Editor's note: Kareen Wynter is a CNN entertainment correspondent based in Los Angeles.
By Kareen Wynter, CNN
(CNN) – As an entertainment reporter who covers Hollywood, there are countless critics acting as judges in this industry. There are the never-ending headlines of leading actresses’ “weight gain," and "starved frames." These unhealthy labels have to stop.
Angelina Jolie’s thin frame at Oscars sparks debate
Sixteen years ago I was a slave to bulimia, prompted by the labels of others. My bulimia lasted for about a year, and during that time, I destroyed so much of my body.
I actually lost track of how much weight I dropped, and I noticed that my friends, who initially encouraged me to lose weight, stopped being so critical. I did not realize then that it was because I had become a walking skeleton. I had gone from loving the person in the mirror to hating the reflection that stared back me.
It all began with the semester I studied in Spain as an undergraduate college student. There, I lost weight, challenged by the food of my host family.
When I returned to America, I happily returned to eating pizza, ice cream sandwiches and french fries. Then, some of my friends who had initially complimented my thinner frame, were now criticizing my "chubby" look.
The peer pressure and constant labeling about my appearance left me feeling ugly, powerless and out of control.
Looking back, this was my moment: a subjective observation from my peers that had a gradual harmful effect on the way I looked at myself.
For the first time in my life, I started to diet and limit my food intake. I even began weighing myself several times a day, and was consumed with guilt after eating.
While I could not control other’s words or labels, I could control what I ate. Food was the enemy. I could not taste anything anymore. There was no desire to lift a fork.
It soon became painful to breathe. My heart would literally hurt every time I took a breath.
There were attempts at therapy and a few hospitalizations, and initially, nothing helped.
Then, there was a surreal moment in a doctor's office when I overheard a conversation between my physician and parents about my heart murmur. It was then that I heard the words that became the turning point in my recovery: If I did not get better, my body would be so destroyed I would not be able to conceive.
My doctor repeatedly reminded me of how fatal this disease was, but nothing stabbed at my heart more than the thought of not having children.
I began my fight to live: to get better, to grow stronger, and most importantly, my determination to eat without guilt.
I also began attending regular therapy sessions. The shame lessened as I began sharing my story with others battling their own eating disorder.
I was finally able to dismiss the gravity and pressure of what others thought of my appearance and started focusing on myself from the inside out. This is what helped me beat bulimia.
I have been healthy for nearly two decades now, and I celebrate every day by truly loving myself, enjoying food, and more importantly, continuing the critical work of helping those trapped by this illness.
I have mentored many teens who are just as fearful of food as they are of being called "fat." How many times do we hear that little three letter word thrown around at celebrities and more destructively, at those around us?
True, the stars have more of an outlet. They can choose not to read those harmful headlines or skip those scathing celebrity blogs.
But what about that young student on a college campus, in a high school classroom, or perhaps under the roof of their own home?
As a mother of two young children, it is important for me to teach youth the concept of true self worth: that our differences are what makes us special, beautiful and unique.
Despite what our celebrity-obsessed culture leads us to believe, true beauty begins inside with a healthy and nurtured mind, body, and soul.
It is not easy for a journalist to turn the spotlight on their own life, and make their past struggles a headline. But I want to remove the veil from a disease that involves so much shame and is often fought in the dark.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Kareen Wynter.
People ,children are dying because of this ,my daughter is at risk right now of taking her life.It is an addiction ,it is a serious mental disorder that requires proffesional help.Say what you want or how you feel but be sure with those words the life of your child could be taken by their own hands.I hope my daughter doesn't take her own life and I also hope the same for yours.
Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to offer one thing back and aid others like you helped me.
Great issues altogether, you simply won a new reader. What could you suggest in regards to your post that you just made some days in the past? Any positive?
hmmm...i don't know, she looked dang beautiful then as she does now...
What happened to exercise?
The best and most natural way to stay fit and be healthy?
Parents should start from early on encouraging their children to be active and eat healthy. As we all know, exercise is not only good physiologically but psychological as well.
A lot of ignorant posts here. I hope you never have a daughter who battles with eating disorders. It is NOT about vanity. It is a psychological problem just like any other mental issue. For me, I have always had a fear of food. I learned this behavior from my parents (no, I'm not blaming them). I am pointing out a fact. My parents constantly created the worst environs for meal time. That coupled with continual lectures about weight from the time I was 4 years old pretty much cemented my love-hate relationship with food. I am 49 years old and I can tell you that I go through phases with food. I have had bouts of anorexia since I was a teenager. After my first child, I lost so much weight CPS threatened to take my son because I was in the hospital and 'killing' myself. Again when I was in my 30s I dropped so much weight, my employer worried and conducted an intervention. Today, I am 49 and I still battle with food. I am an intelligent woman with a career; I am a mother and a wife. However, my only 'cross' to bear is the hatred I have of my body and my obsession with being thin, not because I think I'm smokin' hot, but because I don't feel worthy unless I am thin.
I agree with Saynomore. I think Kareen Wynter is extremely rude and unprofessional. I did she the segment on Dr. Drew and I was taken back at how nasty she was. One would think that she would have treated Tracey Gold with the same respect as she would want others to treat her. But the bottom line is that Kareen needs to suck the toes of celebrities to get the on camera interviews, so she puts up with a fake reporter persona. But when it comes to having an intelligent discussion about eating disorders, the claws fly. No thanks Kareen. The damage was done in my book.
