The Turning Point In Her Recovery: Carnation

Today is the final day of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2009.

Following is a story written by Maria. Dieting since the age of 8, she was anorexic and bulimic by age 13. Now 17 years old, she's looking forward to April when she will celebrate a year in recovery. She says she's proud of her recovery but fights daily to stay in it.

She wrote this story after a stay in an ED facility. She calls it her "turning point." Her wish is that others may read it, find hope, and be inspired to take steps towards recovery.


7:59, 8:00 , 8:01 . Even though the clock was across the room, the tick of its hands could still be heard by the small girl sitting down at the table in the midst of a showdown. A showdown of epic proportions, one that Clare could not lose.

There the food sat in all its glory screaming and tempting her to eat it, but she, with all her determination, refused. Not because the food looked gross; in fact, it looked delic

ious. The two bran muffins were golden brown with pieces of oats protruding out at the top making it look like the petals of a sunflower. The bright crimson apple was firm to the touch, and even though Clare dared not eat it, she knew it would be crisp just the way she liked it. Even the small Cheerios box seemed to smile warmly at her, as if saying that it was okay to eat its small grainy circles.

But Clare knew better. She knew that the bran muffins were carefully disguised mounds of fat. That the Cheerios were hidden calories. And the apple, though it looked good, was just another way of saying that she really did need this food to survive. Clare refused to believe it, and just glared at the food as if her staring might burn it into the table and make the whole tray disappear.

8:14, 8:15 , 8:16 . “Good morning, Clare,” smiled the nurse until she spotted the tumultuous war that was going on between Clare and her untouched tray of food. “Have a bad night?” the nurse inquired with her sweet voice that sounded as if she might truly care. Clare could only nod a slow, depressive yes and let the strands of her long

sandy brown hair fall into her face. I am so sick of eating food, Clare thought. I don’t need it; I never did. I can’t gain any more weight! I’m humongous! I really should go to a fat camp and lose weight, not come here and gain weight!

“Perhaps,” continued Cindy, not noticing the war going on inside the girl’s head, “maybe I should go find a barrette and pin that lovely hair up so we can see

that pretty face of yours?”

“No, that’s okay,” Clare quickly stammered looking up for only an instant to peer at the nurse with only one eye. Clare quickly replaced each strand in front of her face again, happy that the safety blanket of her hair would continue to provide her with comfort.

“Well, you better start eating,” reminded the nurse as she walked out

the door to her desk again.

But you can’t eat, shrieked the voice inside Clare’s head! You’re a fat and worthless pig! You don’t deserve the food! And do you really want to get any bigger?

You’re right. I can’t get any bigger, Clare acknowledged the voice within. I won’t eat this! I am determined not to! No more fat! No more fat Clare!

8:20, 8:21 , 8:22 . “Good morning, Clare,” said a pretty brunette college student with piercing eyes that had finally started to sparkle again. An older woman with sandy blonde hair and a big smile walked in with her.

“Morning, Shannon , morning Sarah!” exclaimed Clare with as much enthusiasm as she could muster for such a bad day. “How are you? Did you both have a good night?”

“It was alright,” started Shannon . “I talked to my brother and that went really well. A lot better than I had expected.”

“Awww well, I’m glad to hear that! I’m happy that went well for you,” said Clare this time with true enthusiasm.

“Mine was alright too,” stammered Sarah, “I have a bad headache, though, because I haven’t had any coffee in the last three days and it’s killing me! I guess I really do have an addiction to it.”

“I’m sorry, that sucks. I hope you start to feel better soon! I’m not having a good day either…” the lost teen continued with a mesmerizing sigh and a stare towards her untouched tray.

The two fellow patients looked at the food and knew exactly what she meant. Clare had been sitting there for half an hour without touching a single thing on her tray. It was go

ing to be a horrible day, but the failure was masked by the ringing pride that voiced in her head.

It was the tenth day of intense treatment and Clare could not take it anymore. Every day three meals had to be eaten and Clare could not remember a time when she had eaten three meals in… well, as far back as she could remember at the moment. At least she knew it had been a long time ago, way before all this mess had even started. This was life for Clare and she had become comfortable with it.

But people started to notice the strange little things that Clare did— the cutting of her food into small pieces, only eating fruits, taking hours to eat one thing. However, soon Clare’s friends discovered her nasty little companion, and so that was how she soon began going to the hospital every day.

The walk into the building had been torturous. Slowly pushing herself through the large old building, she ambled forward with her head hanging low, reeking of low self-esteem and non existent self-confidence.

