Thursday, September 22, 2011


Since my return from holidays, my work commitments have increased to the point that it's become next to impossible for me to keep all the balls in the air. Something has to give so that I'm not tied to a computer 24/7, so I've decided that my blog is going to have to be put on ice, permanently.

Now, that doesn't mean that I'm taking it down. It will live on in cyberspace in perpetuity...I just won't be updating it. But please keep commenting on the posts. I will continue to post your comments.

A special thank you to those who have shared with me your stories and allowed me to post them here. I am humbled and honoured and have been deeply touched.

Many thanks to all of you who have commented on my posts and sent me emails. Your support and understanding of the message I've been trying to get across has been remarkable and so appreciated.

And many thanks to the people I have met online who have become friends and who have given me such support in my quest to spread the word about eating disorders (especially you, MrsM of Weighing the Facts) :^)

Keep fighting the fight against eating disorders, and please never forget that they kill. If you're struggling, tell someone. Get professional help. You CAN beat it.

Love to you all,


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Saturday, August 6, 2011


Some of my readers have been wondering if I'd shuffled off this mortal coil, so I thought I'd update to let you all know that I'm still among the living and having a glorious vacation.

Thanks for all your concern, and I'll be back posting in September.  Happy summer holidays, everyone!

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Saturday, June 4, 2011


(Click photo to enlarge)

 "Belle Vere" beauties Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine and Robyn Lawley 
Photo by Steven Meisel

Editor of Vogue Italia, Franca Sozzani, continues her campaign against pro-anorexia websites by starting an online petition against those sites.

"Sozzani said: 'Curvy women are back in all their splendour.  The exuberance of a body with rounded lines is much more alluring and sexy...a growing number of readers are now asking to see – even in fashion magazines – a real world, made of real people who are not obsessed with staying thin, but are able instead to naturally accept and respect their bodies as they are.'

The editor has been busy collecting signatures for a petition to shut down websites encouraging eating disorders.

'Fashion has always been blamed as one of the culprits of anorexia, and our commitment is the proof that fashion is ready to get on the frontline and struggle against the disorder.'"

To see many more of Meisel's stunning photos of Tara, Candice and Robyn click this link:


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Saturday, April 30, 2011


Central Park, New York City

I will be in New York City until the weekend of May 14th.  Please hold all your emails and stories until my return.  Thanks!

Link to photo:

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Thursday, April 21, 2011



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Sunday, April 3, 2011


"Dear Medusa,

My name is Toni. It was only a month ago that I realised something was off; that what I was doing wasn't smart.

I've been teased and bullied in school since my first day at primary because I was different. I had a bully teacher in year 2 and only two friends who sometimes deserted me. But I managed to cope and developed nothing more than anxiety.

I was pushed over the edge into depression when I had my heart broken just over three years ago. For two years I built negative habits such as avoiding school, lashing out, locking myself in my room, and keeping everything bottled up.

I had never thought I was pretty; I'd been told daily that I was ugly every day at school, and I believed it. But it wasn't until year 9 / age 13 that I started to think I was overweight. I hated mirrors; every time I looked in them I saw fat. Even so, I didn't do anything about it.

I had become a very lazy, unfit person over the past few years, but I weighed no more than the average girl my age and height.

It was last year that I began to skip meals and throw food out at school. I'd give my lunch to my friends or the bin, but I was still eating breakfast and dinner - until I was taken to a psychologist for my depression and anxiety, which at this point had resulted in self-harming (cutting) myself weekly and suicidal thoughts. Not long after, I was booked in to see a psychiatrist and was then prescribed Fluoxetine (anti-depressant/anti-anxiety).

The medication worked for the most part. I stopped cutting and attended school more frequently. But my appetite dropped dramatically, until I didn't feel like I could eat breakfast, more often than not I didn't eat lunch, and then I'd only eat half my dinner. So my mum bought me Complan (food supplement milkshake) to make up for it.

I haven't been on Fluoxetine for three months now, but I've been eating even less. Most day's I've been having nothing but half my dinner, because I want to be thin; I want to be beautiful. For the past two months I've developed anorexia (I have not yet lost much weight due to my mum keeping me on Complan) but day after day I restrict my food intake and have 2 exercise routines: daily and nightly.

Last month, I realised I was being stupid. I'd been visiting my dad at the time, and one night he made me all of a very fattening dinner. That night, during my shower, I made myself throw up for the first time. The experience shook me and I began to research it and figure I fit the symptoms of anorexia.

Yet, despite this realisation, I still fight every day to NOT eat, to the point where a week ago I almost passed out.

I am fighting this battle on my own; I have told no one, but I thought that my story might help inspire others to fight it as I am. I've gone in alone and am trying to get Ana out of my life. I am trying to live.

From Toni."

Link to photo:
Sticks and Stones...

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Saturday, March 26, 2011


The Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) and Enzo (6 years old).  
Enzo is suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Words cannot describe the disgust I feel for Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa). Her heartless denial (not once but twice) of Enzo's wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation for Ina to spend an hour with him is simply mind-boggling. How could this woman not take an hour out of her so-called busy schedule to grant this very sick little boy his wish?

For more on the story, click here:

and here:

Please take a moment to read about Enzo on his mom's blog, Angels for Enzo:

New Facebook pages have suddenly sprouted. Check out the comments.

