Saturday, January 30, 2010


Karen-Ann Cooney

Karen-Ann Cooney, who passed away on January 22, 2010 at the age of 22.
Karen-Ann had suffered from an eating disorder since the age of 11

Of the many posts I have done about deaths caused by eating disorders, this one nearly broke me. I was so affected by the words of this beautiful, young girl in the video made by her brother, Paul Cooney, that I sobbed.

Shortly after this video was made, Karen-Ann died from an overdose on January 22, 2010. She was only 22.

Paul's words:

"This was a University project to create a short film from start to finish and produce a DVD. As I wanted to cover something I cared about I decided to interview my sister Karen-Ann who suffers from an eating disorder. I wanted to try and give more insight into what is an often misunderstood condition."

"Since originally posting this video, Karen-Ann passed away on the 22nd of January 2010. She will be terribly missed, but she is at peace now, and I'm thankful she got to tell her story before she moved on."

One of Karen-Ann's dearest friends sent me the link to Paul Cooney's video of his dear sister, Karen-Ann, with the following note:

"On January 22nd 2010, one of my dearest friends, Karen-Ann, passed away from an overdose.

Not but a few weeks prior her brother made a video for a film class of her, with a topic of her struggles with her eating disorder.

She was beautiful, and I want to share this with you..."

In Karen-Ann's Words from Paul Cooney on Vimeo.

Karen-Ann's family has asked that donations, if desired, may be made in Karen-Ann's memory to Bodywhys, the national voluntary organization dedicated to supporting the 200,000 people in Ireland affected by eating disorders (

To Karen-Ann's dearest friend who sent me the link to Paul's video of Karen-Ann, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Karen-Ann's words are life-changing.

May Karen-Ann finally find the peace in death that she so desperately sought in life.

~ Medusa

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Friday, January 29, 2010


(Photo by Richard Avedon, 1995)

“Hi there.

I’ve been following this blog for a while... and after a mini-breakdown tonight, I decided I wanted to share my story as an anonymous person. This is the first time I am sharing this with someone - full, uncovered, version, all emotions included. Some people that have crossed my path know my story, but not as I am about to share it. Whether this gets posted or not, just sharing will be one of the biggest burdens to let go of.

*inhale* here goes...

It began in grade 3. My parents had moved out of the old apartment building we used to live in, to a new house in a totally different city. I missed the friends I grew up with - we all had similar families and all lived in the same building. I figured though, as a young 3rd grader might, that I could make friends here and start over. I was shy, everyone was already friends.

Over the course of the next 5 years, I was friends with the people in my class and we enjoyed each other’s company. I enjoyed there’s, but with a price. I envied all of my girlfriends. They were all so thin, so skinny. They were graceful as they glided over the school yard or through the gym. My friends could fit into each other's jeans... and I couldn’t.

There were 2 boys.... who always made fun of me. They called me a pig. (I have never been able to tell people this... to admit that they called me a pig). I was constantly teased about being chubby. My parents had to come in and have a talk with the teacher.

In grade 7, I received a straight A report card. There was a store called Siblings for young girls, and they had this promotion that if you had a good report card and brought it in, you could get a discount on clothes. I brought it in and I was so excited to start shopping! They had so many cool jeans, with bleach stains and glitter all over them... and I couldn’t fit into them... none of the clothes fit. I was devastated. My mom would always tell me…Stand like this and your legs will look smaller. Always hold your arms out when you pose for a picture, they won’t look so big. My mom was never afraid to tell me if I looked too big, or ate too much, or why I was gaining weight.

I started high school and my weight was the least of my concerns as I went through a very emotional stage. I was depressed and cutting and seeing the school psychiatrist. After coming back from our trip to Europe in grade 10, I was a whopping 166 lbs. My mom had seen a naturopathic doctor and had lost a lot of weight, so I went to see her too. She put me on this diet and I lost weight... Over the next 2 years, and by the end of prom, I was 146 lbs. I was doing it the right way - eating healthy and a regular gym-goer.

The summer was the beginning of devastation....

I began restricting and using laxatives. I was using up to 15 a day, buying a hundred at a time. I had boxes and boxes of Exlax hidden in my room. When I ran out one time, I drank castor oil. I felt so sick and was horrible the next day. There were many days I wanted to stop and didn’t. My weight remained around 140 still, plateau and I couldn’t lose it. I felt fat and horrible with myself, so guilty. My mom found the boxes in my room. She didn’t understand but I promised her I stopped. That summer we went to a seminar, and I had a connection with a life-coach. I gave him the laxatives I had sneaked into the states and promised I would stop. An empty promise.