My experience is that anyone with this issue, always has this issue, regardless of how or why it started. It's always about control over something, when so many things in life are uncontrollable. I dealt with this a lot in the dance world, where as a child I saw friends tube fed or who looked like something from a concentration camp and didn't understand initially, because back in those days, anorexia or bulemia weren't publically discussed conditions. I also walked the knife's edge dabbling with that stuff, but had a sense of self preservation and intutively knew that I could trigger something that I might not get back from.
So I quit the dance world and focused on HEALTH. Again, this wasn't discussed by the media, in schools, by doctors back then. Few even knew that it had a name. So I did it alone.
It's not about inner beauty, but of course it applies. It's not about about outer beauty, but of course that applies. What it really comes down to is HOW HEALTHY you are. Are you eating like a normal human? Are you exercising like a normal human? Are you obessessing with the mirror or what goes into your mouth, or are you focusing on the things in life that actually matter, like your brain, your maturity level, how you cope with life, what goals in other areas you are setting for yourself, reaching developmental milestones, being a decent human? How are your relationships? How well do you do your work whatever that is? Are you contributing to the world, taking your place in it?
THOSE are the things that matter, not whether or not someone likes what you look like in a tight dress. I absolutely positively mean that with my entire soul. Because what society thinks 'looks good' right now and for the past 30 years is decidely UNHEALTHY. Looking like you are 12 years old and not like a grown woman who NORMALLY has some fat pads on her hips, thighs, having breasts, that sort of thing is not what is popular. It is abnormal to want to look like a child.
So what do you do? You ignore it. Yep, you look that stuff dead in the eye and live the truth of what is healthy, not some stupid artist's imaginative view of fashion.
My advice? Spend more time in jeans and a tshirt being a good person and far less time shopping for edgy clothing. Stop looking for approval from the fashionistas, who are ALL whacked when it comes to body image. Every darn one of them. Women should look like women. Have some muscle. Have a little fat. If you don't agree with this, learn about human physiology. You need some fat pads to literally create hormones so that your parts actually work. You need muscle mass to have a normal metabolism and to support your skeletal system.
And food is fuel. It's the gasoline of the body. Between calories and micronutrients, you need a varied diet to be healthy. And HEALTH Is what I'm teaching my own daughter to shoot for. That it's okay to look like a female, she wans't mean to look like a 12 year old unless she's a 12 year old. To work out and build muscle. Be flexible to protect joints. To do XY and Z in order to avoid chronic health problems later in life.
And as far as beauty is concerned, we all have different body types and beauty is all about feeling good, not whether or not you're wearing the latest thing to be foisted upon us by Madison Avenue and idiots who who design clothing that have body issues themselves.
That her intellect will serve her. That she use that big brain of her's for her own betterment and the betterment of the people around her.
And I tell her straight up that the old teens and adults that look 12 have mental issues and we have long discussions about this. I tell her my own stories and how I dealt with it and to see how she handles herself now, I couldn't be more proud. Because I can see that SHE can SEE it. It's everywhere. Desperate women scrambling for control over what they see in the mirror. Desperate for shallow attention of strangers saying 'you look good' instead of seeking their own counsel. Instead of shooting for health, they're shooting botox into their faces so that they don't age. They balloon up their breasts, cram their non-existant butts into sausage casing dresses and hope to God that someone notices all of their work.
It's desperate and unehealthy, and frankly, fake. People AGE. Woman AGE. While it's okay to want to look 'nice', when it goes beyond that, it's a problem. We're all going to age, have things happen to our bodies, like childbirth. We're going to get old. Yep, OLD. And then we're goiing to die.
So do we spend the time in between deseprately holding on to our teen years? Desperately wanting to look 25 when we're 50? Or do we shift that stupid mindset and instead shoot for things like health, or better yet, wisdom?
I'm part of that group. I'm 50 years old, I look my age. I could lose ten pounds. I've been through life's wringer and have a lot of water under my bridge. It's not about what you've been through, it's about what you've learned about what you've been through. Some of us have been though a lot more than raised eyebrows about being chubby. Not saying that doesn't hurt, but the point is to learn how to deal with that GRACEFULLY and look at the glass half full, and not spend your life analyzing it's plot flaws and then beating yourself with them.
NO human makes it through life without making mistakes, without doing stupid things, without problems or challenges. There isn't an old person alive that wouldn't shake their head about all of this and then say something like 'honey, move on with your life. IT's too damn short".
Because it is. Blink and it's over. And as someone who spent a career at the bedside of critically ill people, no one at the end of the their life ever talks about what their thighs look like. They talk about the people that they love and sometimes, the things that they did that they regret, or the things that made their life worth living.
Learn something from them. Put your issues into perspective. Look at what works. Shoot for health. And ignore the mental midgets that come out with the latest stupid thing that we're supposed to do to ourselves.
You want to know if you actually are in the right place? Then cover every mirror in your home and only look at one for work. Seriously. Go out in public after showering iwth no make up. Put on sweats or jeans to do your errands. Do not shop for fashion, do not apply makeup, no female warrior gear.
Then watch your anxiety level. If you cannot do this without spazzing, you just found out what you need to work on. Figure out what that is, and then let it go.
Or continue to be controlled by what is on the outside. Your pick, but make your choice a conscious one.