Fortunately, celebrity chefs  Beau MacMillan and Michael Symon have stepped up to the plate:

I truly hope everyone who reads this not only boycotts her show on the Food Network but also her books. This heartless woman needs a wake-up call.

Karma's a bitch, Ina.


Click below to sign the

Boycott Ina Garten From the @FoodNetwork



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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Flynet/KM Press

      (Click picture to enlarge)

LeAnn Rimes' startling and rapid weight loss is causing alarm among her friends and fans.  Reacting to their concern, LeAnn tweeted...

I'm concerned.  She's lost so much weight in such a short time.  Something's not right.

Thanks, Amanda, for the heads-up.

Link to photo:

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Monday, March 14, 2011


“Hey Medusa

I understand you probably get thousands of emails with people’s stories in them, and that the vast majority of them will be worse and more moving than mine, but I guess the reason I’m sending this is because I need to get it all out. I’ve told a few people before but always stopped short of spilling all my guts because I was so afraid of losing people.

My name is Jessica, and ever since I was born (12 weeks premature) I have suffered from a physical disability called Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia. My condition is mild and, though my gait is distorted, I am still able to walk. All my life I dealt with bullying, starting in kindergarten I was beaten up, harassed and taunted by my peers. I felt so ashamed I couldn’t tell anyone. In my mind it was my fault I was being bullied, and I was just too weak to figure out a way to stop it. From a young age I knew I was worthless, and I hated myself.

It wasn’t just the actual bullying that got to me. It was the fact people judged me as soon as they looked at me. So at age 8 I thought I needed to take attention away from the fact that I was ugly, that I couldn’t take 5 steps without losing my balance. There was an inner urge, something pushing me. I just –had- to find a way. So I slowly cut down what I ate, I would leave bowls around the house and set them up so it looked like I had eaten. My mother would be proud of me, I thought, I’m making myself beautiful. I’ve never really felt loved by my mother and I've always strived to impress her, I always tried to be more like my brother, who in my eyes, and seemingly hers too, was perfect. I knew my sacrifice and hunger would be worth it one day.

It was around 10 years old I started cutting, I was dangerously underweight at the time, with my hips and ribs jutting out, and I –loved- it, but I was still unhappy. I realise now looking back that I was a very sick little girl. I’d heard somewhere that when your body is cut it releases endorphins, the same thing that chocolate does. And I knew that these “endorphins” as they were called, made you happy. And I was very unhappy, I was still being bullied, I still wasn’t smart or thin enough. I still was a failure. So I tried it and I loved the rush. It was almost as good as the hunger. Long story short my legs were the biggest victim of my rage with myself, as they were the cause of all my problems.

This was also around the time my mother began to notice, I’m abridging things here but I was taken to a doctor and then a psychologist and then a doctor again, who combined, diagnosed me with EDNOS with restricting tendencies.

I didn’t want to get better. I loved the fact that everyone now said “oh, that poor girl, she’s so thin” now instead of covertly whispering to their companions “what’s wrong with that girl?” I could now attribute their staring to something other than the fact I was defective.

Recovery is shit. That’s all I can say, but what did it was my parents threatening to pull me out of school and put me into hospital. I hated hospitals and I loved school, because no matter how much I was bullied outside of class; knowledge was a power to me that no one could take away...

I’m apparently now recovered although I think I may be relapsing. I’m restricting and feeling guilty again. Food is my enemy again. I’m trying to fight it because I want to become a successful doctor, and treat those in third world countries. I want my life to matter but there is always that little voice in the back of my head that says I will never be able to get that score on my final exams and my life will never matter so I might as well give in to what I want; to be thin and pretty. Even though I know eating disorders aren’t pretty and I don’t know how to explain it. I still look in the mirror and see rolls of fat. I still hear a voice in my head that tells me I’m worthless and a failure....I just don’t know what to do.

I have a beautiful best friend who always understands, I don’t know what I would do without her. Who knows? I may have already spiralled downwards in myself destructive habits but I know I have to be strong and stay “recovered” for her and for the people I will be able to help in the future by defying my disability and all the naysayers, by fighting the voice in my head that is my eating disorder and by helping those who need it.

Now, at 15 I still cry myself to sleep at night because I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t know if I can make it. I just hope that I can....for me, for my best friend, and it may be egotistical to say this, but for the people I may help in the future if I do manage to succeed.

Thanks for reading Medusa...I do hope you post this. Maybe there is someone like me out there....I’ve always been looking for someone who knows how I feel."

Link to photo:

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Sunday, March 13, 2011


Rachel & Clare Wallmeyer

UPDATE:  March 13, 2011

 TROUBLED: Rachel Wallmeyer was strangling her twin sister 
as police arrived at their Grovedale home, a court heard.

"Twin's kill threat against sister in court

Aleks Devic | February 19th, 2011

RACHEL Wallmeyer phoned police and told them unless they came in 15 minutes she would kill her twin sister after a dispute over cask wine.

She sobbed in the Geelong Magistrates' Court yesterday as her lawyer said she would plead guilty to threatening to kill identical twin Clare Wallmeyer and unlawfully assaulting her.

In documents tendered to court, the prosecution alleged Rachel phoned police at 10.30pm asking them to come to their Grovedale home on November 19, last year.

"In the next 15 minutes (she was) going to kill her sister and that her sister's life was in danger if police didn't get their soon," police allege Rachel told the 000 operator.

