HELP!

mamaV is not a professional, just a listening ear and a mom that gets it. The purpose of this blog is to encourage eating disorder sufferers to seek help, reach out to those they trust, to get the treatment they need to GET THEIR LIVES BACK.

RESOURCE LIST

Helpline — I need help NOW!

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)

NEDA en Espanol

Information For Parents & Family

Terms & Definitions

Prevention

Contributing Factors

Body Image Issues (see also mamaV’s collective body image blog We Are The Real Deal


133 Responses to HELP!

  1. Viictoriia says:

    hi im a recovering anarexia and need some help a few of my mates are anarexia and im afraid off becoming it again . what can i do to stop this ?

  2. africanpress says:

    Is it possible for you to be allowing us to use some of your articles. We are impressed.

    May be you could mail some directly to us. You have very educative topics. That would benefit the people.

    http://africanpress.wordpress.com/

    regards

    Korir, APN

  3. livingtowrite says:

    Hey, I really like your mission statement to change that fact that girls are more afraid of becoming fat than anything else. Its so true. I constantly have to have validation that I’m not fat because it seems like everywhere I go, the idea that being thin is ideal, is always there stalking me. Its shown in the media and talked about among friends and family. I’m not to the point of having an eating disorder, but I think about it enough that its probably unhealthy. I’m glad someone out there has the initiative to really examine society and say, “This needs to stop and it starts with me.” Awesome…

  4. mamavision says:

    Hi Viictoriia: I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Your post was buried and I just read it. There are so many resources for you. I reccommend you start by calling the eating disorders hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

    Since you are a recovering anorexic, do you have access to a counselor and/or doctor you can confide in?

    -mamaVISION

  5. andrea says:

    Thank you for the work you are doing.

    I could cry….. please read this in is entirety- its not pretty , but its the truth.

    So, last week I was on a time waster – I wanted to do a search to out find more on some insignificant news that caught my attention earlier in the day.
    Found my info, more time wasting ensued, and I found myself entering a private hell- shared by thousands. Pro Ana and Mia videos- blasting me in the face and I couldn’t stop.

    I’m not anorexic or or any other “IC” (Except PanICked).
    I’m a mother, and I reacted as such. I panicked, I begged, I pleaded, I swore, I screamed (CAPS), and I stayed for HOURS… typing, typing, typing. Nothing- the more I did the less it worked…. of course, I could have predicted this response.
    Now , I’m no ogre but I’m disturbed by this on many levels.
    Its 2:00 in the morning, days later, and I’m still freaked out.
    How do I help? Do I help? Or do I just keep on moving and go back to my less significant news of the day.
    Awaiting your reply, Please : )

  6. mamavision says:

    Hi Andrea: I am not totally clear on what you are asking me. To clarify, where you on the Ana & Mia site for ED support for yourself, or were you on the Ana & Mia sites out of curiousity and now you are feeling totally hopeless to change this craze? I assume the latter?
    -mamaVISION

  7. andrea says:

    Hello,
    Thank you for responding so quickly. I found the Ana & Mia sites by mistake. I was unaware of how bad it is.
    You’re absolutely right- I’m feeling totally hopeless about this craze. I guess I feel compelled to find out if there is something I can do. I don’t have a clue what that “something” might be, or if it would even make a difference. I don’t know- I just needed to ask.
    I also realize that this is probably not the best forum to ask and I appreciate the time your taking to answer me.

    Many thanks, Andrea

  8. mamavision says:

    Actually there is a lot you can do. First, ask yourself if you are a solid role model for the women and girls in your life? If you do not have a healthy body image yourself, it is hard to be a good role model. Mothers are the most influential figures in girls lives followed by their peers.

    Second, get educated. Check out Dove’s campaignforrealbeauty.com. Download their study here: http://campaignforrealbeauty.com/supports.asp?id=92&length=short&section=campaign. Awesome info, you’ll learn a lot about yourself reading this, I know I did.

    Donate to National Eating Disorder Association http://edap.org.

    Start a blog….I just started over the summer and know this thing is a part of my life. Trust me I understand your passion and frustration! When I saw those Ana & Mia sites I was totally and completely saddened and scared by what I saw. I have a 6 year old daughter and a four year old son, I feel it is my responsibility to do something, especially because of my background.

    Finally, consider teaching the Uniquely me program, I am going to start this summer with my daughters Girl Scout troop…we have to make a difference one step at a time http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/dsef/temp2.asp?id=4185

    Perhaps you went to those sites for a reason?
    Take Care Andrea!
    -mamaVISION

  9. Jade says:

    hey
    im recovery from an ed i am 14 and have been in hospital 2 times and hopfully not again i am teering my family apart and i just cant handle it anymore my dad force feeds me and i feel as though i dont have a life please help me give me any advice or any motavation i need help im on the edge
    thanks

  10. hannah says:

    i am a beautiful, confident young woman. i suffered through ED issues from ages 12-19. i’m 19.
    i don’t starve myself and i don’t induce vomiting anymore, i did for about 3 years. i overexercised and lived it.
    in my valiant and desperate attempt to get away from everything about anorexia and bulimia… i went the opposite. i stopped working out ’cause old habits die hard, and 2 hours a day on top of dance classes and a moderately active lifestyle [hiking, yoga, running] …. would always turn into 4+ hours, at all hours of the night. i wouldn’t get sleep because i’d be frantically working out, trying to calm out the panic waiting to take me back in.
    so i stopped working out, really, and i stopped running. i’m active by nature, so it was very hard on my body and confusing.
    i stopped obsessing over food intake.
    in fact, i started binging.
    i am inclined towards very healthy food, because, as stated, i’m very active. i’m very physical. i love my body, i love being a capable creature who can leap around.
    ever see those guys who do parkour or free-running? that’s amazing!
    anyway, so, yes. my body is so sensitive to what i put in it, i know it’s my fault when i do not completely nourish myself and pamper myself, food-wise.
    but there’s a part of me that flips out or is like a slow-burning ache or hunger that i’m sure is some osrt of guilt and self-punishment.
    so there’s the binging. and it’s sometimes on food i normally eat; but more often than not, it’s on the most horrible, suicidal foods i can find. i’m vegan and, like i said, very sensitive to the foods i eat. because i’m vegan and a healthy-eater, heavy foods don’t have a place in my life. greasy foods, dairy types, etc… i steam, i don’t fry. etc.
    BUT. when i binge, which i do the way i used to do coke, which was for about 3 days straight or til the supply dwindles down… i eat these horrible foods that i know are absolute death and toxicity going IN me. it’s just so bad to think about, it’s so degrading. and it shocks my body, and i want to die. but then instead i just avoid mirrors, get dehydrated, and eat more and sleep.

    the thing is, when i binge, it’s like a drug-user getting high just because– not even cause they enjoy it or want to do it ALONG with some other plans– it IS their plans.
    i’m so ashamed, i think my parents know SOMETHING is amiss, because when i lived at home i would have plates in my room or an entire bag of tortilla chips and 2 avocados would go missing suddenly.
    it’s not me, and that’s the scariest part. i mean, it is. obviously. but it’s not who i am. because i love who i am and i am not ashamed of who i am and what i do. i love life. i love this world, in all its faults and our insanity as humans.

    i know this is getting long, or was long awhile ago, but i saw a video of yours on youtube, and started crying. you understand, maybe not these specifics, but. the pressure, and the fact that this is not sane or healthy– which most people do– but you also acknowledge that it’s okay and GOOD to be healthy.

    i really want to get this out of my system once and for all. i thought i did a long time ago– i’m not a size 0 anymore and suffering from heart problems and other fucked up ailments…. but now i’m a size 6-12 [yeah, i have my normal weeks then i have my horrible weeks]…. and getting older and worrying more about being honest in life.
    i’m sick of carrying this around with me.
    i want help. but i’m the kind of girl who has never asked for selfish help in my life, only for others. i don’t want to disrupt my life and cause any more interruptions– been there, done that. i’m at school. my parents are paying for everything and it’s not an inexpensive endeavor.

    what is that hotline about, and how does it work? i’m so afraid to call.

    thank you for putting yourself out there like you have, and being compassionate. and brave. beautiful.

    –my name is actually not hannah. but out of career-oriented precautions, i’m keeping incognito.

    thank you. thank you.

  11. kay says:

    hello.. i absolutely love your site, and vids, because you actually understand and can speak from “the other side” which is where i so desperately want to be. I just turned 21, and i have relapsed. I am trying to figure out a way to tell my parents, because they think i am fine after getting out of treatment this summer. i just don’t know what to do. I want to do the right thing and just scream “help me” but i can’t. I thought about calling the hotline, but i am so petrified, because i don’t know what is on the other end.
    thanks for all that you do.

  12. Christina De... says:

    Hey, I am recovering from anorexia/bulimia, and I am really scared because ever since recovery began, the screaming in my head has become consistant and never ending. I am afraid that this is something that I cannot recovery from :( I am seeing a dietician and a psychologist on a weekly basis, and they are great! They have really stuck with me through all this. I just do not want to be living my early 20’s with this constant battle back and forth. I cried when someone said that an ED never leaves you…that is probably one of the most depressing things I have ever heard. She did explain that the thoughts and feelings about the ED aren’t as intense as you progress through recovery…but just the thought of waking up and it possibly being like this every day for the rest of my life is overwhelming. I don’t really know why I am writing this, just needed to get it out to people who understand. Thank you.

  13. Julie says:

    Dear Mama,

    I have read over you Blog, watched your videos over several days… walked away and now I come back. I came across them by accident while I was looking up information on the Female Athlete Triad. After looking up some of the information, I actually had to Google eating disorder because I really didn’t know what it was. That is when one of your You Tube videos showed up on my search, after watching it I went to your site. It took me along time to really ascertain anything that has been posted here. I never wanted to be a fashion model; I think my red Ked doc shoes , sweatpants and sports tops are cool. I could care less about Nicole Richie or Kate Moss. Unless something they do is going to affect the State of the Union, I doubt that they ever will. I am a certified nerd, a champion athlete and as my friends have told me time and time again, an “American Beauty”. I believe flattery is the devils candy. I work hard. School is not just school it is straight A’s ; no exceptions. Not only am I a champion athlete, am I nationally and internationally ranked in my sport. I practice 25 hours a week, plus cardio workouts and strength training. You don’t get anyplace without hard work, dedication and expectations of perfection out of yourself. Really I am not sure that I have a problem.
    It is the expectation of perfection that drives me. In one of your videos you talked about finding your passion. My passion is my sport. It demands perfection. I understood that from the moment I started. Not only out of your performance, but out of every practice. With the blessing of my talent for this sport, along with my coaches have called a “fierce competitive nature” I have risen to the top of my game and nothing could be better.
    I would say some would be shocked if they saw my lab results from a month ago. Well at least my doctor made a big deal out of them. It had been a great workout; while I was showering I got really dizzy and passed out. I woke up in the hospital, with ten stitches in the back of my head. Sitting listening to the doctor was one of those moments that even now feel surreal. My liver enzymes were raised, my calcium depleted, white blood cell count raised, electrolytes were non existent, blood sugar was low and according to him dehydration was the least of my concerns. I remember him telling me that athletes are under so much pressure, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t stop to get a drink of water every once in a while. They kept me over night. Even after I was discharged with the diagnosis of “Female Athlete Triad” once out of the door my coaches told me to keep up the good work with my weight. That doctors don’t understand what it is like to be an athlete, that I didn’t need to keep my follow up appointment. I had eaten 400 calories that day which is totally normal for me, that is what you do when you want to be the best and cut weight. I am proud of myself for that. I know that in the end it is perfection that my sport seeks. At the same time, every time I look up information on the Female Athlete Triad I end up with information on eating disorders. Personally I don’t think I have an eating disorder. I want to be the best, in my sport at any cost. I will cut calories, I will workout, I will do whatever I have to so that I am better than anyone else. So that I am perfect, that is all. It is not much, just what I expect out of myself.
    The FAT (yeah I see the irony) really doesn’t seem to be a big deal to anyone, but at the same time they talk about eating disorders and the morbidity rate associated with them. I don’t know… I don’t think I have a problem. My coaches were proud of me, and actually the next day said that if I lost five more pounds I would be gold. My parents believe you do whatever your coaches tell you no matter the cost. Now all of a sudden I feel like maybe this is not right, and I don’t totally understand why Female Athlete Triad would lead back to all of this. Honestly it is a little scary. I understand what they are talking about, matters fact I could give them tips on how to cut more calories and burn weight. I am healthy though. I am an athlete. I can’t be doing harm to myself the way these other girls are, right??

    Awaiting some kind of response-

    Julie

    Ps. Out of a little fear, I didn’t use my real name – and I do kind of feel bad, so I thought that I would let you know. Please accept my appology for using a pseudonym

  14. Julie says:

    pss… I hope you have a way to figure out I am not the mean girl who posted under your last blog – I just noticed her name was Julie —

  15. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie: Hmmm…your post really makes me think. I have not delved into the area of female athetes and eating disorders (ED).

    As you say, the reality is if you want to make it in your sport, you must restrict food intake, you must mantain a certain weight, and your coaches praise you for your self discpline.

    As I write this, I think of myself as a model, I was required to restrict food intake, I maintained a certain weight, and my agent praised me for my self displine.