Why don't we stop using terms like "fat cows" to characterize women? Why does her weight even matter? Name calling is outside the bounds of common decency, and I am so appalled at what people say on these boards.
actually god called certain woman in the bible cows... i forget were, it's in the first testament, it was referring to gluttonous or fat woman either of Israel at the time or another people.
Actually vanity, insecurity and materialism caused her bulimia. How does someone being called "chubby" by a peer lead to an eating disorder? Had she been abused or something? I went college with a lot of girls who ended up anorexic or bulimic because their vanity and materialism was topped only by their insecurity and they hung out almost exclusively with girls who shared the same "values' as them. They all had to be the skinniest and they spent all day sizing each other up.
THIS IS A SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION, AND READERS WHO MAKE LIGHT OF IT OR PUT DOWN OTHERS WITH A MEDICAL CONDITION OUGHT TO HAVE THEIR BACKSIDES HORSE WHIPPED. Would you dare make similar comments about a recovering cancer patient? How about somebody with diabetes? Or heart disease? Look - I have a loved one who is intelligent, capable, and very talented who is struggling with bulimia. Even with excellent doctors, a team of counselors, and lots of support from family and friends it is not easily overcome. I applaud Kareen for having the courage to take on the subject and try to help others. Since one in five persons in the US has an eating disorder - bulimia, anorexia, or overeating - this subject needs to see the light of day! People hide these disorders because their countrymen make CRUEL jokes about them , and we will never beat these monsters that way. For crying out loud, WAKE UP AND GROW UP! It's time all of us learn and understand the destructiveness of harmful words, crazy standards, false expectations, and lousy eating habits. EATING DISORDERS ARE KILLERS. Thank you, CNN, for posting Kareen's article.
It is NOT a medical condition, it's someone's messed up head that causes this. All you have to do is eat to be better, but they voluntarily choose not to eat. It started with them "choosing" not to eat to be thin, it was no mental condition or disease that made choose not to eat. I've never heard of a vanity disease or mental defect.
What others think about us and say to us is powerful. Mead's book, The Looking Glass Self, points out that our self image is formed in large measure by what others say to us or indicate to us in other ways, so it's important that as parents and teachers and significant others that we help young people develop their own measures of self-worth independent from what others think. The pressures on kids all through school are tremendous and often very harmful. The messages to us all through advertising are not helpful... It can be very difficult for young people to learn the best values to help them through life, and to wrongly focus too much on appearance, material things, and social status .
It's a serious medical condition that is a manifestation of depression. Anorexia and bulimia are only medical because of the medical damage done, like when you're a drug addict.
It is just another form of addiction, and should be treated as such. My brothers called me fat (also one beat me up daily) and I just became clinically depressed until I decided I didn't give a crap what he said.
Next time, lose the friends. Most of the world's troubles are because of fake friends who just use you.
These women are probably too young to love themselves fully. They are vulnerable to others opinion of them, since they may be too young with an unformed self image. It takes years for some women to figure out who they are and learn to love themselves fully.
Whew. I've never read so many holier-than-thou opinions of the article. Apparently no one has much sympathy for her because they are all so perfect themselves with no problems. Sad.
Bulimia and anorexia are the same as drug or alcohol addictions.
At some point, the sympathy stops. Glad she is out of it, and hope that people who are in it get mirrors and have real friends to help them.
It is a serious mental illness.
I agree. This article is soooo ridiculous, and this woman needs to get a grip and a life.
Everything that's caused by a lack of willpower, extreme self-absorption, and self-centeredness is now called a "disease" and of course, none of it is the poor victim's fault. That's why psychology is a growth industry: they make everything a disease so someone else will pay and the people with these "diseases" can blame someone else. Pathetic. I'm 30 pounds overweight. I guess I have a disease. No, nobody's putting the food in my mouth, I'm doing it. Geez.
Next time you have diarrhea try to stop it with willpower.
The brain is an organ, like any other organ in your body. One of the many things it does is regulate hormones, which in turn, can affect BEHAVIOR. To dismiss a problem behavior as an automatic lack of willpower fails, at a most basic level, to understand the enormous power that "thought" has over our health.
GUESS WHAT, PAL? If you are 30 pounds overweight, you probably have a condition known as "disordered eating" or even an eating disorder. Rather than throw stones at the author, why not make an appointment with your doctor and tackle this problem head on. No....really. You might need help...and if you don't think so, you are in denial.
Be careful with your words, you never know when this disease will effect you. This woman is brave to come out about her disease and how she faced it. Bulimia and Anorexia are one of the the leading causes of death among women 15 to 25. This is a serious disease and the more it is talked about the more likely society will stop objectifying women and start doing something about the disease. I hope one day you do not wake up to a phone call that someone you love has not been eating and is in the Emergency Room or dead. But based on your callousness you probably would care less because it is not you...
LOL! There is never going to come a day when people stop objectifying women. The fact is, this woman had the choice to control what she ate and she CHOSE to overeat and throw up. This is a choice NOT a "disease."
You won't reach the ignoratti here. They are the one that think being gay is a choice!
^^^^^^^^^How stupid. Everything is a choice.
I agree with you. I think she was very brave to tell her story and to subject herself to ridicule by both the uneducated and those invested in remaining ignorant because it would overcomplicate their narrow understanding of life.