The court heard police arrived 10 minutes later and found Rachel's hands tightly wrapped around Clare's throat while lying on top of her and Clare's face turning blue.

"At the time (Rachel) was repeatedly saying 'I'm going to kill you' to the victim," documents reveal.

"Police then restrained the accused and once the accused was removed off the victim, the victim took a deep breath and began to cough.

"(Rachel) then continued to crawl along the ground towards the victim stating 'I'm going to kill you'."

The prosecution said the sisters were drunk during the altercation and Rachel was angry that Clare came out with a cask of wine after telling her there was no wine.

Clare was taken to hospital after the incident and was later joined by Rachel who became unconscious while being interviewed at the Geelong police station.

A charge of attempted murder was dropped.

A plea of guilty was also entered for a theft charge.

Police told a previous court hearing the sisters were alcoholics and had a volatile relationship.

The matter was adjourned for a plea hearing to enable a psychiatric report to be prepared. Rachel, who is banned from living with her sister, returns to court on April 5."

Source: Twin's kill threat against sister in court

Original post ( November 22, 2010):

I've been following the lives of Rachel and Clare Wallmeyer for quite some time, and almost fell over when I came across this story published in Australia's Herald Sun newspaper today:

"Geelong anorexic sister 'tried to kill twin'

By Karen Matthews

"Well-known Geelong anorexic twins, Rachel and Clare Wallmeyer, were in court yesterday with Rachel charged over the attempted murder of her sister.

A Geelong court was told Rachel was allegedly caught in the act of trying to throttle her sister when police arrived at their Grovedale flat at the weekend.

Rachel, 40, of Camira Court, fronted Geelong Magistrates' Court yesterday charged with attempted murder.

She is also charged with recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Peter Beard said police were called to the twins' Camira Court flat about 10.30am on Saturday.

"When they arrived they found Rachel Wallmeyer sitting on top of her sister with both hands tightly around her neck, attempting to throttle her," he said. "Clare's face was blue and Rachel was yelling, 'I'm going to kill you'."

Sgt Beard said police dragged Rachel away but she continued to kick out at her sister while being arrested.

'Both women were extremely intoxicated," he said.

"Both are alcoholics and have an extremely volatile relationship."

Sgt Beard said a 12-month intervention order prohibiting Rachel physically assaulting her sister was taken out by police at Geelong Magistrates' Court on September 7.

He said the main concern of police was the escalating level of violence directed by Rachel towards her sister.

"Police are very concerned for Clare's safety," he said.

The prosecutor said it was likely the attempted murder charge against Rachel would be withdrawn at some stage and replaced by a lesser charge.

Margie Bourke, for Rachel, said no animosity remained between the sisters and suggested any concerns could be addressed by bail conditions that included the women reside at separate addresses.

The lawyer said Rachel suffered from depression connected with anorexia and had ongoing psychological issues regarding alcoholism and the use of prescription drugs.

"The bond between them is very strong and they accept that alcohol is damaging their relationship," Ms Bourke said.

Magistrate Stephen Myall said the risk of re-offending could be adequately dealt with by the imposition of separate residential conditions.

Rachel was granted bail and the matter adjourned to Geelong Magistrates' Court for committal mention on February 2."*

Click the link below to read my previous posts on Rachel & Clare Wallmeyer:

*Source: Geelong anorexic sister 'tried to kill twin

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"I haven't ever written to a complete stranger before, nor have I ever really told anyone my story, but I'm hoping that maybe opening up and talking about it might help; if not me then others who might read this if it is posted and decide to turn away from bulimia and self harm before it consumes them. Attached are pictures of some of my scars in regards to burning.

I have been struggling with bulimia for nearly 8 years now. I am only 21 years old, almost 22. When I was younger, I started with the mindset that I wanted to be thin like other girls, but as time went on and I eventually became thin it continued. Over the years it had shifted from a yearning to be 'pretty' to a compulsion.

If I don't purge I begin to get anxious. My heart races and I slip into a temporary depression. If you are thinking that you can control it, you are wrong. When I first started I had the mindset that I would only purge when I felt I ate too much, then it drifted to only purging one meal a day. It continued until I was purging everything I ate for several days. I would only stop purging for a day or two when I started seeing blood in my vomit.

When I started I had heard people say that you can't control it, but I thought I was different. I was convinced that -I- Would be different, that -I- would be able to keep hold of the situation, and even when I was at my lowest I was still convinced that I had it under control.

After a few years I was forced to move in with my father and it became very difficult to purge as I had been, but I still managed to purge at least once a day, twice if I was lucky. That continued until I turned 18 and moved into my own house.

My eating disorder stayed the same for some time, managing to keep 'control' and only purge once or twice a day, but I started to gain weight. I slipped so far, purging until there was blood and then continuing but I still kept gaining weight.

Finally I went to the doctor for another medical problem I had, only to find out that I had PCOS and Diabetes. It was because of my untreated diabetes that the little sugar I was taking in to keep my blood sugar up was instantly turning to fat. I then started medication to treat it and the weight melted away.

My eating disorder seemed to 'balance out' once again, until I lost my insurance. Here we are now. I am 'thick' if that is what you want to call it, yet I purge daily. It is 4:42pm, and I have purged 4 times. I get to feel the pain, to struggle with the physical hurt and mental agony of bulimia, and I don't even get the 'benefit' of being thin.