    Very similiar, but one major difference. In my opinion, what you are doing, and achieving is a talent, a skill. Modeling is neither.

    Regardless, my concern is the damage you may be doing to your body that have life long consequences. I assume you’ve lost your period. Your calcium deficiency is stripping bone health. Stress fractures, herniated discs? Are you not able to supplement with vitamins?

    Your post shows you are really thinking, and that’s great. The pressure from your parents and coaches sound pretty heavy though. Plus, how do you give up your own personal passion?

    I am stumped. Perhaps you need to step back, look inside yourself and think about why you are striving for perfection of this nature? I am not judging it, you are quite admirable…but based in your medical emergency you describe I fear you could be going down a path of no return.

    Thoughts?
    mamaVISION

  16. Julie says:

    Dear Mama,

    Wow, it has been a few days since I had checked your site. Simply because I had been traveling with competitions and practice, funny I should come back to this post. This evening I wondered when I signed on if I would have an email – or a response from you. After I left you the message I had doubts that it would even register on your radar because it was not about the modeling world. In a way I am glad that you cared, and in a separate way it makes me a little scared. I had a weekend that was less than good enough. So I have spent the better part of a 4 hour drive home deciding what I need to do to be better, to be perfect.

    The self discipline is one of the few things that I own in my life. There is having no control over your life and not having self discipline; and then there is being a champion and having no control but more discipline than anyone else you know. No matter what anyone else wants I know what I have to do to train. I know what I have to do to make them happy, and I know what I have to do to win. I know one of those things that I have to do to win is to say less than 105 lbs, ideally I like to stay a little farther under that just to feel comfortable. Right now I am around 103 lbs. So that my coaches and parents are not stressed that day and everyone will breathe a little nicer. While that “nicer” only lasts a little while it is that little while that helps me. I tell people who know me, and have seen me practice, or seen videos that yelling and screaming are not optional they are part of the plan to make a champion. Pressure is nothing; perfection and winning are an expectation. If I don’t win I just feel it later in practices and see it in there actions towards me. They are good at the smiles and congratulations. I see in the whites of there eyes how pissed they are at me after each performance. Sometimes…even if I win. You can win and still be a looser, still not be good enough. Winning is not perfection… sorry it was a long weekend.

    As far as my health, yes I have lost my period. If that is what you can call it, since I have had it maybe a handful of times. I remember when I got it, my coaches ( and other girls on our team) made fun of me until I lost enough weight that I didn’t have it again. It was not something to be proud of; it meant that I was not “taking care” of myself. I agree, if I had been then I wouldn’t have started my period. The same way that I was made fun of, other girls were as well until they quite or they lost there period. Honestly I never want to have my period again. Yes I know that is a little rash, but to me that is a sign of weakness. So I don’t plan on having it. My doctor originally told me as long as I was active that I should not have any problems. Now, of course that is being questioned a little. I have had two (diagnosed) stress fractures, one in my forearm and on in my foot. With both the Dr. told me if I could put up with the pain that I could train and compete. If I didn’t I was going to loose my coaches and teammates respect. No one wants to be the injured girls who gets to sit on the side, and no one wants to be the weakling who is damaged goods. So we taped up my arm and my foot and we did what we could, and I worked out, and competed. It sucked but what else could I do? I was the one who made the choice though… no one else. I have to make the choices because no one else can. I have had other minor injuries but thankfully nothing that required actual time off, or nothing that was really bad enough to need time off.

    I have thought about taking vitamins but my coaches told me that they have calories in them; and that only weakling need supplements. So instead I have been drinking smart water, because it is electrolytes enhanced. Which means I have been able to cut the empty calories in Gatorade out of my diet so that is fewer calories and happier coaches.

    I seek perfection, because that is what my sport demands. Nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Greatness is in waiting for those who work harder than all of the others. The pressure is something that I deal with. You suck it up. If I couldn’t put up with the yelling and screaming then I wouldn’t be competitive. It takes a certain amount of mental toughness not to break down and cry every practice. You can NEVER think that you are better, you must remember that you have to improve. Only looser make excuses. Perfection is the only way to achieve greatness. The only time I have been afraid was when I was not good enough (like this weekend) and I know that I am going to pay for it, that means extra hours this week and more intense workouts. Obviously with the poor performance that is what I need, and I have to respect those in charge of my training if that is what they demand of me. If you are going to do any less than what your coaches want then you should just get over yourself and get out because you will not be a champion. I know that sounds harsh. I just know what I have to do to win. These are the rules that I live by. I want to be great; I want to be the best.

    I am sorry that this is so long. I am not certain how my life falls on the ED scale. I guess I look ok, but I would like to loose those five pounds. I wish that I could loose more (ten pounds) because then I would show everyone that I will do anything to win; I will do anything to be perfect. I know that I could be better. That I could do better performances than I did this weekend. Really I am a little afraid that I might be in trouble from this weekend (even though I won, my routines were not clean enough, they were far from perfect) In the end my coaches will just make me workout longer, maybe smack me around some. If they don’t then depending on who is madder than my mom might. That is normal, how else do you get it in your head that you really have messed up. That is how they let me know. We don’t talk about it. I know that I deserve more punishment if this happens so I will punish myself.

    Sometimes an easy way to do that is to keep myself from eating. Not only does it cut calories. It means I have to push myself harder in workouts. I really only do it when I get smack now and than but I deserve that. So I punish myself; on top of what my coaches push me to do. It makes me feel like I am stronger than the girls that have to eat. Since we do the same workouts, and I can do them better while I am not eating it is proof that I am stronger. I just want to be the best, and I will punish myself if I have too. So that I will work harder, than the other girls. It is hard work, perseverance and determination that are qualities in a champion. I want to emulate those things. In the end one or two days without eating prove to me how badly I need to do a great job. How I need to be perfect. How I want to be a champion and I will push myself no matter what to be a champion.

    I don’t think I have an eating disorder… I am just an athlete… right?

    Julie

  17. Ballerina_gil says:

    Hey mama,

    I came across yourr videos whilst making my own, which is titled ‘Anorexia my Hell’ i will add url at bottom so you san view it.

    I guess i’m writing just for someone to talk to, you seem like such a caring and sensitive woman. I know you have battled ED for a long time, so i guess for me its just someone who understands. Someone who will not lecture me, get angry at me, tell me what i should be doing. someone who will walk with me on this lonely road.

    A little about me, i have has ‘ana’ for 13years. I have been in treatment 9 times in a psch ward more times than i change my socks. I am fed only by naso gastric tube i havent eaten solid food for 3 years. My stomach is too messed up after a ruptured oesophegus. I cannot even take meds orally. Last xmas i fell into a coma my kidneys packed up and i had a heart attack. I was 3months in coma 2 months on life support, i was given 72hours to live. I weighed 49lbs. I did obviously wake from the coma but i am now plauged by the repercussions…..seizures, pulse deficit, where at rest my pulse is 46 and on moving 130, my potassium in my boots, bed sores on my back….the list is endless. I now weigh 65 lbs after the DR went to court to get a force feding order applied where nurses held me down sedatd me and syringed feed down my tube. I am still under all these court orders. The DR has told me i’l be lucky to see my 30’s im 24 now, the damage to my heart and body irracersable.
    I have tried so hard at IP but nothing seems to change, i only pretend to other people in order to make them happy.

    Im so lost in sll this, i just want a black hole to hide in :(

    Gil xox

    Chck out my You tube vidoe?

    Let me know what yoou think?

    hugs gil xox

  18. Julie says:

    I am paitently wating for a responce… I know you have alot going on …

  19. ayana says:

    Hello Mama:

    thank you so much for your videos, especially the one on finding a passion. i have yet to find mine. although eating issues have calmed down–my diet is much more health supportive and my weight is normal for my height–my energy level is low, and i still concern myself with food alot. it is beautiful to hear about your own family. i am a 30 year old african american woman.

    your voice is filled with care and concern and it means so much.

    ayana

  20. nixi says:

    Hey MamaV… i have been struggling with ana (i still haven’t been able to bring myself to say the full word) for about 6years now. I’m a 19year old student and i don’t think i’ve felt worse. i must admit, i visit the pro-ana sites regularly. i feel so pathetic and worthless at the moment, i starve myself on a daily basis. i eat once a day (supper) only because i live with my parents and i don’t want them to suspect anything. if i had my way i wouldn’t eat anything. i weigh 50kgs, and i’m 1.68m tall, how gross is that!!! i’ve only lost 7kgs so far. i don’t know what to do anymore, my goal is 40kg. i feel as if i’m letting down the ana community. maybe i should push harder or maybe i should give up and throw in the towel. i don’t know. all i know is that i’m lost and there is no-one i can turn to for help. your video triggered something in me, i’m not sure what, but it did. i wish that i had someone like you to talk to. you sound really informed and concerned. something is telling me that if i continue down this path, this time, i won’t find my way back.
    please help, i’m desperate.
    love nixi

  21. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie: As I read your post, these are the thoughts that entered my mind:

    1 Who are you doing this for? If it is 100% for yourself, because you want to be top of your sport, excellent. If there are parts of you that is doing it for others, let’s think about that.

    2 Why is it that you will be a better athlete if you were 5 pounds less? Does 5 pounds make you more quick and nimble? If yes, then I guess this is what you have to do to be the best. If no, have you been taught to believe that 5 pounds is going to make some sort of difference?

    3 The comment from your coach about vitamins doesn’t make sense to me. Can you inquire further on this? From where I stand, a coach that says supplements are for weaklings does not have your best interest at heart. How many calories can a vitamin have – 50 tops? As a woman, you need calcium specifically, and you can do long term damage to your body without it. What about asking a nutritionist about this or doing some web research?

    4 The period. I guess this goes with the territory. From what I understand your period stops from two things – low weight and also intense exercise. The fact that in your world having a period is a sign of weakness and failure does not seem accurate. I would ask your doctor about this- specifically, do some athletes loose their period due to exercise alone (not due to low weight)? Am I don’t any long term damage by not getting my period?

    I lost mine for a few years and it haunted me when I got to child bearing age. I always thought I maybe did some damage and would not be able to get pregnant. That was not the case, I had two normal pregnancies, but I always wondered about this.

    5 Finally, and most disturbingly. what do you mean by “smack you around” when you refer to your coach and mother? NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE should be hitting you as a motivation. I don’t care if you are training to be Superwoman- this is not acceptable. How is this justified in your world and can you stop it? This is very concerning to me Julie, this is abuse, unnecessary, and you certainly don’t need to be hit like some sort of animal in order to be motivated.

    I look forward to your reply and I will check back often so there is not such a long delay in my response.

    Bottomline- are you happy? If not, that’s why you are here…. I believe everything- everything happens for a reason and I am proud of you for questioning your life situation. This really shows your maturity.

    Take care!!
    XOXO

  22. Ballerina_gil says:

    Hey just stopping by, i love your site, i left a message….i know your a busy woman but advice would be appreciated. I don know where else to turn, as i sit here and try to resist loggin into Pro ana sites…..not for tips or tricks but for support from ppl who understand me. God i;m so mixed up.

    Anyway i hope you are having a good day

    gil xox

  23. Julie says:

    Dear Mama V,

    Personally I can not imagine having a family, full time job and this blog (all of the responses and your own emails). So I understand the delay in response time. Patients are something that I have. Simply because you do not master skills over night, it takes time. I felt bad that my response was so long; I even feel worse now because it has taken me a while to get back to your post. It has been a long few days and I am feeling utterly exhausted. Time (or lack of it) is something that I understand.

    Wow… now that I think about it, time is what I have invested in all that I have. My sport is all that I have. Without it I really do not have anything. I have been doing this is I was 3, and dedicated since day one. My coaches have talked about how I was always the kid who they knew was focused. Never questioning simply driven and fierce, and these are the reason that I was put into an advanced class after three months. These are the reasons that I have become a champion.

    While that is lovely, now I am starting to wonder why? I realize it is because I have never known anything else. I have never questioned. I have trusted everyone around me to a fault. Every practice part of me feels like I am reaching a breaking point. Recently I have had to up my emotional toughness because every day I am afraid that I am going to cry. I don’t think anyone knows. If they did I would get a lecture about how practice is never the time for that. I am obedient. Champions are obedient.

    5 lbs can make the difference, I think. If it means “less” work in the time you are on the floor performing than – yes I feel like it can make the difference. The way the questions was phrased I wonder if it would not matter and it is simply a matter of what I have been taught. I remember being 7 (I think- and mind you I was spending nearly 25hrs a week practicing/not including my workouts that I have to complete) and told that I shouldn’t eat candy because it would make me fat. Sweet Tea will make you fat… our coach went through a whole list of foods that we shouldn’t eat. From that day forward I didn’t eat them. I wanted to win; I have been trained to want to win.

    As far as the vitamins, my coach believes that we should be stronger than that physically. If you are not, and you need vitamins and things you must be a weakling and weaklings do not make it very far. He says he can smell the fear on those kids when they walk into the gym. I make sure that I don’t let it ever show through how I feel, because I don’t want him to think I am stuck on myself, for an accomplishment ( after winning your goal should be to stay on top as long as possible, the only way to do that is to train harder and be humble about advancement) or afraid ( he hates it when girls or guys say they are scared – I know he made one girl leave the gym after she cried and said she was scared) I hate to say this, but I know he was right about her, she had dreams but no follow through and didn’t have what it took to be a real champion.

