Eating Disorder Communities

By Emily, age 19, Newfoundland
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

You've all probably come across online porn at least once in your life. It's becoming a little bit hard to avoid. But in the last month have you come across a pro-anorexia website, developed for the sole purpose of providing support from one sister to another?*

Even 10 years ago, one of the main characteristics of an eating disorder was the isolation each person feels. Now, thanks to the miracle of the internet, girls (and in some cases guys) can communicate with others and talk about their disorder like it was a day-to-day activity.

Some pro-anorexia (or "pro-ana") websites take the form of a blog. Whether you have Xanga, LiveJournal, or even MySpace, it's very easy to stumble across them. They have their own groups and webrings, which makes it even easier to come across these pro-ana sites.

So here's a general breakdown of a pro-ana blog: First of all, people with eating disorders will list all of the foods they've eaten that day, and sometimes include the number of calories for each piece of food they've eaten. They do this because the theory is that if you physically see what you've eaten, you'll be grossed out enough to stop eating.

Next, they might post some thinspo. The word thinspo is short for thinspiration, meaning they post pictures of skinny people to give them inspiration to stay away from that cookie. These pictures can range from regular girls to well-known celebrities, sometimes those who don't even have an eating disorder.

Next, they try to plan their meals for the day and say they're going to stick to them. They usually update the next day if time permits.

I heard of these pro-ana sites a few years ago on Oprah, when one of her usual reporters came on the show and did a segment on the dangers of these sites. These sites are extremely dangerous, whether you have an eating disorder or not.

If you don't have an eating disorder or are recovering from an eating disorder, you should stay away from these sites. They unintentionally suck you into their community with their supportive words and you may become curious about their lifestyle.

The truth is, eating disorders are not glamorous and they are not easy to deal with.

* You can read my article in the May issue of SDM about how I was drawn into my former lifestyle of Disordered Eating in part through the "support" of pro-ana websites.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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