Not only do I purge on a regular basis, I also burn. I prefer burning over cutting. I have several scars on my upper leg and every time I look at them I am disgusted with myself. They are hideous, and yet I continue to burn. It is an endless cycle. I burn because I have power when I burn. I have control of what causes me pain. I know full well that I have no power over this, but when I am in the mind set to burn all of that reasoning goes out the window. I can sit here and tell you right now that it is stupid. There is no point in burning. It doesn't solve any of my problems, it doesn't change the outcome of things, it doesn't make me feel better. I look at my scars and I am disgusted with myself. If anything, it makes my life worse. Yet I know when I slip into that specific state of mind, when something triggers it and I have the urge to burn, everything I just stated becomes void. My mind works against me, and I press the hot blade against my skin. I become both empowered and pathetic at the same time. It doesn't help.

I wish I wasn't the way I am. I wish my head worked right. I don't like being broken. I am disgusted with my appearance, in regards to both my weight and my scars, even though I have a boyfriend that truly does think I am beautiful. I have had strangers tell me I am pretty. Yet when I look in the mirror I see something that isn't there. I see what I really am. A sick girl, that needs help yet refuses it because I fear it. I no longer have control over this.

If you are reading this, if you are considering becoming bulimic or harming yourself because you think that it will help, don't. If you have already started but still have a thread of hope to hang on to, you can still get help. Get out while you can. This isn't a life to live. It doesn't make you happy, it brings nothing but misery and pain into your life. I know the pain this brings. I know what it is like to be hopeless, and I don't want anyone else to suffer. Hopefully someone will see the truth in my words, or will be able to connect in some way and believe me when I say it is not the path to take.



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Friday, March 11, 2011


Houses swept out to sea burn following a tsunami and earthquake in Natori City in northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. The biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began 140 years ago struck the northeast coast on Friday, triggering a 10-metre tsunami that swept away everything in its path, including houses, ships, cars and farm buildings on fire.

Photograph by: REUTERS/YOMIURI, National Post


My deepest sympathies on the loss of life and the devastation that has wracked your beautiful country in the wake of this horrific earthquake and tsunami.  

My thoughts are with you all.

~ Medusa

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Thursday, March 10, 2011


...from Madison, an adorable 5-year-old (who I'd adopt in a nanosecond)   :)

Link:  Madison, 5-year-old make-up artist

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Monday, March 7, 2011


One of my favourite pictures of last Spring was this one of Crystal Renn on the runway wearing this gorgeous creation of Jean-Paul Gaultier's.  The sumptuousness of the dress on Crystal's curves was breathtaking.

Call me crazy, but I am saddened by Crystal's weight loss duing the past year.  She's lost her mojo.

Crystal after weight loss (2011)

Crystal says she lost the weight in a healthy way by exercising.  I'm not so sure.  Here's what the Daily Mail reported:

"The 24-year-old Chanel model, who was previously a UK Size 16, said that she finally felt ready to exercise for the first time since her teens, when she suffered from an eating disorder and became addicted to working out for up to eight hours a day.

She revealed that a difficult break-up had contributed to her decision to embrace a more healthy lifestyle, and a combination of hiking and yoga had helped the weight drop off.

She told NY Magazine: 'In the past, I avoided exercise because it brought back terrible feelings. I wasn’t ready. And I was scared that maybe I was going to be addicted again. 
'That’s a fear that goes through your mind, whenever you’re getting over an addiction or a disease like anorexia, yeah, I absolutely was worried.

'But then I guess you could say my life changed in a really drastic way. For one, there was a split-up that I went through that was very difficult, and I thought, “You know what? I need to be in a good place. I need to find me again.”'
Crystal in the throes of anorexia

Crystal suffered with anorexia for years.  I have serious concerns that her eating disorder and exercise addiction may have reared their ugly heads again.

"Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away"

~ Simon And Garfunkel

Click these links to read my previous posts on Crystal:

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"I am not sure when it all began but I suppose growing up in a family with an alcoholic father who criticized everything was probably a good start. 

I always remember being bigger than most of the girls. I was never fat, just bigger for my age. I always remember my thighs rubbing  together when I walked and just feeling like I was a giant but clearly I know now I wasn't a giant at all. 

I am 48 years old now and have suffered from Bulimia since the age of 28. I don't remember dieting  much through the years but I did struggle to just maintain. It seemed that no matter what I ate, I never seemed to lose weight and would always gain a little depending on my choices. I could never eat twinkies and cookies and yummy sweet things without paying the price.  

Through my late teens and twenties, I was lost. I did not know how to fit in very well with others. I did not have many friends and was lonely often. I suffered from some depression when I was about 20 or so and have had bouts of anxiety through the years, but nothing that would not allow me to function well. I have always been able to keep going and deal with whatever came my way. 

At the age of 25, I married a man from a prominent family and was propelled into a lifestyle that I had dreamt about but was not quite ready for. I learned to be the best hostess, the best dresses, and the life of the party. I did a good job, but I was not happy. My marriage was not great and I felt like it would not last forever. I became pregnant at 27 and at 7 months pregnant I told my husband at the time that I wanted a divorce.  It was such a sporadic decision but one I have no regret to this day for making. 