@rosey do us all a favor and stfu
I usually appreciate Karareens reporting. But after seeing her attack on Dr Drew's show, she appeared to be the aggressor and those people with similar personal experiences were not given a chance to voice their own opinions. The only one who came off " holier than thou" was Kareen. Personally I've delt with an eating disorder but would not play the victim role because it neither helps or empowers suffering from this.
I totally agree. I thought she behaved horribly on Dr. Drew's show. I put repeated posts on his web site (even on his Twitter account) about how I thought he should have addressed how viewers thought she behaved towards Tracey Gold on that program. She thoroughly disgusted me. Did she think that Tracey Gold DIDN'T understand eating disorders? She had a very public eating disorder a number of years ago and Kareen verbally attacked her for her opinion. I don't normally post a lot about disagreeing with commentators or guests on a talk show but I thought this woman behaved horribly towards the other guest which was Ms. Gold. Dr. Drew did NOT address it and while I'm a huge fan of his, I am totally disappointed that he did not handle the interview better. He should have cut her off when she started her tirade. Instead, he's ignored the many posts & comments about the whole episode.
When did it become so difficult to be nice. Ignorant People Suck!!
I'm glad to see Kareen Wynter being able to tell her story. What I think is the real problem here and in many other cases is that the word "friends" is use so lightly. Kids give too much weight to what the so called friends say. Kids should be explain that a real friend will have a conversation with another friends. Someone that you know and calls you chubby is not a friend. They just studied together. Anything that is said should be weight accordingly.
I can see why she would be bulemic. Whenever I watch CNN I want to puke too.
So don't watch it. Or grow up. Your choice.
Ha Ha good one. Thanks
Classic. It's all somebody else's fault. She has no responsibility for any of it. She probably was chubby and her friends were being honest when they said so. She got healthy because she addressed her self images issues, not because people stopped commenting about her.
Learn something about the disease before you open your mouth. This coupled with Anorexia is one of the leading causes of death of women between the ages of 15 to 25. Over 5 million people suffer from this disease. It is not about body image or self control it is a severe psychological disorder that can be treated. I hope that no one you love ever has to deal with this because the outcome in many respects depends on the quality of the people that surround you...
Ok so get it straight. Is bulimia about "oh mean old society pressuring me" or is about a psychological disorder. IF the latter (which it IS) stop blaming everybody else for it. Do people with depression get to blame everybody else for making them feel unhappy? I guess people with clinical depression should claim that society's praise of wealth and success is wrong for making them feel bad about their position in life.
I had bulimia for 10 years in my late 20s, early 30s. For the first several years, I had no idea that anyone else had this problem, and that was actually a name for it. Bulimia absolutely controlled my life.
At one point I swallowed my toothbrush while using it to help me vomit. It had to be surgically removed. I had heart problems, severe depression, suicide fantasies, and I've had massive dental problems.
I was finally able to quit 25 years ago, after I married my husband, who soon told me he didn't think he could live with me while I continued my bulimic behavior. I don't blame him, because each episode affected my relationship with others for days afterward. He also told me that I could quit. Period.
At first I thought, well it's easy for you to say. Then I realized that yes, it was really up to me, and yes nothing was stopping me from quitting, except me.
I had always thought the way to quit was to stop overeating. Then of course I wouldn't purge. NO! WRONG! The way to quit is to find the courage to stop purging, and then you must NEVER purge again. EVER. It's just like quitting smoking, drugs or alcohol. This means that if you overeat, you have to face the consequences, even if that means gaining weight. Learning to suffer the consequences for your actions will help give you the incentive to eat normallly.
I took up yoga, and became a vegan – two practices that I continue to this day. Surprisingly, I lost about 10 pounds after I stopped purging and started eating more normally, and I have kept the weight off ever since. I also try to exercise regularly.
Good luck to everyone who suffers from the nightmare of bulimia. If I could quit, you can too.
Exactly, just another addiction, and should be treated as such. Find something you love more than your addiction, and you'll be cured. If you are lucky, it's yourself, otherwise you may have to look a long time.
And what's wrong with the so called "labels" that she is saying are bad. Labels are used to describe something, these labels are very accurate.. people gain weight, and they also have starved looking frames, it's not wrong to use these if they're accurate, what's wrong is the medias portrayed expectation of women.
Thank you for being brave enough to write this article. I struggled with bulimia too. Oddly, what finally got me over the big hurdle was (this is obviously very simplified) when, after a lot of self-help books, some counseling, etc., I gave myself permission to eat WHEN HUNGRY, fully aware that I would at least initially gain some weight with this approach. The short version of the story is that I eventually learned to eat what I want, but only when hungry. One of the many peculiarities of this story is that I've never been overweight in my life – I just was at a "normal" weight and wanted to be skinnier, to model. (I'd fluctuated between skinny and "normal" my whole life.)
Only in western countries...It's so nuts. So many poor people in so many countries would literally die to be in a situation like mine.
This story is wacked. Have you ever seen an ugly or an overweight journalist on tv? Thought so!
Is it any wonder people with this condition are too embarrassed to come forward & get help ! After reading some of them comments I'm not surprised !!!
The worst disease on the planet is BRAIN CANCER. Eating disorders are nothing.
As someone who fought bulimia for 33 years (1966-1999), I am always glad when the subject gets publicity. When I started, no one knew about it or talked about it. I have no idea why I am alive, but I thank God that I am.
