH this was God’s plan, but STAYING here is NOT God’s plan.

    Do you have any therapy in place, Kim? How old are you? How do your parents respond to you?
    Do they know what you are dealing with?

    You say that I’m a great mom. I was NOT a great mom, Kim, until I really took the time to try to understand what the HECK took my beautiful daughter and turned her against everyone who loved her. ED makes girls turn away from help, Kim. It makes you turn away out of shame. Shame you do not need to feel. Kim, 30% of girls on college campuses these days in the US are eating disordered. THAT is not God’s plan. We all have to fight this. God does not want all of our beautiful and intelligent young women to DIE, Kim.

    I’m attaching some scripture that was really meaningful to my daughter. Scripture that made her understand that it is through God’s word that we “talk” to him. It might be meaningful to you, as well, Kim.

    I’m sending the “Message” version because it is very “plain English”. There are people on this Board who think that only King James is an appropriate translation. I say read whatever translation speaks to you. But here you go.

    My apologies to those who do not find faith an important tool in healing. Many people do.

    Matthew 6:25-34 (The Message)
    The Message (MSG)
    Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

    25-26″If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

    27-29″Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

    30-33″If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

    34″Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes

  104. Sass1948 says:

    my understanding is that France’s health care services are poor, so I have to disagree.

  105. Sass1948 says:

    am talkin bout the real experience of their healthcare system, not what national polls & surveys say btw :-)

  106. kim says:

    again, thank you mrs. b. i really dont know what God’s plan is for me and im sure i have failed him too but i am depleted and im sorry. i cant even think anymore i am just tired and cant do it anymore. and for the record, i believe you are a good mom. my mom is a good mom too, the best mom and i hate continuing to let her down. i failed. thanks for the scriptures i did read them and they are meaningful. i think it is my turn to fly now though. i want to stop hurting everyone and i want my pain to stop. it will be ok. xxxkim

  107. Mrs. B. says:


    You will never fail God. And I’m sure your mother doesn’t feel as though you have failed her either. She may hurt for you, but I guarantee you that if you asked her to express how she is feeling, it would not be that you had “failed her”. She probably feels more like “hopeless” or that SHE had failed you. Cling to one another.

  108. kim says:

    thanks mrs. b. i hope i didnt fail everyone as that was never my intent. my mom could never fail me. i think they sense im very depressed and they know im selling my business and have no plans. i just want things finalized a bit to make it easier on everyone. i wish i could just slip away tonight in my sleep. i think i have failed god but my pastor has always said that god loves us period without condition. my grandma would say someone who takes their own life will not go to heaven. i dont think god would punish someone who is in so much pain the only way they know to stop it is that way. im okay with the choice ive made though. please dont worry i shouldnt have even said anything. thank you though for all of your love and support. i think your daughters are both very lucky. take care of you. xxxlove, kim

  109. Josie says:

    Sass – i’m coming from personal experience too. I’ve been in psychiatric care for years.

    Kim – I hope you can stick this out. Make it through til tomorrow? Or maybe next week?
    The thing about ending it is there’s no chance of things ever being better. If you stay here, there is the chance, and there are people who overcome depression, suicidality, EDs and all these problems we face. Are you able to sleep or distract yourself for a while, just to escape your mind and thinking?
    I’ll be thinking of you love.

  110. Mrs. B. says:

    I hope that you are OK.

    I think that Josie’s ideas are good. Please try to sleep or distract yourself. Please take care and stick it out.

  111. Sass1948 says:

    was talking bout experiencing france’s health care, not uk :-)

  112. Mrs. B. says:


    I’m praying that you found strength last night. You are in my (and I know Josie’s, as well) thoughts.

    I heard on the television yesterday, as they were talking about a dramatic increase in suicide among people of my age, this quote:

    “Please remember that suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY problem.” Some days, for EVERYONE are worse than others. If you can just hang on, some days will feel brighter than others. I know that eating disorders, and mental illness in general, seems to just go on and on, but I think that Josie, who has suffered both an ED, (WHICH SHE IS BEATING!!) and mental illness can attest that moods will fluctuate and some days will be brighter.

    Mrs. B.

  113. Josie says:

    Kim – i can certainly attest to what Mrs B is saying. There are bright days. Today isn’t one of mine, but it’s hard to remember that the bright days do come.
    Thinking of you. xxx

  114. MotherLove says:


    Empty. Angry. Alone. If you’ve endured a loss, you know these feelings. You know how grief rips through your heart, making you feel like life will never be the same. Truthfully, it won’t be. Time won’t erase all your pain. You won’t ever slip back into your old routine. When you experience a loss, your life is forever changed. Your “normal” vanishes. But that doesn’t mean hope is lost.

