Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Heidi Diaz

Breaking news from The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, California:

"Corona woman's diet program given low marks

07:40 PM PST on Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Press-Enterprise

A Corona woman's Internet-based weight-loss program has been named the worst diet product of 2008 by a healthy-eating Web site.

In announcing winners of its 20th annual Slim Chance Awards, the Healthy Weight Network -- an online forum for health care professionals, researchers and consumers -- said the Kimkins low-fat, low-carb diet amounts to a "starvation diet" that deprives members of many nutrients.

"This weight obsession is causing so many problems," said network founder Francie Berg, a licensed nutritionist and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine.

Heidi Diaz aka Kimmer

Corona resident Heidi Diaz, founder of the Kimkins program, which charges members a fee to access the diet, could not be reached Tuesday by phone or e-mail.

A pending class-action lawsuit filed against Diaz claims that Diaz misled consumers with made-up success stories and pilfered images from a Russian dating Web site to depict as successful Kimkins dieters.

many faces of Heidi Diaz

Heidi Diaz on the left...the other pictures of her are fakes

Some Kimkins members have said that they suffered hair loss, heart palpitations, weakness, nausea, muscle fatigue, forgetfulness and abnormal menstrual cycles.

Court records show that Diaz dropped her lawyer this month and is representing herself.

Heidi Diaz at deposition

In an online message to Kimkins members posted a year ago, Diaz acknowledged that she had not lost 198 pounds in 11 months, as she had claimed on her site, but 100 pounds in six months. She also wrote that photos accompanying success stories were taken from another site.

"We wanted to show visitors the possibilities with Kimkins," she said.

Woman's World magazine featured the Kimkins diet program on its cover in June 2007 with the headline "Better than gastric bypass!" The magazine later apologized to readers for "having shared with you a story we can't stand behind."

Woman's World apology

As of Tuesday, the Kimkins Web site was still running, telling visitors that "many Kimkins members drop 5 percent or more of their total body weight in the first 10 days."

Members pay $79.90 to join the program.

A disclaimer tells visitors to contact their doctor before starting any diet.

Berg said people should focus less on losing weight and concentrate more on eating well, staying active and relieving stress.

Berg's Web site named as its worst gimmick of 2008 a brand of jeans that claims to release a cellulite-fighting medication when the jeans rub against the skin.

"Some of this is just ridiculous," Berg said.

Reach Douglas Quan at 951-368-9479 or dquan@PE.com"

And this is what was said about the Kimkins diet by The Healthy Weight Network in awarding Kimkins the 2008 Slim Chance Award:

"WORST PRODUCT: Kimkins diet. It must have seemed an easy way to get rich quick. Founder Heidi “Kimmer” Diaz set up a website and charged members a fee to access the Kimkins diet, boasting they could lose up to 5 percent of their body weight in 10 days. “Better than gastric bypass,” there was “no faster diet,” and in fact she herself had lost 198# in 11 months. Stunning “after” photos were displayed. In June 2007 Women's World ran it as a cover story, and that month alone PayPal records show the Kimkins site took in over $1.2 million. Then users began complaining of chest pains, hair loss, heart palpitations, irritability and menstrual irregularities. This was not surprising since Kimkins is essentially a starvation diet, down to 500 calories per day and deficient in many nutrients (appallingly, laxatives are advised to replace the missing fiber). In a lawsuit, 11 former members are uncovering a vast record of Diez’s alleged fraud. They found that the stunning “after” photos, including one of Kimmer herself, had been lifted from a Russian mail order bride site. According to a deposition reported by Los Angeles TV station KTLA, Diaz admitted using fake pictures, fake stories and fake IDs, and a judge has allowed the litigants to freeze some of her assets."

Way to go, Heidi! Nothing like making headlines in your own backyard. Didn't you say any publicity is good publicity? Want to take that back?

And for those who may not be aware, Heidi Diaz DID NOT lose 100 pounds in 6 months as she claimed in her "confession" on her website. Heidi Diaz (aka Kimmer) never lost one pound and remains morbidly obese, as can be seen in the above photographs.



Follow on Buzz

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


(Photo Credit: Moments of Randomness)

Follow on Buzz

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I've heard there was a secret chord
that David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, Do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor Fall, The major lift,
The baffled king composing, hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair, she broke your throne
she cut your hair and from your lips she drew the halleujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe I've been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's real and going on below
but now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah…

(Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen)

Follow on Buzz

Sunday, December 21, 2008



The online world has a wonderful new resource for desperate dieters and anybody else who is determined to make health a priority in 2009.

Join old friends and new as we kick the New Year off with a renewed dedication to health and weight loss.

Tipping the Scales to Health

To join, please click here:

Tipping the Scales to Health Forum

Follow on Buzz

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WHEN I'M 64....

I'd rather look like this...

Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren, age 63

...than this:

The starved body of an older anorexic

Wouldn't you?

Dame Helen Mirren dishes on size zero, the fashion industry, and eating disorders:

From the Mail Online:

"01 October 2007"

"Dame Helen Mirren has joined the size zero debate by blaming women for pushing teenage girls towards eating disorders.

The 62-year-old Oscar winning actress said women were behind the images of skinny girls on the catwalk and in magazines giving teenage girls a complex about their weight.

In a vitriolic attack Dame Helen said: "I blame my own sex vehemently on this.

"It is women who run the magazines and women who editorialise and women who make the decisions.

"I think it is completely iniquitous to have incredibly skinny girls on the runway.

"A lot of the girls are horrifically thin and of course they have a problem.

"Mostly the fashion industry chooses to turn a blind eye."

The actress has bared all for numerous roles during her lengthy stage and screen career. She admitted she was not averse to cosmetic surgery and had been airbrushed on the cover of her autobiography In The Frame. But she said she was left shocked by her own experience of the modelling industry after visiting agents with her niece Natalie Fitzgerald, who was keen to get work.