In September, university started. First girl I meet, well wouldn’t you guess, suffered from anorexia. Her family had issues and she dealt with it through her eating. She fueled me. By this point, I had discovered pro-ana sites and was well aware of many tips and tricks. We’d sit there and talk about our weight and how we lost our weight and we’d go for dinner and eat low-calorie foods and enjoy each other’s company. We’d bake cookies... but she wouldn’t eat any. I did. And it made me feel obese around her. Another friend suffered from bulimia, and she shared many horror stories with me.

I started modeling, and the pictures didn’t help. Every photoshoot I took, I felt fat. fat. Fat!!! I didn’t want to see the pictures, I didn’t want to live in the fat body I saw.

I continued to use laxatives, many a day. I got down to 135. Not a big jump, but it was more of the emotional joys and willpower that I celebrated. My mom doesn’t know I still use laxatives. I buy 200 a month, and try to ration them... I’ve stopped buying more because I don’t want my parents to ask me where my money is going. I time my laxatives with how much food I eat. It consumes me, and when I write in my livejournal, my depression becomes worse. Here are a few quotes from my new journal (I deleted my old one in hopes of going cold turkey - didn’t last):

Being on your period doesn't mean you can be a PIG

breakfast: venti sugar-free caramel iced coffee with soy (15-20)
snack: handful blanched almonds (15)
lunch: large coffee over ice with soy and splenda, some cucumber pieces that fell from Sunny's sandwich (15), chinese food (veggies + sesame potatoes) (don't know, probably 500)
1 bottle water (0)
snack: 1 myoplex bar (190) + 1 diet pepsi (0)
dinner: 1 grande iced coffee with soy (15), 1 med bag popcorn from AMC + some coke (480)
Total: TOO MUCH! MORE THAN 500..

I am fat and gross and disgusting. My thighs jiggle. My arms are huge. My stomach makes me look pregnant...fuck my life. Why can't I have control. Why can't I just love being fat...why do I have to hate how I look?
I don't know what others see in me.
I wouldn't be friends with me.

wish my fat body would just deteriorate away off of me... I wish my flesh fell off my bones so that there was nothing left.
I'm fucking disgusting.

I failed at my cleanse.
I failed at my goal.
I failed to be committed,
I failed to be enough.
I failed to be thin.
I failed to work harder,
I failed to eat less
I failed to use more.
I failed to actually work out
and I failed to care.
I let myself go and I see the numbers going up and up and it hurts and I don't care
I eat
and eat
and eat
and I never feel better
I never feel full
I always feel hungry.
I always feel empty....

I hate myself
I don't want to go to school, I want to sit in my room and hide and eat and fucking cry.
I hate this,
I hate this so much.
I hate myself.
Someone. end this.
It came about under uncanny circumstances - stomach flu. Got it from the bf, probably threw up 4 times, and yesterday I lived off of 500mL ginger ale and about 25 crackers.
I guess, this is when you know you're sick; sick in the head for celebrating how many times you threw up because you knew you were losing weight along with it.
The smell of food disgusts me, and I don't think I can even eat fried eggs or sandwiches or fries ever again...
I wish that gravol made me feel nauseas towards food only, not take away my nausea all-together.
|maybe I need help|
or maybe I could just keep losing weight and celebrate in silence.

I want to love myself but I just can’t. It is impossible now... it is a distant dream.
I will never get better, will I. I wish I had someone to talk to.
I’ve already had 10 laxatives today. go me.
cw: 130
gw: 0

How can someone say can they say they hate themselves. This consumes me. It consumes my spirit. And makes me want to die... I want to waste away. But I don’t because I love my boyfriend and my family.

Eating disorders are the hardest thing in the world to deal with... I wish for every girl to never desire one... I wanted one. And I got it. And I wish I didn’t. I wish to God that this didn’t happen to me, that I didn’t do this to myself. I hate myself for bestowing it upon myself and wish that girls desire not this but to keep their innocence and enjoy life and food and love their bodies.

It makes me cry, to not love myself. But it feels good to have gotten this off my chest. I hope I get help before I die.

Rennie xoxo”

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Monday, January 25, 2010


Charles Washington, Zero Carb

Charles Washington, Founder of Zeroing in on Health (ZIOH) and the Zero-Carb forums

Since my original post on January 8, 2010 (see below), I've spent some time in the forums at ZIOH to see just how many members actively post there.

Charles Washington has made it very clear that if you don't post "regularly" in your journal, your membership at ZIOH will be terminated. And what does "regularly" mean to Charles? Well, it appears it means "at least once every two weeks."

Charles has also proclaimed that members are NOT allowed to lurk. If you lurk without posting at least once every 2 weeks, you're gone.

