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Day 5

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Some people aren’t made to be thin.

I got a phonecall yesterday afternoon to listen to Redi Derico on  Cape Talk radio station. The subject of the show is “Does extreme dieting actually work?”.

It’s amazing how when one suddenly becomes consciously aware about dieting and weight,  we realise how it is thrown in our faces everyday in every which shape and form. Whilst I was motivated to hear that other people are also extreme dieting, it was also extremely demotivating to hear how unsuccessful people have been when yoyo dieting. The weight drops off you whilst you are dieting, but the minute you go back to normal eating habits, you put on the same weight you lost, if not more!

This is exactly what happened to me in January 2006 I went to SureSlim. A diet working in conjunction to your blood type. It seemed like a miracle. Its a high protein, no carb diet. What they forget to mention is that even orange veg like gem squash is concidered a carbohydrate. The diet is so severe that they suggest one does not exercise during the programme. As drastic as the diet is, you remain motivated because the weight falls off you.

However, a couple of months after the diet, is when I began to notice the consequences. I had gained all the weight I had lost even with exercise and my metabolism had come to a grinding holt. Ever since then, I have had problems with my metabolism. As a result now, I am left with a borderline under active thyroid.

On Redi’s show, her opening lines were: ” Oprah Winfrey who has a private chef, personal trainer,personal nutritionist, has an ongoing problem with her weight. Proving that no matter what you do, metabolisms will not allow them to lose the weight. “

For those of you who are naturally skinny, you wouldn’t understand. As for the rest of us, weight becomes a daily battle and affects us in so many more ways than “I can’t eat that, it’s fattening.” When you have done it all, what else can one resort to? Being thin will never fall out of fashion. It’s become a billion dollare industry, so why would companies back down from something so successful.

Whilst doing some research, I stumbled across this very shocking but very real film called THIN. It follows the lives of  4 girls and their families who are suffereing from anorexia or bulimia  and how the journey affects both them and their family. To view a clip from this film click on the link below:

Reference: Greenfield, lauren, Thin documentary, 2006. Available at, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0492496/ (accessed on 18 March 2011)



Written by kimcalitz

March 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

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Why thin?

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I’ve never really thought about when this idea of females being thin came about. For my entire life, women that were thin were the popular thing. So I did a little research to see if I could find out when exactly being thin became the objective.

Reference: Cox, E. The Thin Craze of the 1960’s, 2006. Available athttp://www.loti.com/sixties_fashion/The_thin_craze_of_the_1960s.htm (Accessed on 17 march, 2011)

In this article, Erica Cox explains that during the 1960’s, to be thin became very popular  because of the increasingly popularity of self-expression and women’s rights movements during this time that allowed women to shed clothes and bare more body. Being thin allowed them to comfortably wear clothes like mini-skirts, which maybe at that time stood for some sort of freedom and self-expression.

Models like Twiggy also became popular. She had a very unique look and was desired by many people. Twiggy became young girls’ new role model, were as proir to this, they had always strived to look like Marilyn Monroe and more feminine looking models and actresses.
















Some people say that popular media has no influence or correlation with body image issues or disorders

I beg to differ.

The pressure to be thin is alive and well and shows no sign of change, not when there is serious money to be made.

In 2006, PEOPLE magazine had a cover claiming that :

Drastic thinness has become the beauty ideal – and it’s having an alarming effect on girls everywhere”.

According to eating disorder specialist Dr. Ira Sacker:

“I have a lot of A-list celebrities as clients, both actresses and models, and what they are telling me is that the pressure to be thin has never been greater. Why? Because whoever is thinner gets the job, and the competition is enormous.”

The Hollywood actresses are role models but they are also victims too.

Reference: F,Jim. Marketing thin the masses 2006. Available at http://www.diet-blog.com/06/marketing_thin_to_the_masses.php (accessed on 17 March 2011)

Written by kimcalitz

March 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm

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Day 4.

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I knew when I woke up this morning that I would gain weight after eating a proper meal. I felt sick to my stomach. The thought of walking over to the scale was frightening. I’ve gained half a kilo. I had worked so hard until now and I had been so motivated. I can’t quiet comprehend that after 1 meal, I have gained more weight than what the meal weighed. The thing I have been struggling most without, is dairy. No tea, no coffee, no yoghurt, no milk. nothing.

Ironic, but at some point of the morning, I stumbled across this quote:

We fear rejection,

want attention,

crave affection and,

dream of PERFECTION.”

How true?

This then led me to a “thinspiration” website called ‘weheartit.com’

Reference: 2010, thinspiration. Retrieved March 17,2011 from


Written by kimcalitz

March 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

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Day 3

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Im sure we have all heard of Anorexia and bulimia, but very few of us have ever heard of ORTHOREXIA. Every time I mention the term to someone, there immediate reaction is: “you mean anorexia, don’t you? “. There is a distinct difference between anorexia, bulimia and orthorexia but it seems as though very few people, especially males can differentiate between the three. So I have decided to give a brief outline of the three to help people differentiate.


A psychophysiological disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese and therefor a distorted self-image. This results in an unwillingness to eat leading to severe weight loss. It can also be accompanied by vomiting, excessive exercise and other physiological changes.