    I did do some web research on calcium, vitamins and calories. As far as the vitamins having calories, Vitamins themselves do not have calories because they are not used for burning energy. Vitamin Supplements do because of the ingredients that are used to put vitamins together. There were between 50 calories in a days serving to 100 calories depending on the brand. Calcium deficiency is the leading cause of osteoporosis and rickets. Your body stores calcium until you are 25 and then it stops loading your body. Being an athlete, and not getting enough calcium can lead to stress fractures, unusual breaks, bone deformities along with a host of other things that I can not remember right now. When your body stops storing it at 25ish your body will start to absorb more from foods to fight the aging process. Lack of calcium can cause low estrogen which can affect a woman’s cycle. In my world having your period means you have at least 18% body fat. THAT IS BAD!!!! According to the web you can loose your period to just intense exercise, but usually it is low body fat that stops it. I am not interested in fertility… but sometimes when you stop your period your body thinks it is going into menopause and that can lead to premature osteoporosis… and so the cycle continues. I do have another check up next week. I have to miss a half of a gym day, but I will talk to him about some of this stuff.

    It is only abuse if you are too much of a wimp to take it. They only do what they have to so that A.) We know they are in charge B) To make use fierce. C.) Not worse than being wrapped on the knuckles by a nun. Don’t make them mad, perform to perfection and always be humble and you can avoid that. One smack here and there is not going to break me as a human being. It is discipline that is all… Countries all over the world use similar methods to produce champions. They don’t care about us, but it is not to be mean. It is so they can be better coaches. When you are emotional involved and have to stop and think about your actions than you become soft. Softness is not in the makeup of a champion. Not that they outright do not care. They do, they are encouraging they are motivators they want to see us excel. If something hurts they are no going to coddle us, and if we need more motivation than one good smack here or there will fix things so you know that what you are doing is not what you need to be doing. I am fine, I can handle it… I am tough, I am fierce.

    Honestly, I don’t know if I am happy or not. I remember when I was really little and I was so amazed at everything that I was learning good or bad… now it seems like chasing perfection is the only thing I am doing. I hate that feeling. I hate feeling like I am not good enough, like I am a failure when I can’t do something. I want to be the best athlete I can be. Really I don’t know if I could quite or walk away because of how much I have invested. Sometimes ( I will admit) I have wondered what it would be like to be done. To know it is time… instead of just aging out when your body really breaks down. That is what happens to most of us sometime during college. Thankfully (I think) I have really outlived the shelf life of most woman. My time is limited… so it leaves me with mixed emotions.

    Thank you for the response.
    Sorry mine was late this time — 

    Julie

    Ps. I am sorry this is so long… I do wonder though if you have other female athletes that come here??

  24. Ballerina_gil says:

    Mama V

    can you please reply to me i come here asking for help and im in tears now as i saw your thinsperation blog on what you searched on you tube……i am the girl in the red the first picture i was 45lbs and had three days to live, i am in the video first picture too.

    Please contact me, i’m losing this battle. this has just been the icing on the cake pardon the pun.

    gillianb01@yahoo.co.uk

    gil xox

  25. mamavision says:

    Hi Ballerina_gil: Again, I will email you privately so we can walk this lonely road together….but a few things I wanted to comment on.

    First, and foremost, I am so saddened that you feel that you have no support, only judgement and anger. You are stricken with a powerful, all encompassing disease, pure and simple. You are not to blame for this nor is anyone who suffers with anorexia or bulimia.

    Your video brought me to tears. I am sitting in a hotel room in NYC, working on a presentation for tomorrow to a big corporation and decided to take a break. The break brought me to you, and all else fades away. To see a young women suffering so deeply breaks my heart, I just wish I could reach out and hug you and tell you it is going to be ok.

    But realistically, I can’t tell you that, no one can. If I have learned anything by doing this blog this disease takes on a life of its own and only the sufferer can find the path to recovery.

    Although your organs are likely damaged, you have come a hell of a long way. You weight 65 pounds now? I assume you are also in IP, which is good. Please do not give up on life and on yourself.

    YOU CAN RECOVER. Life can be wonderful. You have suffered so long you likely don’t even recall what it is to be normal, to not have a head full of thoughts of food, starving, purging, and retricting.

    Ok, more is coming offline direct to you kiddo.
    XOXO
    -mamaV

  26. Lydia says:

    Hey mamaV

    I just watched your video in which you spoke about finding your passion in life. I think my struggle to find my passion is precisely why I have (re-developed) an eating disorder. I am about to graduate college and still have no idea what that passion is. That lack of clarity and the overwhelming uncertainty of life is what makes me want to control my eating (whether its restricing or binge/puringing).

    You mentioned that you found your passion in sewing and creating things with fabric. Are you still continuing with that passion? It seems to me that your passion is helping with eating disorder awareness. Thats what you seem most passionate about. I know I really want to help people – I’ve considered counseling. I would need more education for that and I don’t know how qualified I am since I have problems of my own (but really, who doesnt?!)

    Anyway, I guess I just want some suggestions on how to find my passion, There are a lot of things I like, but I dont know how to get there. Right now I just feel like life’s a gamble.

  27. nixi says:

    hey mamaV, me again…

    i’ve been assessing my life over the past few days. i’ve had enough. i’ve come to the conclusion that i only have 3 options…
    1. I continue along my current route – eating 1 meal every 24hours
    2. I boycott eating alogether and live on water until my body gives up
    3. I give up and put an end to my worthless existance
    …i would love to put a 4th option down – get better- but i don’t know if thats possible. i’m on the verge of giving up. i don’t know what to do anymore. i’m finally at 48kgs, so i have 8kgs still to lose. i’m leaning towards option 2, option 3 would have been the easiest but i want to get down to at least 40kg before i die.
    i started cutting again, wish i didin’t though, it looks so gross, but i can’t stop myself.
    which option do you think i should go for? i need to make a decision asap, i feel lost without direction.

    i hope that you’re well
    love nixi

  28. ayana says:

    Hello Mama:

    The film short below called A Girl Like Me, directed by Kiri Davis is about how young black children and adolescent girls view their own beauty. Skin color is naturally the major issue–dark skin is devalued. The famous doll study–associated with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision is done again here as well. I thought you would appreciate this.

    A Girl Like Me.

    Take care,
    Ayana

  29. mamavision says:

    Thank you Ayana: I just posted about A Girl Like Me. What an awesome, educational video. I have never heard of bleaching your skin, have you?

    How we all struggle with ourselves don’t me? This makes me think this is part of God’s plan, to see how we persevere through it all.

    Take care, and thank you again for passing this along to me.
    -mamaVISIOn

  30. mamavision says:

    Hi Nixi: Your options don’t include any possibility of a normal life. Do you realize this is still within your reach?

    ED’s sink you so deep down it seems impossible to visualize yourself ever clawing your way out but you can.

    How have you reached out?
    Who do you talk to?
    Have you called the ED hotline?

    Please tell me one thing you can do, NOW, to try to save yourself. Only you can do this, and there are people waiting to be there to show you the way.
    -mamaV

  31. mamavision says:

    Hi Lydia: I think your passion in life will ebb and flow throughout. I was a seamstress for years, but having kids pushed that to the side which is fine. Now my family and work are my priorities, and of course this blog has become another passion.

    There are always times when it feels like you are just out there floating around feeling like there is no meaning. I think that is when you need to just try something, be aware of what catches your attention, and do things you normally wouldn’t. Some will turn out to be dead ends, where others grow into a part of you.

    Glad to hear you graduated, now choose something, anything besides the ED cycle, and ask for guidance. I don’t know if you are a spiritual person or not, but I literally start ever day and say “God please show me the way and help me be the best person I can be.”

    I don’t ask for things to happen, I don’t ask for anything. I just ask to be shown the way.

    Also, give. Give, give, give. Literally, anyway you can listen to someone, give money to someone in need, or give time – do it. Do it daily, you will be rewarded 10 times over and you will find out who you are in the process.

    Hang in there, you sound like you have a great head on your shoulders, one day at a time,
    Love,
    mamaV

  32. Grace says:

    hi
    i saw your video on you tube. I guess was looking to see if there were anybody really out there to help me. I dont know what to do anymore. people always say there is always help there if you need it, but that is not at all true..
    I went to see someone about the way i felt and they didnt help me at all cos i feel worse than ever before. this person just had me same old question a different person asked.. i kinda got the feeling they didnt believe that they thought i was making it all up.that upsets me so much. like now i cant feel any way at all happy..i really just dont have a clue wat to do anymore.
    When i feel this bad i just go for a long walk..like a real long walk..one that i dont ever wana come back to my life..i would walk for miles and miles, for instance i walked 30km , i just kept walkin and walkin to somehow feel better about myself.i would even get up before college and go for a real long cycle..any free time i have i spend it really like away from everyone else.
    i just thought i would leave a comment..

  33. Julie says:

    I do feel lost, and I have looked for your responce… I know ED is your main concern and I am just an athlete…,

  34. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie! I posted a response to you, its in a different section of the site. I will find it now and send the link over to you!!
    -mamaVISION

  35. mamavision says:

    Hi Grace: Tell me know about your history and what you are specifically struggling with….let’s see if we can get you on a path of hope. We can always communicate privately as well, leave your email when you post and I will get back to you- I promise.

    Don’t give up kiddo, there is a better, different life out there, it just doesn’t feel like it right now.

    -mamaVISION

  36. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie: I just searched for my last post to you and it is gone….so I will rewrite it tommorrow, too tired now! Don’t worry, I remember everything I said, I’ll be in touch asap!

    Good night!
    -mamaV

  37. nixi says:

    Hi mamaV, thank you for your reply, i appreciate it.

    This lifestyle has become normal to me, i don’t think i’ll ever be able to be “normal” according to others, that part of me died awhile ago.

    I don’t know if i have to ability to get better.
    I’ve reached out to a few friends, one of whom i just had a huge fight with and we aren’t friends anymore because of ana, the rest have tried, i guess they are just getting sick of me now and are giving up.

    I’m trying to keep to myself about ana now, it messes everything up, so i guess i’ll have to suffer in silence. I don’t think we have an ED hotline where i live (i’m not from the U.S).

    I’m finally down to 300cals a day, it’s so difficult but it’s what i have to do to please ana. I’m sick of looking in the mirror and being disgusted. At least i can see quite a few bones now, but everything hurts.

    I’ve given up i guess. Ana has taken over everything, i don’t exist. I don’t deserve to get better.

    For how long, do you think, can i go on like this?
    I’m wasting away and nobody cares.
    I should stop eating all together soon, wither away and die.
    Ana has won the battle.

    :(

  38. Julie says:

    I understand…it is alright, you have a busy schedule.

  39. Grace says:

    Hey thanks for replying..
    well im the middle in my family and i was always cut off when speakin. givin out to the whole time literally, blamed for everything, and cos im in the middle, nobody ever believed me. that is just the way it is my whole life. i can’t do anything right anymore. i alwaya seem to mess up. im so sad the whole time. i try to stay happy, but that’s uterally impossible.. i feel so useless. i just don’t know what to do anymore. it’s real hard to keep living when you feel so dead inside. if you get me, well i wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t cos everyday of my life i know that deep down to earth nobody does.. and its really hard to smile if your not happy, it is fake you see. i feel like im complaining alot.i feel so sick the whole time.
    well i do know what to do..but i don’t (if that makes anysense), i like to be on the edge of things, it is such a breath of fresh air, feeling so free. i like being high off the ground, sitting or lying on the edge by myself to rethink the things that need to be rethought. i feel as if everybody just doesn’t really want me to be here. i feel like that everybody is better off without me. i feel like such a disappointment, to everyone, and i feel soooo bad the whole time, i just want the ground to swollow me up. blend into the walls behind me..go unoticed..
    i have been like this for too long now, and im dragging everyone down with me.
    Earlier on at the start of the year, i thought maybe,
    maybe i shouldn’t do what im supposed to do,
    maybe i’ll do something different for a change,
    But to ignore the most strongest thing that is constantly growing inside of me and it takes over everything. All i tink about is why?
    Why did i let my heart decide over my head,
    Look where i have ended up
    Look what i have done…
    i can’t make sense about it all, i know myself but when i try to explain it, everything is so encrypted.i’m sorry to you, that you have to read this, im sorry to everybody, im sorry for letting people down because i was too rapped up in my own troubles.
    Im not good enough i know it.Im selfish being here, im taking up space , taking up time. I know that time is prescious for others and i know that i just do not deserve it.
    Im so angry with myself because i know that im still here..i dont feel me anymore, i feel so empty inside, and i feel tuely alone in this world. im stressed about everything, but never say a word, because once again, i don’t know what to say. im finding it hard to anything anymore, to sleep, and it would be so nice if i could be free from all this.
    yeh it would be nice to talk privately.
    tanx for everything, it means alot.

  40. Julie says:

    I am home for now… after a long stent on the road I have a few weeks back in the gym here and I am thrilled.

    Hope all is well…

  41. grace says:

    hey please get back to me, i know you very busy. tanx.