Dame Helen said: "I took my 17-year-old niece around to some modelling agencies because she is very tall at more than 6ft.

"I knew that a little part of her brain was thinking: 'I could be a model.'

"She is a slim, flat-bellied and normal girl. Every modelling agency told her she would have to lose weight and I felt so guilty because she really did not have to.

"When she got home I did not want her to feel like that."

Miss Fitzgerald, now 20, subsequently chose not to join an agency and relies on finding work herself.

But Dame Helen said the incident exposed the dangerous side of the industry to her first-hand.

She said: "It is not just skinny girls. It is those ads telling you to use foundation and the girl in the ad is a 13 year old and has no make up on whatsoever.

"The whole thing is based on fantasy. The catwalk clothes may look fabulous on the thin girl but they look ridiculous on a normal slim girl."

Dame Helen's celebrated curves earned her a sex symbol tag. But the actress, who has scooped trophies this year for The Queen, Elizabeth I and Prime Suspect, said she spent her career trying to shake it off.

She added: "It annoyed me when I was younger. At the time maybe I should have been enjoying it but I found it a bit of an albatross.

"As I got older I cared less and less and now I am absolutely thrilled!

Dame Helen, who could return to the British stage, said she was planning to lighten her workload with 'a slow little walk to one side.'

"The ageing process happens and you cannot do the things you used to do," she said. "I will fight it off for as long as I can.

"As for cosmetic procedures, you cannot be 80 and look 50 but if I get to a point where it is really depressing me and I want to feel better about myself then I will do it.

"I would love to have my chunky legs liposuctioned but I am too frightened." "



Follow on Buzz

Friday, December 12, 2008



And Kathryn bites back...

Kathryn (aka whitebutterfly) sent me the following e-mail this morning:


Im writing you a quick email to let you know about a certain "indiscretion" within apple i-tunes.

The other day I happened to be listening to a song called "4st7lb" by the Manic Street Preachers, which as you may be able to guess is a song about anorexia. Merely by chance I happened to glance over at the "genius recommends" column. If you are unaware of this function, the newer versions of i-tune have a function which allows you to compile playlists of similar songs within your library, but it also brings up a list of song recommendations you don't have to purchase from their store.

Now normally I have nothing but praise for this function, it has provided me with ideas of new bands to listen to etc. However, when I glanced over when the afermetioned song was playing, I was not met by a list of songs/bands that are similar in style/genre to the Manic Street Preachers. Instead I got a list of songs which mentioned ED attitudes or behaviours. The song recommendations it thought I would like were..

Freaks - Pulp
Big Isn't Beautiful - King Adora
She's Falling Apart - Lisa Loeb
Binge and Purge - Lunachicks
Born A Girl - Manic Street Preachers (ok Ill give that one for musical taste!)
Bulimic Beats - Catatonia
Live Happy, Live with Anorexia - Stage
Skinny - Filter
Skin and Bones - Marianas Trench

I must admit I was shocked, few of these bands have any links to the Manic Street Preachers and those that do - why did apple suggest those particular songs?

Needless to say I was none too impressed to discover I could create a "thinspirational" (as it were) playlist at a touch of a button. Hoping to be able to give apple the benefit of the doubt on this issue I decided to see what would happen if I selected other songs with specific things mentioned in the titles, I tried "Angel Eyes", "Demon Days" and "Help the Aged" for all three of these songs the recommendations were for bands/song of a similar sound rather than based on the themes of the songs.

I expressed my views on this discovery on a post-proana site I post on, and various other members agreed that this is a dangerous indiscretion on apples behalf. It seems irresponsible that they are aiding vulnerable people to create a list of songs that could be potential triggering/dangerous for them to listen to. Some people suggested that I pass on this information to various well known bloggers..in the hope we can spread the message and encourage apple to change the system.

I have listed the link for my orginal comments on the matter below. The post is in a part of the forum that is public so you should be able to access it easily. May I apologise in advance for the profanity in my post, but at the time of writing I was still mad at them.


So I just thought I'd pass on the word to you.

Hope you don't mind me contacting you like this.



No wonder Kathryn is outraged. iTunes needs to do some serious work on their song recommendations. The last thing the millions of people who are struggling with eating disorders need are triggering songs or thinspirational playlists compiled for their listening pleasure by Apple iTunes.

Please take a moment to read Kathryn's post on We Bite Back, and join the group she has started on Facebook to voice your concerns.

We Bite Back:


Please take a moment to write Apple, iTunes and Steve Jobs, personally.

Steve Jobs's contact information:


I have also found the following email addresses for Steve Jobs but I'm not sure if any of them are still valid:


Apple Inc.
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

Apple Public Relations (408) 974-2042

Katie Cotton
Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications
email: katiec@apple.com

Apple Feedback:

iTunes Feedback:

Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Let Steve Jobs, Apple, and iTunes know how you feel.

Kathryn, thanks so much for alerting me to this. Much appreciated.



Follow on Buzz



When I recently discovered that quite a few girls and young women were spiking their water, juice or coffee with Visine because of its laxative effect, to say that I was stunned is an understatement.

A great misconception is that laxatives cause weight loss, and many children, teens and adults consume vast amounts of laxatives in an effort to lose weight. What they don't realize is that laxatives do not cause weight loss. Why? Take a moment to read this excellent article on the ANRED website: Laxatives and enemas: not the way to go.

So, what on earth gave these girls the idea to use Visine as a laxative? Visine is for "getting the red out." But to use it as a laxative???

Well, it wasn't too long before I found what I believe is the answer. The movie, Wedding Crashers, featured a prank where some drops of Visine were put in a guy's drink and he ended up with raging diarrhea.

What the movie failed to address were the serious consequences when one ingests a few too many drops of Visine.