Close to the time he moved out, I remember the first time I vomited while I was pregnant. The idea had never even entered my mind my entire life. Once except. It was that day that it all finally hit home and I knew that I just had to stop this madness. 

I am healthy, active, normal size and take very good care of myself except for this destructive behavior. Since that day that my daughter found  me, I can't say that I have not vomited since but I have definitely  taken massive control over this situation and it is a very very rare  time if I do vomit. I still haven't stopped totally as I have since she confronted me and I still need to continue to work on this as I am  not totally "cured", but this problem is definitely one that I  started, continued and have nearly stopped on my own. The power of our brain to change thoughts and behavior is profound and finding the strength deep inside to make the change I believe is highly possible and I believe that I am proof.

I find such great sadness for all who suffer. I know the dark place one must be in to be self-destructive.  I know the world is harsh and the pressures to be perfect are impossible to avoid. But knowing that this world is imperfect one must realize that we as inhabitants are imperfect also and to strive for perfection in a world so imperfect is an idea created by humans but in true nature it does not exist. We must learn to live with the body and mind we were created with and overcome the challenges in life that come our way without fear.

My best wishes to all who seek freedom from self-destruction and for a life of good health and happiness!


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Thursday, February 10, 2011


I am leaving tomorrow morning for New Orleans and the Mayan Riviera.

For those who have sent me stories that I have not yet posted, I will do so after my return on February 25th.

Please hold off emailing me and submitting your stories until I return on the 25th. Many thanks!

~ Medusa

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Monday, February 7, 2011


 "Dear Medusa,

Hey I love your website. I'm sure you have a bunch of people emailing you but my story is the same and it's different. I live in a country where people love their bodies a lot, except for me. Eating disorders in my country are a "white-girl-on-lifetime-movies" kinda problem. As a result, I have never sought help. My dentist thinks I eat too much candy. I have hardly any teeth. I'm thirty and have been bulimic since I was ten.

I am a bodybuilder, fitness athlete... I became that because it is a legitimate excuse to get my body down to 8% body fat and lower. I hate myself so much sometimes. I have attempted suicide lots but haven't quite figured it out (LOL). Maybe someone out there feels like I do. Feels ugly and stupid and stuck and no one to relate to because eating disorders aren't talked about in their country. Maybe they feel crazy like I do. I don't know.

Here's my story. And my pictures. I don't mind my face going up. Just not my name.

'Dalal the black bodybuilder.

I made a career around food...went to school, studied and built a hobby around an obsession. As I type I am chewing slowly on ten slices of bread and butter, knowing that before I finish typing I will force everything up with the back end of a toothbrush. I was going to binge on peanut brittle, but with only one tooth on the upper right side of my mouth, chewing nutty hard things has become something of a problem.

My name is Dalal. Of course not, but I like how the name sounds… beautiful, foreign and exotic. I have worked hard to become all of those things, except deep inside I am really just a nappy haired black girl with bad skin and crooked teeth.

On the outside I am everything healthy - nutritionist, fitness competitor, super trainer, super athlete, super super super. Long haired, clear skinned, false and capped teeth gleaming as I tell people what they should eat and how they should train. I smile and tell them not to drink, not to smoke, not to do drugs when some nights I smoke an entire joint just to be able to stand myself. Oh yeah...and there is this thing about a binge-purge habit I have had since I was ten. 

All irrelevant. In four months' time I will be on stage, competing at 8% body fat displaying deeply tanned muscles for the world to ogle at...a seemingly emphatic picture of health and feminine strength; none of which exist inside of me.

I am trying to type how I feel but it’s hard. The words are easy to say...I have bulimia. It’s out of control. I suffer from depression. Yet all these words are devoid of everything but the trembling vocal chords in which to speak them. They don’t really paint a picture of how gorged you feel as you waddle to the toilet bowl to cleanse yourself of sins (father forgive me, it has been two hours since my last confession). They don’t really speak of how you eat something safe and healthy, then swallow a whole cake on top of it (Stupid stupid stupid) and then have to throw everything up and start from scratch…. How much money is spent on foods that you just throw up and dentists that think you just eat too much candy and well, just privacy to confess to the porcelain bowl-gods in peace. 

Oh yeah, and that black girls don’t make themselves throw up. Only white girls do. Well. Here I am - a black girl who created a life to hide the fact that she hates her body - a black girl who can hide behind the fact that black girls don’t do that stuff and who doesn’t know where to go for help other than some random website that made her cry as she read the stories and said to herself...that’s me. That’s me."

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Sunday, January 30, 2011



My name is Riley. I'm a 15 year old boy, and for 10 months now I have been suffering from an eating disorder.

My life has been happy and healthy. I was born healthy and raised happily, my mother died when I was young and I guess I never dealt with it as well as I could have; other than that, things in general are great.

I've had issues with food in the past. I used to suck in my ribs and show everybody my bones when I was younger, and have always had an interest in nutrition and food.

I remember when it really started though. I was at my Nan and Pop's house in another state around March 2010.

One night I was in the shower after dinner. I thought to myself 'What would happen if I was to force my food out so I'm not as full?'

Sure enough, I did it when I got out of the shower. I thought it was gross, and said that I would never do it again.

I came home a couple of weeks later and began to think I was gaining weight. I was about 56kg and 168cm tall, which is in the average to low weight range. I started to obsess over what I ate; I ate healthier things, when I actually was eating, which lead me into not eating breakfast in the morning, not eating lunch at school, and then purging in the shower after dinner.