  42. Tanilan says:

    Mama

    I don’t know if I’m overstepping my boundaries, but I found a brilliant blogger online a short time ago and I think she really needs help. Will you contact me via my email or my blog so I can give you her site? I feel badly for her andthink you can help her…I hope.

  43. mamavision says:

    Hi Grace: Thanks for your patience on my reply. Well, I read your two posts a few times, and I am left not really knowing what your issues are stemming from. Do you?

    First and foremost, remember- I am not a professional. I am a mom, former model, sufferer of ED and recovered. I am here to provide direction and hopefully I can do that.

    You said you went for help, I assume this means to a therapist? Ok, there are alot of total duds out there. Sad to say it, but true. So just because a therapist in the past has not helped that does not mean you can’t find one. Have you called the NEDA helpline? THEY are experts, they are confidential and they will listen and lead you in the right direction. Are you willing to try that? All numbers are above. If you feel like you are suicidal or in crisis, make sure to call those lines, they are there for you.

    Grace, how old are you?

    You state your family doesn’t listen, do you have a friend you can go to?

    As you can see from this blog you are not along, the feelings you have of worthlessness is so prevalant in our society….don’t be so hard on yourself. You are not to blame for this, and you could chemically be depressed, or have anxiety that is responsible for your inner feelings. You don’t control this- your brain does.

    Let me know what you think about what I have said, and then let’s choose a first step for you.

    LOVE XOXOXOXOX
    mamaV

  44. Grace says:

    thanks for replying. im 19yrs. im college and im doing a course i love, but can’t do it. yeh i live in ireland and really do be honest there isn’t that much stuff available..it , all this is always said on the news that there is such a high percentage of people with these problems but there is never anything relly done about it.
    nope nobody does listen..i know..one i tot but judges me and thinks im selfish..

  45. Grace says:

    well i did like have someone else to talk to but now she not here anymore.she has her own life..and stuff.well like now im failing the yr too in college and i cant believe it cos i love this course. but i suppose everything just got on top of me. i didn’t say anything, and then i kinda imploded and everything fell apart again and again and again. i missed out on classes too. even the ones i loved, i felt the hole time i was getting worse at everything and i couldnt do it anymore.

  46. Julie says:

    Am I still miss your post someplace…. ??

  47. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie! Ok, here goes….

    I just reread your last post from March 29th. The thought that sticks in my head is – What do you want? It seems you are not allowing yourself to have an opinion about your own life because since such a young age you have been defined as the “champion.” That goal was set for you before you even had the ability to think for yourself. So really, I see you now at such a crucial stage, and you should be so proud of yourself that you are starting to question your own goals for your life.

    You really figured this out for yourself, which is what brought you here. Now I think you have to use all that strength and start to express your true needs and desires. Even though you don’t have it all figured out yet, you will figure it out through the kind of questioning you are doing right now- this is really, really positive.

    Ok, on to your coach. I can’t say I understand the techniques used to build you into a champion athlete, but I can say I don’t agree with it.

    1 Restricting vitamins because they are for wimps is ridiculous. Really think about this….so you are supposed to be bullied into not taking care of yourself, and likely suffer long term consequences because you are to be stronger than that. How? You are below weight, no period, restricting diet, and your body is going to magically produce the vitamins you need? This is BS.

    Your coach is not going to live inside your body for the next 50 years, you are. Do you want to live with the damage you may be doing? This is your life, your body, not his, not your parents- yours. Its time to think for yourself.

    2 Discipline by force. Don’t agree with it, never will. You sound as if hitting goes with the territory and you are accustomed to it so the harm in it seems minimal. Perhaps….but I believe the emotional harm is great.

    Would you hit a child, or a friend, or your mother? I know many people believe in striking someone as a form of discipline and I never knew where I stood on this- until I had children. Now my stance is definitive. I never, ever would want my children looking back as adults remembering they had a mom that hit them. Hitting is not love, in any form, just my opinion.

    So lets talk about for sports. Is the hitting just stopping you from expressing emotions? It sounds like if you come close to a breaking point, you are hit. If you don’t perform to expectations, you are hit. Is it working?

    3 Control. Your coach is controlling you. This is his job, he is to groom champions and he has his personal style, perhaps he is successful. It is for you to decide if you want to be controlled in this manner any longer. You have a voice and a choice.

    4 Fear. Your training is based in fear and intimidation. Pile this on top of control and you have someone who doesn’t think for themselves anymore.

    Julie, you are at a really important phase of your life. You don’t have to give up all you worked for and walk away…maybe you just need to speak up, or maybe you will determine it is time for a different path.

    The skills you have learned will likely help you in any new direction you take. Let me ask you this….if you became a coach for young girls – how would you follow in your coaches footsteps, and how would you be different?

    Looking forward to your response. I am on vacation all week so there won’t be a long delay this time. I think it is great we are talking in an open forum because there are likely other althetes among us that may find help in what we are discussing.

    -mamaV

  48. mamavision says:

    Julie: One more thought- perfectionism. Many girls who fall victim to eating disorders are perfectionists. No doubt, to be an athlete of your caliber, you must be a perfectionist at some level.

    Think about this concept- do you seek perfection in all aspects in your life? Who do you seek that perfection for- your parents, your coach, your friends? Likely you put this pressure on yourself which is a dangerous and difficult path.

    Many people struggle with accomplishing things in their life because they feel like they will be worthy if they just reach X, but they get there and then there is the next goal and the next one….and soon they are living to prove themselves to everyone, and their sense of self is lost.

    You know, no one really cares about the goals you reach as much a you do….do you know what I mean? So you win a championship, everyone pats you on the back, and moves on to the next event, and their own goals. My point is that life is about you, what do you want. You can’t live it for others or you will never find peace of mind.

    Fear of disappointing your loved ones can be paralyzing. I can tell you that if you were my daughter, I would be so very proud of you if you came to me and told me, from your heart, how you were feeling right now. I would open my arms and tell you to be yourself, follow your heart and see where it takes you. I would tell you to live for your own dreams, not someone else’s- and certainly not your dreams of the past.

    I would be overwhelmed with pride that you came to this realization and conclusion on your own it shows the type of person you are….my point is to believe in yourself right now. You are on to something big.

    Love XOXOXOX
    -mamaV

  49. Grace says:

    i would be ever so greeatful if you could get back to me but tis ok im kinds getin the drift you don’t wana answer back..grand job.

  50. Julie says:

    Mama V –
    This is long.. and I am sorry. I had a bad day at the gym…
    Sorry that it has taken me a few days to get back to you. I know that I have been home; but that doesn’t mean that I have not been busy. My workouts have been kicking my butt and so I have had extended practices because I have not been performing up to par. I am working 35 hours this week; because I have not been as clean or as perfect in my repetition as my coaches think that I should be. I am glad that you are home for a while with your family. I know vacations can be nice. Time with your husband and children really must be really special after being on the road and working as hard as you do. From the bottom of my heart I really appreciate you replying to my posts at all.

    I know everyday we all wonder what it would be like to be “normal”. To go to the mall and hang out with friends, go to movies and sleep over with the girls. I would love to be normal; I just don’t know if I really can be. I have heard horror stories of girls who would quit and loose it simply because they do not know any other way of life. Even girls who have had full careers and had to leave have not always made the transition into normal life well. While I know my time may be limited I am terrified that even when it is “time” to let go that I will be one of the ones that will fail at a normal life. I don’t want to make decisions that are going to hurt me… or make the possibility of a normal life not possible.

    When push comes to shove I don’t have any other goals. I don’t know what it would be like to have other goals. From the time I can remember I have listened to everyone talk about talent… and how I am destined to become an American Icon. Really I terrified I am not going to live up to everyone’s expectations. I want to be successful but when am I suppose to draw the line. I have never questioned what anyone has ever told me… until recently. While I have been questioning I have not said anything to anyone even though I am scared and worried. I don’t even know who I am. I am what I have done. Honestly what do you do… how you tell the people who have pushed and loved you that you don’t want to do the one thing that has been your whole life?

    In the long run my coaches concern is NOT the rest of my life. It is here and now and what the goals and accomplishments are. In the beginning I am sure we thought that the whole would was going to be sunshine and rainbows… but the reality is to see those rainbows and the sunshine it takes a lot of work. Along with that work, I have to rely on my coaches and that means my parents have always been in a strange position of how and when they are allowed to intervene. Even when they did, it didn’t mean that anything was going to change in my life. I remember once after I spent the evening in the hospital for dehydration ( not the time I previously talked about in my post… a different time) my mom went to my coach and said that I needed to be careful about getting dehydrated. Of course my coach said that I needed to stay in top shape and that if I needed a drink that I could always leave the floor and get a drink. Well later on that day, I was really thirsty and left the floor to get a drink. When I came back, which was less than a minute later my coach yelled at me telling me that I didn’t need a drink and that he couldn’t believe how undisciplined I was acting. That I should never leave the mat for something like that; that I would have been fine if I waited. He didn’t care that I had been taken to the Emergency Room, and when I told my mom she said that I listened to what he said. NO MATTER WHAT, he was the one who was going to make me a star. I really remember knowing at that point that I was only to listen to him. Every time he talks about diet, exercise, gym workouts I make sure that I am doing everything that he says. He is in charge.

    He doesn’t want me ingesting needless calories when I don’t need them. I think that is how he sees the vitamins. I have an allotted amount of calories and I should NEVER go over them. I should actually try and stay under them. Better than that I should try and burn all of them off. So my body should be stronger than that. Everything I eat, everything that goes into my mouth is of great importance to him. To all of my coaches. Of course it is understood that what they tell us are only suggestions. The fact that in a way I feel like I was given Female Athlete Triad diagnosis so that no one would really think about my weight, my period… and the fact that it was easier than denial that there might be a problem. I have not gotten help. To get help would mean that I have a problem. To them my only problem is the fact my body was not tougher. Really I think in a way we are all in denial that there are bigger eating problems. I have them because I listen. His words can make or break my whole day. I want to be the best no matter what it takes. I know right now I lost three pounds for the last meet, and I think that I would have done better if I would have been down seven. Yeah I am underweight. So arn’t most of the girls. Thin graceful lines are what the judges want and what my coaches and the judges what read like scripture. They are biblical to me. So now I am at the cross roads do I try and loose the four pounds, or do I stay were I am at and pray no one says anything about me looking chubby. The difference is if you want to win or not. If you want to do well and win than you listen to him. I am to the point I just don’t know how NOT to listen.

    I know a lot of girls who come to our gym to train for a week or two and they can not deal with the control, the discipline. His methods have produced more than one – matters fact more than a lot of champions. So my parents have always had faith in him. They have trusted me to his care. He makes the decision… even they do what they are told. This is what he demands. Out of us, out of our parents. So sometimes I wonder if they have been just going along and they have different feelings about what goes on in the gym. We never really talk about it. I know that my dad refuses to go to the gym. Often times he did not agree with the harshness of it all. He would argue that we are kids and not adults… and my coach would argue that he is making us into adults because we have to handle adult situations and pressure. My mom use to come when I was younger. Now she drops me off and sometimes comes in for the last half hour or so of the day just to see what is going on in the gym. They don’t know that I know about the fight between my coach and dad when I was like 10 or 11. We really don’t talk much. I don’t have much to say to them. They love me. They want to see our dream come true.

    I would never hit anyone… I don’t have it in me. Not because I have been hit… but because I would be too afraid that they would hit me back. I think there is something about the physical disciplines that make you remember and know that if you mess up again often times you face the same end result which is a smack. I can tell you, that it makes you remember what you do not want to screw up. There have been practices that I was so scared that I could not do one more thing… but I was more afraid of the repercussions and that kept me going.

    As far as my voice goes… I have not had one for a long time. I feel a lot of things, but I don’t know how or when to say them so that I don’t get in trouble or are called an over emotional teenager. To be a good athlete you have to control your emotions. So for years I have learned and developed techniques on how to handle the stress. Often times it is hardest when I feel like I am getting no place, or like I am horrible. When you compete you have to be able to deal with all of the pressure, stress, hopes, and fears and still perform. So you have to practice that. The best place and time to do that is in the gym. You mask how you feel when you know that you have not done the job that you should and you are being yelled at. Sometimes I have hurt myself for screwing up. No one knew or ever noticed, but I made sure that it would remind me that I can not mess up, that I have to be bettr than anyone else or I am not good enough. When you are pushed or hit to remind you to tighten up so that you don’t look like a slob. Really in a scary way it does work. Just like if you dig your nail in your arm or you pinch your leg so that you feel it hurt, or you clean out a rip so that the soap burns alittle when you wash off the chalk. And then it hurts alot the next day when you are working out. It reminds you. If I can deal with a large altercation while I am at breaking point and want to die than dealing with my nerves at a competition is nothing. What goes on behind closed doors is something that makes you better. It makes you have the ability to hide all of the other stuff and keep going.