The only good thing about the hospital was the nurses. Clare always chatted with them before they had to take her vitals and weigh her. She never minded having her low vitals taken; they were just another delightful reminder of the great job she was doing. But getting weighed was agony. The sluggish movement of the nurse’s fingers over the dials were wat

ched for any signs of a mistake that might have been made. Silent prayers were made in hopes that the numbers would not go up. If she was lucky, they would go down. But Clare was never lucky.

Trying to calm herself from the weigh in, Clare grabbed her manil

a folder and proceeded to fill out charts on the crazy emotions that she could not even identify. How could she possibly know if she felt anxious or worried or mad? After finishing, a slow pause came. The worst part was about to come. It was time to get breakfast.

Shuffling towards the cafeteria, Clare walked as slowly as she could, like a death row inmate on the final walk to meet the end. Not wanting to be seen or heard, she silently entered into the scary food emporium. The next step was to check the menu. Grabbing it with much hesitation at what would have to be eaten that day, Clare, looking calm on the outside but having a

panic attack inside, reached out and grabbed the small white list. Amazing how much distress could be caused by such a small piece of paper! And today was worse than usual!

After having gained six pounds in three days, Clare could feel the fat engulfing her entire body; it started to feel like she was being suffocated from the inside. She had been told that food was necessary for her well being and health, but it couldn’t be true. No way was

food necessary. Not now, not ever! Food made her fat— obese people are not healthy!

After a long breath Clare worked up the courage to look at the deadly choices of food she would have to consume for breakfast. The prognosis was awful. The calorie count had been upped to twenty-one-hundred! A torturous amount. Insane, actually. How could one human possibly eat this much in one day? Clare whined in her head. That’s seven hundred calories at every meal, which is way more than I would even eat in a day! Are they trying to

make me obese? Because it surely will happen with that many calories every day!

Looking calm as usual on the outside, Clare silently walked over to the glass refrigerator. Maneuvering her arm carefully, she tried desperately not to brush the nauseating whole and chocolate milks on her way towards the fat free skims. Once her hand was safely away from the loathsome products, she carefully weighed each skim in hopes of one being li

ghter than the rest. Maybe one has fewer calories then the others, she hoped desperately. Walking over to the muffins she noticed two were needed for today. Peering over into the brown box filled with frightening and appalling carbs, Clare examined each muffin carefully looking from all angles to find the tiniest one. On to the apples, the only safe food.

Not wanting to touch all of the apples, Clare moved the scary bananas and oranges to the side first and then glared at the array of fruits until she found the perfect one, a s

mall and crimson Macintosh. Last of all and definitely the worst, she spied the peanut butter, a man made substance consisting of pure fat, sugar, and lard.

Fat! All fat! Clare’s thoughts kept screaming in her head. This is wh

y you are obese, the voices continued, because you are eating pure fat!

I have to grab it. It’s on my meal plan, Clare said, trying to reason with the voice. I’ll take it but I won’t eat it! I promise!

Then just as quietly as she had entered, Clare trudged with her tr

ay back to the little room with cream walls. And there she sat not giving into the food’s allure. Through the nurse’s quiet little pleadings and Shannon and Sarah’s hellos and the picking of their own menus and trays, she knew they would make her eat. The thought made her sick.

8:50, 8:51 , 8:52 . The girls quietly chatted but not as cheerfully or as much as some other mornings. Each girl struggled with her own thoughts that morning, but none was brave enough to admit it. They never could; each was a prisoner in her locked up mind— a place from where each dared not escape, no matter the price.

9:02, 9:03 , 9:04 . “Good morning,” said the heavy-set therapist

named Janine, as she strolled in cheerily with a happy little smile. “Is everyone ready for morning check in?”

“I guess,” replied Shannon . “I can go first this morning, if you want.”

“Sounds good to me,” agreed Janine, with an exasperated smile and eyes half peering at Clare’s food. Slowly, in a half whisper, she remarked, “Clare, can you

please start on your tray?” The small girl looked down and pushed it a little closer to her, but did not touch anything on it, as if the tray was contaminated by a deadly disease. Good job! Her thoughts congratulated. That’s right! Show that food who’s boss!

Shannon slowly started talking about her night. It was eventful and after reciting most of what had happened, Janine meticulously went through each event to show her things that might be done better next time.

