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Anorexics Advice is a site made by people who suffer from anorexia or other eating disorders. It contains advice, true stories, videos, pictures and a whole wealth of information on the subject. Its intended audience is people who believe they want to be anorexic but it is extremely useful for anyone else interested in finding out more about this eating disorder. There is also a lot of good advice for people trying to lose weight explaining how to do so safely.
There is a wealth of information on this site, but some is only relevant to people with eating disorders, some is only about specific disorders and some is useful to anyone who's thinking about weigh loss. I've gone into a lot of detail about the specific pages of the site so that, if you do read the site, you can skip straight to the pages that are relevant to you.
~~~ What is Anorexia? ~~~
Anorexia is a mental illness whose main characteristic is not eating. People who suffer from anorexia starve themselves, are terrified of weigh gain and often see themselves as fatter than they are. That's not all there is to it. Anorexia is almost always linked, often caused by, other psychological problems. While, yes, many anorexics start to suffer from eating disorders because of a desire to lose weight and a belief that they are ugly, eating disorders can often stem from more serious causes.
What a lot of people don't understand is that skipping a few meals doesn't make some anorexic. The eating disorder comes from psychological problems that are a lot harder to fix than just making someone eat.
I've read a comment on a website where someone said that he had no sympathy with anorexics. He thought that if people didn't want to eat, then that's their own problem. This is an attitude I know is far too common. People think that it should be easy for an anorexic to eat something because they don't understand that the main problem isn't refusing food. I wish that everyone who has this attitude would go to this site and read what anorexics have to say for themselves.
The world is full of people who don't really understand what anorexia is and this website explains clearly and in a lot more detail than I will go into here. If you're at all curious, this site will be able to answer all your questions.
~~~ What is Wannarexia? ~~~
Wannarexia is the term given to people who want to suffer from anorexia or imitate some of the behaviour of anorexics. In most cases, wannarexics are people who want to lose weight and feel that emulating anorexics will allow them to lose weight quickly. There are, unfortunately, a few cases where people believe that if they suffer from anorexia they will get attention. Worse still, are those cases where people believe that anorexia is glamorous.
The target audience of the site are people like this. The site is designed to show them the dangers of what they are trying to do in order to warn them off it and convince them to try other, safer methods of dieting.
All the information provided by the website is intended to show the harsh truth of anorexia to destroy any false beliefs that wannarexics have. After reading it through, I can't believe that anyone would still want to suffer from anorexia by the time they've seen all this.
~~~ The Layout ~~~
All the pages are laid out with the words "Anorexic's Advice" in the top left corner. Just below this is a picture of a plate of food. Below this is a navigation menu with clear options and understandable page titles to let you skip to certain parts of the site.
To the right of all this, on the rest of the page, is the main content. On most pages, this content is largely text, though there are pictures and videos as well.
The simple layout, with no flashy graphics or animations, makes it very simple to navigate and extremely easy to work out where to find the information you want. It's simplicity makes it easy, but it still appears elegant and professional.
Also, because of this format, the pages will load quickly even on a slow internet connection. The exceptions to this are the videos. These are imbedded from YouTube and will only download when you select to play them. This means that, if you are on a slow internet connection, you can still view most of the content quickly and just skip past the videos.
~~~ The Homepage ~~~
The homepage is a welcome from the creators of the site. It includes a brief description of anorexia and wannarexia and the differences between them. There are also a couple of links. One is to an entry on a livejournal community for anorexia sufferers. This entry gives a bit more description about anorexia and its consequences. The other link is to an article entitled Why We Hate Anorexia. This is another page of this website and so I'll give more detail in a bit.
If you don't have the time or aren't interested enough to read through the entire content of the site, the welcome and these two links will give you more than enough information to get rid of any misconceptions you have on the subject.
~~~ Eating Disorder or Diet? ~~~
This is the next option down the navigation menu. This page talks about eating disorders in general, but mainly anorexia and bulimia. There's not a great deal of information on this page, so it doesn't take long to read. Mainly, this page shows the difference between having an eating disorder and just behaving in the same way. For example, some eating disorder sufferers abuse laxatives and diet pills, but plenty of people use these methods without suffering from an eating disorder.