    Things may never get back to normal, but eventually you will settle into a “new normal” − you’ll develop a new routine, a new mindset. Your pain will ease, and your heart will begin to heal. That may seem impossible now, but God has made you to be resilient. He created you to function and grow in a world that constantly changes. He knows you. He knows your heart. And He has a perfect plan for your life that cannot be destroyed by any amount of sorrow. Lean on Him − the God of All Comfort − to lead you out of loss and into new life.

    What God Says

    “In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.” (Psalm 118:5)

  115. MotherLove says:


    Does getting out of bed seem to be harder each day? Is visiting with friends a challenge? No matter how much you try, do you feel “stuck”? You’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from depression, including Christians. Feeling weighed down by stress is normal, but God designed your heart to rebound from such stress. Sometimes, though, you’re pressed down for so long that your heart becomes depressed, unable to bounce back without intervention. At this point, you need to seek help from friends, Christian counselors and you may need to use medication. The best help, however, is from the One who knows your pain, cares deeply for you, and is able to heal. His help is always free and always available.

    The Bible has many examples of God’s people who were depressed. You can follow their example by crying out to God, by remembering His faithfulness, and by putting your hope in Him. In your darkest hour, He won’t abandon you. He’s beside you, even when you can’t feel Him. Ask Him to remind you of His presence when the loneliness seems unbearable. He will reassure you − maybe through His Word or maybe through a friend.

    What God Says

    “Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10 ESV)

  116. MotherLove says:

    I love you and you know what?

    Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.

  117. Claire says:

    I’ve never posted here before, but I’ve read a lot of the comments, so I kind of feel like I ‘know’ the people who post here already. Apologies, therefore, if I come over as overly brusque.

    Vanessa- I have a problem with this comment:

    ‘first off, i just want to give a big *eyeroll* to mamaV thinking she’s going to save all the poor stupid weak minded wannarexics. as if they are the victims and we with real eating disorders, in cahoots with the fashion industry, are evil and preying on them.’

    What do you mean by ‘real eating disorders’? Does this count as somebody who has been hospitalised? Someone who is receiving treatment? Or just somebody who is really, really thin? If this is your definition of someone with a ‘real’ eating disorder, then where does that leave the rest of us? What about the girls who are at a normal weight, but still panic every time they see food? What about the ones who skip meals until they can barely walk they’re so hungry and then binge because they can’t take it any more? What about the ones who can’t walk past a mirror or look at photographs without despising what they see? I know many girls who fit this description. Girls who are NOT fat, but still detest themselves and food. People who obsess over calories and exercise and dieting, but who are still, technically, ‘healthy’. Does the fact that they are not officialy ‘eating disordered’ and have never needed to be forced into treatment, make them fakes? Does it make their suffering any less important?

    I find it sad that people with ‘real’ eating disorders are so quick to brush off other peoples’ problems as worthless. We all suffer from the same thing- low self-esteem and self-hatred- so does the fact that we do not have a BMI of underweight really make us all that different? Also, do you not realise that by calling yourself a ‘real’ anorexic, you are just enforcing the misapprehension into many young women that to have an eating disorder is to ‘belong’ to some sort of club?

    I have to go now, but I will be interested to see your views.

  118. kelly says:

    hell claire that makes sense! i had never thought of it like that before…i hope you stick around…

  119. Josie says:

    Claire – I’m friends with Vanessa and know the point she’s trying to make, so i’m going to jump in on her behalf.
    A “wannarexic” is someone who doesn’t have an ED – not anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS, any of them. What they do is act as though they have anorexia as a way to lose weight for ordinary reasons, like just simply looking good. They see anorexia as a type of diet, simply extreme starvation, and a useful thing they can “try out” for a phase to lose the weight they want.
    I think maybe Vanessa would have been better saying “real eating disorders” as opposed to “real anorexics”, because she understands as well as anyone how an ED can be distressing whatever your weight, whatever the severity, whatever the particular symptoms.

    Anyone who does have the attitude that you “don’t have a ‘real’ ED” due to not being hospitalised, not being officially diagnosed, not being thin, etc can just go f**k off, i agree, as would Vanessa.