“I can go next,” volunteered Sarah after Shannon finished, knowing full well Clare would not be as upbeat about going next. “I just wish I didn’t have this headache,” Sarah started. “It’s hard to stay focused and stay on track with my meal plan.”

Janine again went through the long routine of going through each part of Sarah’s night, looking at the crucial elements as if life depended on them.

“The lack of sleep and the migraines are really starting to get to you. Do you have anything you can take for it?” asked Janine in a worried voice. “You’ve had this headache for a while now.”

“Yeah, I took some stuff but what I’m going to have to do is get some coffee,” stated Sarah. “The coffee here stinks though. It’s pretty nasty! I need to

go and get my Starbucks!”

9:44, 9:45 , 9:46 . “Clare, are you sure that your weight has really gone up six pounds in two days?” questioned Janine after finally hearing about the messe

d up little girl’s night.

“I’m positive!” shrieked Clare, again feeling the fat start to enclose her like a blanket. You’re obese, Clare, obese, her voice shrieked inside of her. Not even worthy to live!

“It’s probably just water weight. It’s not possible to gain that much weight in two days,” Janine stated. “Is this why you’re not eating? Should I just go and get y

ou a meal supplement right away?”

“Isn’t this why most people don’t eat?” Clare sneered sarcastically. “And you might as well get me a Carnation, cuz I’m not eating this!”

“All right, I’ll get you one,” answered Janine a little depressed.

10:00, 10:01 , 10:02 . “Here you go, Clare. I got you strawberry,” the therapist said in a hopeful voice. “You have till 10:30 to drink that.”

“Thanks,” whispered Clare, barely audible. But I’m not drinking that, she thought. Fat people should not have the luxury of drinking shakes.

At least the tray was gone. No more peanut butter, or milk, or muffins—just an icky caloric loaded strawberry Carnation mix, a pretend shake that tastes like someone took cardboard and syrup and blended them all together. The horror tha

t one little drink could really supply all the calories missed at one meal! Disgusting. . .

Crap, thought Clare, as she saw the head therapist Pam walk into the door for the next group, this is not good!

“Good morning everyone,” Pam said in her matter of fact voi

ce. Heading straight for Clare as if on a mission, she pointed, “I see that you have a Carnation, Clare. I’m going to have to have Jessica take you out of the room until you finish that.”

Of course, the one therapist who would not allow this kind of crap to happen would be the therapist for the next group therapy session. At least I get to be with Jessica and not someone else, Clare felt with a twinge of a smile. I really do like her a lot. Jessica has a way about her. She’s terribly funny and always seems to understand, which is us

ually not the case with many of the other therapists. They just don’t get it.

“Hey Clare,” Jessica was calm but looked a little worried, “I hear that you have to finish that. Are you ready to do it? We can both drink our drinks together,” she laughed as she lifted up her Starbucks in all its irony.

“I’m not drinking it,” Clare answered immediately without a mom

ent’s hesitation. “You can drink yours, but I won’t drink mine!”

“Well, for now let’s just go into the other room and talk, okay?”

10:47, 10:48 , 10:49 . “Clare, what’s stopping you from drinking that Carnation?” inquired Jessica. “Why can’t you do it?”

“Well,” Clare started slowly with tears starting to well in her eyes, “I . . . can’t. I can’t drink this. I’m already super fat and I won’t allow myself to get any more obese! I’m a monster!”

“Clare, you are VERY thin. Your body needs this to stay healthy. Can’t you see that those voices that are telling you that you are too fat are actually killing you? They are the enemy, Clare.”

“I know, Jessica, but they’ve always been there for me when no one

else has. They’re always there. They never talk behind my back. And they’ve never failed me. When things were hard they showed me how to forget the pain. And besides, you’re just trying to make me fat.”

“You and I both know that is a lie, Clare. You say the voices have helped you through the pain, but can’t you see how they’ve made your pain worse? They’ve locked you up, and you can’t get out. They’re hiding your beauty from the world and especia

lly yourself! You’ve got to start telling those voices that you are the boss and not them. You are the boss, Clare! Don’t allow them to do this to you. Everything they say is false. It’s okay, Clare, it’s okay that they’re wrong!”

“But they aren’t wrong! This is how I feel. I am a failure! A horrible person! I’m not worthy of food! An imperfect body reflects an imperfect soul! How true that is for me! Can’t you see why I can’t eat when all this is true!?! Why should I even live? I am a worthless person with no future!” Clare’s body seemed to fall back in shock as she realized that th

ose words were starting to allow her to escape from her gruesome prison.