    I hate loosing; there is no greater disgrace than being second best. That means to a lot of people that you are not good. I hate loosing, I learned that very young. To my family it means you didn’t try hard enough. I don’t want anyone to be sad, because they put so much faith into me and I could not deliver. I want to be the perfect student, athlete, daughter, sister, and friend. I have been told that I have a perfect future laid out in front of me if I do not mess up. My family loves me. They just want me to be the best, like everyone else. I have a lot to live up too, trust me. I know it is not easy and no one should be measure against someone else but in reality it happens. Not only are we measured against others, we are measured against our own pasts. From personal experience, I know it is not just a pat on the back and then back to whatever. My parents brag, my dad keeps a total album of my (and my 4 brothers success) in his office and EVERY ONE of his clients have heard at least one or more stories. While my mom does not spend every workout with me, she is a total gym mom. She loves it and lives for it. My coaches brag and use me as an example. So winning is more than just a pat on the back. I am everyone else’s life. I know this… I just know if I left it I have nothing. I will be nothing to a lot of people. I don’t want anyone else to be disappointed. If I am, than I can deal… but if I upset a lot of people than it is more than just one being sad. Does that make sense ? My success means a lot to a lot of people, I just don’t think anyone is seeing that I am done in a lot of ways. My brain hurts, my heart hurts, my body hurts… and I am sad. Just sad.

    I can’t let anyone know though, how much since does it make for a kid who has everything and stands on top of the world to be sad.

    Really… If I quite, I don’t think that they would open me with open arms. I think they would just believe that they wasted time, money, and energy when I was nothing. I don’t want to be nothing.

    I think for the most part I don’t want to look back and wonder… wonder what it would have been like if I stayed involved. Being human we all have regrets. I have the rest of my life to be normal; I don’t have the rest of my life to be a champion. For a short while I can make people happy.

    I feel so confused and alone…. What to do…what to do…
    I am sorry… I shouldn’t be sad, I should be focused. I just can’t even do that anymore. I am falling apart because I am not just accepting what everyone else tells me on faith. They make me want to cry. This is what I did today when I got home. I showered and cried. I knew that no one could know I was upset. I just can’t do anything enough. Today I just wanted to go away all day. Everything I did was wrong and I was told and told until I got to there breaking point. I feel torn between what I think I want, what I have wanted without question and everything inbetween. I want balance. I want something other than hurting inside and out.

    I am glad you are proud, because right now… no one else is.

    Thanks…
    Julie

  51. nixi says:

    hi mamaV, me again…

    i finally stopped eating altogether, i’ve really had enough of this, i don’t care what happens to me anymore (along with everyone else.).
    i just wanted to thank you for your advice and help, but unfortuanetly i’ll just be a statistic soon (sorry to disappoint you).

    thanx again, good luck for the future
    love nix

  52. mamavision says:

    Nixi: First, you are not disappointing me. You have one life on this planet, and you, and only you can decide how to live it.

    You are totally overwhelmed and have lost your hope.

    I will email you privately right now,
    XOXO,
    mamaV

  53. mamavision says:

    Hi Grace: Writing you now privately.
    -mamaV

  54. Julie says:

    I am sorry that you have not heard anything from Gil… I really do hope that she is alright

  55. Julie says:

    Hello….

    I just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss my post before… I am leaving today for another stent on the road competing and training… I hope all is well. I will try and check my mail as soon as I can when we get to our hotel.

    J –

  56. grace says:

    hey i left you mail.

  57. Julie says:

    Mama V- did you get my reply??

  58. Julie says:

    I don’t even know what to do anymore… I just want to be perfect!!!! I hate everything that is going on in my life and no one understands. I am sick and tired of being the girl who hates to eat, who is scared to eat!!!! I don’t know what to do….

  59. Christy says:

    I found your blog today after watching one of your youtube videos. I have struggled with an eating disorder for ten years now (I’m 24) and sometimes I can’t believe that I have spent so much time utterly consumed with losing weight. What a waste. There have been moments along the way when I tell myself that I’m going to eat normally and not care if I gain a little weight, but it never lasts long, and I always go back. I want so much to love myself, be proud of my accomplishments, be healthy and confident. But for some reason, I can’t seem to get there. I am so tired and I don’t know what to do. I am too ashamed to ask for help from the people I love, too afraid to disappoint them. I feel ridiculous and pathetic. I think about where I’ll be in ten more years, and sadly, I cannot imagine myself without this ED.

  60. Nathan says:

    Sorry i posted this in the wrong place earlier. I will repost here. On your website you assume every one with an eating disorder is female. Or at least that is the way it seems. I am a male, and I have had bulemia for over 7 years. It started after a relationship went bad, and I haven’t been able to stop since.
    Funny thing is, it doesn’t really help you lose weight. I am as heavy as I have ever been, even though I purge every day. It does hurt your health. I can tell my health has deteriated a lot just in the past year. I feel like I am 70 in a 30 year old’s body. Anyways, I just wanted to say that I think there are a lot more men out there than you think. Men are more secretative, so not as many are known about. Take care every one.

  61. grace says:

    i duno wat to do anymore..its funny that even my closest of friends don’t even no wat is going on in mmy head..i think it is for teh better ya know!! less suffering in the end and stuff. sigh:(
    im annoyed at myself..now that it is has to come to this..and that i have nothing left..in this world..and it makes me sad..

  62. grace says:

    so sad that i cnat even think and speak or type properly..so sad..that i dont care anymore..ya no..so sad that i dont care wat happens to me anymore..sad that i dont want to live anymore..:(

  63. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie: You have never had a chance to just be a kid, a teenager, and now, just a regular young woman. However, you say in your last post you would “always wonder” what you could have been, and what you could have achieved if you quit.

    So, that really answers your question I think….although you are struggling with all the conflicting emotions, bottomline is you have to keep going, until the end of your short career so you will know in your heart you gave it your all. Is this how you feel now at this moment?

    I have no doubt that the amazing discipline skills you have developed will follow you though life and bring positives to your life. I think your biggest struggle will be to adjust to “normalcy.”

    This actually really relates to what I went through after modeling from 15-21 years of age. That world was like a different planet. Imagine you are in this world, and everyone is beautiful, perfect looking, all like robots fitting this mold that they must fit to be part of this world. All competing to be the chosen one (sound familiar?).

    I sought out therapy, with the help of my mom after I decided to quit. It took me years to work through all the thoughts and frankly, brainwashing, to just be normal. To eat normal, and realize I do not become overweight. To look in the mirror and not judge every aspect of my outer self. It was a looooooong road. Life on the other side can not even be put into words. Literally, it is like heaven compared to the mind control hell life I experienced.

    I wish I could offer more advice, but I think we are at a crossroads- if in your heart you still feel you can not quit or you will wonder what you could have done…I think you need to see this to the end of the road.

    This does NOT mean that you can not set boundaries. You are an individual, why does your coach need to know everything? How about taking vitamins and not telling him? Wouldn’t that give you a sense of control?

    How about testing the limits a bit, exerting your SELF, and getting that drink when you determine you need it, be willing to suffer the consequences, but know that YOU made a choice, and no one can stop you from taking care of yourself in the manner you believe to be best for your health and well being.

    You are one unbelievable person Julie, don’t forget that. Your life has just begun, who knows what lies ahead for you, you are just entering adulthood. If you never achieve “champion” status, as you define it for yourself, it won’t matter in the long run because there is a plan for your life…..and this ugly struggle is just part of it.

    XOXOXO
    mamaV

  64. kitty says:

    i am 17 years old and i have been in a lot of hospitals. the last one i went to i was given an ultimatum: eat full meals 3 times a day and 3 healthy snacks during day treatment or be put back in the hospital. i live with my mom and she doesn’t get child support so i worry about the cost of treatment. so i ate and gained a lot of weight i mean a lot to the point i was told i was starting to be over weight. i hated it so much i went back to eating candy, soda and my crap load of medication. now my mom is threatening to put me back in treatment and I’m freaking out. first my mom cant afford it and i am so not going back to the day treatment place. i have tried going to nutritionist councilors yet they tell me the same thing as the treatment place told me and I am so not going back. i know the obvious answer is to eat, but it means so but to me to lose weight. when i eat i cut my self because i feel horrible for doing it. went i don’t eat i can stay safe because i feel better that I’m going in the right direction. if i go back to treatment i am told I am going to inpatient and that will be my 11th time in 4 years. and i wish my stays were only a few days but i get stuck there for at least a month. I am trying to finish high school but i am mentally and physical unstable to go to school. along with not eating i am bi-polar and the list goes on. i take 10 different medications and they pretty much all make me gain weight. if i say i wont take them before i blink I am in the hospital yet again. another problem is my families reaction to me losing weight. to say the least they make me want to cry by the things they say to me. i don’t do this for attention but they think i do. only my mom visits me in the hospital they have never come to see me but then I am out its a living hell. i have a therapist and i really like her but if i tell her that i want to lose more weight back in the hospital i go. ok now that i have rambled off i don’t know what to say, i know i can only get better if i want to but i feel like I am suck between a rock and a hard place. if any one reads this thanx.

  65. kitty says:

    on june 1st i wrote some thing out of stress and confusion and i don’t really know what i want, so I am sorry for every thing i said. i didn’t mean to offend some one if i did. like i said I sorry i shouldnt have said any thing . ill just read what people have to say and not show my self as some crazy 17 year old.

  66. Julie says:

    … Dear Mama,

    I relize now that what I thought was an emotional outburst was not. It was my brain trying so hard to deal with what was going on. My season, my career may be over. Sadly this is the first time is days and weeks that I have been able to write about it.

    As I sit in the coffee shop watching poeple go in and out I know that while I wondered what it would life be like… I see that I may not be sut out for it. I hate not being able to train to work out. For now it really is the best thing for me.

    After we talked last I was shipped to PA to train, and practice. During the time that I was there… I was so tired of hearing that I was fat so I started to diet. I lost 20lbs. Not really hard to do when you are training a minimum of 40 hrs a week. Everyday all day I felt like my body was in motion. I decided to go low car, low fat and minium protine which I knew would help me loose wieght. Well three days before I was suppose to come home I dislocated my sholder. When we got to the hospital the doctor said that it was because I didn’t have enough fat to hold the connective tissue of my ligaments in place. I was really underweight, seeing as I am only a few pounds short of being double didgets. So for a 10 weeks minimum I am not allowed to train.

    It is funny though, my coaches told me that I looked great the day before and now they act like they want me to gain this weight when I know that if I go back weighing more I will just have to loose it again.

    Email me please… Julie

  67. stacey says:

    first time ever visiting this site. am amazed at the information, support and community. just a like info on me… 32, have an on-again, off-again eating disorder. when it’s gone, things are ok, when it’s around, life is hell. today… life is hell. friends are supportive, family is clueless. no one knows i’ve eaten about 4 meals over the past week. still large and technically healthy at 111 lbs and 5’2″. but i can get lower quickly… dropped to 97 lbs last year. i grew up with daily abuse. woke up with my father in my bed almost every day for about 15 years. was also r**** when i was 17. not sure why i’m still alive today. from the outisde, i’m “normal” and (per others) a “role model”. i seem to have it all on the outside, but under this skin is a terrified and hurting girl. i’m feeling lost and feeling like i don’t even know where to turn right now. (please make sure my email isn’t published.) -s

  68. Lisa says:

    Dear MamaV,
    I’m visiting this site for a while now and i decided to leave a message. I’m from Holland so I hope you’ll understand what I’m writing.
    I’m a 16 year old girl and I have an eatingdisorder for I think 1.5 years now. And things are going bad for a couple of months. People are starting to see through my lies, and my parents are finding out. And I HATE it, I absolutely don’t want my parents to know. I totally can’t get along with them. They are one of the many reasons why I stopped eating. And now they’ll take my only grip in life away. I do see that I need help, but I don’t know what to do. I’m not a great talker, talking about what I’m feeling is very hard for me because I’ve never done that before. I just want to be myself again, I don’t want to be afraid of food, because I am now. I hate it, because I’m scared to eat. All I wanted was to be beautiful, to be thin. And this is what I get back. I hate myself. At this moment I want to die. And I have this feeling for a few months now. I just don’t know what to do. I hope you’ll reply my message.

    xxx, Lisa

  69. stacey says:

    i think i’ve made it to the point where i can keep on going… this lack of eating stuff is getting easier. each time i fight this battle it’s different, but the one thing i know is that i can easily do this ana thing. i have tons of self control. down to 109 and i’m scale obsessed. have eaten two bananas in 48 hours. it’s all or nothing with me. getting a little scared. i feel i must reach 97 again. and i’m a competent, bright, fun person on the outside. what is happening to me?!?! can someone help??

  70. hannah says:

    i have looked at those 2 pictures over and over again, (the picture with the barbie girl) and theres part of me that says there, there, that is what you need to look like. and these are the ways to get there, but then another part of me is saying what the heck are you not thinking Hannah!!!you don’t want to look that way, you want to be healthy and go back to dancing. so now in my head its like a tug-of-war of thoughts that wont go away. i feel horrible to say that in a way i am totally jelious of that picture because i want to look that way. and i question my self, would i really be happy when i get “there”, where ever there is? it seems like know one i know understands, my family says all you have to do is eat, as if it were that simple, yet they dont know and i dont know any one who can help. can i turn this around before i land my self in the hospital again?? i just need some one to understand, is that to much to ask for??? ***hannah***

  71. mamavision says:

    Hi Kitty: How are you? I am finally catching up on messages, I apologize for not responding. How are you feeling these days?