So today, I see in Charles's own journal this comment made by him:

"RE: Charles's Running Journal

My journal is hard to find because I rarely get time to write in it and I'm not nearly as popular as you are. I'm hated, but you're loved so they all flock to read yours -- even me. Plus, I don't run so much these days. I took off the last 8 days after the half-marathon to rest. So now, fully recovered, I went out running 5 miles today with my 14-year old. I left him behind with a mile to go. He only ran about 3 miles. That boy does Tae Kwon Do every single day but can't keep up with a 42 year-old man. Pathetic.



Charles Washington screenshot from Zeroing in on Health(Left click to enlarge)

So I guess what's good for the goose is not good for the gander(s).

Below are recent comments made by Charles in the journals of some of his members, plus some parting shots from some members as they flee ZIOH:

"RE: LauraUK's Journal
(01-16-2010 05:03 PM)LauraUK Wrote: Oh and another thing. Charles; I haven't noticed you being so rude to anyone else who hasn't written in their journal for a few weeks!!!!

"Not only do you not post much, but it's also clear you don't read journals very much because I am "rude" in all journals where people don't post. I've never met you so I can't just assume that you're ZC when you are gone for a long period of time.

In fact, I don't always say anything to inactive members. Most of the time, I just delete the person and that's the end of it. So, give that some thought before you decide to lash out like that next time.

I don't know how you can say that "another lurker I'm afraid" is rude? What planet are you from? I've earned the right to question anyone about anything on this forum, wouldn't you say?

If you have no ZC experience to share, then be a guest. We have many guests that do ZC and are quite successful despite not posting and participating. It's not the end of the world.




"RE: My Journey To Here


"I was just curious. So sorry that such a simple question had you so stressed that you are no longer happy on our forum. I hope the enablers at your new and happier place will bring you the peace you seek."

(Wow, not TOO sarcastic)


"RE: Allan's Journal
Allan Wrote:Thank you for accepting me to your forum, and I appreciate your efforts. I have learned quite a bit here, and I plan to continue my six month ZC experiment.

However, I'm a bit alarmed by some of the ongoings of the forum over the past couple days. As such, I am no longer comfortable being a member and maintaining a journal. Please deactivate/unregister me.

Best of luck to you.'



(No comment from Charles. How strange.)


"01-10-2010, 05:10 PM

"RE: Leesa's Journal

I can't believe the shit I've been reading on this forum lately. I'm outta here."

(And again, no comment from Charles)

"RE: Tiger’s Experimentation


This member has claimed that we are "cyber bullies" and therefore decided not to return. We wish you well."


"RE: MartinT's Journal


ok Caroline Wink


I'm out of here"


"RE: MartinT's Journal

Sorry Rose, but he has decided to leave our poisoned forum.



NOTE: MartinT was a long-time member of ZIOH


RE: Carressa's Journal

"Appears we have ourselves yet another lurker. I guess she never got over that fatty liver scare.



01-08-2010, 04:18 PM

"RE: From This Moment Forth........
I am so confused.
I thought I was in someone else's journal.

Where was I? Oh yes, I was saying that life is ho hum here. Holidays were good, family flew out and spent weeks with us from CA. It's been cold here and we're complaining just like the natives here. I just learned that I'm expecting our 2nd child in October. I have no plans to differentiate with the way I'm eating. My dh has crossed the barrier in that he's eating steak with me now. It's been a slow transition, but he sees how easy my life is, how calm I've gotten in spite of the pregnancy. He has seen a full transformation in me that he's quite excited about.

That's about it. Nothing exciting going on in my life, just living, loving, sharing, preparing.

I noticed that the membership is real low. Was there some kind of purging?"

Charles's response:

"RE: From This Moment Forth........

Confused is a good word. I'm confused too about how smooth this pregnancy is going when by your calculations, you were just impregnated yesterday. I'm sure that takes careful adherence to ZC in order to pull that off. I'm not amused.



(Member was "de-registered")


"RE: Trish's 2009 Journal into ZC WOE


"Trish, I'm amazed you're still a member. Since you're online today, we need an update on your ZC-ness. If not, you may become officially, what you have become, so to speak."

(Member was de-registered)

RE: When The Going Gets Tough...


"He has announced that his "time here is done." That being the case, his journal is now closed until further notice. I will open it upon his request.



"RE: Dona's Journal
Dona Wrote:Go ahead and unsub me Charles. Having to defend my every thought, being assumed argumentative when i said nothing of the sort, is not healthy on either side of a relationship. Ive never met a more unfriendly group.