Here's what can happen:


Difficulty breathing
No breathing

Eyes and skin:

Blurred vision
Blue lips and fingernails
Change in pupil size


High blood pressure (at first)
Low blood pressure (later)
Rapid heartbeat

Stomach and intestines:


Nervous system:



Low body temperature

The above are symptoms of poisoning as a result of ingesting Visine, which contains tetrahydrozoline.

And it's not just Visine which contains tetrahydrozoline. Nasal sprays and other over-the-counter eye drops like Tyzine, Eyesine, Murine Tears Plus, Optigene 3, Geneye, Visine Original and Advanced Relief) also contain tetrahydrozoline.

A case report from the The National Institute of Health:

"Pediatric Visine (tetrahydrozoline) ingestion: case report and review of imidazoline toxicity.

Daggy A, Kaplan R, Roberge R, Akhtar J.

Emergency Medicine Residency Program of the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

Visine, an over-the-counter, tetrahydrozoline topical ophthalmic decongestant, possesses central and peripheral alpha2-adrenergic properties. We present a case of accidental pediatric oral exposure with resultant neurological and cardiovascular complications..."*

(*Note: tetrahydrozoline is a derivative of imidazoline)

Many incidents of tetrahydrozoline poisoning have been reported in the news. Here are just a few:

From the Mail Tribune:

"Visine-laced drinks lead to charges

Former Manor workers had a grudge, cops say
By Chris Conrad
Mail Tribune
May 26, 2007 6:00 AM

A feud between coworkers at the Rogue Valley Manor earlier this month boiled over when two employees poisoned two others by allegedly spiking their strawberry soda with Visine, which could have had serious consequences, authorities said.

Shani Rachelle Davis, 36, who was an office supervisor at the Manor, and employee Christina Laura Bongcayao, 27, were each arraigned Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court on two counts of second-degree assault.

The poisoning capped a long period of bad blood between the suspects and Irene Seaver, 47, and Corrin Parker, 47, both of Medford, according to police.

"It's been pretty rough in our office for some time," Seaver said.

Seaver claims that she had witnessed various infractions by Davis and Bongcayao, sparking the vendetta.

On May 3, Davis and Bongcayao brought strawberry soda to work for their fellow coworkers. Both Seaver and Parker drank the soda, not knowing that it had been laced with Visine eye drop solution.

A popular urban legend says that Visine causes diarrhea when ingested, as seen on the film "The Wedding Crashers."

The actual symptoms of Visine poisoning can be much more serious as the active ingredient Tetrahydrozoline can cause breathing difficulties, severe headache, seizures and possibly coma, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center's Web site.

After drinking the tainted soda, both women became lethargic and could hardly stay awake, Seaver said.

"I was going through periods when I literally couldn't function," she said. "It felt like my bones were made of rubber."

They next day they were able to narrow down the source of the malady.

"The only thing we shared all day was the strawberry soda given to us by (Davis and Bongcayao)," Seaver said.

Both Davis and Bongcayao were fired from the Manor and Medford police detectives became involved. They found two empty bottles of Visine that had come from the Manor's pharmacy, Seaver said.

Bongcayao remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail late Friday on $25,000 bail. Davis was cited and released."

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Photo Credit: Jack Orton

Whitnall High School students Timothy Hertell (from left), Anton Lak, Andrew Michaels, Andrew Ryback (black shirt) and Scott Miller (far right) leave a Milwaukee County courtroom after being given probation and, in Ryback's case, house arrest. They pleaded guilty to putting Visine in a classmate's drink, sending him to a hospital.

"Visine prank leads to day in court
5 plead no contest to imperiling classmate
By Derrick Nunnally of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Nov. 15, 2006

In the film "Wedding Crashers," a scatological prank involving a few drops of Visine in an unwitting man's drink is played for comedic effect, but five Whitnall High School students nearly killed a classmate by imitating it at school in June.

On Tuesday, they found themselves apologizing to a judge and pleading - successfully - for leniency, including the opportunities to avoid jail time and have their misdemeanor convictions expunged.

"Basically, it was a prank that went wrong, and nobody intended for any real harm to come to anybody," said Andrew Ryback, 17, who had brought the Visine to school June 2to help with his allergies.

That day, he and friends had recalled how the "Wedding Crashers" Visine gag led to sudden digestive distress and decided to see if it would play out like that in real life.

Ryback said he surreptitiously poured "like a quarter of the bottle" of eyedrops into the classmate's water while the other four friends at the same lunch table observed. He was singled out by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Charles F. Kahn Jr. to serve 25 days on house arrest and two years on probation.

The other four students involved - Timothy E. Hertel, 17; Anton J. Lak, 18; Andrew J. Michaels, 18; and Scott T. Miller, 17 - each got 18 months on probation and 60 hours of community service. All five had pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct after initially being charged with felony counts of placing foreign objects in edibles, and each faces up to a year in the county House of Correction if he violates conditions of the probation.

"We all intended a little stupid joke, but we never intended to send him to the hospital," said Michaels, who noted that he is supposed to set a better example as the only senior on Whitnall's basketball team.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, they were contemplating possible victims when one classmate sitting nearby had gotten up to go get a cookie, leaving his bottle of Propel Fitness Water untended. It was passed across the table to Ryback. The other boy then got back and was goaded into a chugging contest.

Two classes later, he was woozy and headed for the school's health room when someone tipped him off that Visine had been planted in his drink. He was sent to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, where it would take several days and intensive-care treatment for him to recover from poisoning reactions that included dangerously low heart rate and blood pressure.

A doctor said the student could have died if he hadn't gotten medical treatment, and his mother told a prosecutor that the boy had required a defibrillator while at the hospital. He didn't attend Tuesday's hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Megan Carmody told Kahn the boy suffered no residual effects and didn't hold a grudge against the five who had a hand in poisoning him.