After a few months of doing the same thing, sometimes eating regular meals and never binging, I began using fiber tablets at school to decrease my appetite, sometimes taking about 5 at once to fill me up. I also drank a lot of water to hydrate me during the day and after purging, consuming about 3 liters a day.

During July 2010, I restricted to 1 babyfood jar a day, which planned to continue for 5 days, but only lasted 3 as I collapsed in my school gym. After going to my Auntie's that night for tea, I had a discussion with my Nanny in the car on the way home. She made me promise that I hadn't been throwing up after I eat, which I refused to do. Worried as a normal grandmother would be, she spoke to my Dad while I was in the shower, purging.

Dad walked in on me that night, and after about an hour of talking, we seeked help from the local GP who then referred us to a place about half an hour away, where we now go every week to every fortnight.

I went for a 2 week program for treatment from the 13th to the 27th of December 2010, which pushed me to my full potential and showed me that there are so many people around who care for me. Although I am doing this all for the people around me, I'm doing it for myself, much like everybody else suffering from an eating disorder.

Not only does it take over lives, it takes everyone else away too.

Since I've been out of treatment, I've slipped back once, and I have a much more positive look on things because of the people I have met in there, and the opportunities I have had to reflect.

The reason I am sharing my story is because I see so many stories on here, and I find so much inspiration.

I just want to put it out to everybody that ANYBODY can suffer from an eating disorder, and ANYBODY can recover from one, too.

Kind regards and have a happy new year.


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I recently received this email from Lane:

"Hello Medusa, I am writing to you with the sad news that an eating disorder has claimed yet another person's life.

Her name was Kylie & she passed on the night of January 2, 2011 of cardiac arrest.

I personally never knew Kylie that well; I met her at Thanksgiving last year when I met my boyfriend's family.  I instantly knew she had an eating disorder from talking to her. I'm in recovery myself. She snuck away when it was time to eat.  She complained about the cholesterol in the lemon meringue pie.  She only ate the smallest amount that she could get away with.

I saw her again on two separate occasions after that; both times I thought about talking to her about it, but I didn't feel I knew her well enough.

She had been sick for eight years, ever since she was 17 & hated her body long before that. She was always round & curvy & hated her shape; at school she envied the popular girls who were all super-skinny. She always wanted to be one of them.

Her mother told me that they'd talk about their larger hips as "the family curse." Her mother thought they were only joking, but Kylie truly did think of it as a curse. She had previously been very close to her family.  In the past years she moved into an apartment alone & isolated herself from the world.

I'm told that before her illness took hold of her, she was bubbly despite being shy, that she loved making paper flowers & liked practical jokes.

The causes of her demise were low levels of potassium, sodium & dehydration that caused her already weak heart to fail. Her body had begun to feed on its own muscle, including her heart, to survive. They found blisters on her knuckled from purging.

We reluctantly combed through her personal journal & found out that she had begun inducing vomiting only one month before dying from it.

She wrote that she had never successfully purged before, until early December.

She was 25." 

Thank you for sharing, Lane.  May Kylie rest in peace. 

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 Annaleigh, before the illness

Hi, I've been meaning to do this for a while, and I’ve wanted to share my story and I hope one day that all the bad things I’ve been through can help other people.

My name is Annaleigh. I'm from Dorset, UK.

I wish I’d had hindsight before embarking down this terrible road...Anorexia took my life from me, all the things I could have been, could have done. They died because my life became Food, Calories, Weights and Numbers and nothing else.

This is me now, and the picture I am holding is the girl I was before Anorexia took me.

I’m 20 now. I was 16 in that photo. 4 years of anorexia has torn me to pieces. I’ve lost so much. In that picture I seem a happy, healthy, school girl. I even think I look pretty.

Now I’ve become a shell of my former self and I hate what I’ve become. Even though the smile in the picture was fake, I can see the health and the glowing skin in that girl.

I’m currently still in treatment for my eating disorder. I attend a day patient unit now, 9-7 pm. 3 weeks ago I left inpatient treatment at the same hospital and I thoroughly believe it saved my life and has given me the opportunity of recovery. I am so thankful to them.

Pictures of myself over the years:

I developed anorexia at 16, but I was already ill, but no one could see. At 15, I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and I’m certain this was the trigger that set off my eating disorder.

I was sexually abused from the ages of 13-15 and I suffered mentally on my own. I was self-harming, overdosing, and feeding my pain with food. It was during the abuse the binging and purging started, although I was never diagnosed at this point.

After going to the police, and the abuse ending I decided to stop eating, I decided food was the cause. I thought things would be better if I lost weight. I didn’t know what anorexia was but I thought losing weight was a solution and it would take away my pain.

I started off 5'6 and 14 stone (196 pounds) in April of 07 and by the November that year I had dropped to a mere 5 stone (70 pounds), losing over half my body weight. Nobody was taking action and by that point the first option was a general hospital where I was tube-fed for the first time. I don’t remember much of that stay. I just didn’t understand.

Since then I have been hospitalised on numerous occasions. I’ve had 3 mental health sections from my eating disorder. I’ve been to the depths. I’ve been drugged, held down, force fed and lapsed over and over again.

