I had no idea. It never occured to me. Who would think, with all the publicity about the dangers of anorexia, that an entire subculture of Pro-Anorexics would sprout up? They’re identified as Pro-Ana’s. There are websites (some banned) that come and go, but there appear to be some perennial favorites…. Want some “Thinspiration”? Try www.Pro-Ana.us for trips and tricks, pep talks, photos and poetry. Want to lose a few pounds quickly? Your body has to work overtime to stay warm if you’re cold. Try cold baths, turning the heat off in the winter, wearing a thin coat… your body will burn 200 calories an hour, just trying to stay warm…..
Wikipedia says that Pro-ana is a largely Internet-based movement which views the eating disorder anorexia nervosa as a lifestyle choice rather than a medical condition. In some circles of the pro-ana movement, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are personified as women named Ana (for anorexia; hence the pro-ana movement) and Bella or Mia (for bulimia). Members use this to illustrate the anorexic’s loneliness: “Ana” is the anorexic’s only reliable friend whom they can rely on when everything else feels out of control. Pro-ana sites involve anorexics coming together to talk about their experiences with their shared “best friend”. Wikipedia Pro-Ana
What’s the difference between anorexia and that guy Walford who lived in that biosphere in Arizona? He found physiologic changes similar to those seen in calorie restricted rodents, in the food restricted Biospherians. Among the findings in the study subjects-in addition to weight loss–was a 35% drop in serum cholesterol levels, a marked decrease in serum glucose levels, and improvements in lymphocyte and neutrophil function, two measures of the health of the immune system. The conclusion of the study was that “…radical and possibly beneficial changes in physiologic risk factors can be produced in normal affluent individuals in Western countries quickly and reproducibly by dietary manipulation. ” The Walford Diet. In other words, there is evidence to support his theory that by purposely reducing food intake, one is able to significantly extend ones life. His website touts his diet at “The Only Proven Way to Slow the Aging Process and Maintain Peak Vitality”. And that is different from anorexia how???
I can’t find the story now, but I read an article a few years ago in praise of anorexia. The premise was, we should be praising, worshiping the anorexic, admiring her stamina, her self-control. We praise the athlete who practices 12 hours a day, why not the anorexic, who practices her own form of self-sacrifice and self-control 24 hours a day?