    Have you called the hotline? It is 100% anonomous.
    mamaV
    XOXO

  72. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie: How are you doing on your 10 week break? I have been thinking about you and hope that the break gave you time to sort through everything you have been feeling. Send an update.
    Love,
    mamaV

  73. mamavision says:

    Hi Stacey: Thank you for reaching out and I am so sorry you had to post twice before I responded. Email is not published on the blog, I am able to view it, but I would never have it viewable on the site so no concerns there.

    I am so sorry you have suffered so much in your past. First off, I am not an expert. I just listen and try to help girls see a path to recovery. What have you done thus far to try to seek help?

    Fill me in a bit more on what you have tried, what didn’t work and lets see if we can get you some help. You can always call the hotline above – totally anonomous, educated listeners that will not push you.

    I am glad you are here,
    mamaV

  74. mamavision says:

    Hi Lisa: I am glad you reached out, especially since you say you are not a “talker”

    I have to be honest and tell you I am glad your parents are on to you. You need them whether you like it or not. At least they care about you enough to pay attention. Why do you say they are one of the reasons you stopped eating?

    As far as wanting to be beautiful and thin, well that is an inner desire for most of us, the problem is that societies portrayal of what beauty is and what you can achieve is totally and completely out of whack. I lived it and it is hell. Total and complete hell. I was the blond haired, blue eyed beauty, modeling in Paris and I hated myself. Felt fat always at 125 pds/ 5’9. It was a crying shame. So fire at me about questions on beauty, and read other stories on this blog about the reality of having a life that revolves around what you look like.

    As I tell everyone I am not an eating disorder expert, so we really need to get you to talk to someone who can help you with the core issues that are driving you not to eat. You say you are in Holland, do you have resources there or do you need me to find them for you?

    Hang in there kiddo,
    mamaV
    XOXO

  75. mamavision says:

    Hi Hannah: The reason you want to look like that picture is because society drills it into your head everyday. Do you think this is true?

    Think about the billboards, magazines, tv, movies, everything is shouting at you – be thin or you are a loser.

    You say you have been in the hospital was this eating disorder related?

    I have to run, my kids are home! I promise I will check back for your message tomorrow.
    Love,
    mamaV

  76. Sarah says:

    first of all i want to say i’ve watched all of your videos and visit your site daily, so thank you for that.
    secondly, i’m sort of wondering what is wrong with me. thoguh i’m a teenage girl, i model, i’m a runner, all reasons why MOST girls fall into the throws of an eating disorder, i don’t think any of that has to do with my eating. I kind of just like the attention not eating gets me. so i’m wondering is that a REAL eating disorder? I’m 5’11 and got down to 120 pounds this year.. sounds discusting to me but was enough for me to get put into therapy, thank god its over. i dont really know what im asking here.. sorry.

  77. Sarah says:

    anyway.. if you could write back or email me or something i’d really appreciate it. i leave for europe next week,, i know i wont eat there. do i want to? no. but do i want to be preoccupied with food and weight loss my whole trip since my mom won’t be watching over me? no.

    i guess im just tired of sleepless nights due to my always growling stomach.

  78. hannah says:

    sorry it has taken me so long to respond:

    fathers day sucks for me. i have been inpatient and out patient 11 times. one eating disorder clinic that i dropped out of after 2 weeks. i have been in mental hospitals and the ER. 2 suicide attempts, cutting to the point of 45 stitches, bi-polar, medication side effects and lest but not least i lived on soda and candy and apple juice to take my medication. i have no idea how i did it. after going to the ed clinic i gained alot of weight and now have resorted to hardly eating. my mom gets so pissed off at me and so does the rest of my family they say were a “close” family and we are all here for each other yet none of them think telling me in front of friends ” if you throw up i will make you eat it!” i was devestated and so imbaressed and i still remember it as if it yesterday. i live with my mom so my multiple doctors appointment run how we live our lives. i have a therapist yet i cant find a reason behind not eating. i have been told it is a control thing, but things are the best right now with in the past 5 hellish years of my life. i love looking at pictures of girls who are smaller than me but i also see them walking down the street, i compare my self to any one who is smaller than me.
    my whole family is over weight and they see no problem in it yet i do so me loseing weight just the idea freaks them out and i never go any where because i can never find any thing to wear. i wear a small in teen clothes yet i want smaller but i dont have money so my mom buys them for me and each thime the size gets smaller the more pissed off she gets and then she gives me a whole long speech that i have heard from every doctor, hospital and my mother. ok well, its 1:44 am and this is the second night i have been sleepless and i dont think i am makeing much sense
    hannah

  79. danielle says:

    MamaV,
    Hello. I’ve been watching your videos and reading your blog (and I used to listen to your podcast, but it doesn’t seem to be working right for me…) for a while now. Before I go on, I’d like to first say that I think you are pretty much amazing. Now I’m going to ask for your advice/help/any type of response. I’ve been struggling with a whole laundry list of problems for a very long time now, most notably an on-again/off-again relationship with anorexia. I’ll starve myself for an extended period of time, lose a bunch of weight, and get really sick and then someone will intervene and I’ll “recover”, but then not long after my “recovery” I’ll relapse again. This pattern has happened quite a few times and every relapse is increasingly worse. It got so bad this past winter that I had to go to the ER. After that visit I went to about a dozen therapists and none of them really helped, but I guess I kind of pulled of the facade of being healthy for my family/friends because I gained a little bit of weight and then I didn’t have to see any therapists anymore. I graduated high school just a few weeks ago and I’m going away to college at the end of August. My parents set me up with a really nice apartment right off campus and it’s in this luxury apartment building and it’s really pretty and everything, but I’ll be living alone. In theory, living alone seems so much more appealing than living in a dorm because I won’t have the distraction of a roommate or any excessive noise and I’ll really be able to focus on my schoolwork (which is something I’m going to need to do if I want to get accepted to med school). The problem is that I think I might…no, I know I WILL have problems with my anorexia when I’m away at college. I know that if I am responsible for eating…well, it’s just not something I will do on the regular basis, which is definitely going to cause problems. I think it will be even worse since I’m living alone and I won’t have a roommate questioning my eating habits and then if something were to happen to me no one would know. If I decided not to eat for a really long time and I had a heart attack or something in my apartment no one would know and I would die. I know that fasting and restricting is always going to heighten my risk of death, regardless of where I’m living, but I just have a great sense of impending doom when I think about going away to college and living on my own. Now the logical thing for me to do right now would be to go talk about this with my parents, but my parents really want nothing to do with me. I’m incredibly flawed and they’re ashamed of me and they want me out of the house as soon as possible. I don’t know what to do. As ironic as it may sound since I’m essentially slowly committing suicide by starving myself, I’d rather not die anytime soon. Anyway, if you have any thoughts on this matter I’d really like to hear them. Thanks.
    Danielle

  80. mamavision says:

    Hi Sarah: I hope I am catching you before your Europe trip. Well, first I am not an expert, just a listening ear and one who has been there.

    I would say that if you are questioning whether or not you have an eating disorder, you need to follow that thought and make sure you are not slipping down that path.

    Based on what you told me above, yes you have an eating disorder. The problem is when you are a model and a runner you are expected to restrict your eating so it gets confusing. Further if you want to continue to engage in modeling and running you need to be at a certain weight and in certain condition.

    So you need to decide if you are ready to get help and if that answer yes, its a simple first step. Call the hotline above, its totally anonomous, and the operators know what they are talking about. What does it hurt to call and ask a few questions?

    Also, can you confide in your parents?
    Take care!
    mamaV

  81. mamavision says:

    Hi Danielle: I am glad you reached out, I can tell you have put a lot of thought into your situation.

    Are you sure you can not talk to your parents about your fears? It concerns me that you say they are ashamed of you, and that you are “incredibly flawed.” Having this problem does not make you incredibily flawed….I was where you are and you don’t think I am a big weakling do you?

    The problem with not telling your parents is that you will then end up alone in the apartment, away from home, in a new setting with new challenges…and that combination alone is likely to send you into relapse.

    Have you checked out campus resources? I have no doubt there is an eating disorder support group or counselor you can see (I recall my college had one that was no charge).

    You mention you are considering med school. Do you realize this struggle you are suffering now is really going to help you when you are a doctor? Imagine the empathy you will have? Imagine how you can help others?

    I know that at this moment you are like, “yeah, right” because you can’t even think that far ahead, but I can. The reason I am so strong and so self assured is because I lived through hell! Honestly, if you would have told me 10 years ago I would be doing what I am doing now (I am talking about this blog), I would not have been able to visualize it.

    Anyway, back to you. Let’s make a plan so you are not so anxious about starting school. Please write me back and let me know what you think about what I have said.

    Take care, Love,
    mamaV

  82. danielle says:

    MamaV,
    I am positive that I can’t talk to my parents about this. My parents and I don’t really have any sort of relationship. They pay for things. Aside from monetary transactions and things of the like, we don’t interact. My family is unlike any other family I know. We share a mutual dislike for each other and, with the exception of finances and living quarters, live lives independent of one another. However, my parents (namely my mother) like to make it appear to outsiders that we are the perfect family, the stereotypical 1950s-style conformist family. Because I have an eating disorder (along with anxiety, self mutilation problems, and what my mother claims to be a personality disorder) and refuse to put on a metaphorical song and dance for people outside of my immediate family, my parents are ashamed of me. They want me out of the way so they don’t have to deal with me and my imperfections. Out of sight, out of mind, no? Also, I don’t find you to be at all weak. I personally measure a person’s emotional strength by what they can do without. In my opinion, eating disorders are security blankets. They are a false sense of control. You can do without your eating disorder and thus are stronger than me.

    I am currently very active in my eating disorder. I am beginning to think that becoming worse when I go away to college is inevitable. I always get worse when I go places. For example, I went to Italy for ten days last summer and lost sixteen pounds while I was there. Given I was walking an average of 20 miles a day, sweating like crazy in the 100+ degree temperature, and consuming only water and raw vegetables out of concern that the Italians would not fully understand my explanation of “vegan”….that’s still a lot of weight for a considerably short period of time. I know I will loose weight in college. Instead of gaining my “freshman fifteen”, I’ll most likely lose it. Although I’m not severely emaciated, the risk of death associated with an eating disorder is becoming a reality for me. While I don’t fear death itself, I do fear leaving my life unfinished.

    I just looked up campus counseling services on my school’s website. They have one-on-one counseling and group sessions available. I don’t know how well I’ll do with that though. I don’t think group sessions would be good for me because I’m an extremely private person (when I’m not hiding behind my computer screen, that is) and I don’t see myself participating in group discussion about my personal life. One-on-one counseling is a possibility, but I just don’t want to be labeled as someone with “problems” as soon as I get there. I hate being pre-judged. I dealt with that in high school. I really would prefer not to have to deal with it in college as well.

    On a different note, I actually just recently decided that I was going to try to get into medical school. I was all set up to attend American University in Washington D.C. as a political science and international relations double major, but then I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. My AP government teacher had pushed that idea and I guess I thought that’s what I wanted to do, but I really don’t at all. I changed my mind last minute and decided to enroll at Rutgers, major in biology (with a psychology minor), and follow their pre-med program. I’ve always wanted to go into the medical field, but my mother always told me that I wouldn’t be able to handle medical school. To be honest, I think she tries to limit me. I don’t think she wants me to be successful. I’ve always wanted to be a psychiatrist. I find myself drawn to things dealing with the mind and mental illnesses and disorders. This may be a bit alarming, but I’ve always likened myself to Hannibal Lector…minus the cannibalistic serial killer thing. I’m not going to kill anyone, don’t worry. It’s just that his personality seems very familiar. His intelligence, manipulation skills, shallow emotions, and psychiatry profession…I just see a lot of myself in that character. Things like that make me wonder if perhaps my mother is right when she says that I have a personality disorder. Honestly, what kind of person likens themself to a character that fits the description of a perfect sociopath?

    Anyway, I apologize for the length of my response. I sometimes get carried away when typing. I hope to hear from you soon.
    Danielle

  83. Kitty says:

    Mama V,
    You are such an inspiration to me. I hope to one day sum up to at least half of what you are. I currently do not have an ED, but I have recovered from anorexia a few years ago. About five years ago I was 72 lbs. and 5 ‘5. I am now a healthy weight and much happier than I was then. In fact, I lost the weight all on my own with no professional support and no friends. My family would yell at me for not eating, but that only progressed my eating didorder. One day, it all came to me and I realized that I was going to die soon. My hair started to fall out, I passed out almoast every other day, and I started growing thin hairs all over my body. The day I started eating again was hard, I admit but it was well worth it. I want to give input on your discoveries and offer support as well. ^.^

    love ya’ Mama V,
    Kitty
    xoxo

  84. Kitty says:

    Dearest Mama v,

    Oh, I also want to say that my family was in denial. Only my brother understood that i was anorexic. My mom knew about my 400 cal.-a day diet, but was scared to do anything, thus, my father give her the blame. My father was not someone I could talk to either. I’d like to get my mom to look at those sites now, but she has an OCD that causes her to obsessively clean and do yard work all day, so she would claim to not have the time to do that. I can’t even talk to my father, so that is also out of the question. I look at pro ana sites and thinspiration for hours every day (in hope that I might pick the habit back up- I’m fat now). I’ve already visited every site that you mentioned. I’ll try to get my sister-in law to visit them when she has time. She’s a busy cosmotoligist. Anyhoo, I felt that I should leave a relevant message.