It’s only on this admission I have seen the light and am actively trying to recover. Sometimes I think u have to go to the depths of hell before u realise that there’s gotta be something better. It may feel absolutely shit to go against the Anorexia but in the end I know now the alternative of going backwards is far worse and now I hope for something more. I've glimpsed there is so much more to life, so much more. I’ve started to see friends enjoy life. My demons from the PTSD still follow me but I know now my eating disorder is not a solution.

Being thin doesn’t make you numbs the pain for a while. I ran away for a long while into the illness but now it has made life worse and the past harder to deal with.

And I wish I’d had this hindsight before I got ill, because now it is so hard to fight when it’s been my entire life and all I have known for the past 4 years. It took me a long time to get into this mess and its gunna take a long time to get out, but I have hope now to do it. I have so many dreams and aspirations in life....

The rise of Pro-Ana and the rise in eating disorders upsets me. I don’t think people realise how UGLY this disease is, it’s not glamorous.... and at 20 I never I thought I’d be left with arthritis, osteoporosis, no periods, having severe stomach problems.... I feel like a granny even though my nutrition is better!! This life is not beautiful. it's an ugly ugly thing.

A recent photo of me

This is a little poem I look at to remind myself to have hope that it can get better.


Sometimes we walk along a path,
Beneath a cloudy sky
There's nothing to the left or right,
To lift our spirits high,

And then we turn a corner,
And there bursts into view,
A scene of light and beauty,
A world so fresh and new.

So hold this little thought and hope,
Wait for the skies to clear,
For Beyond the dark and stormy clouds,
A sunny day is near....

Thank you for listening.


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anorexia-Bryan Bixler "Bryan Bixler is dying. He feels it in his bones a little more each day, as if passing the mirror in his apartment and glancing at himself isn’t evidence enough."
Some photos by Mark Boster

[July 12, 2015]

His amazing story of recovery...



To say that Bryan Bixler's road to recovery from anorexia is remarkable is an understatement.  

When I first posted about Bryan back in 2009, he was deathly ill.  Between 2009 and 2011, I lost track of Bryan until I received an update in January of 2011 from a reader (see Update below).  I was thrilled to learn that Bryan was doing so much better.

Bryan has made four appearances on Dr. Oz, the last being in December of 2013.  You will find the links to the Dr. Oz videos on Bryan's website here:

Last week, I was contacted by Bryan's lovely partner, Kristen, who updated me on Bryan's progress, which is nothing short of miraculous.  The pictures below say it all:  Bryan is healthy and happy.    

Bryan is now a Program Director and Nutritional Advisor at Hotel California by the Sea, a rehabilitation treatment centre for men in Newport Beach, California , which provides addiction treatment for dependence on alcohol and other substances. 

Please check out Bryan's profile at this link:

For those of you who are suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and other EDs and see recovery as daunting or impossible, Bryan's journey is evidence that once you take that first step, you CAN recover.

 Below are two beautiful and inspirational quotes that Brian has posted on social media: 

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
~ Unknown

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity."
~ Pema Chödrön

Please take time to read my earlier posts below about Bryan's journey...

[January 30, 2011]

Many thanks to "C." for this update on Bryan sent to me on December 30th, 2010:

"I don't know if you're aware that Bryan Bixler was back on the Dr. Oz show on Nov. 27 - and he's made astounding progress. It brought tears to my eyes to see how much better he is doing.
Here are the links to watch the show:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

"Bryan Bixler suffers from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder that causes him to deprive himself of enough food. He wants to get well, but the treatment Medi-Cal will cover falls short.
By Dana Parsons
6:29 PM PDT, April 2, 2009
"Bryan Bixler is dying.

anorexia-Bryan Bixler Bryan Bixler feels he can't escape the truth in the mirror. At 39 years old, 5 foot 9 and 82 pounds, he is growing weaker by the day

He feels it in his bones a little more each day, as if passing the mirror in his Laguna Beach apartment and glancing at himself isn't evidence enough. Here's what greets him: sunken eyes, paper-thin arms and legs that hang like a puppet's, the slow-motion gait that he fears will define his movements for the rest of his days. What happened, he wonders, to that young man who once ran half-marathons?

anorexia-Bryan Bixler

It's all so crazy. That's what he tells himself. Dying a bit more every day and knowing how to fix it but being unable to do it. Knowing that if he would just start eating like a normal person, he'd give himself a fighting chance.

But he's not a normal person, not anymore. Not at 5 feet 9 and 82 pounds. Not when he's got a master's degree and knows how the body works and yet can't make himself fix spaghetti or drink a chocolate malt.

Bixler is 39 and anorexic, suffering from an eating disorder traditionally associated with young women but which generally has been thought to include a 5% to 10% male component. In recent years, however, some researchers suggest that figure may be approaching 15%.

He doesn't remember a day or week or month that he turned the corner and inexorably headed down the path to anorexia nervosa, but he and family members think it was a slow-moving journey that started in his teens. He remembers those years as a time when his parents went through a difficult divorce and he was simultaneously caught up in the fitness craze and bent on avoiding junk food.

"I was Mr. Healthy," he says. "I was a vegetarian, I wanted to be a runner. Before I knew it, I lost weight without realizing it."

anorexia-Bryan Bixler
Bixler holds a photo of himself and his sister, Kimberly Leeds, from high school days

As he moved through his 20s, the disorder plunged him into what he calls "the vortex," a swirling downward spiral of weight loss and a deepening inability to reverse course.