"As I said to her, please spend more time on mastering ZC and less time on proselytizing on what types of meat are healthy or not. Why is it that people who don't eat ZC always want to tell those of us who do what meat is best for us? I never understood that. Anyway, she has been "unsubbed" as she put it.




"RE: Joseph's (aka Antenor60) Journal

Joseph, I need you to update this journal. I'm afraid that you've become a lurker and that's equivalent to a "guest".



"RE: Will's Journal


"From your description, you are not ZC and therefore not eligible for membership. Had you mentioned all of this in your questionnaire, you would have been denied membership. You will remain a guest until your "vices" have been conquered.



"RE: Lillyforce's Journal

Another professional lurker, it seems. You should contact me when you're prepared for membership again.



"RE: Meat You There

"Sherri has been under the radar and she somehow escaped the prune. She has about 24 hours to answer Laura's question....



"RE: Cara's Journal (formerly dreamagreatdream)

Cara has decided not to remain with us. Evidently this is too much for her. I wish her well.




"RE: free at last

Sandy, you haven't updated this journal since July of 2009. I need you to update this journal or your membership may be in jeopardy in accordance with our new membership guidelines. You have become a professional lurker and that is not allowed any longer.



RE: Pear Blossoms

"When she first logged in and said how she was going to start ZC down the road, that was a red flag for me and nowadays it will cause a membership application to this forum to be denied. She came in all close to Laurie and the others, that I thought maybe there was a chance. I won't make that mistake again.

Don't want people to pile on, so this thread is closed. Pear, if you ever get to ZC, send me a PM and you can resume them.



"RE: Beth Sch's Journal

Beth, we need an update in this journal on your ZC. You have become a professional lurker and that is not acceptable on our forum anymore.



And these are just a few of Charles's admonitions to, and de-registrations of, members of his site.

Odd that Charles doesn't have time to post in his own journal yet revokes memberships of those who fail to post for several weeks.

There has been an exodus of members from ZC recently, which makes me wonder just how many members truly remain, especially when the journals of de-registered members still remain on the site.

This was posted on January 20, 2010 by Charles:

"ZIOH has never been concerned with numbers. We had over 1600 members and I pruned the majority of them. Any time you see the reference "the mixed multitude" in the Bible, they are always up to no good and I sense the same is true here. I have seen the recent posts and justifications from these former members and I am not moved or impressed. Katelyn is busy justifying the difficult decision I chose to make -- which by the way, I would make once again under the same circumstances. She was not ZC and she was removed.

Those of you who have been shown not to be ZC will not return as it says in our membership guidelines. When I said a pure ZC forum, that's exactly what I meant."


Even after ex-members have asked Charles to delete their journals, those journals still remain at ZIOH.

Have ex-members' names been removed from the membership list? Are the membership numbers at ZIOH artificially inflated? I'd wager they are.

The site currently shows 270 members. Quite a drop from the 1600 hundred members Charles alleges he had prior to his membership cull.


Original post (January 8, 2010):

I don't know where to start with this post. There are so many issues I want to address: my feelings about Charles and his site, Zeroing in on Health and his Zero-Carb Forum; the bullying that goes on in the forums; members consuming nothing but raw beef...the list goes on and on and on.

I feel I'm on the verge of a full-blown rant but will pull back and let you all decide for yourselves what the hell is going on at that site and in the forums.

I have been reading the forums, off and on, since their inception but got to the point where I could no longer stomach all the crazy talk and Charles's heavy-handed criticisms and banning of members who did not follow his zero-carb plan to the tee. Reading about members eating bowls of raw meat for breakfast made me want to hurl.

A good friend of mine alerted me yesterday to what could only be called a despicable case of cyber-bullying on one of the forums. Please check out Kimorexia's post here: OMG, RUN Katelyn, RUN!!!!

Katelyn, Zero Carb forum
Katelyn's avatar from the forum

Kari, a new member of the forums, decided to inform, Katelyn, a long-time member that she was anorexic and unless Katelyn admitted that she, Katelyn, was anorexic and followed a 60-day challenge put forward by Kari that Katelyn could be involuntarily committed to a mental institution. What is even more shocking is that Charles Washington supported this craziness.

Kari, Zero Carb ForumKari, the new member

If you read the thread in its entirety, many of the members speak ABOUT Katelyn, not TO Katelyn, who is also posting on the thread. It's bizarre.