I remember her admitting to bulimia on a segment about Angelina Jolie. The journalist was defending Angelina's appearance and took that stance that Angelina looked fine. To prove her point, she admitted to having an eating disorder. At the time, I did not know it was for just a year. She is indeed a walking miracle. Bulimia is tied to a mental disorder and can plague people for years, decades, their whole life. I myself purged for the first time at 16 and now at 40 still battle the temptation under stressful situations. I can go 3 years not purging and then spend one entire weekend binging and purging. It's just that uncontrollable urge that shadows a person for life. I just consumed a frozen mini pizza and a pint of ice cream and purged it. I haven't done this in over 18 months. I personally am glad some people can get over it because it gives me hope.
I was able to go for some periods of time without doing it, but I always wanted to. I'd revert to anorexia and simply not eat (which then gave me no reason to purge). I kept praying I'd get over it and went to counseling, etc., though nothing seemed to help. I spent hundreds of dollars a week on my habit, gorging myself on hundreds of thousands of calories, all of which I'd purge. When I'd vomit bile, I knew I'd 'won,' and I'd do this 50 or more times A DAY.
We moved 2000 miles on September 17, 1999, and I scoped out the bathroom in my new home because I knew I'd need to use it. I woke up the next morning and the desire to binge and purge was completely gone. 33 years of being a slave to purging was over....and I didn't do it again. Period. This September will be my 13th anniversary.
Though I now eat very wisely, I gained 30 pounds. My doctor and I theorized that my body got used to existing on 500 calories a day, meaning that eating a sensible 1500 calories a day was causing the gain. I can live with the weight and am doing well (but I have osteoporosis and 20+ root canals to show for the bulimia). I was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus, most likely due to years of purging. However, another miracle occurred: a follow-up at the Mayo Clinic now shows no evidence of the Barrett's anymore. I give the credit to God. Thankfully, God also works through doctors and counselors, and I hope people who need it will seek help.
Kareen Wynter, I think you are so beautiful...there aren't enough woman or girls hearing that from a meaningful person, especially males (fathers, brothers)
If I worked at CNN I'd be sick to my stomach every day.
Excellent message...will pass your story on to my 12 year old daughter, advocate of self worth.
Thank you for sharing.
Then go work at Fox where you can spread lies and hate and dream of the 1950s all day long. Dinosaurs the lot of you.
Maybe that's why you drive a truck?
The writer seems to revel in being a victim. In the space of a year I lost my wife of 16 years to cancer, lost my life savings, my job & my home. I didn't have any pity parties. I didn't blame anyone else. I toughed it out & am now employed & met a lovely woman. If I would meet the writer I would tell her walk a mile in my shoes & then you can talk. If my only stressor in life was that people commented on how much I weigh, I would be a happy camper. Put on your big girl panties & grow up.
While I'm sorry you had to go through that, I don't think you understand the debilitating effect eating disorders have on people. They change the way you look at everything. Those who suffer from an eating disorder generally suffer from other things as well, including depression, which is not something to scoff at.
What a sad life you (still) live. Your derision someone for having a mental disorder betrays your need of help. One would sympathize; even empathize, with you for your troubles that could not be helped, but for your nasty expressions. If you had were intelligent, you would know that mental illness is just as debilitating or fatal as a physical ailment, i.e. cancer. Put YOUR “big boy boxers” on & get a clue by educating yourself on psychology of eating disorders.
I believe Kareen. I was anorexic for most of my teenage years and was finally hospitalized at less than 86 pounds (5'4" tall). I "woke up" when my mother cried over my bed – asking why was I killing myself? Just like Kreen, something snapped in my head and I told myself, I wanted to live. I still struggle each day (30 years later), counting calories, measuring amounts, etc. but I am a healthy weight. In a sense, I "cured" myself of the obscene skinny-ness. I don't believe I will eer be cured from the inability to see my true body image. I will always feel fat.
Wow, amazing how none of this was her fault but rather all the fault of her friends making comments about her weight. Unbelievable!! I wish this author would take even some ownership over her problem instead of constantly blaming others. Oh, poor me, I became bulimic because my friends were making comments and I felt so bad.....please, this author needs to grow up and admit SHE decided to start purging, SHE decided to lose an excessive amount of weight, and stop blaming others for decisions SHE made. Absolutely unbelievable.....
You don't know anything about eating disorders. It's much more complex than that...she's probably not even sure why she started binging and purging, but is guessing it was because of their comments.
You're probably one of those people who blame addicts for their addictions, too...without realizing that all of these disorders are due to brain chemistry. Eating disorders are disorders...this wasn't just someone who decided to start vomiting up all her food all of a sudden. PLEASE educate yourself on eating disorders.
Reporters' are news now?
If only you had one.
Oh dang lol!
i have to wholeheartedly agree with earlier posts regarding the fact that you do not "suffer" from bulimia for one year and then stop. this was completely a phase during a vulnerable time in her life. i have been bulimic for 12 years now and am still in therapy unable to completely recover. this is a lifelong mental illness. reading this article is upsetting because she has no clue.
Starving yourself and vomiting up your food is not a "phase". People who are not bulimic do not do these things.
I'm disappointed that someone who suffers from the malady is judging her on it. You don't think that perhaps this is something she fights every day but doesn't give in?