A chronic eating disorder where a person “binges” on large amounts of food in a short period of time and then “purges” what they consumed by either self-induced vomiting, taking heavy doses of laxatives and diuretics (water pills), exercise or any combination of these methods.


Orthorexia, or orthorexia nervosa is a term coined by Steven Bratman, a Colorado MD, to denote an eating disorder characterized by excessive focus on eating healthy foods. In rare cases, this focus may turn into a fixation so extreme that it can lead to severe malnutrition or even death.

These images below were taken for a fashion spread by a German photographer who was inspired by Anorexic girls. The fact that he has hidden their identity may indicate that girls are ashamed of who they are.

























Reference: http://freeusweb.com/Fashion/Anorexic-models-inspire-German-photographer_3.html

Whilst doing some research on these three disorders, I stumbled across this video on youtube, which is from a recording of an American tv show. It high-lights the Pro disorder websites that are available on the web and talks to a girl who has experienced Anorexia and looked to these websites for motivation. It made me think just how frightening the web can be and how deceiving it can appear to many. The websites are even titled “Pro Ana” and “Pro Mia” which is a much more welcoming name than pro anorexia and pro bulimia. On these websites, girls encourage each other to lose weight and send each other tips on how to become thinner. It’s as though these websites are like cults.

Have a look at this shocking video:


So today, I lost 0.8kg. Still successful but not as good as the day before. I was also informed today that I would be going out for dinner with the family. Usually I would be excited about this as  it allows me to get out of the house for a couple of hours and take my mind off things but today the thought of going out for a meal was killing me. I was dreading it. What would I order? Which restaurant would we go to? Would there be anything on the menu? Is it rude if I don’t order?  I know from experience from where I work, waitors hate it if a customer orders tap water. Would I be rude?

The rest of the day became a blur.I’ve noticed that my diet has become my priority. In some way it has taken preference over family and friends. Another friend asked me to go for cocktails tonight. I never see her during the week so usually this would have been a treat but I found myself coming up with every excuse in the book to not go. I knew the calories in 1 cocktail would equate to the some total of my daily intake at the moment.

Dinner was dreadful. Choosing a meal on the menu has never been so complicated. I resorted to sole and veggies with no garnishing’s or sauces. I avoided all the orange vegetable  leaving half my meal behind.  I regret eating.

Written by kimcalitz

March 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm

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Day 2.

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The Thrill

I survived day 2. When I woke up this morning, I was feeling extremely demotivated knowing I may  experience the same symptoms as day 1. I suppose day 1 of any challenge is the hardest as it’s about adjusting your mindset. If you tell yourself you can do it, you can. When I got up this morning I stumbled over to the scale again. Not expecting a huge difference, I was absolutely amazed that in 24 hours of the challenge, I had already lost 1.2kg’s. How on earth was this possible?

There was something so rewarding about being successful on day 1. My immediate reaction was I want to lose more. What if I lost 1.2kg for everyday of my intervention? How great would that be! I can’t explain this sense of achievement. It’s as though a rush of energy came over me and I was ready for whatever lay ahead. There’s something greater than achievement here, it’s the idea of control. We can’t control our lives. On a daily basis things will happen that are beyond our control and we find ourselves in situations that we would never have expected. With this being said however, we can control certain aspects of our lives. We can control diet. We can control who we portray to the world, whether it be through dress, fashion, personality, behaviour or who we associate ourselves with. In a world that is constantly changing, perhaps this is why we become obsessed with image and diet. It’s in our hands.

For the rest of the day, I tried to remain focused on work. The less I think about eating, the easier it becomes. The only way to do this, is to remain focused at all times. To further my idea of obsession, I decided to start a calorie diary. I will work out my total calorie intake per day, making sure it remains less than the average 19 year olds. For females   around my age, a healthy calorie intake is between 1600 calories and 2000 calories.

Today, my calories look something like this:

small papaya: 80 calories

x2 golden delicious apples: 130

5 almonds: 35 calories

gem squash: 58 calories

chicken breast: 120 calories

Total calories: 423

As motivated as I may be, now knowing that I’m losing weight, I’m really struggling without tea or coffee. Perhaps it’s because they are a part of my routine or maybe its the caffeine stimulant, whatever the case may be, it’s the one thing I’m finding extremely hard to resist. There is something social and comforting about a cup of coffee. It’s the only thing that usually keeps me going throughout the day, or is this just an addiction?

Today was a good day. Well as good as it can be I suppose. Everyone comments on how dangerous this is,: “you are going to kill yourself!” “this is so unhealthy!” I just keep telling them that I’m trying to be healthy. I don’t really have the energy to argue my point.

Throughout this process we are meant to have a mentor. Someone who we can take tips from and listen to their guidance. The person I have chosen to observe happens to be a friend of mine. She’s a girl I went to school with, I wont mention her name, but she has suffered from orthorexia for years yet has never been diagnosed because she doesn’t see herself having a problem. She was always an outcast at school. Extremely academic. Her parents were hard on her and she had a lot of problems at home. We always used to make remarks about her lunches. If anything, she would have fruit and ryevita. Not once would she spoil herself. Even on her birthday she would make an extravagant cake or spread and wouldn’t  consume a morsel. She stuck out, it was odd. She was so serious about food too. Not once would she join us for sushi and cocktails or have a piece of cake at a tea part. She always objected saying she “had too much work”.  As a large group of friends, we never noticed how bad it was. We were all so engulfed in our own lives.