Please read the entire thread (which has been preserved for posterity, by the way, in case it goes poof). It starts here:

Here are some screenshots of some of Katelyn's posts, Kari's posts, and then the vitriolic bullying and threats:

Kari posts the first part of her "story" of anorexia, cutting, suicide attempts, committal to a mental institution, etc. and Katelyn responds:

Katelyn screenshot, Zero Carb forum(Click to enlarge)

Katelyn makes another comment and Kari responds:

Kari, Zero Carb forum(Click to enlarge)

Katelyn's response:

Katelyn screenshot, Zero Carb forum(Click to enlarge)

Other forum members jump in. Charles, who has apparently, very recently, become an expert in EDs, jumps in. And then all hell breaks loose. Katelyn garners no sympathy whatsoever, just vitriol.

Kari then posts this:

Kari, Zero Carb forum

Kari screenshot, Zero Carb forum(Click to enlarge)

And then Kari posts her challenge and threat re committal to Katelyn...

Kari threat, Zero Carb forum
Kari screenshot2, Zero Carb forum, threat(Click to enlarge)

Now, doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy? "We KNOW where you live. "We KNOW where you work."

Imagine threatening Katelyn with committal when Kari herself alleges she was involuntarily committed to a mental institution and suffered terribly.

There were some forum members who posted in the thread that they were uncomfortable with how Katelyn was being Tigerlily (see quote at top of screenshot below)...but then Charles rakes Tigerlily over the coals in a way that only a megalomaniac could do:

screenshot, Charles Washington, Zero Carb forum(Click to enlarge)

Isn't that special?

Here we have Kari who, in my opinion, is still struggling with a serious eating disorder, a woman who has suffered heart attacks, bouts of cutting, suicide, depression (all graphically described in her posts on the thread) who is now raging at a young girl (Katelyn) because Katelyn will not admit she has an eating disorder. Makes perfect sense to me...NOT. Sounds like there's a major case of psychological "projection" happening here with Kari. Google that.

Katelyn, if you read this, please contact me @ I'll put you on to some people who will truly help you when and if you want it...not people who will condemn you, insult you, threaten you, and ostracize you.

Please also take a moment to read Mariasol's excellent post here:



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Monday, January 18, 2010


"Binge" by Corie Howell

Em's Story:


I know this is no way to live, but a lot of times it feels like recovery is impossible.

I suffered from bulimia for about 5 years before I got any treatment. And I didn't come out with it and ask anybody for help. My mom heard me purging one night after dinner and confronted me about it. With a LOT of hard work (I can't stress that enough), I was able to stop purging. But the binging continued, and then I started to gain weight, which at the time was my biggest fear. Every pound felt like a million, and it kept growing and growing because I kept binging and binging.

Finally I just stopped caring about the way I looked (my health was never really the issue for me, obviously).

I get tempted to start purging again a lot, every time I look in the mirror, but I know that I was no happier then than I am now. I have been considered bulimic, a binge eater, and even had long periods of starvation in between, but none of these things ended up making me happy. Despite my efforts, my body was never what I wanted it to be, and no matter how hard I tried, it never would have been.

With an eating disorder, I will never ever meet my own standards for who I should be, and that is scary because of the extremes I've been willing to go to. And I think most of us know this in the back of our mind, but we still do it and strive for that perfection that just doesn't exist.

It's not a matter of fixing all of the things you dislike about yourself, there will ALWAYS be those, no matter what you do. But rather to actually love and accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all. I know, easier said than done.

I've been in "recovery" for a long time, and I still struggle every day. But it does get easier, and if you take things slow and really try, you will get to where you want to be. I'm not quite there yet, but I feel more and more weight lifting off of my shoulders every day I treat my body the way it should be treated.

I still have a ways to go when it comes to my binge eating, it's an addiction I've grown very close to over the years. But honestly, I'm just sick of relying on other things to make me happy. Whether it be food, or drugs, or alcohol, it's all just so temporary and destructive. I always need "something" to help me get through the day, and I don't want to be like that anymore. And I don't want to die, either.

I don't want to get all preachy, but if I could turn back time, I would. I have really severe tooth pain and sensitivity, it's almost unbearable sometimes. There are a lot of things I can't eat or drink anymore. I have HORRIBLE acid reflux. I have digestive problems. These are just the things I can see and feel, I'm sure there is more going on inside. And these things are mild in comparison to what will happen to those who continue to live like this.

And I ask myself now, after all these years and still a body I've never liked looking at in the mirror, was it worth it? Absolutely not.


(((Em))) Thanks so much for writing. Best wishes to you for health and happiness in 2010.

~ Medusa

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Sunday, January 17, 2010


Rachel Zoe, anorexia, anorexicRachel Zoe, St. Barts, January 2010

Rachel Zoe, so-called celebrity stylist to the stars, is often referred to as "the architect of size 0 mania."