    Love ya’,
    Kitty

    xoxo

  85. kitty and hannah says:

    ok i guess theres 2 kittys:

    i wrote on june 1 and 5:

    and well my sister and i (hannah) have decided that we dont want to get better right now. we are not ready, so sorry for the time we took up and any thing else we can be sorry for.

    were both really sorry, and we wish good luck to every one here.

    kitty—hannah

  86. Julie says:

    Mama V –

    I have been thinking alot. Will you please email me in private — My coaches, parents think that I have a problem and are looking to send me into IP.

  87. stacey says:

    thanks for the response. i have been on the road lately, so it is difficult for me to respond quickly sometimes. and with privacy. mamaV- yes, i have a therapist. but seeing one person for one hour a week doesn’t do much for the daily struggle. feel i’m fighting an uphill battle. right now, my eating (or lack thereof) seems to be more “normal”. but the rest of life is painful and comes back to haunt me in some seriously difficult ways. yesterday and today are the perfect example. recent press on an incident that was horrific has thrown my internal world into chaos… too many similarities to my experiences for me to simply “let go” of the pain. Enough for now… Sorry to post off-topic.

  88. stacey says:

    i’m in a bit of a crisis now… nothing too alarming, but i’ve had my internal world turned upside down and around over the past 24 hours. i am able to notice a huge shift. got into a tug-of-war with my therapist. she’s pushing the medication issue. i cannot stand the idea. anyway… i’m fighting myself right now. frustrating and i feel so close to wanting to give up. i won’t. but i feel this way. and i feel very alone.

  89. Anonymous says:

    I see that your site focuses on women only. Well eating disorders aren’t just limited to women. Men have it too, but no one talks about it. It’s like it’s taboo to even bring it up. OK maybe we only make up 10% of people with eating disorders, but we still have them. There are even Pro-Ana copy cats for males now.

  90. Amber says:

    HELLO mamaV,

    I have a normal BMI, but am still struggling to stay healthy. My boyfreind Richard has a BMI of like 16, i went on pro-ana-nation to cheak the weight chart BMI thing, it says hes anorexic, almost the big E. Any way, i think im falling more and more back into my illness. Because mostly, i want to be skinnier then the man im with, i wanted to get to a 00, now i wanna be a size in the negitives just to keep up with him, a man who loves me for who i am like no other…but i can’t accept myself. Help me mamaV? a little re-assurence would be ever so nice.

    love

    ~amber~

  91. Sarah says:

    hi mamaV, thank you for getting back to me. i went to europe and didnt really eat.. my teacher caught on and questioned me but what are we if not expert liars. by the end of the trip.. i realized how these 2 girls on the trip with us were so happy, so pretty, so NORMAL!!!!! they ate and didnt care, yet worked out a healthy amount. it sounds silly but i wanted to be like them so badly!!! when i got home, i ate normally. i know it was normally because i ate as much as my family did at every meal, even snacks, for 3 days. that was until yesterday i went to cross country, i went to the gym, i ran twice a day, i felt awful about myself. i looked at my thighs. i looked at my stomach. hell my best friend is 5’5 and 130 pounds and i dont think shes fat yet im 6 inches taller and 10 pounds less and see the fat rolling all over my body! i got so upset with myself for what i had done i didnt know what to do.

    our family is close, yes. school counselors have called my parents before and i have been in therapy twice, though when i lie i always seem to get myself out of it. i mean a huge part of me wants to be normal and happy and be able to eat, but could i still be the runner and model i am now? another part of me loves that look of emaciation so much i wouldnt give it up for anything. i have ruined and sabotaged so many relationships because of it.

    in my family admitting a problem is very difficult. ok, we dont do it. i am very private and have difficulty talking about it with even my closest friends, let alone a stranger. i guess im scared for what will happen. i know if my mom caught wind of it again i would be sent somewhere to get better, and i couldnt do that. i almost had to go this summer. missing out on senior year wouldnt be worth it. sorry this is long. thanks for caring enough to read :-)

  92. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie: How are you? What are you doing to take some steps in the right direction.
    Love,
    mamaV

  93. mamavision says:

    Hi Anonomous: Thanks for your post regarding males. I have not ventured into this territory because I am unfamiliar with what men and boys suffer with. I understand and I am aware there are sufferers, but this is just not my area of focus.

    Have you been able to find other support sites that focus on male issues?
    Take Care,
    mamaV

  94. Sarah says:

    i’m scared. i don’t know what to do anymore. mamaV could i email you privately? if not thats ok. i just don’t think i can type everything out right now.

  95. mamavision says:

    Hi Amber: Your boyfriends thin frame is causing you to lose your self confidence. Have you talked to him about it? Is he pressuring you to lose weight? Have you had an ED in the past?

    I would say, and I am NOT a professional, just a listening ear, that you need to look inside yourself as to why you are losing your self confidence. This is not about him, its about you.

    What do you think?
    mamaV

  96. mamavision says:

    Hi Sarah: Chasing this dream body is a dead end, you’ll never achieve it. Somehow our minds see fat where there is none. Back when I was a bone thin model, I thought my thighs were fat….looking at those picture some 15 years later I am shocked at how thin I was.

    You know what the saddest part is? I was so obsessed with being thin that I missed out on life. My self esteem was never lower. Finally, I’ve learned to look at my body, flaws and all, and know that its ok not to be perfect. I like me and I don’t want to be someone else.

    So how do you get there? You have to decide you are done with this lifestyle and believe that you can stop and recover. As you said, you noticed how carefree those girls in Europe were…they could be your inspiration.

    I am glad to hear your mom is supportive, she would be your first go to person if and when you are ready for help, right?

    Bottomline, I can’t force you to be ready. You will know when you are there, and I hope it is sooner rather than later so you can start enjoying all life has to offer.

    Love,
    mamaV

  97. mamavision says:

    Hi Bianca: I am so glad you reached out. Your mothers struggles with her own body image seems to have really affected you. Now that you have formed the same habits, you need to learn how to be normal and healthy.

    You say you received help in the past, and even got to the point of suicide….the way your mind takes over when you deprive yourself of food is uncontrollable and just all encompassing.

    I think it is normal to disregard the physical effects that ED has on our bodies..its like we all believe it will never happen to us. Not just young people do this, we all do, even old ladies like me :)

    Also, I want to say don’t be so hard on yourself. Your mother unfortunetly was not able to pass on normal eating habits to you, so now you have to face this battle.

    To whom can you reach out to for help? Are you ready to get help?
    -mamaV

  98. mamavision says:

    Hi Sarah: I just emailed you privately.
    mamaV

  99. Becky says:

    hi mamaV-

    i really need some help and i need someone i can convide in to talk to.. if u could just please email me.. that would be great!.. thank u lotts!

    <3 always Becky

    P.S. please email me.

  100. mamavision says:

    Hi Deanna: Thanks for your honesty and telling your story. I don’t think anyone can tell you the damage that is done to the various organs and systems of your body when you suffer with ED. I have heard an alarming number of heart attacks as of late which has certainly raised awareness to the issue.

    Have you gone in for a physical? You could ask to have some heart tests done. I do not know if the heart damage is irreversable or not.

    This disease robs you of your health, your life, your mind, everything. I hope you will reach out to the sources available to help you, such as the NEDA hotline. There is such a better life waiting, you just have to believe in it.

    Take care.
    mamaV
    xoxox

  101. Amy says:

    Hello, i’m not sure how i got to your site but im so glad i did. I have a 14 year old daughter and sometimes she talks about diets, or jokingly says mabey i just wont eat. I thought it was just talking about it. Now i see it can get so so bad. You said that there was a way to see if shes going to these “pro” sites? PLEASE let me know how i find out if she is.

    Thank You so much.

  102. betty says:

    thank you mamaV fro what you re doing… I have many things to day but actualy dont know where could i do that… anyway, i know that nobody wants to read things like that so i am not going to shere just another stupid life story… but just want ot thank you, for all girls you give support… first i thought that hey, you were model! you dont know wht is it being ugly… but i dont know you, so no i dont think that anymore – coz i can see that what you do is good. I have EDnos and actualy its the smallest thing that i have (i mean bounts of anxiety, depressions, and other desorders..) and maybe i hold on to my ed coz i cant see other problems whan i lok jsut on my ED and live on the scale. Well…thats what i wanted to day, *thank you*

  103. Julie says:

    Dear Mama V-

    It has been a while. While I have kept up with alot of what is going on the page it was not until today that I had enough energy to write.

    I am 5’9″ and I weigh 103lbs. I want to die.

    My Dr. and my parents wanted to put me in the hospital. Instead we bartered that I could do outpaitent. The past few weeks have been hell. As my fingers tape out the fear that is the only persistatant feeling I understand. I know that fear is the one thing my whole life I have understood.

    I don’t like to think about it. I started talking and learned that no one wants to know what happened to you. The small cuts that are made on your soul hurt them… so sceraded edges of a wound that bleeds because no one has ever done first aide on it is often time to much for anyone else to bare. Making scars on your soul. Now instead of bandaging it, so that it can heal I know I have simply covered what of it I can. Praying that no one would see the sticky heavy liquid while it seeps out into the open. Even if it hurts you it is better to keep the screte. I think it is all of the scretes that are going to kill me. I told them and they told my mom and she freaked out and told them it couldn’t be true… I know it is… I know it happened. No one wants to listen. I am quiter now than I have ever been.

    I have lost everything in my life that was worth it… and I don’t know that I can get better.

    I hate myslef. — I am sorry… I am…

    J-

    I am cutting again… I have alot going on in my head… I never thought about being alone until recently, but I am – very alone and very scard.

  104. Lara says:

    hi, im anorexic/bulimic and i just want to talk to someone who understands. I really want to get help to get better, but i don’t know how. So if you could e-mail me that would be great.
    your amazing.
    =]

  105. mamavision says:

    Hi Amy: Nice to meet you, I am glad you found me. Here is how you can see the history of the sites your daughter is visiting:

    Log on to the internet, I assume you use Internet Explorer?
    On the top of the web browser, under the box area where you see the web address of the site you are on, you will see a toolbar that gives options File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, Help.
    Click on View, you will see a drop down option for History.
    Click on History to view all the web addresses that have been viewed on the computer.
    The web addresses will often contain the words proana or ana.
    If you see web addresses from YouTube, check those as well, she could be watching “Thinspiration” videos on you tube.

    All web browsers are different, and your settings may be different, so I will email you privately so you have my email and I can walk you through this if you would like.

    Stay on top of this!
    mamaV

  106. Vic says:

    Hi,

    First of all i think what you are doing is amazing. I recently discovered this whole proanorexia thing and i found it so shocking and disturbing and you are like a l light in the big world of internet.

    I saw your video post on youtube and something you said really spoke to me. I myself suffered from anorexia as a teenager but managed to overcome it with hospital, therapy, hard work, the whole thing. Now that I am reaching that age where i am starting to think of having kids I am terrified that I will instill this eating disorder in them, as you said yourself in your post.

    My mom shared with me when I got ill that she was anorexic as a teen and now beeing a healthy adult I realise that she still isnt eating normally. I never noticed it before and I think it gets worse as she gets older and wants to preserve her youth.

    Unfortunately also both my sisters have developed eating disorders in their late 20s. Im wrecking my brain over this because although I am the youngest the fact that they both started this unhealthy behaviour after I went through it all makes me feel somehow responsible. After hearing that my oldest sister who is now 33 never eats more than one meal a day – and you can imagine what kind of meal this is – I begged her to consider at least taking vitamin suplements. She really wants to have kids as well and I dont know how I will cope seeing her put an unborn child through this kind of diet. I dont think I could stand by and watch. They are all adults though and as much as I would like to help them I know from my own experience that I cant unless they realise they have problem.

    However, seeeing as all women in my family have eating disorders how on earth will I be able to keep my own children away from this danger if I cannot even give my sisters enough support to make them realise what is happening? i find it difficult enough everytime I go home and literally have to fight for my meals and brave comments about my own weight. it does not affect me to the extent that I would stop eating again but I am just not happy to spend the whole day talking about food and weight and the fact that somehow I still find this environment threatening makes me wonder whether I am ready to have children of my own,

    Is there anything that you did specifically in the bringing up of your kids to instill a healthy body image i them? and do you think that if I still feel threatened by being around my sisters and mom who deal with eating disorders that I have some more work to do on myself before I can consider bringing up a child ?

    Thank you very much for everything you are doing. I hope that one day I can have your strength and spirit to help teens with these kind of problems.

  107. mamavision says:

    Hi Vic: I am glad you found me, and thanks for sharing your unique family situation. This really shows how ED’s run in families, recently there are studies into genetic links for ED’s as well.

    In regards to your specific questions, I think its a great sign you are putting so much thought into this. I recall thinking as you are, I wondered if I was truly recovered and would I somehow pass on disordered eating habits not knowing it? Or would I go overboard the other way and cause issues where there were none? Thus far, I believe I am doing a good job, so time will tell. We can only do the best we can given time, no parent is perfect, nor should they try to be.