None of the five students charged in the case had a prior criminal record, and their attorneys told Kahn their records of community service and solid classwork, as well as their college plans, meant expunction of their convictions would help their life prospects dramatically. Each had also already served a three-day suspension from school.

"This is a prank that just, obviously, went much awry," said D. Michael Guerin, attorney for Miller.

Kahn agreed and said each would be eligible to wipe his record clean if probation is completed successfully."

From gothamist:


Kristine Anzalone

December 6, 2007

Roommate's Revenge Plan: Visine Poisoning, Dog Fight

We always thought that Visine poisoning was an urban legend, but a crazy story from Long Island seems to suggest otherwise. Twenty-four year-old Kristine Anzalone has pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault and third-degree criminal mischief after being arrested for allegedly spiking her roommate's drink with Visine and then agitating his dogs to get into a fight.

According to Newsday, Anzalone and her husband Christopher lived with a male roommate in a North Bellmore home for a few months. But the three squabbled over rent as well as the roommate's smoking while Anzalone was pregnant. Last June, she allegedly gave the roommate an iced tea with "unknown amount of Visine," which does contain the chemical tetrahydrozoline. The roommate suffered intestinal distress, including vomiting and rectal bleeding, plus had trouble breathing and was admitted to the hospital.

Then, a few months later, after returning from a business trip, the roommate found his Chihuahua had been killed by his pit bull. A witness told him Anzalone used a cane to provoke the pit bull into attacking the smaller dog.

And then the roommate took the couple, now living in East Rockaway, to small claims court when Christopher Anzalone took his big screen TV. The Nassau police say that assault charges took time because of "reluctant witnesses" (the roommate found out about the Visine poisoning from friends). Anzalone's lawyer said, "The facts will show that she had nothing to do with this."


If you have deliberately (or accidentally) swallowed Visine or any other eye-drop or nasal product containing tetrahydrozoline, please do the following:

From NIH:

"In the US, please call The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222), which can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

[Note: For those living outside the United States, please call your local Poison Control Centre immediately]

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive:

Activated charcoal
Breathing assistance (artificial respiration) if necessary
Methods to cause vomiting
Tube thru the nose into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)

Outlook (Prognosis)

Survival past 24 hours is usually a good sign that recovery will follow."






Follow on Buzz

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



UPDATE (December 10, 2008):

I'd like to share with you a comment I received from BonyPink early this morning on this post:

"BonyPink said...

Well done post. I have been trapped with anorexia for roughly 25 years and was finally diagnosed terminal because of the permanent damage I've done to my organs.

Tomorrow I am headed into a hospice in hope for improving quality of my remaining life, treatment facilities are no longer an option for me as I am often a case that scares doctors away from taking my case as they fear when I die they will be sued for not being able to do anything to prolong my life.

Anorexia Nervosa has controlled everything in my life since I was a young girl. I had eating issues for years before I was diagnosed, it took me to fall into a coma at 13 and get rushed to the ER before I was finally diagnosed...and given 10 years inpatient. O_o

The cause of my anorexia (and a ridiculous amount of others) was (numerous) sexual assaults throughout my life. I am disgusted by the pro-ED movement, it makes a joke out of everything those who actually ARE eating disordered have been through.

Who the bloody hell would willingly chose this? These idiots no nothing of what real eating disorders are, they are but crash dieters sending large amounts of misinformation only troubling the truly eating disordered population.

(I know I'm going on, and on..)

I used to (when I was able to leave my home, I'm now in a wheelchair and more often bedridden.) go down the block from my apartment and get idiots screaming at me, laughing or taking pictures of me, often telling me "no guy would ever want to have you, you look so disgusting!"

But that was exactly what I (and so many others in this situation) WANTED. To be sexually unappealing.

Sorry for the novel, those buggers just really piss me off.

December 10, 2008 3:02 AM"




Isabelle Caro


From an ana forum:


So...you think starving is a good way to lose weight, do you? I think you've read too many fairy tales. Well, this isn't one. Neither are eating disorders. They are sheer & total HELL. But, since you want one, I'll go ahead & prep you for it. I'll let you know exactly what will happen to you. If this doesn't make you realize how completely stupid running out there & trying to develop anorexia is, then I wish you the best of luck in killing yourself. Because that's all you'll be doing.


The completely ironic part about people trying to lose weight by starving is that half the time it does not work. I bet you think you'll wind up insanely thin & gorgeous, right? Wrong. You won't be gorgeous .One thing's for certain. Insane is a definite part of the package. Your mind won't be yours anymore. Kiss it goodbye, I hope you didn't enjoy it.


The less you eat, the lower your metabolism goes. You might starve & starve & barely lose anything...or you might be extra lucky...you might starve & starve & gain weight. Your body might just shut itself down & the weight go nowhere. & even though you aren't losing, you'll still be HOOKED. You still won't be able to stop. By the time your body shuts off from malnutrition, you'll be too far in it to *snap* think "Oh...this isn't working...I think I'll eat again." No...you'll be desperate & eat less & less & work out more and more. Eventually, you won't be ABLE to work out. Your muscles will eventually stop cooperating. Then you'll panic & try & eat even less to compensate for not being able to work your ass off (simply a figure of speech, since you're not losing any weight, of course). By then you can't eat less though. You're barely eating enough to stay alive as it is. & you can't stop. It isn't working & you still can't stop. & whether its working or not, you won't see the truth. You'll never actually know what you look like. Nope...no matter what you'll think you must weigh at least four hundred pounds. This is true if you weigh 150 or if you weigh 70. You will be fat. Insane is the proper term for it, isn't it? Yes, you might just be one of the lucky ones, one of the ones that doesn't lose weight. But don't sit there & think that means you won't be sick. Not true...not true at all. Your skin & hair will be dry, your teeth sore, your period gone, your bones aching, your muscles cramping...well, no need to go on. You still want this, of course. After all, you won't be like that. You won't be one of the failures. You'll be successful; you'll be thin & perfect. Beautiful.