And just what does this celebrity stylist do? Well, Rachel Zoe charges her celebutart clients, like Lindsay Lohan, between $6,000 and $10,000 a day to assist them in choosing clothing, accessories and other frou-frou for red-carpet appearances, magazine shoots, blah blah blah. Because most of of her famous clients, like Lohan, sport stick-thin bodies, sunken fake-tan-orange faces and oversize sunglasses, they are referred to as

Lindsay Lohan, Fall 2009 (not photoshopped)Lindsay Lohan, Fall of 2009 (not photoshopped)

Zoe has been slammed by other stylists and the media for continuing to fuel size-zero mania:

“That girl Rachel Zoe definitely has something to do with (the skinny trend).”

What is so alarming is that it's obvious Zoe has a serious eating disorder, which she denies. Zoe's body is certainly not one to be emulated by her clients, like Lohan, or young girls & women, especially those struggling with body issues.

Since Nicole Richie dumped Zoe as her stylist, I find it interesting that Richie has gained weight and is more curvy these days. At one time Richie looked just like Zoe:

Nicole Richie, May 2007 (in this photo, Nicole is pregnant)

Nicole Richie, January 2010

Below are some more pictures and quotes by Zoe:

Rachel Zoe, anorexia, anorexicRachel Zoe, St. Barts, January 2010

"Truthfully, I've never seen myself as being too thin. Sometimes I'll look at photos and be like, Oh, that's not a good look. But generally speaking, I'm not too thin."

Rachel Zoe, anorexia, anorexic
"I'm a textbook definition of that perfectionist girl who has huge expectations of herself...It's hard for me to take care of myself, let's put it that way. I am my last priority. What I get from people is, 'You need to rest, you need to take care of yourself, you need to...' But I'm like, 'I'm fine. I have to work now.' "

Rachel Zoe, anorexia, anorexic

"It's not that I don't eat. I eat." Lunch? "Truth? I don't. I'm not a lady who lunches; it's a lull in the day." What's the daily diet? "When I'm on downtime, like on vacation with Rodger, I take care of myself. But when it's me working on my own, it's 7:00 p.m., and I've had coffee and a grapefruit."

Rachel Zoe, anorexia, anorexic
“I’ve seen her [Rachel Zoe] eat — and she doesn’t. It’s the classic ‘living for clothes, dying for fashion’.” (quote by a journalist)

Rachel Zoe, anorexia, anorexicRachel Zoe, Fall of 2009

Rachel Zoe, anorexia, anorexic“I’ve worked with Rachel all day on a shoot, and basically, she drank a giant latte and smoked a bunch of cigarettes.” (quote by a journalist)

Rachel, you are shockingly thin. Please get help.


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Monday, January 4, 2010


Tessa's story...

“After reading the stories that have been shared I decided I would give it a go. When it comes to talking about ED I've never been very truthful in fear that I won't be taken seriously or no one will listen. So this is my first attempt of telling the truth.

My name is Tessa. I'm 16, diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. At the moment I would say it's turned to EDNOS.

I guess I'll start with a brief history. My parents divorced when I was 3, I live with my mother and visit my dad on weekends. I have a brother who is 7 years older and a step sister who is my best friend. My mom was sick for most of my childhood and I was always known as the good kid who kept to myself and did what I was suppose to while my brother went through a really tough time in high school.

When I was younger my dad was physically abusive but only towards my brother. My brother was only abused when I got hurt by accident, which of course I felt terrible about. I believed it was all my fault, if I had just been more careful or held in the tears a bit longer maybe my brother wouldn't have been hurt. The physical abuse continued until my dad married my step-mom. There was little abuse in those first couple of years. Now he is verbally abusive which I have been a victim of.

I've always been a picky eater but there were foods that I had previously enjoyed being crossed off the list of foods I would eat. Everyone believed it was just because I was picky nothing more, in a month or two I'd probably be eating those foods again but I didn't. At 13, after my mom told me I look liked I'd gained weight and should go to the gym, I began obsessively exercising. Of course my mother approved of this and was glad I was getting exercise.

I believe it didn't turn into a full-blown eating disorder until I was 14, beginning high school with no friends. I found friends to sit with at lunch but still skipped lunch everyday. I began to count calories, weighing myself daily, hiding food, and I purged for the first time. I lost some weight but not much.

I didn't get into laxatives and diet pills until last year. This past year has definitely been one hell of a year for me. In late January I attempted suicide with a small overdose that, obviously, wasn't fatal. I met my best friend, Chelsea, who also has an eating disorder. We have been through so much together.

My mother found out about my eating disorder the first week of summer break. She read my journal and found all my diet pills and laxatives. She took me to our GP who referred me to an ED specialist who he works with. I was then referred to the outpatient clinic in my town, the same one Chelsea started going to in May.