    Putting your family aside, do you feel you are truly recovered and do you have a solid support system? Hopefully yes. If no, I’d recommend getting yourself back into therapy to talk through any remaining issues, does this seem feasible? Personally I know I would have not gotten over that final hump of recovery without the support of my husband, I was about 95% there when I met him, and then he helped me the rest of the way.

    Then let’s say you are healthy, then you bring a child into the picture, can you imagine placing that child in your family environment, and having them be privy to all the eating related conversations that take place? This is a rough one, honestly you may find yourself in a situation where you have to set boundaries with your family regarding how they interact with your children. Perhap’s you need to start doing this now?

    OK! I have thrown enough questions at you, lets keep chatting so we can make a plan for you.

    First and foremost, I really do think its great you are focused on this and I certainly would not put off life plans to have children because of this. I can tell from the sincerity of your words you have your heart in the right place.

    Take care!
    mamaV

  108. mamavision says:

    Hi Julie: I am going to send you a private message so we can chat privately,
    Love,
    mamaV

  109. mamavision says:

    Hi Amy: First, have you asked your daughter how she is feeling about herself, her body? Will she talk to you about it? This would be your first course of action.

    If she closes up and will not talk to you, and you are concerned you can check the history on your computer to see the sites she is visiting. Go into the internet, on the top menu you should see “view” click on it and select “History.” This should let you view all sites by week, month or day.

    If you can not figure out how to do this, email me back and I will send you more specific instructions.

    Stay on top of this,
    mamaV

  110. Julie says:

    I don’t know how to get private messages…

  111. Julie says:

    I hate myself… I hate what I am doing…

  112. ava says:

    ive been googling pro ana sites for hours and am becoming very frustrated. im not exactly sure what the hell this site is, but if you have any information on an actual PRO anorexia site, one with girls that encourage this behavior, that would help me so much. im not looking for help in recovering from a “disorder” that is consuming my life, im just looking for helpful tips so i can pursue this better and ultimately attain my goal.
    much thanks!

  113. ava says:

    by the way, julie, you are my hero!! thats amazing 5’9 and 103…wow im so jealous. how did you do it so well. im still not an expert at starving because of my stupid bulimic episodes but yeah thats a great achievement.

  114. Savanna says:

    Dear MamaV

    I am so glad I found your videos and website. I was actually doing a search on suicide and you popped up with a video and it diverted my attention to you instead of my initial plans. There are so many things wrong with me, I don’t even know where to begin. I hate myself and the way I look. I have been trying so hard not to eat – and when I do I feel so horrible. I have no where to turn. My own mother is emotionaly absent – cannot even look at her. She has never been there for me. And it hurts so badly. Listening to you makes me feel loved. As if someone really cares about my problems. I am so alone. And afraid…….I need help, but it seems I don’t deserve it

  115. Savanna says:

    i like that quote – coping is the hardest part – and when you can’t do that, it seems you can’t do anything else either.

  116. Sarah says:

    savanna.. i kind of feel as if i’m in the same position as you. do you want to talk more?

  117. mamavision says:

    Hi Savanah, Sarah and Kim: I just set up a new forum that you may want to use to talk.

    Go here to view: http://groups.google.com/group/mamavision

    If any of you want to email me privately please do at mamavision@gmail.com

    Love you,
    mamaV

  118. mamavision says:

    Hi Ava: Sorry, this is not the place for you if you want anorexia as your lifestyle. Before you head off to the pro ana world, I’d like if you would take some time to read some posts here, perhaps they will sway your view of what pro ana is all about.

    My youtube videos make help as well: http://mamavision.com/youtube.

    I do know one thing though, it’s best if girls such as yourself satisfy your curiousity with pro ana rather than having someone else trying to convince you of the dangers and hell life it is. Check it out and I hope you will head back over to our camp!

    Take it easy,
    mamaV

  119. Savanna says:

    Hi Sarah

    I’d love to talk more – my email is bromsn18@gmail.com if you would like to chat – I also have msn and aol. It’s good to know there are others out there who can relate. Sorry for the delayed response – It has been one hell of a week – I can’t even begin to explain…..

  120. Emily says:

    Hi– Arisha norris—

    Babe,
    u need 2 talk 2 ur mom about this, or maybe u could go and see a doctor and he or she could maybe explain 2 ur mum that u need treatment.

    How old are u btw?

    Email me privately if u want. : splatemily04@hotmail.com

    take care babe
    hope 2 hear from
    Emily XxX

  121. Kim says:

    i went to my nephews football game today and watched from my car. lots of family were there and watching from the sidelines, i claimed i was cold but really i just wanted to be alone, all by myself. i didnt want to talk, i didnt want to smile, i didnt even want to be there. and the thing is i still dont want to be here in this world, i want out. it is so hard pretending everyday. i just want to make it all end. i want to shut my eyes and never wake up again

  122. Emily says:

    KIM-
    hun dont talk like that, im sure u dont want out. everyone wuld miss u, people care 4 u lots. Dont let ur ED do this 2 u, it is not going 2 win, u are going 2 win, u are strong u can fight this babe, i no u can

    take care hun
    Emily XxX

  123. Sarah says:

    kim, I think I can speak for us all when I say we;ve ALL been there. Let me know if you need t o talk.

    So..i got a modelling interview this week. and last week I had lost a ton of weight.. but now I’m sure I’ve gained it back. and they won’t like that I’m sure. I don’t know what to do. I so badly want to go in there with sonfidence.. but not sure I can.

  124. Jill says:

    I was hospitalized in may at 87 lbs (I’m 5’7). At that point I think I really wanted to get better or at least I was so run down and weak I just didn’t care one way or another. I’ve been in and out of treatment for anorexia 4 times since then. I can’t force myself to stay, I feel to large to be there, not sick enough anymore. I’m 106 lbs now but I’m dying inside. I feel like I’m not sick enough to deserve or warrant help but it’s eating me up inside. Worst of all after a period of severely restricting my food I started binging for the first time in my life. It’s terrifying and overwhemlming. Is this normal? I don’t understand how I used to be so controled and now I’m totally out of control….I just don’t know what to do anymore. Everyday is hell. I feel so torn. I want my mind to shut off, I would love to not care about my size and shape, the numbers on the scale, calories but it won’t go away. Yet there is nothing I want more than to shrink so small no one can see me. Now that I’m binging, I’m still obsessed with my weight, I’m still terrified of getting fat only now everyday I have to live my worst nightmare. I can’t take it anymore.

  125. mamavision says:

    Hi Jill: Thanks for sharing your story, this disease can be a long battle, but down give your fight because you have had a set back.

    Who can you talk to- your parents? a counselor? The sooner you get yourself talking about the setback, and its only a setback remember, the better.

    Also, have you visited the forum? Click on the Google Groups link on the right hand navigation of the blog. There you will find support from this community, all sorts of girls that have been there, and some are still there. We are all there for you.

    Take care and I hope to see you on the forum.
    mamaV
    XOXOX

  126. Sarah says:

    mamaV, what do you do when there is absolutley no one you can talk to who would make you feel any better? and all of your friends completely betrayed you and don’t give a damn? just wondering.

  127. mamavision says:

    Hi Sarah! You head on over to the forum and join me and the girls there – see Google groups on the upper right corner of the blog. Click there and post how you feel and what you think you need, all sorts of girls will lend an ear and help you through!

    I post there as well, so I will keep an eye out for you,
    You are not alone kiddo!
    Love,
    mamaV
    XOXO

  128. Lexi says:

    Mama V–

    Can i have ur help?

    I have no one 2 talk 2 about stuff, would i be able 2 talk 2 u ?

    Lexi x-x-x

  129. mamavision says:

    Of course Lexi, remember I am not a professional, just a listening ear. Email me at mamavision@gmail.com

    Love,
    mamaV

  130. Lisa says:

    Hello Mama V,
    I posted a message a long time ago. In June if I’m right. I’m the girl from Holland, and you told me to get help. But I just couldn’t do it. After one more month I did it tough. And now I’m almost on a healthy weight. But I can’t take it anymore. I feel horrible and fat. I have to take medication and I’m on this strict diet to become weight. I can’t do this any longer. When I first started the diet my stomach hurt like hell. And it does still. Not as much as when I started, but it does hurt. I don’t want to feel like this anymore!!
    I’m cutting myself more and more, trying to take the pain away. That’s the only thing I can control now. I hope I can talk to you, I now you’re not a professional. But the people I have to talk to here seem to don’t understand me. They look at me like I’m crazy, maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t know.
    Lisa xxx

  131. Tabs says:

    Hey MV,

    Maybe you’ll remember me, the girl who was told she “wasn’t sick” with bulimia.

    I ended up in the hospital.

    It turns out that, during one of my binges, I ate a bunch of unwashed vegetables and caught tapeworm. Now I’m getting help. They finally figured it out. Mom stopped speaking to me, too.

    I didn’t get locked up in an in-patient thing, so there was no one there to stop me when I stuck my toothbrush down my throat and puked. First time. It was awful and wonderful at the same time. I felt removed from myself. Pure and clean. Mom doesn’t know. I wouldn’t tell her even if she asked.

    Then I thought about killing myself. But I didn’t. I know better. Things get better, they just take a long time. I knew that when I was suicidal the last time. It’s so hard to deal sometimes, though.

    I just binged on PopTarts and cheese. I try to tell myself I look good and will feel good once I get away from this. . . this. . . monster. But I still have trouble dealing.

    MV, I wish I could be who I was, but I know the bulimia isn’t going to go away. I was going to be a writer, an artist. I was going to be a registered dietician (ironic), a pianist, a mother, and a wife. My life is so occupied by calories and purging that these things will probably never come true. I’m infertile, so I can’t exactly be a mother and I’m so self-conscious I don’t think I could stand to even have a boyfriend, let alone a husband. I’m too busy exercising to draw, play piano, write.

    I think I need to get away from food. But how do you get away from something you need? How do you make peace with something you can’t live without, with something that is there whether you like it or not? How do you deal with the sizzling burgers, the vending machine candy bars, the heaping plates of whole wheat crackers and hummus?

    Here I am, MV, crying again, like an idiot. I shouldn’t cry. It’s my own fault. I let it happen. I saw it coming and didn’t do anything.

    I hope you keep updating this blog. It’s a shame that, as human beings, we have to suffer this way. We’re all beautiful, whether we’re 90lbs or 300lbs. Bones are not beautiful. Neither is vomit, or food obsession, or sickness. The soul and strength of humanity is what’s truly beautiful.

    I only wish I’d realized that before I got sick.

  132. Tabs says:

    Hello MV,

    It’s helpful to just write to you, even though I don’t think I could start a real conversation with you even if I wanted to. I’d rather handle this on my own. I think that’s why I hung up the phone on the representative when I called the eating disorder hotline.

    Last night, I went into the bathroom and was ready to purge again, but then I thought about who I used to be and realized that it wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth the agony. So instead I went and jogged for three hours. Not much better, but at least I don’t have to worry about choking on my own vomit.

    I’m ready to get better, MV, and I’m going to take it one day at a time. I read somewhere, in an article really written for obese people, that you should take a healthy lifestyle one moment at time. Screw up? Get right back on. So if I purge I’m just going to keep going. Still, there’s no sense in denial. . .

    I see people who are underweight or normal weight complaining that they need to “take 15lbs. off” and I just want to reach through my computer and strangle them. I see people asking how many times a day they have to vomit not to absorb any calories from the food they eat. I want to strangle these people, too. It’s not a “happy-fun-time” thing, you morons, it’s a sickness and comes from the Sad Time.

    I’m thinking about killing myself–again, but I’m not going to. Long ago the urge to kill myself became one of those far-removed things that I knew I’d never experience. I love life too much MV to kill myself over it. Yet, I’m not afraid of death. Even if I did die, I believe in reincarnation and I’d be brought back to Earth. But through suicide it wouldn’t be a happy existence. I’ll bear my cross, as the saying goes. Funny, I’m using Christian symbolism and I’m not even Christian. . .

    I hit a landmark last night, too, MV. I ran my fingers along my collar bone. Usually, I feel a lot of fat there. Then I realized there was no fat there. Just bone. I could feel the spoon end of my collar bone and I said to myself: “Too bony.” Too bony, MV! I’m just going to put on a little fat and be healthy, and be a writer again, and play the piano.

    Oh, the piano! I miss sitting down and playing dulcet (or not so dulcet) tunes. I miss the somber Fur Elise, the brilliant Warlike Dance, the goofy Le Petit Negro. I quit piano a long time ago for more time to exercise. I think I might get back into it once I’m out of school. Right now, I have a career to pursue.

    I also tore out any super-skinny models from my magazines. I scan the pages of other health magazines for healthy looking people. There’s this one picture I have taped to my wall. The woman is gorgeous! She has these wonderful curvy hips, a full but not enormous chest, and curly hair that hugs her fluffy cheeks.

    She holds an umbrella and is wearing a short, strapless dress with black and white patterns on it. She has on brilliant red lipstick and no matter how hard I look, I can’t see much of her collarbone, like you can on me. You can’t see the tendons in her hands, either, though she grasps that umbrella like crazy. I know she’s airbrushed a little, but she doesn’t have a haunted, hungry look in her eyes, discernable under the facade she puts on for the camera. I want to be a little like that, MV.

    Just a little.

  133. Pingback: Shelly is winning. | We Are the Real Deal

Comments are closed.