This article... I don't know. For sure this woman has never truly suffered from Bulimia. After 25 years of its grip on my entire life, I'm now entering my 3rd purge free year. Seems that fighting the cycle of emotional binging will be a life long struggle. This article seems a bit too 'butterflies and fairies' for such a debilitating, life threatening disorder and the manner in which it is presented actually makes me angry. C'mon... a bulimic who was so 'off' on food that they could not even hold a fork? Are you kidding me!?!? No credibility at all. Zero.
Are you a psychiatrist? Do you know this woman personally? No? Then why are you judging her? You seem angry that she's apparently not "struggling" as much as you are. What's that all about?
God Bless and you are in my prayers. I was/am fighting this never ending struggle. I am heavy so no one would ever suspect I still shove my fist down my throat. Praise God you stopped when you did, I have been struggling for over 25 years. I pray girls grow up to love themselves and not to worry about what others think of them
I have always suspected that boredom has a lot to do with overeating. You never see a fat chess player, too difficult and demanding of mental energy, no time left to eat..
Best wishes for you through your struggle with this
While I can sympathize with anyone that suffers from a disease, let's keep in focus that it is a disease of insecurity first and low self-esteem. The issue is not what people say or think because that is as much their right and personal opinion and our own. The key is to find a way to accept yourself as youy are and not worry about what others say or think. Anyone over the age of 50 has experienced far worse from the intolerances of the past than one can be damaged by perceived slights or criticisms.
Easier said than done. Sometimes it is those closest to us, that are to be the molders of our self esteem that create the disease
Sorry but she just has mental issues. I have been on the opposite side. I am one of those people that can't gain weight. I have been a twig all my life and have had to hear people call me stick man, twig etc. Make fun of me for being skinny etc. So what I'm not going to go eat an entire cow or take some weight gainer just to please someone else or make them feel better about the fact that they are jealous because they are fat. Its called self esteem and I have it. I am happy I'm a twig. But to call this a disease?? Are you serious? Addictions are one of two things physical and mental. neither are a disease nor can they be connected to any genetic deficiency. Both are brought on by choices an individual makes not by a disease laying dormant in their bodies. We aren't talking about MS or Cancer here we are talking about some weak willed people that made a bad choice.
You're a jerk. I really feel sorry for whatever woman ends up with you.
You are incredibly ignorant. Too bad there is no cure for your stupidity.
People like you make me very sad. My 12 year old son battled Leukemia and made it through....he had a disease. My brother battled drug addiction and bi-polar disorder until he took his own life at 36 years old......he had a disease. I'm certainly glad that you have self-esteem, but you really should not presume to be able to diagnose who has a disease and who does not. Mental disorders are diseases just like cancer!
Sorry, but both eating disorders and addictions are classified as diseases.
They change your brain chemistry and are NOT entirely a choice. There are also genetic factors in addiction.
With more than 30% of obese people in this country – same with teenagers – parents should realize that their diet is the culprit. fast food, food overloaded with sugar and salt and soda are unhealthy, everybody knows that. Europeans were not fat until the fast food arrived in Europe, now you can see the damages done to the Europeans population obese are everywhere. Home cooking is what will prevent people from being obese, until you understand that women will look like double cheese burger once the reach the age of 35 and after having had two kids. It is pretty sad to watch American Idol and listen to the beautiful voice of the female contestant and look at them... their fat and obese, the only one in decent shape is Sanchez... I am sure her parents do not feed her trash food....
Kareen has some serious issues. Her rabid attack on Dr. Drew and commenting that Angelina looked fine indicates she is seriously out of touch and her perception of the body are skewed. Another indication that she has image issues is her bleaching of her skin. Her and Sammy Sosa seem to have the same problem with their skin color. Maybe this is all compunded by the fact that she does work in broadcasting and is probably judged on her loos often. I do agree that she does not take ownership of her insecurites. I am a woman who has struggled with my weight for most of my life. I have been at extreme ends of the spectrum in regards to weight... size 8 to size 22. I did not get control of my weight issues / body image issues until I took ownership and worked on my own self esteem and stopped judging myself by what other people say. Based on this op-ed its clear she still has some issues and wants to blame everyone else for them, but herself. yes, people do say things that are hurtful, but unless she knows who she is inside and is comfortable with who she is (which by all indication she is not) she will continue to have those issues.
Another point of contention... you just do not cure yourself from anorexia or bulimia in one year... its an ongoing process. Its like saying I used to be an alchoholic... well no you still are an alchoholic, but a recovering alchoholic. The way she cans her disease into a specific period of time also indicates she is still having issues. Anyone who has experieinced this issue will know that.
An ultra thin body type wouldn't look deathly ill if she was filled out with lean muscle. The problem I see, is making the ultra thin muscleless(unhealthy, yet small) look, be the gold standard of "beauty." Being healthy is one of the most important things our country fails to possess.
I wonder if they attempted to curb american's growing health concerns by making role models the opposite of current health trends. Of course, I think it's good to promote health as important, just not looking morbidly thin. You can be thin and just as unhealthy as an obese person.
I don't mean extreme opposite, there could be a healthy median to encourage weight loss of an extremely obese America.
I do disagree with the idea that you can't make a decision to stop doing something overnight. It's all about self-control. Cold-turkey happens. You just have to have a strong enough will to make it happen.
Saying it never happens is hardly true at all. Plenty of people give themselves an ultimatum and quit permanently.
Well the if thats the case (cold turkey) she never was bulimic or anorexic... she was just going through a phase.