My summer was filled with so many appointments yet it managed to be one of the best summers ever. At the time I was binging and purging 10+ times a day. I had been doing that since March although back then it was probably just 5 times a day.

The binging and purging continued until September when Chelsea attempted suicide. I was absolutely devastated, I couldn't get the memory of finding out she overdosed, racing over to her house, telling her parents, and seeing her lying in the hospital bed. I visited her everyday while she was in hospital but it was like the memory was on replay in my mind. I didn't eat for 2 weeks and then started to eat a couple of vegetables at dinner. I fell behind in school and I am still struggling with the work I missed.

Now I continue to restrict and abuse laxatives. I've convinced my mom that I eat everything and that I haven't abused laxatives or purged in months. I left the outpatient clinic in early December and faced threats of hospitalization. Now that I am supposedly eating alright the threats have stopped but I am losing weight rapidly and I fear being forced into inpatient.

I know my story is far from over and there is still so much to come along with so much that I didn't write. I just hope that this year is better for me. I can't imagine being recovered or even really attempting it, not now at least. But I know my time will come and when it does I will try to tell the truth and not the lies I've been telling myself and everyone around me.

If you read this thank you for taking the time too.”

Tessa, thanks so much for sharing your story. I dearly hope the truth comes out soon...before it's too late.

~ Medusa

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Sunday, January 3, 2010


Sue Harootunian before anorexiaSue Harootunian (before anorexia)

On January 19, 2008, I wrote the following about Sue Harootunian in this post...


"Last night, on ABC's 20/20, was a stunning report on Sue Harootunian, 47, who waged a losing battle with anorexia nervosa for over 20 years.

"Slowly starving herself to death, she avoided eating in front of her family and began jogging obsessively. Eventually, her 5-foot 4-inch frame wasted away to a mere 80 pounds -- so fragile that death was a real possibility."

Sue Harootunian the day she entered the Renfrew Centre for treatmentSue Harootunian

"The image of a grown woman struggling with an eating disorder may seem incongruous, but in recent years, experts have detected a hidden epidemic raging in homes all across America, with mothers struggling to save the lives -- not of their daughters -- but of themselves. " (BOLDING MINE)

To read more about Sue and her struggle, click here:

It is now with a heavy heart that I write that Sue passed away on December 6, 2009 as a result of anorexia:

"Suzanne Harootunian, 50, publicized anorexia

By Bonnie L. Cook
Inquirer Staff Writer

Suzanne Harootunian, 50, of Glen Mills, who fought the eating disorder anorexia nervosa for 20 years and went public with her story to help others, died of the disease Dec. 6 at her home.

Mrs. Harootunian was born in Harrisburg, grew up in Havertown, and lived in Springfield, Delaware County, before moving to Glen Mills in 2003.

She graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School in 1977 and attended Drexel University with a major in nutrition.

Unlike many anorexics, who develop the disease in their teens, Mrs. Harootunian was afflicted at 30, she told ABC's 20/20 in a segment that aired early last year.

She jogged obsessively and avoided meals with her family. She wasted away to 80 pounds on a 5-foot-4 frame and had to be hospitalized for 58 days in 2007 at the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia.

Sue Harootunian the day she entered the Renfrew Centre for treatmentSue, the day she entered treatment at the Renfrew Center

"The whole idea of gaining weight is scary, but it's not. I have mixed emotions about it," Mrs. Harootunian told 20/20 on the morning she checked into Renfrew.

Part of the healing process was asking why she was starving herself, she told 20/20. She said she came to realize that her life felt out of control, and that controlling her weight was the one area where she felt powerful.

Sue Harootunian after treatment at the Renfrew CentreSue, after her release from Renfrew

A year after her release from Renfrew, she was shown in June frolicking in the waves on an Ocean City, N.J., beach, 40 pounds heavier.

Sue Harootunian at the beach after treatmentSue, at Ocean City, a year after her release from Renfrew

She had lost some weight since then, and it took a toll on her heart, her family said.

She and Lee C. Harootunian, whom she had met through mutual friends, married in 1982. Mrs. Harootunian worked as a manager at Jimmy Duffy's Catering for a number of years, but resigned to care for her ailing father.

She enjoyed gourmet cooking, vacationing at the beach, and playing with her pug dogs.

Her greatest gift was compassion, said her husband. "She always had a kind word and loved to make people laugh and feel good about themselves," he said. "She never let her affliction get in the way of helping others, and always kept her sense of humor."

Surviving in addition to her husband are sons Corbin and Connor; daughter Kristen; her mother, Katherine Scanlan O'Neill; a brother; and a sister.