  120. vive42 says:

    yeah, thanks josie you mostly beat me to it :)

    i did say people with eating disorders, not anorexics in particular. i don’t think you have to be a certain weight or have been in a hospital or any of those things to have a real ed. and even if you don’t quite rise to the level of having an ed you can still have badly disordered eating and body image and stuff, and those things are very hard and can develop into even more serious eating disorders or just go on indefinitely making people living with them miserable.

    that said, i feel like there are a subset of people in what i call the “proanaverse” who while i might like them very much individually, really don’t belong there. they’re part of the “wanna” group mamaV is trying to reach, i think. they honestly think they have eating disorders but in comparison with those of us who actually do they’re a lot closer to being dieters than they are to having psychological problems. remember, just about every woman in america hates their body and is perpetually trying to lose 5 pounds. i’ve known people like that whom i suggested gently they should try to leave this proana crap behind and work on being happier and comfortable with themselves at their current, normal, weight. in every case the person has reacted “no! i can’t! this is part of me/constant/whatever” but in most of those cases although my advice to leave proana behind has never been taken those people in a couple weeks or months do seem to decide to “recover” and leave proana without too much of what i would consider a battle to recover.

    its a fine line between something normal and something disordered, and i can’t always tell where people fall when it comes to how “bad” their ed is. but it would be dishonest for me to say i think everyone in the proanaverse has more than the ordinary eating/body image problems of women and girls in the western world.

  121. Mrs. B. says:

    I want to add that anyone that begins to think about throwing up or taking laxatives or diuretics for “weight control” is either incredibly badly informed, or might be significantly disordered enough to need help and intervention. IMHO

  122. Gregorio says:

    I don’t understand why these women would do this to themselves.It is neither sexy nor healthy.Outside influence should never effect your view of yourself.The truth is you should try to realize that real beauty is already there,inside you.Just stand up for you,not them.I hope this stupid little comment makes sense to someone and helps even one person.Take care.

  123. ibiteback says:

    I think that wannanorexics don’t have eating disorders because they don’t have they emotional problems behind their actions. They probably don’t feel good about their bodies but they don’t have PTSD or depression or extremely low self-esteem, or irrantional views of their bodies (honestly think their fat when they are desperately underweight). I’m not saying you have to have all of there to be a “real” anorexic but you aren’t starving you aren’t starving yourself to fit into your skinny jeans. A real anorexic starves to fill a need, their starving has an emotional purpose. Same with bulimia. I often find that eating disordered people do know the consequences of their actions but being thin is more important to them, and being thin is only a metaphor for something else.

  124. Josie says:

    Mrs B – i think you’re right, if someone is doing that kindof thing it implies they have very low self-esteem. However, when they come to ‘real anorexics’ like Vanessa and ask for tips, it’s understandable why people get upset about it.
    A sympathetic approach to the situation works well though, if we can hold back our anger for long enough. I made this website for those with the problem, and by the look of the comments i seem to have made a difference.

  125. Mrs. B. says:

    As always. You amaze me. Are you 20 or 40? You are really very talented.

  126. Amber/vanity900/cult66623 says:

    Nice site Josie,i read the CR (calorie restriction) and it triggered me emotionaly, im on a healthy diet and only wating 1400 cals, probably less because food scares me, and i don’t really belive eating less then your body needs by 200-400 cals is healthy. BUT i will try it anyway.

  127. aileb says:


    There is a big misconception
    that people with anorexia chose
    this disorder.

    Anorexia is almost never about just losing weight. It might start off or appear to be about losing weight but its not.

    For me it’s about being able to control something (me) when I feel like I can’t control anything going around me.

    The feeling of hunger also numbs and keeps my mind of thinking about past/future. It’s like a coping mechanism.

    It has nothing to do with sex, health, models, fashion, and websites. Those are just distractions that feed the disorder and justify the chaos .

    For me it’s got everything to do with a loss of an appetite for life.
    Losing weight is just the bonus that comes with the disorder.

    Thank-you for trying to help and understand :)

  128. mamavision says:

    Hi Claire: Thanks for posting, your comments express my sediments exactly.

    All this back and forth about “real” vs “fake” is just a waste of our time. Struggle is struggle. Your’s is yours and mine is mine. Why minimize either one?

    Let’s stop trying to prove to each other what we know to be true, because that truth is only your own. The sooner we all realize that the sooner the door will open to wisdom about this topic.

    Do I get it? No.
    Do I know it all? Certainly not.
    Do I try? Hell yes.

