Tag Archives: anorexia

When Midlife Seems Just An Empty Plate

By GINIA BELLAFANTE

The New York Times

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IN her 23 years as a specialist in eating disorders, Dr. Margo Maine has received countless telephone calls from women worried that their teenage daughters might be dieting into a danger zone. But several years ago, Dr. Maine, a psychologist who runs an eating-disorders treatment program with a partner in West Hartford, Conn., noticed a shift in the telephone inquiries.

”Increasingly, our calls began to include a significant number of adults seeking help not for their children but for themselves,” Dr. Maine said. Some of those callers — women in their late 40’s and early 50’s — were relapsing after overcoming eating disorders in their youth, and others were experiencing them for the first time.

Naomi Burton Isaacs, a public relations executive in New York, had been obsessed about her weight most of her life, she said, but it was only at age 45 that her dieting grew extreme and she developed an addiction to laxatives. She swallowed 25 pills a day. Ms. Burton Isaacs, who is 5-foot-9, withered to 105 pounds.

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Facebook Tied To Feeling Fat, Eating Disorders

 

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By: Leslie Meredith

“Do I look fat?” The answer is a resounding yes if you’re on Facebook. But it’s not your friends telling you, it’s yourself.

Facebook is fueling our thin-obsessed culture, says a new study from the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Maryland that surveyed 600 Facebook users, ages 16 to 40. More than half said that Facebook makes them more self-conscious about their bodies and weight. And men were some of those with the most negative feelings.

While more women than men admitted they’d like to lose some weight, 75 percent compared to 58 percent, men were far more vocal about their dissatisfaction. Forty percent of men said they’ve posted negative comments about their bodies, while only half that number of women had done so.

“People are now constantly aware of their appearance, thanks to Facebook,” Steven Crawford, associate director at the center, told TechNewsDaily. “A common reaction is, ‘I need to be thinner’ And it’s that kind of thinking that can lead to hazardous dieting .”

“Facebook is an influential factor in developing severe eating disorders,” Crawford said.

When you’re unhappy with the way you look, it’s easy to avoid mirrors. But it’s becoming pretty tough to go without Facebook. Eight percent of those surveyed log onto Facebook at least once a day. It’s impossible to avoid seeing photos of yourself and your friends. But we’re not just looking — we’re comparing.

Timeline — Facebook’s new profile format — makes it easy. With a click you can see what you looked like five years ago, and the comparison can be depressing. Nearly a third of people felt “sad” when comparing photos of themselves and their friends, and 44 percent wished they had the same body or weight as a friend on Facebook.

Facebook photo comparisons are also affecting the social lives of Facebook users. Like celebrities who worry about the paparazzi, Facebook users are concerned every time they go out that their photo will show up on the network.

“Facebook is fueling a “camera-ready” mentality,” Crawford said. “People look at photos before an upcoming high school reunion and decide not to go.” Why? Because they think they don’t look good enough.

The center has tips for people suffering from Facebook-induced body envy, including subscribing to Facebook pages such as “Adios Barbie” and “End Fat Talk.” But if you can’t stop making negative comparisons between yourself and others, log off

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Ridiculous & Downright Bizarre Branding: Mermaid or a Whale? What?

Mermaid or a Whale? What?

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and b…beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”
The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:
“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.
Mermaids do not exist.
But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?
Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.
At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.
We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! ”
(The girl on the picture is French model Tara Lynn)

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Do I have an eating disorder?

Do I have an eating disorder?

As someone who suffered for many years with various forms of an eating disorder, I often asked myself this question – “do I have an eating disorder” or am I just extremely health conscious, a perfectionist, possibly slightly depressed and overly conscious about food and weight.

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Thinsprirations: Anorexia Goes High Tech

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Anorexia Goes High Tech

By Jessica Reaves

Developing an eating disorder is no easy task. Becoming an anorexic, for example, requires months, even years, of obsessive, destructive tunnel vision. Anorexia demands absolute, single-minded dedication. It’s exhausting — and it can be extraordinarily lonely.

That’s where technology comes in. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, anorexics and would-be anorexics around the globe can access more than 400 web sites designed solely for them. Need to know how to disguise your weight loss so concerned (read: jealous) friends will stop hounding you to eat? Looking for a few words of support as you launch into your latest deprivation diet? Or perhaps you’d like to know the tricks for satisfying that pesky weekly weigh-in at the doctor’s office?

Bringing the darkness to light

Beyond their obvious “ick” factor, the sites provide a fascinating insight into the world of anorexics. For eating disorder educators, the very language of the sites can provide invaluable hints into a troubled psyche. “I think some of these sites are worded in a way that indicates the hosts do want help,” says Vivian Meehan, president and founder of the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, or ANAD. “They’re putting themselves out there. But then they also put up a defense against it. Don’t come on the site if you’re only interested in putting us down.”

That psychology plays out almost to the letter on one of the most visible pro-anorexia sites (or “pro-ana,” as devotees call them), known as “My Goddess Ana.” Accused in the press of perpetuating a deadly disease, the site’s 20-year-old creator offers this reply. “The opening page of the site clearly stipulates that the content of the site is Pro-Anorexic and should not be viewed by those who are in recovery or are thinking about recovery, or who, indeed, do not suffer from an ED. If you are reading this as an objector to Pro-Ana sites, why did you enter in the first place when the entrance page has told you not to?”

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