“That is so wrong!” Jessica shot back. “You have so much to give this world, and slowly killing yourself is not the answer! Your body is not a definition of the wonderful person that you are inside! You are a wonderful person Clare! And you have touched so many people in such positive ways. Clare, you have helped every girl here! They improve with your s


“They help me too…” Clare agreed weakly

Silent tears started to fall from Clare’s eyes. The drops floated down like a soft pitter patter rain after a frightening storm. She knew the truth. She had always known it but just never allowed herself to believe it. The truth was painful and it was easier not to believe it. But at that moment for the first time, Clare allowed another person to come into her life—to sav

e her.

Taking a bigger gulp from the Carnation this time, Clare started chatting with Jessica about different things, things that seemed a bit more normal--like the love of black nail polish they both shared and the chill CDs they enjoyed listening to.

Finally coming to the last few sips, Clare burst out with pride to Jes

sica, “I’m done!”

“Good job! I’m really proud of you. You know that, right?” The young girl nodded with twinkling eyes.

How simple a concept, how hard a job, Clare thought. Say no to my voices and drink the Carnation. Easy to say, not easy to do. Every day I am going to have t

o fight off those voices—the ones that say, “You’re ugly. You’re hideous. You’re grotesque. You’re obese. And you’re not worthy of food.” I know I can do this though! It’s going to be an ever lingering struggle, but I’m a fighter and I am going to try!

I guess drinking this Carnation was good for me today. I now sort of see what’s going on. My eating disorder has the power over me. As much as I like to think it’s giving me control, it is really controlling—my whole life! Control over food is not real control.

My so called control has led me here to this place. A place where I am broken down and forced to learn how to pick myself back up again.

“I can’t go on anymore like this Jessica,” Clare remarked with a renewed confidence that surprised even her. “Thank you for everything. You’ve helped me a lot today.”

“I’m proud of you, Clare. You can do this! You can take back control

of your life!”

“I will. . . I will. . .”


*See sidebar menu for more ED poetry and writings

*Click here to have your Eating Disorders/Body Image poetry/writings featured on Weighing The Facts

carnation picture

Recovery Quote Of The Week: Feb 27th, 2009

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live."
Flora Whittemore

Please see sidebar for more Inspirational Recovery Quotes, Quotes of the Week, and ED info and resources.


Dove Campaign For Real Beauty

National Report On The State Of Self-Esteem:

7 out of 10 girls believe they are not good enough; looks, school performance, relationships.

75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities; disordered eating, smoking, drinking, cutting, bullying when feeling bad about themselves.

57% have a mother who criticizes her own look.

View Report

Free Tools:

Girls Only

Interactive Self-Esteem Zone; Games, Quizzes, Etc.

Girl Scout/Dove Self-Esteem Program

Moms and Mentors

True You Workbook

True You Mother's Guide

Find a Workshop Near You.

See also:

The True Beauty Wales Competition
Self-Esteem Tests

videos and pictures courtesy of Dove Campaign For Real Beauty

Anorexia: What You Want, What You Get

Another excelent video by Holdingon.

*Please see sidebar for more ED videos, recovery quotes, tools, and resources.

Before I Disappear: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

A song written and performed by N.R. Vandell For National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

"Before I Disappear"

There are days that I feel
Like I'm living a lie
But I fear if I didn't
I could never get by

Though they treat my façade
Even lower than dirt
If I'm not a real person
I can't really get hurt

They only see the image I've created for projection
I wish that I could stop but it is for my own protection
I'm certain that the real me does not deserve affection

Notice me, oh, please notice something
Notice me while I'm still here
Notice me before I shrink to nothing
Notice me before I disappear

If the saying is true
That you are what you eat
I can prove that I'm nothing
Vindication is sweet

I know how to stand out
I know how to be "in"
You don't have to be nice, girl
You just have to be thin

They say they see my ribs and yet they fail to see my pain
So is there only weight to lose and nothing left to gain?
I seek control and sanity but slowly go insane


Notice me, oh, please notice something
Notice me while I'm still here
Notice me before I shrink to nothing
Notice me before I disappear

Notice me, oh, please notice something
Notice me while I'm still here
Notice me before I shrink to nothing
Notice me before I disappear

She says, "A song I wrote and performed for Eating Disorder Awareness Week. That's a certain Mr. Zeigler on the keyboard-- he did the arrangement. I wish I had a better quality recording."

A Year Already? Time Flies!