Friends may call from 10 to 10:45 a.m. today at St. John Neumann Church, 380 Highland Ave., Bryn Mawr. A Funeral Mass will follow at 11. Interment will be in Birmingham/Lafayette Cemetery, West Chester.

Memorial donations may be made to A Chance to Heal, Box 2342, Jenkintown, Pa. 19046."

More photos of Sue are here:

Photos of Sue Harootunian at

Many thanks to Jo for this update.


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Saturday, January 2, 2010



anorexic, young girl, anorexia, starvation
anorexic, young girl, anorexia, starvation
anorexic, young girl, anorexia, starvation
anorexic, young girl, anorexia, starvation
anorexic, young girl, anorexia, starvation

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Friday, January 1, 2010


Kristy's photo
Kristy's story...

"I've been following your blog for a while now, and there are really no words to describe what it has done to me, or what it means to me.

I’m not particularly articulate, and I don't have a way with words to inspire and change lives, but I'm hoping to just share the hell the past 10 years has been for me.

I'm only 18 years old and I've been suffering from many different eating disorders on and off since I was 8 years old. I began to binge eat when my parents split up, I would eat and eat until I couldn't feel the pain anymore. I was always a heavy set child, and this didn't help me any. I didn't have a single friend until I turned 10 years old because all I wanted to do was be alone and eat. I was eight years old and living inside my own head, and inside my own body. There was no terror worse for me than to look for food to eat in secret and not being able to find any. A frantic search would begin until my void was filled. Instead of dealing with the divorce I covered it up with food.

This continued until I was about 14 years and old my mother began to criticize everything I did, wore and ate. Some attribute disordered eating to a family history or parental influence, for me that influence was my mother. My mother was severely anorexic and exercised non stop all her life. Her proud illustration of herself when she was 18 years old was that she was so thin my father. All of the pressure my mother created about weight and image drove me to start dieting (at 14 years old, no less), at first it was harmless and I cut out fat and sugar but then I began to cut down absolutely anything non-essential (in my opinion) until I was eating no more than 300 calories a day. I lost 20 pounds in a month, and 60 pounds in the following four months. I adored how my friends and family swooned over my sudden change, saying how fantastic I looked. I counted my bones in delight several times a day, pleased with my "diet" and how well it worked.

However like most anorexics, this was not enough. I continued to lose weight until my parents confronted me about my eating. I was 5"9 an 105 lbs BMI 15.5 when things turned for the worse. I was told I had to go to my doctor and "smarten up". I went to the doctor once a week to weigh in and do a check up, a dietitian to help me with meal plans (funny thing was, when I was binge eating I had gone to the same dietitian to LOSE weight) and my psychiatrist once every week. I lied through my teeth to every one of them, and somehow to this day I still haven't talked to the psychiatrist about my eating disorder. Everything was going well for me while I accepted this treatment, and as much as I wish my story could have a "phew close call, I almost ruined my life" moment and be wrapped up in a tidy little bow, it can't.

About three months after being put into out-patient treatment (they would have sent me to in-treatment if there was a treatment centre closer than 2000 km away) I decided I didn't like treatment anymore, and began to purge all of my specially coordinated meals three times a day or throwing them in the trash bin at school. My best friend caught on after a few months, and confronted me about what I was doing. He begged me to stop, and after much conversation I agreed to stop. That lasted for a few months until I couldn't take it anymore, so I started my binge and purge cycle that lasted until only a few months ago. I gained much weight, and have since fallen into a pattern of starvation, for a week at a time, followed by one small meal. I am sickened by my appearance and have covered all mirrors in my house. I do not know if I will ever be well, but I know I can not let myself die, not this soon and certainly not like this.

I am 18 years old and suffer from osteoporosis from what I have done to myself for a large portion of my life. There are days where my knees hurt so much I can not walk, I can not move. I can not lift anything heavier than 10-15 lbs. I once had gorgeous hair and beautiful skin, and what remains is dry, brittle hair and sunken grey skin. This is the hell I live in every single day. It was not by any means worth it, I am not thin, beautiful, rich and popular. I am fat, swollen, grey and lonely.

All is not lost for me though, I plan to attend university and get a psychology degree, so I can help girls who were misunderstood and lonely just like me. I want to notice the signs and behaviors before it’s too late for other girls. I want to change lives in ways I wish mine could have been changed.

There will always be those who suffer, but I want to change at least one of those people. Websites like yours can make a change, it can open the eyes of those who suffer or of those in denial of suffering, and show them it is not glamorous but painful and deadly. Please never stop the movement for change, it is life saving.

With love,



You're right...all is not lost for you.
Never give up, hon.

Best wishes to you for recovery of your health and much happiness in 2010.

~ Medusa

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