But if there was a time back then when Bixler either denied he was anorexic or thought people were overreacting to his looks, those days are gone. "I see when I look in a mirror a walking caricature of a human being," he says. "A skeleton."

anorexia-Bryan Bixler

But what's different now than, say, even a year or so ago is a new resoluteness. The most primal cause of all.

"I want to live," he says.

To do that, he believes, he needs intensive coordinated treatment at an eating disorder center. Bixler's Medi-Cal insurance would pay for medical help and psychiatric or psychological treatment -- through care providers Kaiser Permanente and the Orange County Health Care Agency -- but not for long-term coordinated treatment at an eating disorder clinic.

The gap between what he needs and what his insurance will cover has been played out around the country. Many insurance companies increasingly have questioned the need for long-term residential treatment programs and balked at paying the high costs for them.

Seven years ago, with his parents footing the bill, Bixler spent several months at a treatment center in Wisconsin. Even though his weight climbed from 92 pounds to 120, he considered it a prison. When his parents' money ran out, he left and immediately relapsed.

anorexia-Bryan Bixler

Last fall, Bixler returned to the Wisconsin center but stayed only six days. Assigned to a psychiatric unit, he refused treatment, and his parents told him they could no longer afford the bill.

Since then, Bixler insists, he's seen the light and would stay in a long-term treatment program as long as it took. The only other option, he says, is death. "Obviously, my way is not working."

Neither is the limited psychological or psychiatric care he can get through Medi-Cal, says Terry Schwartz, medical director at an eating disorders program at UC San Diego. She supervised a recent psychiatric exam of Bixler, which he requested in the hope that it would bolster a claim he's made with the state for increased Medi-Cal coverage. The claim is pending.

Bixler isn't at an acute stage, Schwartz says, but his laboratory results and weight put him at "high risk" of dying from anorexia. American Psychiatric Assn. guidelines alone, she says, put him in the category of someone who needs either inpatient or residential care.

What he needs is a coordinated program that would run the gamut of medical, psychological, psychiatric, nutritional and dietary treatment. Bixler would be most vulnerable, she says, to sudden cardiac death or an inability to fight off an infection because of his depleted white blood cell count.

While convinced it's nowhere near what he needs, Bixler still avails himself of the counseling services offered through the county and Medi-Cal. If nothing else, he reasons, it'll perhaps send a signal that he's trying to play ball.

On his more charitable days, Bixler tries to avoid recriminations.

anorexia-Bryan Bixler

"I'm not blaming anybody," he says, "not Kaiser, not the county. I try not to blame myself, because of course I feel like I caused it. For me, it's the anger, the sadness that a life doesn't mean anything unless you have money."

In his 20s, before he fully grasped what was happening to him, Bixler saw a future for himself. With degrees from UC San Diego and the University of Georgia, Bixler wanted to work in the education department of zoos or aquariums. Instead, the eating disorder overtook him, and after short stints at two zoos and teaching while a graduate student, he went on full-time disability nine years ago.

He subsists on Social Security and lives in a studio apartment with a view of the Pacific Ocean, the beneficiary of cheap rent because his parents own the building.

He typically sleeps until late morning and stays up late. His sister, Kimberly Leeds, thinks that's so he can avoid normal social contacts and justify living his life mostly in the night.

anorexia-Bryan Bixler
Bixler has always been close to his sister, Kimberly
She's the one who pulled his shirt over his head about 15 years ago and made him look at his rib cage. "Look at yourself," she said. "How can you think you're OK?"

anorexia-Bryan Bixler Bixler is growing weaker by the day

Even though she understands the disorder, her brother's eating habits both cause her to marvel and madden her.

"He will not eat any dairy, but he eats frozen yogurt all the time," she says. "He won't eat certain lettuce because it gets caught in his teeth, but he will eat iceberg lettuce. He'll eat popcorn all night long but won't eat roast beef because it sticks in his teeth."
anorexia-Bryan Bixler Bixler, his nephews, his sister and her husband, Clay, say grace

If they go out to eat, she says, "He can't order something off the menu. There are about five or six statements that have to go along with it." Forget rice or beans, if that comes with the entree. He has to have shredded lettuce and cilantro on the side. He will eat vegetables and protein foods, but carbohydrates are a non-starter, she says.

Leeds may be frustrated, but she hasn't given up on her brother. To the contrary, she's joined him in his fight to get more extensive care.

Their parents, she says, have been dealing with the situation for half of Bryan's life and it is wearying.

"Mother feels like she's done everything. She's mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted," Leeds says. "Her life has been dedicated to him for the last 20 years."

All of which Bixler knows and which makes him sigh.

His father tells him he's not trying hard enough. What's so hard about fixing a bowl of oatmeal and eating it? They have shelled out the money before and might again, but the failing economy has hurt their finances.

"They blame me, their blame reinforces my own self-blame," he says. "I'm my own worst critic. I look in the mirror at night, saying I'm insane. What's wrong with me?"

He knows the answer, of course: a disorder with numerous dark corners that enveloped and then overwhelmed him.

anorexia-Bryan Bixler
Bixler reads to his nephews, Jeremy and Elliott Leeds, at his sister's home

"I can't understand why I can't do what a 6-year-old can do -- feed myself." "


Audio slideshow:,0,848624.htmlstory

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