Weighing The Facts is one year old today!
I can't believe a year has gone by already.

My heartfelt thanks to you all; whether you're a subscriber, frequent reader, passerby, post contributor, emailer, commenter, fellow ED blogger, Kimkins activist, friend ... I appreciate all you have done to see Weighing The Facts, and me, through this first year. :)
Health and happiness to you all.


National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2009: Online Candlelight Vigil

Alabama Network For Eating Disorders Awareness (ALNEDA) is lighting virtual candles on their website for anyone who has had their life touched by an Eating Disorder. The candles will be on display Until February 28th, 2009

From their site:
  • White candles are for Remembrance, for individuals who have lost their lives to an eating disorder.
  • Silver candles are for Support, for individuals who are struggling with an eating disorder.
  • Gold candles are for Celebration, for individuals who are in recovery or who have recovered from an eating disorder.
You can light a candle for yourself or someone you know here.
You can see the virtual candles here.

*More National Eating Disorders Awareness Week posts.

more links included there.


National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2009: ED News

In Good Health: Eating Disorders Awareness Week
The Fedrick News-post

This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Up to 10 million people in the U.S. have some type of eating disorder, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, and the costs are high in both dollars and human life.

Anorexia nervosa, which includes self-starvation and excessive weight loss, has the highest premature mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, according to NEDA. The annual cost to treat eating disorder patients in the U.S. is between $5 billion and $6 billion.

While eating disorders can start as preoccupations with food and weight, they often have a more complicated cause, according to NEDA. Behavioral, emotional, and social factors often contribute to the development of eating disorders as the affected person attempts to control food as a way to deal with overwhelming issues.

Read in full here.


Dallas Woman Uses Own Recovery From Eating Disorder To Help Others

Abbie Chesney knows what it's like to be hungry. She also knows what it's like to be depressed. When the Dallas native was 16 and a student at Lake Highlands High School, she fell into a cycle: She would stop eating to make herself feel better, but then feel worse because she was not eating. So she'd abstain from eating even more.

"If I didn't eat, I would focus on the fact that I was so hungry, and not think about being depressed," she says.

The problem got so bad that she lost more than a third of her body weight in eight months. By age 16, she was diagnosed with anorexia and ended up at Baylor Hospital's eating disorder treatment program for five weeks.

"My body had deteriorated so bad that I had four leaking heart valves," she says.

Read in full here.


GPs Are Failing Patients With Anorexia And Bulimia, Claims Charity
Nursing Times

It found that 59% of respondents had visited their GP about an eating disorder. But only 15% of respondents felt their GP understood eating disorders and knew how to help.

One patient said: 'When I first went to see my GP they didn't listen at all. They just told me it was a phase I was going through.'

Read in full here.

Children (9) Seeking Help For Eating Disorders
Herald. ie

Children as young as nine are seeking help for eating disorders, a national support group has revealed.

Bodywhys chief executive Jacinta Hastings says the increasingly young age profile of callers is a worrying trend.

"The children affected by eating disorders are not only getting younger, but their conditions are becoming more complex. There is also a rise in the number of boys contacting us.

"There is peer pressure to conform to achieve a certain look, and what with societal pressure and the pressure of their own expectations, young people are becoming increasingly susceptible to eating disorders," said Ms Hastings.

Read in full here.

Fighting The Inner Anorexic
BBC Today

Statistics released in response to a parliamentary question show an 80% rise in sufferers age 16 or under between 2006-7.

Of the 462 cases there was also a 207% rise in hospitalizations for 12-year-olds - from 13 to 40.

For those who are not anorexic, the condition can seem utterly incomprehensible. To help understand the disorder, Today presenter Evan Davis spoke to Constance Barter and her mother Sarah about their battle to overcome Constance's anorexia.

Read in full here.


When Your Food Is Your Child's Enemy


Eating disorders can be hard to diagnose and treat, and it can take five years to get to grips with anorexia once treatment starts, writes SHEILA WAYMAN

WHO DOESN’T have some sort of issue with food these days? It’s not surprising when we’re bombarded with advice on what we should or shouldn’t eat; regularly presented with “miracle” diets endorsed by some glamorous celebrity, and it’s deemed “news” when a pop singer is spotted wearing her size eight jeans days after giving birth.

Read in full here.

Living With An Eating Disorder: What It Can Be Like

A video by courage4future4 in anticipation of Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

"I want to be able to show what it can be like to live with an eating disorder. Whether it be anorexia, binge eating disorder, bulimia, or EDNOS, all are serious diseases that affect those they afflict in so many ways. I want to stress that eating disorders are not a choice. There are many who suffer who would give the world to live a day free from their eating disorder."