~~~ Have an ED Already? ~~~
This page is aimed at those who already suffer from an eating disorder, not necessarily anorexia. There are a lot of useful links on this page for sufferers and those who think they might be sufferers. Near the top of the page is a link to a diagnostic website where you can read about different types of eating disorders and find out if you fit the criteria.
Most of this page is given over to links. There are links to support communities on livejournal for people with bulimia, binge-eating disorder and for those who are recovering. There are links to webpages for various different eating disorders. There is even a link to weight watchers, for those who wish to have a more sensible weight loss scheme.
This page is probably really useful for those who suffer from eating disorders, but not for anyone else. If you don't have a disorder and you're reading the site just for information, you can skip this page.
~~~ Wannarexia Gone Wrong ~~~
This page describes the most likely outcomes of people trying to become anorexic. There are three main outcomes, which I'll summarise, but the page goes into a great deal more detail.
1. The person gives up and finds another method of weightloss. 2. The person becomes anorexic with all the problems that brings. 3. The person gets cravings for fatty and sugaring foods, has a binge. Then they feel really guilty about binging, starve themselves until it happens again. This continues until they either stop or they end up developing bulimia, binge-eating disorder or some other eating disorder.
There is also the real-life story of someone who was determined to become anorexic and succeeded.
I think the information on this page is really useful for anyone who's trying to diet because it's a warning of what might go wrong if you try too hard. If you've ever skipped a meal in an attempt to lose weight, I really think you should read this.
It's certainly essential reading for anyone who actively wants to become anorexic.
~~~ Why We Hate Anorexia ~~~
There is a lot of information on this page, some of which is repeated elsewhere on the site. This page gives descriptions of what anorexia sufferers go through. There are detailed, sometimes gruesome, descriptions of what happens to the body when it hasn't got enough food to keep going properly. What's written here is not pleasant even to read about so it gives a good idea of just how horrible an experience anorexia must be.
There are descriptions, there are videos made by anorexia sufferers, there are real-life accounts, one of which was written by someone who has now died.
I started reading this page and found it horribly, but I couldn't stop reading until I got to the bottom. It gives the ugly truth of anorexia across in a way that will destroy any belief that it's somehow glamorous or that people are putting it on to get attention.
Anyone who wants to be anorexic needs to read this page. Anyone who knows someone who suffers from anorexia should read this page. Anyone who's even slightly curious should probably also look.
It's not really relevant to other eating disorders, though they are mentioned, but the amount of information it provides about anorexia is enormous.
~~~ Diet Tips ~~~
This is a good page for anyone interested in losing weight, whether you have an eating disorder or not. The page provides easy, safe tips for losing weight and advice on good foods to eat.
If you want to lose weight, even if you're already on a diet, I think you'll probably find this useful.
~~~ Exercise Tips ~~~
While the previous page focussed on food and eating, this talks about exercise. It gives comments on exercise in general and a list of good exercises to try out.
Like the page above, I think this is really useful stuff. Even if you don't care much about your weight, it can't hurt to read this page and get some simple advice on health and fitness.
It doesn't take long to read and I think this is good for just about everyone, unless you're a fitness expert already.
~~~ Nutrition and Calories ~~~
An excellent page for anyone trying to lose weight. It talks about what is meant by calories, how much you should cut back, different food groups and what can be gained from them. There are also links to various websites on dieting and calorie counting. It mentions the dangers of trying to burn too many calories or eat too few, but only briefly as the real dangers are describe elsewhere.
Any dieter can gain useful knowledge from this page. Even if you have no concerns about anorexia, it's a good place to start looking if you want to begin losing weight.
~~~ Fad Diet Evaluations ~~~
There's not a great deal on this page. They list a few fad diets and give a brief description of their opinions. For almost all of these diets, the opinions don't seem to be at all favourable, though they vary from, "Sacred Heart - this seems to work really well if you're overweight. However it's hard to stick to - so so strict!" to "Cabbage Soup - one word..."Yuck"."
