Thursday, February 21, 2008


CORRECTION (Thursday, February 21, 2008):

I received the following e-mail this morning from a member of Polly's family:

"I just wanted to clarify that polly didn’t o.d. on the sleeping pills at night after she blogged about being so sleepy. She went to sleep and got up the next day. I know her blog and then reports of her death make it appear that she was “so sleepy” and then took a bunch of sleeping pills and died. I am a family member and wanted to clear that part up. I hope that you and many others that looked to Polly for inspiration will not become discouraged by her death. There is hope for recovery and much life to be lived afterwards!!!!!! "
And the following is part of my response to Polly's family member:

"Polly was such an inspiration to so many and it broke my heart when I received the news that she had passed away. Please know that her spirit will live on in the lives of the thousands of people she touched in her own special way.

My heart goes out to you and your family members. Please know that you and your family are not only in my thoughts but in those of the thousands of people who loved Polly.

Again, thank you SO much for writing. I appreciate it so much.

All the very best, and again, my sincerest condolences...



UPDATE (Monday, February 18, 2008) :

From IndyStar:

"By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times

Pollack "Polly" Ann Williams, who was featured in the HBO documentary "Thin," an unflinching look at several women with serious eating disorders, was found dead Feb. 8 in her Hixson, Tenn., home. She was 33.

Williams died from an overdose of sleeping pills, a suicide that was "a direct result of her internal battle with the eating disorder," said her sister, Bebe W. Reed. "She said she could not fight the fight any longer."

Lauren Greenfield, who made the 2006 documentary, said of Williams on her Web site: "In her short life, she touched more people than most people do in their lifetime."

Appearing in "Thin" was a challenge for the intensely private Williams, who often said she agreed to be filmed because she hoped her story might move others to seek help.

As many as 10 million girls and women in the U.S. are fighting a life-threatening eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

The documentary was filmed at Renfrew Center, a treatment center in Coconut Creek, Fla., and received praise when it was screened two years ago at the Sundance Film Festival.

Much of the film's drama centers around Williams, who discloses that she checked into the clinic after trying to kill herself over eating two slices of pizza.

Williams bonds with other patients and struggles to eat a cupcake as others provide support. She sneaks away to get a tattoo of an "eating disorder recovery" symbol and slips her psychiatric medications to another patient. For violating rules, she is asked to leave the center.

Eventually, Williams completed a 10-week outpatient program in Chattanooga, Tenn., for people with eating disorders.

In addition to her sister, Williams is survived by her mother; stepfather; father; two other sisters; a stepsister; two grandmothers; and a grandfather. "


Knowing that Polly overdosed on sleeping pills, her last entry in her journal written the night she died is all the more haunting:

"So...I am off to bed. Yawn! Yep, I am sleepy. :-)"

How sad, how bloody tragic.

BamaGal has written a superb post on the correlation between suicide, eating disorders and WLS.

Please click here to read her most excellent post: Suicide, Eating Disorders and WLS .



Polly Williams, who was profiled in the HBO documentary, Thin, died on Friday, February 8, 2008, at the age of 33. Polly suffered from anorexia nervosa for many years.

This is her last journal entry on the evening she died...

"FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2008 02:48 AM, EST

Hey guys!

I know. I am waayyyy overdue for an update. Life has just been super busy and crazy hectic. I have lots of updates, but I am just too dog-gone tired tonight. It is so late, and I have been working on stuff for my new position all evening. It is past my bedtime, so this little crazy gal needs to grab some beauty sleep. :-) I promise to update at some point this weekend.
Miss all of you so much. I know that I haven't been available much lately, but hopefully that will change soon as life calms down a bit. I just really appreciate all of your support and words of wisdom. I treasure every single message that y'all post, so thank you so much.
So...I am off to bed. Yawn! Yep, I am sleepy. :-)"

And then she was gone. Polly committed suicide.


In the documentary, Thin, Polly said...

“Dieting has always been a huge part of my life. I remember all the things that are signs of eating disorders being taught by my family; cut my food into really small pieces, and chew very slowly and take your time, and drink water in between so your stomach fills up faster. I was counting calories and fat by the time I was 11. "

For those of you on the Kimkins starvation diet, the Magic Chicken Diet, or any other VLCD (very low calorie diet), you, too, may be on the deadly path to an eating disorder and death. Those suffering from eating disorders often end their pain by taking their own lives.

Polly, may your spirit find the peace it never had on earth. You touched many lives and all are richer for having known you.

You may view the documentary, Thin, by clicking my blog post here:

And please visit the links below to read more about Polly.

LINKS: (Polly's Journal)

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OhYeahBabe said...

Thanks, Medusa. Such a sad story.
My blog: Kimorexia

Anonymous said...

I lived with Polly for a short while. She was such an amazing inspiration and while I have lost two friends to eating disorders, I am still fighting. I feel like im losing everything.

Medusa said...


I am so sorry you lost such a wonderful friend. Polly truly was an amazing person, and I know her passing was a terrible loss to so many. Having known her personally, it must have been so difficult for you.

Hol, how sad that you have lost 2 friends to eating disorders. My heart goes out to you. Their deaths must be so difficult for you to deal with, especially when you are fighting yourself. I hope the passing of your friends have given you resolve and strength to continue your fight. Life is so worth living, Hol, though it may not seem so at times.

Sending healing thoughts and best wishes to you, Hol.


Anonymous said...

Psalm 107:18-19. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble and He saved them in their distress.