Well, since you're going to win, why don't I tell you about your prize, hmm?? It's quite nice. You will be skinny. You will be sickly thin. Your ribs will stand out & your hipbones will be sharp. You won't see it. You'll look in the mirror & see fat. You'll see rolls. You'll look at girls who weight fifty pounds more than you & wonder why you can't be as thin as they are. You'll look in the mirror everyday & swear that you've gained at least ten pounds. Other people will see you shrink but you won't get to watch. You'll never see the truth. Others will though. You'll be sickly skinny...but you won't be pretty. & they'll all see that. You won't though...you'll be too busy staring at your ass & wondering when you turned into your fat Aunt Bertha. You will not be attractive. You won't. You'll have huge dark circles. Your skin will be pasty pale & have a lovely gray tint to it. Makeup will NOT help this. It won't, so don't think it will. Don't even bother to attempt it. You'll be wasting your time; time that could be better spent doing your usual pastime, staring into the pantry to watch the food. Of course, people might not notice that you're gray. They could be too busy staring at the dark black, blue, & purple spots you're covered in. Everything you do will result in a bruise. Everything.

hair loss-anorexia-lanugo

Do you have pretty hair? You won't anymore. It will be straw dry & dull. It will not shine. Think conditioner will help? It won't. It won't & there's no sense in trying it. It might soften your hair for a while (after you use half the bottle, of course) but it won't make your hair look any better. Buy a ponytail holder. You'll need it. You'll probably be wearing it all the time. You'll also need some hair dye. I sincerely hope your hair isn't a nice color....because it won't be soon. Yes...the color of your hair will fade out. You might even get grays. But gray is a nice color, isn't it? I rather like it. I think the grayish brown color where my natural red and blonde highlights used to be adds a bit of...oh...dignity to my look.

lanugo-anorexia-hair loss

Speaking of hair, do you like facial hair? I hope so. You'll have it. I have some lovely sideburns. Quite gorgeous. Actually, I have sexy hair everywhere. Fuzz, fuzz, fuzz. It's hot. All the guys love it and all the girls I know ask how to get some. They're jealous, you know. I tell them how I got it, starving. They never attempt it...I know why though. Its not because they're smart & healthy...no, no. Its because they're weak. Not strong like me. Of course, my muscles are deteriorating as we speak & I can no longer use even my five pound weights but I'm still strong, aren't I? Yes...because I don't eat. & that's true strength, isn't it? Denying yourself the basic fuel you need for life. Yup...strong & smart.

I bet you're one of those girls will the enviable natural nails. Those shiny ones that are so long people sometimes think they're fake? Cut them. Go ahead & cut them off now. They'll only break soon anyway.

lanugo-anorexia-hair loss

Kiss your newly gray hair goodbye too. It'll be falling out about now. You get to clean the drain about 6 times during your shower, just so the water will go down.

Also, you'll need to find a way to throw away your tampons to make it look as if you've been using them. Remember to tell your mom to buy you tampons once a month. Can't have her knowing you lost your period. & you will. I hope you're not having sex because you'll never know if you're pregnant or not. I guess you can just take a test every few weeks. & yes...you can still get pregnant. I hope you don't love the baby though, because chances are you'll lose it. It would probably be for the best if you did though because of the nice birth defects caused by eating disorders. So, you might get to live with the knowledge that your child died or had to go through life with a terrible disability because of you...but it was worth it for thinness. A small price to pay for perfection, even though you're not the one paying it. Who needs their full mental capabilities anyway? I hope your kid doesn't. But that might not be a problem. You might never have children. You might become infertile. Oh well...pregnancy makes you fat anyway.


Since you're one of the special ones, one of the anorexic ones, I'll bet you enjoy ice water. Pour it out. Drink plain water, warm diet coke. It hurts too badly to drink iced drinks. You're taking sensitive teeth to a new level. Forget those special toothpastes though. They don't work when your teeth are slowly dying from vitamin deficiencies. Never liked those teeth anyway. Dentures are nice.

How do you like to sit? Oh...you like your legs crossed? Hmm...too bad. Can't do that anymore. Your legs will fall asleep all the way up to your hips. Painfully asleep. This isn't like what you're used to, that tingly feeling. This hurts. A word of advice. After uncrossing them, just sit there. Don't try moving them or hitting them to wake them up. Bad idea...very painful. Don't stand up either, unless you enjoy collapsing.

Fainting is common too. & don't think this is something you can hide. Whenever you pass out dead in the living room in front of your mom or brother they'll wonder why...and unless they're complete idiots they'll probably know why...especially if you're 30 pounds underweight. Get ready for nagging. Eat this, eat that, why are you doing this to yourself??

You could always go to your room to escape though. Then you can lie in bed & bite your lip until it bleeds...why would you want to do that, do you ask? Because of the leg cramps, of course...oh! I must've forgotten to mention those! Oooh...the cramps are nice. Your muscles are balled into excruciating knots. You'll double over to massage the knots out and...what? There are no knots. There IS no rubbing the knots out because there are no knots. It just feels like it. There's nothing you can do. You just get to lie there & try not to scream. & trust me...you'll want to. Of course, you could always rub your legs anyway...it might make you feel better to pretend there's something you can do to help them. But you might not be thinking about your legs...you might be distracted by the headaches. Take some aspirin...oooh...or don't. Your tummy's too empty; it'll only make you throw up everywhere.

It's worth it right? Anything's worth it, even your hair, nails, bones, muscles, possible children, your family's heart, everything. Sacrifice it all, throw it all away. You're thin now, that's what counts, even though you don't know it.