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2009: ED Info

In keeping with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, here are some ED post links from within Weighing The Facts:

Bulimia Nervosa
Warning Signs Of Bulimia
Binge Eating Disorder/Compulsive Overeating
Selective Eating Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Dieting/ED Connection
ED Self-Assessment Tests and Quizzes
ED Resources, Hotlines, Websites, Etc.

Please see sidebar for more links to ED info, resources, news, hotlines, recovery, etc.
picture of

What Are You Doing For National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2009?

It's day 2.

Are you doing anything for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week?

I'd like to invite you to leave a comment about your plans or links to your posts that relate to NEDAwareness week.

Please also take a moment and participate in the poll located in the sidebar.
Thank you.

Completed Poll Results:

Are you doing anything for National Eating Disorders Week, and if so, what are you doing?
(choose all that apply)

votes: 46

Yes 23 (50%)

No 6 (13%)

Undecided 2 (4%)

Uninterested 1 (2%)

Journaling 10 (21%)

Blogging 9 (19%)

Spreading the word 20 (43%)

Educating others 17 (36%)

Educating myself 23 (50%)

A scheduled event 10 (21%)

Helping others 8 (17%)

Working on my recovery 23 (50%)

Taking first step/recovery 2 (4%)

Reaching out for myself 15 (32%)

Reaching out to others 16 (34%)

Sharing my story 15 (32%)

I don't know what to do 10 (21%)

Nothing 2 (4%)

More Poll Results

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2009

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2009: Until Eating Disorders Are History


The mission of NEDAwareness Week

"Our aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder."

Eating Disorders Awareness Week starts today. Here are a few links to help get you motivated, involved, and aware!

Find Events In Your Area

World Wide Charter For Action On Eating Disorders

Star Program: States For Treatment Access and Research

The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness


NEDIC: Canada

Please see sidebar for more information on Eating Disorders, Resources, Tools, and Recovery Inspiration.

More National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2009 Posts:
What Are You Doing?
ED Info
Living With An Eating Disorder (video)
Online Candlelight Vigil
Before I Disappear

additional sources linked above

Eating Disorders News: Feb 21st, 2009


At time eating disorders were considered primarily as a women's disease. But recent studies show a growing number of men, young children and the elderly are suffering from anorexia or bulimia.

Eating disorder experts here in Maine say more people are getting help thanks to heightened awareness about the disorders.

Aleah Starr is a 19 year old sophomore at Colby College. She hopes to one day teach middle school English. At one time in her life, she suffered from anorexia, but her parents spotted the signs early on.

"They were able to get me help and I was very fortunate to have help when I needed, where I needed it, very rapidly," said Starr.

But the face of the disease is changing. The New England Eating Disorder program at Mercy Hospital is the state's only comprehensive eating disorders clinic. The clinic used to primarily treat women 14 to 22 years of age, now they have patients as young as 7 and as old as 70 -- and more men are seeking help.

Read in full here.



the tech talk org

Sunday afternoons were reserved for "Maw Maw's" dining room table in Ashley Matthews' household.

The junior photography major's childhood was documented by these large weekly gatherings of extended family, which included her cousin of the same age.

But in the latter years of high school, Matthews noticed a change around the table. Her cousin would no longer eat in front of the family.

When obsessive exercise and minimal eating made her cousin's struggle with an eating disorder obvious, Matthews said she was still in disbelief.

"My aunts and uncles were telling me, 'Ashley, you need to talk to her; you need to talk to her' because I was close to her," she said. "I was in complete denial because I thought she didn't have the willpower to do something that dramatic to her body."

Read in full here.



MarieClaire UK

The number of anorexic girls who end up in hospital has risen by 80% over the past decade.

The new figures showed that children as young as nine are being rushed to hospital after becoming seriously ill by starving themselves almost to death.

Susan Ringwood, chief executive of the UK eating disorder charity, beat, said the rise in admissions could be due to delayed treatment for anorexia.

She said: ‘We can’t tell if there’s more people actually suffering from an eating disorder or whether it’s just that more are getting admitted to hospital.’

Read in full here.


Murray State News

Susan Lawhead said she hopes when students walk through the Women’s Center’s “Room With a View,” they realize they could walk through the room of their sister, roommate, family member or friend. And if not, the junior from Glen Carbon, Ill., said she hopes the project raises awareness on the warning signs attributed with eating disorders.