    This is supposed to be a welcoming environment for all, not a boxing match about who has suffered the most and what club they belong to, so let’s cut the drama and have compassion for one another.

    MotherLove, I see you are posting thoughts and expressing your own feelings. I for one certainly like this approach better than Bible quoting. The problem there is some tend to tune out the moment they see Bible references and you may reach more minds by expressing your own thoughts which are based in Biblical principles. Just an idea, eitherway I am glad you are here.


  129. Josie says:

    MamaV – i disagree, i think someone with a severe life-threatening psychiatric illness is most definitely suffering more than someone who wants to go on the ~Ana Diet~ to lose a little weight for their prom.

  130. vive42 says:

    exactly, to what josie said. and, mamav, can’t you understand that for some of us the fact that you specifically want to help the ~ana diet~ people, and basically you’re blaming the people who are actually suffering for corrupting them is totally offensive? it’s fucking backwards, damnit!

  131. JeniH says:

    okay, even though you’re all ranting over pro-ana being so very bad.
    WTF?! As if mearly mentioning it isn’t a trigger? I was annorexic, I was very seriously ill. I lost friends, jobs and everything else inbetween over annorexia. And yes, I used pro-ana sights. I used them because for a few minutes a day someone UNDERSTOOD. And didn’t rant at me or try and force a sandwich down my throat. How does telling anyone that they aren’t REALLY anorexic help anyone at all?
    Don’t get me wrong, wannarexic’s annoy me because they don’t get half of what someone with a real psychosis goes through. But surely telling them they’re wrong will only make them starve more, now for what ever reason they might be doing it, they’re harming themselves.

  132. Josie says:

    JeniH – i think there will always be disagreements over whether pro-ana sites are as bad as people make them out to be – ones where you can socialise do have their benefits, but everything else “pro” about them is probably harmful.
    Wannarexics can have their minds changed if they’re spoken to with compassion and with helpful suggestions – they’re not a lost cause. Anger and mocking don’t work so well however.

  133. Claire says:

    Kelly- Thankyou, I’m glad you understood where I was coming from.

    Vanessa & Josie- I understand your points of view to an extent, but I do think that you might be too quick to completely scorn the so called ‘wannarexics’. Josie, you said this:


    I can see why a person with an ED would be upset or offended if asked for ‘tips’ by someone who does not have one. I have heard people say things like ‘I wish I was Anorexic for a month’ when talking about wanting to lose weight. Obviously this is a foolish, ignorant thing to say. People who say things like this clearly do not understand or fully appreciate the severity of an eating disorder. This idea of ‘temporary anorexia’ is presumably the one shared by ‘wannarexics’ (I’m going to keep calling them that for want of a better term), but does it automatically make them worthy of contempt?

    The point I’m trying to make is that surely the fact that the intent for starvation is there is reason enough for concern? Even though the wannarexics are starving themselves for different reasons than the ‘true’ anorexics (e.g. for cosmetic reasons as opposed to a wish for control) the very fact that they are actively denying their bodies of something as vital as food shows there is clearly something wrong with them and that we therefore should worry.

    Does it really make any difference that their reasons are not as ‘worthy’ as those of the ‘true’ anorexics? When it comes down to it, they are both groups of people who, for whatever reason, see starvation as the answer to all their problems. That to me is the key issue, not the reasons behind their choices.

  134. Claire says:

    Oops, looks like the quote of Josie I was referring to was cut out of my comment. This is it below:

    What Wannarexics do is act as though they have anorexia as a way to lose weight for ordinary reasons, like just simply looking good. They see anorexia as a type of diet, simply extreme starvation, and a useful thing they can “try out” for a phase to lose the weight they want.

    However, when they come to ‘real anorexics’ like Vanessa and ask for tips, it’s understandable why people get upset about it.

  135. Josie says:

    Claire – Vanessa and I are the more compassionate when it comes to wannarexics. They clearly have some self-esteem issues, but really, what they do IS offensive, and it’s gonna cause us distress when people ask us for dieting tips.