You'll probably get chest pains. Maybe heart flutters. This is scary too, because you never wanted to die, you just wanted to be thin. But remember, you can't tell. Telling is forbidden & asking for help is weak.

Do you have problems with depression? You do now. The less you eat the more depressed you become. Partially from vitamin deficiencies, partially from your lovely eating disorder. Do you have problems with insomnia? That's right, you've got that now too. You're exhausted beyond belief but you still can't fall asleep...& when you do you can't stay asleep. Who needs sleep though?? Not you. Staying awake burns more calories anyway.

Do you do well in school? You don't now. You can't concentrate. Your mind won't function, & the only thing you can actually think about is food anyway. Your grades will fall. Want to recover? You'll probably have to leave school. How does repeating a grade sound?

Do you like going out with friends? You won't for long. You'll be afraid someone might notice how obese you are. You can't leave the house now without hiding under tons of clothes...you're terrified someone might see your repulsive body. You'll become more nervous too. Jittery. You'll also have difficulty talking. Oh...have you never had a stuttering problem? Well, you do now. You also forget what you wanted to say alot. Goodbye memory. And you can't go out with friends anyway, so I guess it's a good thing you no longer enjoy it. If you go out with friends they might want to eat! Maybe they'll want to go to a restaurant or the movies. How can you explain that you don't want any popcorn? How can you find an excuse for sitting there at the table sipping Diet Dr. Pepper or nibbling a salad & water while everyone else has cheeseburgers?? You can't. & they might make you eat. You can't do that...no. But why do they want you to eat? Is it because they care? No. Its because they WANT you to be fat!! How dare they?? They're jealous...that's it, they're jealous. Soon you'll realize something. Everyone wants you to be fat. Your parents, your siblings, teachers, friends. The world is against you & they all want you to spiral into morbid obesity. Get away from them. All of them. They don't understand & they're plotting your downfall. You can't have that, you can't lose this. Every time someone urges you to eat or recover "for your health" you know the truth. They hate you & want you to be fat. Push them away. Push away all the people who love you. That's the only way you'll ever be thin.

Hila Elmalich-anorexia-death

Israeli model, Hila Elmalich, RIP

Isabelle Caro

But one day this will be over. One day you will either die or recover. Death is easier. First you'll have to admit you need help (that is, on the chance that you haven't been forced into recovery...recovery that will not work until you cooperate). This is one of the hardest things you've ever done. Maybe you'll tell your mom. She might be wonderfully supportive, she might've already known. Or maybe she won't think you have a real problem. Then you're on your own. Maybe you'll tell your doctor. & if you tell your mom, she'll take you to a doctor. Then its better. You're safe now, they'll help you. They'll understand. Wrong. A degree is not an insurance against ignorance. & speaking of insurance, it only pays so much on mental health problems. And ED treatment costs are outrageous. So, even if you find a doctor that knows his ass from a hole in the ground you might not be able to get help. You might not be able to afford it.

As you recover, your school might have to know. Your teachers will not understand. Students might find out. They won't understand either. Their comments will hurt, you'll want to scream when they ask why you don't just eat. They might call you fat just for fun. Someone might start to admire you & try to become anorexic too...but then, you've been there. You wanted to be anorexic once & you never realized how stupid you were. You know it now, but it's too late. Its too late & you have to fight this or die...& fighting it is the hardest thing you've ever done. You'll put food in your mouth, that disgusting, terrible food & panic & want to cry. Maybe you will cry. Maybe you'll freak & spit it back out. Maybe you'll refuse to eat & get a lovely feeding tube. Triggers are everywhere & you want to kill yourself more with each bite you swallow. Maybe you will kill yourself. Maybe you'll fight & fight & enter recovery only to die while in recovery or even afterwards from complications caused by your years of having an eating disorder.

After fighting for the longest time, maybe you will get out. Maybe, after numerous slip ups & times that where so hard you thought you'd die, you recover. It takes a while. Even after you've eaten right for months & months your body still isn't the same. You start to wonder if it will ever be the same again. It might, but you won't. No. This will always be a part of you, it will never go away. Years later it will still be with you, you will still have those moments. Sometimes you'll pass a mirror & suddenly be 200 pounds larger. You'll panic & shake your head, trying to clear the image away. Something will happen in your life, maybe you'll lose your job. Something will happen to take away your control & you'll try to gain it back through starving. You will NEVER be the same. You'll see an article on a someone with an eating disorder & you'll start to cry, remembering that terrible pain. I'm not talking about the physical pain. That's the only pain I described, because it's the only part that's describable. There are no words for the mental anguish. It can never be described. It's unimaginable. You'll never feel another pain like that, another pain so filled with self loathing, vulnerability, terror, rage, desolation...

WHY do you want this?? WHY?!? I know, even after reading this, that you're still sitting there, wanting this. Why? What is it you want?? Is it beauty? Do you honestly think you won't be like this?? Do you honestly think malnutrition won't steal your looks? Is it glamour? READ THIS. Show me the glamour. Is it control?? Let me tell you, you'll NEVER be more out of control than you are when you have an eating disorder. You don't control what you put in your mouth. Hell, you don't even control your thoughts. You have NO control. None.

Do you honestly think that you'll be able to do this & not wind up this way? Do you think you are the one person on earth who can control this, who can just stop??? Do you think that maybe you can just do this, get thin, & stop?? WRONG! It doesn't work that way. Do you WANT to die? Do you want to be a martyr or something? Do you think this is beautiful? I bet you think its some sort of tragic beauty. Its not. There's nothing beautiful about it. Do you want some attention? Buy a new eyeliner, dance naked in the streets. Needing attention is a natural thing but there are a hell of alot better ways to get it.