Jane Etheridge, director of the Women’s Center, said “Room With a View” gives viewers the opportunity to walk into the life of a woman with an eating disorder.

The exhibit is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday in Old Clark College.
Five unoccupied bedrooms are decorated to describe a female student’s first year as a Murray State student with an eating disorder.

“There are journals, pictures, decorations, mirrors, everything that would be a part of this girl’s life,” Etheridge said. “The first room is in September and the following months are similar, but you can see the transitions she is taking.”

The exhibit ends in with the month of May, right before the student leaves school for the summer. Without giving any secrets away, Etheridge said the fourth is the darkest, with light at the end of the tunnel in May.

The final room features display boards with information and other resources on eating disorders. “There will be some information on prevention, others on the media’s effect, advice on how to eat healthy, body image issues and so on,” Etheridge said.

Monday night, clinical psychology graduate students are available to evaluate attendees’ attitudes toward eating and their body.

"The grad students will be able to determine if they have a healthy body image or view of themselves,” Etheridge said. “It is called the Eating Attitudes Test 26. It takes about 10 minutes and the grad students will give people their results and advice if they think they need it.”

Both Susan Lawhead and Etheridge agree the purpose of “Room With a View” is to raise awareness about eating disorders as more than just dieting.

“We want to develop a greater sensitivity and understanding of the vast complexity of eating disorders,” Etheridge said. “The woman portrayed is striving to be thin, but there are a lot of other things going on in her life that are challenging and stressful.”

Read in full here.


NECN .com

On the catwalks of New York Fashion Week, "skinny" is still beautiful. But, a million miles away in Ashkelon, in southern Israel, a competition to find new Israeli models is trying to change all that.

"They want to be pretty, she wants to be good looking, and how can I be good looking? I have to be skinny, skinny, and skinny and skinny," says fashion photographer Adi Barkan.

For the past seven years, fashion photographer Adi Barkan has been battling the fashion industry's obsession with super- skinny models. He wants the world's designers and advertisers to use bigger, healthier girls.

Successful girls here will have to have a body mass index more than 19.5 - many of today's stars are only 14 or 15.

It was at competitions like this one that Adi Barkan first understood the enormous pressures young girls were under to lose weight - anyone he sees today that's too thin will be told to go home and put on weight.

Adi has seen the tragic consequences of this obsession with weight loss - Hilla Elmalich - a friend and model, for years fought a desperate battle against anorexia. Two years ago, she died. It only made Adi more determined.

Read in full here.


Warrington Guardian

MORE than one million people in the UK are victims of an eating disorder, with as many as one in 20 women having eating habits which are of concern.

Now campaigners are hoping to quash those statistics by raising the awareness of the condition during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which starts on Monday.

A Warrington mum whose teenage daughter suffered from anorexia – she does not wish to be named – warned parents and friends to look out for the following tell-tale signs common in sufferers: - Becoming withdrawn - Fussy eating - Lack of communication or saying they have already eaten - Wearing baggy clothes - Disappearing to the bathroom or for walks immediately after eating to be sick in private l Isolating themselves from their peers and lunch time.

In 2006 the Liberal Democrats reported an increase in children under the age of 10 receiving hospital treatment for such conditions.

Figures revealed there were 58 children under 10 and 35 of those were boys.

With increased coverage of size zero models, the same year saw more girls aged 18 or younger being treated in hospitals – a statistic higher than any other year from the past decade.

Read in full here.


The medguru

A recent survey by National Health Services (NHS) revealed the number of young girls hospitalized with an eating disorder called anorexia has nearly doubled in a decade.

Anorexia is an
eating disorder characterized by unrealistic fear of weight gain, self-starvation, and conspicuous distortion of body image.

According to the latest official figures, the number of girls aged 16 and under admitted to hospital due to anorexia has increased sharply, jumping by 80 percent over the past 10 years.

More precisely, the number of admissions among girls aged 16 and under jumped from 256 in 1996/97 to 462 in 2006/07 in last ten years.

The latest NHS figures show girls aged 15 were admitted 141 times to hospitals in England in 2006/07 compared to just 75 admissions in 1996/97. The same was true among 16-year-olds, jumping from 55 admissions in 1996/97 to 108 in 2006/07.

Shockingly, there were 93 admissions in 2006/07 among 14-year-olds as compared to 58 admissions in 1996/97.