  136. vive42 says:


    i think you and others may have misunderstood my point of view a bit. i agree that there is some reason for concern when it comes to people (generally women, generally young ones) wanting or trying to lose weight through unhealthy means. however, this is a widespread phenomenon. many women who have never heard of pro ana are unhappy with their bodies, go on temporary crash diets that are unhealthy and/or excessively calorie restricted, may use diet pills, and have unrealistic or unattainble ideals of beauty as their goal.

    wannarexics are just the same as these normal dieting bad body image women, plus they either say they want to be anorexic or they call it having an eating disorder (and many honestly believe they have one), and they may look at pro ana websites, thisperation, and/or hang out in forums with others like themselves and people with actual eating disorders (however you define that).

    certainly there is reason for concern about all this bad body image and unhealthy dieting in our society. but the vast majority of wannarexics will never become eating disordered. their eating habits will never be outside the norm of women who go on crash diets, their diet pill use will never be outside the norm of women who use diet pills on occasion, their weight will fluctuate but remain in the normal range and their health will never be in serious jeapordy. pro ana is most likely to be a phase they grow out of. think of it like any other slightly dangerous or illegal behavior a teen might experiment with- drinking, light drug use, speeding, sex.

    so sure, some slight concern towards them is fine. on an individual level do all you can to make sure the teenage girls in your life stay away from pro ana! but it isn’t an emergency and my real objection is that a) mamaV seems to mostly blame people with real eds for influencing/corrupting wannas, when honestly i see it more as wannas being these horrible parasites taking advantage of seriously ill people and b) mamaV seems to want to help the people who are fine and throw up her hands helplessly when it comes to the people who have real problems.

    and it is a little annoying, that’s all.

  137. mamavision says:

    Hi Josie: I agree with you wholeheartedly that an anorexic with a psychiatric illness is suffering more than a girl trying to lose weight for the prom.” Who would not agree with this statement?

    You are missing my point- stop the darn comparisons. We have two audiences here, maybe even 3 or 4 or 5, so stop pushing your agenda on each and every topic.

    I am not about picking the “most suffering” individuals, and focusing on them. I write where the wind blows me, you know this.

    Let’s make a deal, if I write a pure anorexia post about the mental illness side, you can rip me to shreds on its merit.

    If I write about Pro Ana’s, you stick to the topic at hand and not jet out based on your personal world experience. Deal?

    Also, I take issue with the comment that you and Vanessa are more compassionate to pro anas. You see only this blog, what is posted, you have no insight into the personal emails I receive daily from girls that have been royally pissed at me for posting pro ana related images, stories, whatever..and they have come around to realize the detriment.

    My point again- let’s work together, not in oppostion.

    Vastly different approaches, yes. One right, one wrong? No way.


  138. Josie says:

    Hi mamaV –

    I said that me and Vanessa are more compassionate to “wannarexics”, not “pro-anas”. There’s a subtle difference.

    Of course i can’t see personal emails, so of course i can’t have insight. But i was one of those angry girls, and still am actually.

    “if I write a pure anorexia post about the mental illness side, you can rip me to shreds on its merit.”. How do i know what “pure anorexia” is? This post for example is full of anorexia – pictures of anorexics.

    I don’t want you to pick the most suffering individuals.

    My only agenda is that you convey the issues in a sensitive understanding manner instead of upsetting countless people.

    “I agree with you wholeheartedly that an anorexic with a psychiatric illness is suffering more than a girl trying to lose weight for the prom.” Who would not agree with this statement?” You did with the words “All this back and forth about “real” vs “fake” is just a waste of our time. Struggle is struggle. Your’s is yours and mine is mine.” implying the struggle of an anorexic is equal to the struggle of a wannarexic.

    This whole debate we’ve got into is nothing to do with me – it’s about Claires misconception of Vanessas point. Claire assumed Vanessa considered herself more “real” than those with other eating disorders, which was not the case, because she was talking about “wannarexics” who don’t have eating disorders.

  139. x says:

    I’ve decided to stop caring about pro-anorexics. They’re lost causes and they knowingly engage in things that will kill them. Fine. Suicide is someone’s choice. I just hope I’m never unlucky enough to actually care for some self-centered pro-anorexic person and have them die on me because they refuse to get help. Fucking pathetic.

  140. Leire says:

    I dunno, X. Offhand, I’d say that’s ’cause you and I got different values. I tend to value every single person I encounter, based on the belief that they are an immortal soul (I don’t mean that like Highlander); I don’t want to write druggies off as worthless because they are druggies, nor pro-anas off because they are “willingly” anorexic (I don’t know if you ever been within miles of that place, but I’ve seen it; it’s a choice to a point, and then it’s a habit, an addiction; the will is gone and the person is trapped in hell on earth . . . some girls I know that have dealt with it still won’t step on a scale or look in a mirror for fear that it will take them back there). You can write off whoever you like; I think no one is really a lost cause until they are dead. What are you afraid of X?

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