Luisel Ramos-funeral-father

Father of sisters Luisel Ramos and Eleana (aka Eliana) Ramos, who both died from anorexia, at the funeral of Eleana

Eliana Ramos-Eleana Ramos

Eleana Ramos, RIP

Luisel Ramos

Luisel Ramos, RIP

Do you want to look at your family's faces & know that you're killing them too? Imagine watching your child killing themselves, imagine your helplessness, imagine KNOWING that they're dying & KNOWING that there's NOTHING that you can do. Imagine fearing the day you'll come home to find them dead from this. Just sit there & try to think about it. Of course, while you're starving yourself you won't see that anguish. You won't be able to. You can't see anything, you're too self absorbed. You're too busy thinking about your weight, about food. You'll see it when you recover though & you'll hate yourself for doing that to the ones you love. You'll wish there was something you could do to erase it but there is nothing. You just have to live with it...& living with it is hard. Especially when you think of how many times your anger came out on them, how many times you got nasty when they were only trying to save your life. You'll hate yourself.


Young girl who died from a ruptured stomach


But do you know what? Self-hatred is the least of your worries now. Because you've likely just signed your own death warrant...& you likely don't even care...yet. But you will. You will care. You will care & you will cry & rage & swear you'd give anything to take it all back. But it's too late, because by the time you're in deep enough to care, you're already dying. Its too late to snap out of it now, no matter how much you want to.

This is the reality of anorexia. It is nothing like the powerful articles you read on how so & so overcame it. It is nothing like the beauty you see when you look at that thin model. It is nothing like that beautiful popular girl who naturally weighs 80lbs. It is nothing like anything you've ever lived before & you will never be the same."


The section, QUICKLINKS TO MEDUSA'S POSTS ON EATING DISORDERS, on the right-hand side of my blog has other posts on Luisel & Eleana Ramos, Hila Elmalich, Isabelle Caro, Ana Carolina Reston, Aimee Moore, lanugo (facial & body hair), etc.

Follow on Buzz

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter
Karen Carpenter (1950 - 1983)

Twenty-five years have passed since Karen Carpenter's death at the age of 32. I saw Karen perform in Las Vegas with her brother in the late '70s and at that time she looked deathly ill.

Karen's autopsy revealed that she had suffered cardiac arrest due to complications from anorexia nervosa.

Two other findings of the autopsy were that she also suffered from cachexia and emetine cardiotoxicity, which is indicative of abuse by Karen of syrup of ipecac. Syrup of ipecac causes one to vomit if poison has been accidentally swallowed. Syrup of ipecac is dangerous and nothing to play with.

Karen's death brought the dangers of eating disorders onto the front pages of newspapers and magazine covers around the world.

Karen Carpenter

From People magazine:

"Starved to a Tragic Death

A Sweet Surface Hid a Troubled Soul in the Late Karen Carpenter, a Victim of Anorexia Nervosa

by: Eric Levin
February 21, 1983

Iced tea was the hardest drink she consumed, and the only needles she used were for needlepoint. Her weirdest stash was a collection of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. The flagrant comet tail of self-indulgence so familiar in plummeting stars like Elvis Presley and John Belushi did not mark Karen Carpenter's life--or her death of heart failure on February 4 at the age of 32. Yet for all the soothing middle-of-the-road appeal she and her composer-arranger brother, Richard, 37, brought to 41 Carpenters records--which have sold 80 million copies and won three Grammy Awards--she had led a long, lonely struggle against another form of self-destruction, anorexia nervosa.

Karen Carpenter

She collapsed at about 9 a.m. in the wardrobe closet of the room her parents have always kept for her at the family home in suburban Downey, Ca., about 30 minutes from Los Angeles. Downey firemen entered the closet to find Karen slumped nude on the floor, her nightgown draping her body. She had apparently just begun to dress for the day. At the request of the rescue workers, Karen's grief-stricken mother, Agnes, was escorted from the room by husband, Harold.

The rescuers at first detected a faint pulse in Karen's neck that made them think, says paramedic Bob Gillis, that "she had a good chance to survive." But then she went into cardiac arrest. Racing over from his house a few minutes away, Richard Carpenter arrived just before the paramedics carried his sister out to the ambulance. Despite continuous efforts to resuscitate her, Karen was pronounced dead at Downey Community Hospital at 9:51 a.m.

Karen Carpenter Karen's Certificate of Death

A wave of grief spread among those who had known her. "She was a magical person with a magical voice," says Burt Bacharach, who in 1963 had written the song which became the Carpenters' first hit, Close to You. Adds Paul Williams, author of their second gold smash, We've Only Just Begun: "Karen and Richard's music brought the American family together during a period when there was very little else it could share." Williams' apparent reference to the turbulent Vietnam and Watergate eras was apt. The Carpenters were at their zenith in 1973, when then President RIchard Nixon introduced the duo to a glittering White House audience as "young America at its very best."

In the aftershock, friends wondered if Karen had tried too hard to live up to that description, had perhaps died trying. Hers was the "good girl's" disease--a compulsive urge to control weight, primarily among female hyperachievers, that leads to such extremes as self-induced vomiting and taking huge doses of laxatives. An autopsy revealed no immediate explanation for her heart failure. But after a long bout with anorexia, says Dr. Joel Yager of UCLA's Eating Disorders Clinic, "the most common cause of death is low serum potassium, which can cause an irregularity in the heartbeat." Karen had spent almost all of 1982 in New York undergoing treatment, and had lifted her weight from a gaunt 85 to 108 pounds--very near normal for her frame and height, 5'4". But, as anorexia expert Dr. Raymond Vath of Seattle points out, doctors learned only two months ago that the greatest strain is put on an anorectic's heart when lost weight is regained.

