Eating disorders affect people from all walks of life, have varying symptoms, and can be easily disguised by those afflicted. Obsessive exercise, starvation, and laxative abuse are some of the most common behaviors of eating disorder sufferers. The reasons these symptoms are developed are wide ranging, but usually boil down to a lack of self-esteem and pressure to fit some imaginary societal mold.
Even the beautiful, rich, and famous suffer from eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. We’ve compiled a list of celebrities—some surprising, some not so much—who have overcome eating disorders and managed to have a healthy relationship with diet, exercise, and themselves.
As American Idol kicked off its twelfth season, the judges rolled into Chicago to hear auditions. One contestant in particular got attention for her voice, but perhaps more for the struggles she had gone through just to be standing there. Mariah Pulice admitted to America that she was in the early stages of recovery from anorexia.
Anorexia is an eating disorder that affects nearly 24 million men and women in the United States, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Inc. (ANAD). Pulice falls into the most common gender and age group to struggle with the disorder – teenaged females.
Pulice admitted on last Thursday’s episode that her struggles with eating began in junior high school, saying, “I felt a lot bigger than the other girls.” These feeling progressed and Pulice said by high school she recalled only eating a single slice of American cheese each day. For reference, that’s only about 100 calories and maybe five grams of protein. The fact that Pulice was telling this story was impressive, considering how dangerously she was treating her body. (more…)
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
While we all aspire to be eternally young, one part of youth we can all do without is the irrational sense of invincibility. That, and the overpowering need to be accepted by the “in crowd.”
With that in mind, it’s not hard to believe that the highest percentage of problem drinkers is college students. Heavy drinking, mixed with youthful hormones and naivety, leads to violence, careless sexual activity, and now something that is being called drunkorexia.
Recent Canadian research has found that young men and women are skipping meals, yet are also consuming a day’s worth of calories in alcohol. In other words, young people who want to lose weight, but still want to party, cut out the meals in order to do so and stay thin. They may also be drinking excessively with the intention of purging previously consumed food.
While it’s not yet a recognized eating disorder, the health risks of drunkorexia are very real. Weight-conscious drinkers are risking nutrient deprivation, liver damage, and death.
It’s not a problem exclusive to the U.S. or college-age kids for that matter. (more…)
Strange food mixtures, also referred to as food concocting, may be an indication of being a binge eater. That’s according to a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
How do you define strange food mixtures? How about:
Mashed potatoes and Oreo cookies
Frozen vegetables mixed with mayonnaise
Chips with lemon, pork rinds, Italian dressing and salt
The excitement comes in the preparation. In fact, they reported having the same emotions as drug users during the act, which was countered by shame and disgust after the fact.
“While they are food concocting and binge eating they report being excited, in a frenzy, and high, but afterwards they feel awful about themselves,” says Mary Boggiano, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology and primary investigator of the study. (more…)
If you’ve been in the running world for some time, you’ve surely noticed what the typical road race winner looks like, right? Tall, toned, and thin. It’s fair to assume that this is what it takes to be fast. Unfortunately, many of us, and especially females, go about improving our performance based on looking like these elites. Many female athletes are under nourished in relation to the amount of energy they expend. Truth is, this common behavior is actually very dangerous and can cause serious damage to a female athlete’s body.
I have been running since 2006. In 2010, after my sixth marathon, my doctor raised his concerns about my weight, my bone health, and something called the female athlete triad. I had never heard this term before, but I was quickly learning that I was in serious danger of falling into this condition.
Loyola University defines the female athlete triad as being characterized by disordered eating, irregular periods, and osteoporosis. I sat listening to my doctor explain the condition and knew that my periods were not regular, however, surely the other issues didn’t apply to me, or so I thought. He proceeded to perform a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA scan, to check my bone density. He didn’t like what he saw for a female in her late twenties. But then he got to the eating. I was in complete denial. I was thin, but I was a runner and I needed to keep my calories low so I could stay light for performance. So I thought. (more…)
If you’ve ever envied the bodies of slender singers and actresses and thought they had the perfect lives to accompany their perfect figures, think again. Yet another star has opened up her private struggle with an eating disorder. On a recent episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger revealed her eight-year struggle with bulimia.
The Hawaiian-born star and former X Factor judge revealed that her eating disorder began in 2003 when she felt pressure to slim down for the revealing outfits she and other members of the group had to wear for performances.
“I got my outfit, and my outfit was a bra and some underwear and some garters,” Scherzinger said. “I was sweating in the back room and I was like I can’t go out there. I can’t do this.”
Other members of the Pussycat Dolls took note of her struggles early on and noticed that she didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. “She didn’t see a perfect figure when she looked in the mirror,” recalled one of the group members. “She said she saw thick thighs and chubby knees and she wanted blonde hair and different lips and a different nose.”
This initial breakdown triggered the start of a full on eating disorder that Scherzinger kept private for nearly a decade. “I guess it was like my addiction, right? I never did drugs, but kinda doing things to myself was my addiction. It’s like when I got offstage, I was on this high, and I’d come back to my room and I’d be alone, so I would just do things,” she said. “My bulimia was my addiction. Hurting myself was my addiction.” (more…)
You wouldn’t know it from looking at her tall, lean figure, but 23-year-old Robyn Lawley is a plus-size modelwho has been deemed the “plus-size wonder from down under.”
At 6-foot-2-inches tall, Lawley is a size 12 and breaking stereotypes left and right with her curvy physique. Just this year, she became the first plus-size model to land a campaign with legendary clothing designer Ralph Lauren.
The model appeared on Good Morning America recently to discuss her growing success not only as a model, but also as a figure of health and beauty for women all over the world.
Katie Couric’s new talk show tackles the serious issue of eating disorders in America with her September 24 episode featuring Demi Lovato.
The star, singer, and host of X Factor tells Couric her personal story of her rise to fame and how, along with it, she developed an eating disorder that almost killed her. Lovato speaks out against our culture’s obsession with thinness and body image by explaining how she defeated her demon before it spiraled out of control. (more…)
The September 19 episode of Dr. Oz will feature discussion about a dangerous eating pattern that more and more Americans are becoming prone to: binge eating.
Binge eating is a disorder in which you consume large amounts of food in one sitting as a regular occurrence. It is sometimes done in secret, and is different from overeating in that behavioral and emotional symptoms such as guilt and depression often create a vicious cycle of continual eating when you’re already full or not hungry.
Women featured on the show confess that they’re disgusted with themselves for binge eating, have taught the pattern to their children, and desperately want to stop.
One guest is 7 months pregnant but no one in her life has known about her regular binge eating that is potentially harming her unborn child as well as putting herself at risk. (more…)
Does a sports organization have the right to tell a player she’s too fat to play in a tournament? That’s the question surrounding Taylor Townsend, a 16-year-old tennis player in the U.S. Open juniors tournament.
Townsend is a sensational player, ranked number one for junior girls in the world. She won both singles and doubles in the Junior Australia Open in 2012 and the Wimbledon Junior Girls Doubles, and USA Today and others have even compared her to the Williams sisters. However, she’s also bigger than most of the girls she plays against.
Because of that one fact, the U.S. Tennis Association decided not to fund her trip to the U.S. Open. She has been under their wing in their player development program, living full-time at the center for several years now. Her coaches decided that until the budding star slims down, they would not fund her attempts at getting into the U.S. Open. She will also not be able to attend any tournaments out of their pocket.
So, Townsend’s mother did what most mothers would do who believe in their daughter’s dream: she funded the trip herself. Townsend showed up at the tournament and is doing well so far; ranked as the No. 1 seed in girls singles. (more…)
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