Completely agree regarding going through the illness and recovery in one year! I suffered from bulimia for over 20 years and still fight it every day. It is indeed a process. Ridiculous article, doesn't sound like someone who has actually experienced an eating disorder!
Now that I think about it- this woman is an insult to women with eating disorders. She doesn't have a clue what they are about.
She's an insult to women with eating disorders b/c she has managed to get help? That's nice.
Seriously, what is wrong w. all you women in here with eating disorders that you have to tear down this woman for beating it? Is it jealousy? Why be jealous? Why not be happy for her? It's like you're competing about who is suffering the most! That's skewed thinking, friend.
I completely absolutely agree with you. When I watched the author's (angry/taken extremely personally attack) response to Tracy Gold who has suffers from an eating disorder most of her life, I was appalled and confused. So the Author had bulimia for 1 whole year. I have suffered from an eating disorder for 20 years. I know what it is to feel guilty after eating a meal. I know what it is to eat non stop and force myself to throw up afterwards. Along with getting rid of the food, I am able to get rid of the guilt of eating it. It is a terrible cycle. I wish I could discover the author's magic cure, but somehow I don't think there is one that works in 1 year. Calling someone "bulimic or anorexic" will not make them become one. I have never told anyone that I am bulimic, but if someone found out and called me on it, I don't think I will fall further into bulimia. The author is very disillusioned and sends the wrong message to young impressionable girls. Moreover, her response to Ms. Gold and Dr. Drew sent the wrong message to those who are suffering from this issue. She seems to be supporting Jolie's very thin and not very normal frame. If my daughter came home looking like Jolie, it would be alarming. Yes, Jolie does look very thin, and I am not going to say she has an eating disorder, but the fact is, she is too thin. I do not think any woman to listen to an author that would support such an unhealthy body type. I also think CNN should remove this article, because it is beyond an opinion, and dips into the realm of absurdity.
As a person who has never had these issues, I can still respect and someone going through such an ordeal. Think before you speak and if you disagree, do it in a well thought out and respectful manner. Same for "Your Panties".
Thankfully I don't live in your baby world and don't have to follow your baby rules. Real people can take a real, honest opinion. This author cannot. Simple fact. She's weak willed and she broke. People of real character do not.
i find it strange that some people want to look extremely thin. to me it is just reflecting auswitch (Sp). a very terrible time in human history. our society projects unhealthy appearances to be acceptable. too, too sad.
they have body dysmorphic disorder (They don't realize how thin they are. They think they are fat.) and control issues. It's a way of controlling something in your life.
Truth is peer pressure can easy drive a person to act different because of the fear of being an outcast. Not for nothing but when a child grows up and this goes for adults also, you enjoy peoples company and you enjoy having friends to get along with. Now if you are made fun of or targeted as different in a negative way it brings a feeling of being unwanted. Some people call it being weak and having no self respect but truth is its hard to be independant without having some sort of support from people.
You are kinda of RAW in how you dish it out, but I understand where you are coming from...Everyday people like you and me get up and keep going. I didn't have an ideal family life growing up, but hey, I knew not to listen to the fools around me who had the audacity to try and define beauty, let alone my beauty. I am not skinny; I not fat, but I am healthy in MIND and BODY.
I think this lady STILL has some serious issues. What was that bit in the article about how she lost weight in Spain because she was challenged by the food her host family prepared; sounds like she was a rude and spoiled little brat. You don't go and live with a host family and snub them when it comes to their food. Really, the bottom line is, she is also about as shallow as her so-called friends who went around calling her chubby, and I saw her exchange with Tracy Gold on Dr Drew's show, and she was way out of line. Angelina Jolie does look pathetically ill, and the little girls and women out their need to know if you are looking that bad, you ARE sick (HIV, cancer, anorexia, bulimia, etc...) You need medical attention. Period!
Um. People do have different tastes. You don't *have* to eat something just b/c your "host family" gives it to you. She was in a different culture. Perhaps she didn't care for the food. That doesn't make her a spoiled brat or rude.
I"m a vegetarian. If I went somewhere and they tried to feed me meat, of course I would turn it down.
This story is very strange. She does seem to be focusing on blaming others for her problems. And she seems to think that no one is ever allowed to say anything about anyone's weight. If someone is making unhealthy choices and those choices are reflected in an unhealthy weight, something should be said. Silence doesn't solve anything. Yes, the people probably need some kind of therapy, like she did. She was saved by people (family) who recognized that her underweight body WAS BAD. How is it useful to say that it's OK when people (Angelina?) are obviously starving themselves, and we shouldn't say anything because that would be mean?? How about screaming – "GET HELP!! Your weight problem is showing everyone that you have issues that need to be addressed for you to be healthy!"
Good job blaming others for your problems. Shouldn't be surprised, I'm sure you blame whole groups of people for other problems.
Here's why you had a problem – you're a weak willed individual who gives in to the will of others. You should be ashamed of your weight not because of what you weigh but because you let others tell you what happiness should be. Quit being such a pathetic excuse for a human and show some self-control, accept some personal responsibility and quit pointing your finger at everyone else.
I mean really, what does she want, a pat on the back? For the world to sing her praises? "Look at me! I didn't let all the mean, nasty people beat me!!!" GTFO of here you sack of cr4p, everybody has problems, not everybody lets their situation beat them like you did.
Wow, you are awful. Just awful.