The only diet they seem to give a truly positive comment on is Weight Watchers.
I don't think there's much here, but if you're thinking of trying one of these fad diets, it might be worth having a look to see what these guys think of it.
~~~ CR ~~~
This page has a very small amount of information on calorie restriction, which is a lifestyle plan rather than a weight loss scheme. Its aim is to achieve high health and low body weight. There is a link at the bottom of the page to a site with more details.
Apparently this is really good for recovering anorexics. Other people might want to look into this idea as a way of keeping healthy and slim, but there's very little information actually on this website.
~~~ Good Weightloss Sites ~~~
Does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a list of links with a brief description about each site. The sites are varied and are useful to ED sufferers and to regular people just trying to get a bit thinner.
~~~ Being Thin - Worth It? ~~~
This part of the site is aimed at people who are determined they need to lose weight, whether they have an eating disorder or not. I think it's worth looking at this if you're trying to diet.
There's a very sweet and sad video to emphasise how far too many people are obsessed with weight and appearance. It's a sad fact that appearance matters far more than it should to so many people. I think this part of the site is wonderful for giving a bit of perspective about whether or not we do actually need to diet.
~~~ Real Beauty ~~~
Pictures and a video of people who have done great things and who are beautiful people, regardless of how big their waist is.
I think anyone who's depressed about their appearance really ought to see this page and watch the video. It really goes with the page above to show that we're about more than just what we look like in the mirror.
~~~ Thinspiration Anyone? ~~~
Thinspiration is something I'm struggling to sympathise with. The idea of thinspiration is that people create collages of really, really skinny people to act as inspiration for their own weight loss.
I think it's incredibly sad that some people feel the need to compare themselves to stick-thin models, but I just can't approve of those people creating videos and photo collections and putting them online. In sharing their thinspiration, they're just going to encourage other people to feel the same way. The people who compare themselves like this need help. They need people to show them that they don't need to be that thin. They don't need others emphasising the belief that it's perfection to have your ribs sticking out through your skin.
This page has a few photos, but it's main point is two videos. One is a thinspiration video as can be found on YouTube, showing wonderfully skinny models. The other is a video made by an anorexia sufferer showing starving people and people in hospital. It's gruesome and heart-breaking but it may really help those people who watch these thinspiration videos and try to starve themselves skinny.
Morbid curiosity made me watch the videos. I found them fascinating and more than a little worrying. If you're squeamish and not really worried about dieting, I think you should probably steer clear of these. However, if you've ever been tempted to starve yourself or to lose more weight than is healthy, please, please go watch.
~~~ Self-Esteem and Confidence ~~~
There are some good tips here for people who have low self-esteem. This page gives tips for feeling better about yourself and stopping self-hating.
It's only really useful for people who already have low self-esteem, but they should read this advice.
~~~ Change your Image ~~~
This is about drawing attention to the parts of your body that you don't hate. Think, What Not To Wear but a lot less rude! There are tips on clothes, jewellery and hair intended to help people worried about their appearance.
It's very general advice, since everyone's body shape is different and they can't know what you look like, but I think it's useful.
~~~ Comments ~~~
I think these comments are the best possible review of the website. There are so many people saying thank you because the site helped them through eating disorders, or because it made them change their minds about wanting to be anorexic.
It's easy to add a comment and it's nice to read through what other people have written to find out how well-received the site has been.
~~~ Overall ~~~
I think that anyone who thinks they want to be anorexic really needs to look at this site.
I think that anyone who doesn't understand what anorexia is and wants to should start here and find out about real-life experiences.
I think that people who are worried about their weight and determined to diet should check this out for the dieting advice and as a warning not to try and take things too far.
However, if you're perfectly contented with your appearance, eat what you like and never have problems with self-esteem: good for you! I guess you won't be needing this.
I've found this site to be fascinating. The real-life stories are so incredibly touching. Even if you've never had an eating disorder in your life, you'll probably be moved by what you read. I do think it's worth a look, even if you're not an ED sufferer and don't know anyone who is, because the information it gives destroys the misconceptions that way too many people have.