Similarly, among 13-year-old girls, there was a 38 percent rise, from 34 admissions to 47, while among 12-year-old girls there was a 207 percent rise, from 13 admissions to 40.

Read in full here.


Health Care Republic

The number of young girls being admitted to hospital suffering from anorexia has jumped by 80% in the last decade, according to the Liberal Democrats.
Figures revealed in a parliamentary answer show that the number of admissions had risen from 256 in 1996/97 to 462 in 2006/7.

MP Mark Hunter (Lib Dem, Cheadle) said: ‘These shocking figures show just how little the government has done to tackle the problem of eating disorders like anorexia.

Read in full here.

see links for article sources

Recovery Quote Of The Week: Feb 19th, 2009

"Most of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them."
Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld

*Please see sidebar for more Inspirations Recovery Quotes and Quotes Of The Week.


Inspirational Eating Disorder Recovery Quotes: Self-Love

The finest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.
Michel de Montaigne

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
African Proverb

It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.
Marcel Proust

Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
Les Brown

The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.
A.L. Kitselman

If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.
Author Unknown

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.
Bruce Barton

Self-love depressed becomes self-loathing.
Sally Kempton

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
Sylvia Plath

It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes.
Sally Field

At this very moment, you may be saying to yourself that you have any number of admirable qualities. You are a loyal friend, a caring person, someone who is smart, dependable, fun to be around. That's wonderful, and I'm happy for you, but let me ask you this: are you being any of those things to yourself?
Phillip C. McGraw

A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.
David Brinkley

We are all primary numbers divisible only by ourselves.
Jean Guitton

Self-love is the instrument of our preservation.

Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults.
Les Brown

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.
Author Unknown

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.
Roderick Thorp

It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.
W.C. Fields

Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers.
La Rochefoucauld

We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.
Mark Twain

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.
Walt Disney

Man is never alone. Acknowledged or unacknowledged, that which dreams through him is always there to support him from within.
Laurence van der Post

If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh

If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.
Louise L.Hay

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Success comes in cans, not cant's.
Author Unknown

It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.

I was right not to be afraid of any thief but myself, who will end by leaving me nothing.
Katherine Anne Porter

Put your future in good hands - your own.
Author Unknown

The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.
Margaret Young

The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.

I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”"
Rita Mae Brown

The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.

Only you can set you free.
Living Colour

Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being.
Michel de Montaigne

What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one's self.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

I am not a has-been. I am a will be.
Lauren Bacall

Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul.
Henry Van Dyke

Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.
Peter T. Mcintyre

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
Anaïs Nin

You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.
Michael Jordan

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
Edmund Hillary

You will always have to live with yourself, and it is to your best interest to see that you have good company -- a clean, pure, straight, honest, upright, generous, magnanimous companion.
Orison Swett Marden

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.
Eric Hoffer

When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.
Cecil Selig

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
Dr. Seuss

Spirit can walk, spirit can swim, spirit can climb, spirit can crawl. There is no terrain you cannot
Irisa Hail

Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light. Above all things reverence thyself.

Your problem is you're... too busy holding onto your unworthiness.
Ram Dass

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
Veronica A. Shoffstall

Know that you are your greatest enemy, but also your greatest friend.
Jeremy Taylor

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.
Sonya Friedman

Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.
Karen Ravn

I celebrate myself, and sing myself.
Walt Whitman

The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others.
Dag Hammarskjold

Love yourself instead of abusing yourself.
Karolina Kurkova

I feel my body, my mind, weighted down - all is heavy - but my blood, my inner fire, my passion, the little unburdened kid in me, patiently wait to burst free. Some of us die never having burst.
Drew Sirtors

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
Willa Cather

Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.
Mathew Arnold

Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your
choices, and everything is possible.
Cherie Carter-Scott

But respect yourself most of all.

We have nothing to lose by trusting the infinite power of the Self, except the bondage of our own ignorance.
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Take the time to come home to yourself every day.
Robin Casarjean

One cannot spend forever sitting and solving the mysteries of one's history.
Lemony Snicket

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.
Hindustani Proverb

Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.
Chinese inscription cited by Thoreau in Walden

It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: am I proud of me? I gave my life to become the person I am right now! Was it worth what I paid?
Richard Bach

Falling, falling, falling, falling down. Look yourself in the eye before you drown.
Emily Saliers

Related Post:
Self-Worth: The Unconditional Love of Self

*See sidebar for links to more Inspirational Recovery Quotes, Quotes Of The Week, and other Resources.