Wow, Lars. You sound a little defensive. This hitting too close to home for you? You may want to examine the source of your anger.
In the meantime, how about a little human compassion?
Source of anger – whiny people who blame everybody else for their problems. AKA – 99% of Americans today.
My compassion – for those who try to solve their own problems, not blame everyone else and want everyone else to fix them.
You = total tool who problem dresses in tight jeans and writes poetry.
Hey Everybody! Its Lars, the superhero! Who has never been affected by anything anyone has ever done or said to him. Get a life Loser Lars. And I would bet $1,000,000 that is not your real name and you are a coward who wouldn't dare talk like this using their real name. Loser.
Way to not understand the concept of bulemia, Lars! :D It's a real disease! Who would've thunk. Oh wait...you didn't. It's rather ironic that you're so up in arms and angry about this article...whining about someone else whining? If I had a gold star to give the trolls on this site, you'd get one.
Lars has a serious deficiency that is undiagnosed it seems. He was probably abused as a child and lost his ability to sympathize. He needs medical attention. But so what?
What is that person's name that is married to what is his name that lives in the White House? Well, whatever the name is she could sure use help in the weight dept. Let the hits come, cause I don't care.
I guess the last two presidents wives were super thin. NOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
Oh please. She is built. She could bench-press two of you. Don't be jealous because the FLOTUS has bigger guns than you, brother. She's also curvy and not all veiny like Madonna. Go Michelle!
I don't know–this woman attacked Tracey Gold like a rabid dog for no good reason. And she said Angelina Jolie looks "just fine." Something about Kareen and her story seems off to me. Google Tracey Gold and Kareen Wynter, they appeared on Dr. Drew.
I agree! She went berserk on poor Tracy. Some weights are simply UNHEALTHY. Super thin and super overweight are not healthy. It's not OK. It's not live-and-let-live. It's unhealthy and we SHOULD be discouraging unhealthy weights, whether overweight or underweight.
The problem is the way we are as a society are treating the image of fat. vs. trying to help the person to stay at a healthy weight we ridicule them, and make them feel bad about them selves. This often has 2 effects. 1 The person looses too much weight. 2 the person puts on more weight. The difference is if the person ability to over react or just get depressed about it.
For a lot of people who are overweight they are afraid to go to a Gym to get in shape because they will face ridicule there, even though they are trying to make themselves better.
For people who are underweight they see Fat as too scary and if they put on any fat it puts them in a panic.
Todd, I think you hit the nail on the head :O)
I just saw this writer on tv verbally attacking Tracy Gold because Gold was saying that Jolie looks malnourished. There was also a Dr. there saying the same thing. This writer completely had a meltdown, even though she was talking to a former anorexic. It was uncomfortable and it really left you believing that this woman may still have some definite eating issues.
Unless there was some sort of purging which was not mentioned in the story, this young woman had anorexia, not bulimia. Both extremely dangerous side effects of a society obsessed with thinness.
Exactly what I was thinking. Sounds like she was anorexic. Either way, glad she's healthy today.
very pretty woman. glad she fought back against those cruel people.
Not sure how you were raised, but Grams always told me sticks and stones break bones but words never hurt. Happy you got over this and hope you dont EVER put so much power and value into other peoples words or opinions ever in life. It is never that serious. Enjoy life, laugh, have fun, and eat your pizza and fries......sparingly
Wow, I just want to say thank you.
First of all, it's true, we never know what people are going through or have overcome!
I'm 22 and will be getting my BA in Journalism within the next year. Although I've never suffered from bulimia, I've had other psychological problems (which I believe stemmed from hormonal changes during puberty) and it's been a long road for me. It's just amazing and inspiring to hear such a poignant yet triumphant account from a reporter! It means a lot to me.
I appreciate you sharing your story. And the fact that you chose to publicly discuss your past struggles & spread awareness - instead of choosing to completely shut the door on the topic - is truly admirable! Blessings to you!
I like how you call normal changes people encounter growing up "psychological problems." We have a budding whiner on our hands here people. Go take your 5 different meds you need to "balance" yourself out from the "hormonal" changes you had during puberty to cure the resulting "psychological problems" and spare the rest of the world from your rants.
@Lars- until and unless you've had these problems, you have no idea what you're tlaking about, so shut up.
Lars, you're the only one ranting!
Thank you for sharing your story and placing the blame where it belongs: a society that judges others' appearances with impunity.
Fail. Society judges EVERYTHING. We all have an opinion on everything about others. How they dress, their level of education, their appearance, their income, their job, etc etc etc. THe problem is many people's inability to function in the face of criticism.
YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
She could be a beautiful woman if she shaved her head and grew some boobs.
Very insightful and encouraging article. My daughter was showing signs of anorexia when she was about 13 and I talked to her about that and bulimia. Luckily that's all it took and she listened to me. She is now very health conscious and eats very well, with the occasional junk food of course... she's 22 years old, healthy and beautiful. Keep helping those girls Kareen! Thank you. And I'm glad you got better too!!
Your daughter is a lucky girl.
Thank you, Kareen for the courage and insight here. Sharing the stories of recovery are not easy. People think that everyday comments don't matter- but words do count, often more than the speaker is aware. Congratulations on maintaining your recovery.
I agree. Its a shame that people would attack a person doing good in this world after a horrible episode of their lives. And to second Meg, thank you Kareen.
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