Paul Bloch, the Carpenter family's PR man, downplays the anorexia connection. "Karen was a vibrant and energetic person," he insists. Concurs Gil Friesen, president of A&M Records, the Carpenters' label, "Karen was the girl next door, always up even when she was down." typical signs of anorectics, says Dr. Yager. "It's common for them to be sweet," he says. "Many keep their emotions inside. They take care of other people, but they don't take care of themselves. "Karen's condition was alarmingly obvious. A co-worker who had seen her early last year said she resembled "a living skull." Added another, "She appeared to be a tormented and unhappy woman."

Indeed, as far back as 1971, when the Carpenters were soaring on their early hits, Karen was "psychotic about her weight," an acquaintance recalls. "She had a classic pear-shaped figure--she was chubby, and she was very self-conscious about it." Tom Burris, the real estate developer whom Karen married in 1980 and from whom she was separated last year, says she was suffering from anorexia "for about nine years." The term, though, was not widely known in 1975, when Karen slipped frighteningly from her performing weight of 110 to a shadowy 90 pounds. It took two months of bed rest at home to recuperate from physical and nervous exhaustion brought on by some 250 days a year of arduous touring. "It was sickening," she told PEOPLE after getting back on her feet the next year. "Suddenly it wasn't fun anymore."

Though much had changed in her life by 1981, Karen was still taking a vengeful attitude toward her weight. Distraught, she reached out to Pat Boone's daughter, Cherry Boone O'Neill, who was finishing a book about her own anorexia, Starving for Attention. They spoke once in person, then three times on the telephone.

"She didn't sound panicked, but she felt that she really needed some help," recalls Cherry, now 28. "Karen was having particular problems with laxatives. She could not believe she could ever get to a point where she was not dependent on them." O'Neill, who herself had often taken laxatives by the box to "drop 10-15 pounds overnight," urged her friend to "get away from the pressures of L.A. and show business and concentrate on her own life and survival." She told Cherry: "I'm going to do it. I'll get well--it's just so damn hard."

Like Cherry, Karen was raised in an unusually close-knit family. The children of a printer and a homemaker, Karen and Richard moved with their parents from New Haven, CT to Downey in 1963. "Karen grew up in a very tight, parentally dominated world," says a longtime friend. "Her parents are very nice people, but they controlled her early life and continued to try and do so over the years." One incident from early in Karen and Richard's career may be typical. Agnes Carpenter called her offspring at their Cincinnati motel to scold them for not having signed autographs backstage following a show in Hershey, Pa. after a fan wrote to complain. Dutifully, the youngsters called the fan and apologized.

Anorexics, notes Cherry, are usually the children of authoritative parents. "Such a person," she says, "does not rebel."

Richard was the first to take up music, inspired by his "Three B's--the Beatles, Beach Boys and Burt Bacharach." A sports fan, Karen was handed a glockenspiel in the high school marching band and figured it out. Wielding chopsticks on bar stools, she eventually taught herself percussion well enough to tap along with Dave Brubeck's rhythmically challenging album, Time Further Out. The duo won a Hollywood Bowl Battle of the Bands, and after three years of scrounging for work were signed by A&M co-sounder Herb Alpert.

"It was interesting the way they made records," a close colleague observes. "Richard laid out all the basic tracks, and then Karen would come in and sing. He was a tyrant in the studio. She would spend a lot of time on her vocals, and was always hard on herself." An ex-employee of A&M agrees: "It always seemed as if she were under Richard's thumb."

Barry Manilow observes that Karen clearly "adored" Richard. "She couldn't speak highly enough of him. To her he was a genius." Yet it was clearly Karen's voice that made the Carpenters click. "I'm sure she felt she had to measure up, that the whole act kind of hinged on her," Cherry O'Neill says. "That's an awful lot of pressure for one individual."

Karen's apparent solution, suggests Cherry, was classic: "When you start denying yourself food, and begin feeling you have control over a life that has been pretty much controlled for you, it's exhilarating. The anorectic feels that while she may not be able to control anything else, she will, by God, control every morsel that goes in her mouth."

Karen's anorectic episodes in the '70's seems to have waxed and waned, and in 1976, after her two-month recuperation at home, she made a stab at independence from her parents by moving into her own large apartment in a Century City condo. In 1980 her mother urged Karen to attend a dinner at the chic Ma Maison restaurant that Karen wanted to skip, and there she met Tom Burris, a 39-year-old divorce with an 18-year-old son. Two months later they were engaged.

Although Burris insists "We always got along, always cared about each other," they soon grew apart. "Karen was dealing with her anorexia and her career, I was dealing with my real estate problems," he explains. "I feel totally guilty, like I'd like to reverse everything. I tried to work with her. I got her in touch with a doctor, but she wouldn't admit she had an eating problem. We both tried, but we just couldn't work it out."

Later Karen reached out to the physician who treated Cherry O'Neill, Dr. Vath of Seattle. "She wanted a quick fix," he recalls. "She told me she had all these contracts and just had to get well. But I said, 'No, Karen, we don't know how to treat this rapidly. It would take a minimum of a year, probably three, to get you well. Finally she agreed to a course of treatment in a New York hospital, where she took two-hour treatments every day for nearly a year. But even there, as Dionne Warwick discovered, Karen's weight rose faster than her spirits. "She had gone through a lot of depression and sadness," said Warwick. "When a marriage breaks up, it's a devastating thing."

Last December Karen returned to L.A. O'Neill was concerned: "Putting yourself in the same environment where the problems first developed without totally recovering can cause setbacks." But by most accounts Karen was suffused with new energy. She was planning to record an album this spring. "Karen was getting along great," insists her longtime hairdresser, Arthur Johns, who gave her a perm before New Year's and says she intended to come back to have her hair streaked bronze. "She had started writing songs for the first time. She wasn't the type of person to mop the floor with her tears." Clearly, Karen Carpenter intended to conquer despair. "I have," she told Warwick just two weeks before her death, "a lot of living left to do." "

Karen Carpenter

The following is an excellent video chronicling her life and struggle with eating disorders

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8


Follow on Buzz