When we went on our matric vacation, it became a horrifying reality at how bad she was. She would skip breakfast and opt for a piece of fruit instead. She would then stand in front of the mirror for HOURS staring at herself, remarking at  how fat she was, even though she didn’t have a morsel of fat on her body. On one of the days, she fell, cutting her leg extremely deep and requiring surgery. Once she came out of surgery, she refused to eat a roll to bring up her blood sugar level, mumbling that she doesn’t eat carbohydrates. Her life was all about burning more calories than she consumed, analyzing everything she ate. I will never forget when she had dried mango for lunch, and someone remarked at the amount of sugar in dried mango, and with that, there was no more dried mango in her house. As a result, she has now isolated herself from everyone, how sad!

Although this friend is a severe case, she is not anorexic as she does eat. However, if she chooses to continue the way she is going, I’m pretty sure she wil be headed for anorexia.

I couldn’t imagine living a life like this, and this is why I chose her as my mentor.

Written by kimcalitz

March 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

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Day 1.

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Feeling somewhat anxious about the journey that lay ahead, I roll out of bed . With my eyes still cemented closed, I stumble to the scale. Ive Immediately put myself in the mindset of an obsessive dieter.Still trying to wake up, I hop into the shower and begin planning my meals for the day. I cant help but think I wont be able to last. I found myself stressing about my meals and whether they would be excessive enough. The first thing I do once Im downstairs ( still contemplating what to eat), is pop my Ciplatrim pill, a prescription appetite suppressant followed by a cup of Rooibos Tea. Im not that hungry yet, so I decide to have an apple late morning. I chose an apple as it’s one of the fifteen foods that burn more calories than what they contain.

By the third lesson, Im feeling rather depressed. Its 11am and everywhere I look, people are consuming. It just seems so much more evident now that I too can’t eat. A peer complains about being hungry, and whips out a large Cadbury’s slab.If anything, chocolate will be the one thing I crave- I love the occasional block after dinner. I try not make eye-contact with her and continue working. I feel somewhat jealous that she can be casually eating a whole slab but how can I be? The day seemed long and depressing. I wanted to knuckle down and work but I had no energy.

When I came home, I had another apple and five almonds. I couldn’t wait to eat something. Its absolutely excruciating when you know you have other delicious food screaming at you in the fridge. The will power to prevent giving in is unbelievable but some how I manage to keep myself entertained. Feeling down, I decided I needed further motivating and so looked at a inspirational yet shocking documentary SUPERSKINNYME on youtube. A documentary about two young women who go through excruating dieting in the bid to reach size 0 in five weeks. As shocking as the documentary may be, I commend those two women for having such will power to continue despite falling ill and seeking a therapist.

may 19 2008, Youtube, SUPERSKINNYME

Super Skinny Me pt 1

I never sleep in the afternoon, I can’t. For the first time in years I lay down, feeling exhausted and fell asleep for an hour. This is so unlike me?  On top of everything, I had work tonight. I’m the hostess of a restaurant. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than standing in front of food for an entire evening. When I got there however, it wasn’t that bad. I was distracted which was a good thing. I managed to have a laugh or two but when I had time to relax, it hit me that I was running on negative energy.Despite the aromas, my senses were heightened as I analysed what people ate. It must have been around 8pm when I noticed  that my VISION had become BLURY. This has never happened to me. I figured I was just tired but for the last hour of work, I had to sit on our couch feeling LIGHT HEADED and unlike myself. I got progressively worse when I got home I felt extremely NAUSEAS and began SHAKING. The minute I got home, I fell asleep- feeling dreadful. So dreadful, I was only able to stomach a piece of paw-paw. I had gotten progressively worse throughout the night. I had to call it a night and went straight to bed- not able to do any work.



Written by kimcalitz

March 15, 2011 at 7:59 pm

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When I typed “excessive diets” into the Google toolbar, there were 3,220,000 results proving that many people have a complex about their weight, whether this be real or perceived. We all know about the billion dollar dieting industry but perhaps we are not exposed enough to the extremities that some people will go to in order to lose weight. One disorder that very few people know about is “Orthorexia Nervosa”.

Orthorexia nervosa is a mental or emotional disorder when people have a fixation with righteous eating. They are so health conscious that it becomes unhealthy. The difference between orthorexia and anorexia is that someone who suffers from orthorexia suffers from an addiction as opposed to a disorder, where as anorexia is a disorder. Orthorexics are also  more concerned about quality than quantity which is the opposite from anorexics.

Orthorexics have elements of OCD, other symptoms include: obsessively checking labels

avoiding junk food completely

planning menus long in advance

A diet to feel “pure” as opposed to losing weight ( however many orthorexic’ s lose weight in the process)

Shunning foods with artificial ingredietns, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup

Avoid Restaurants ( all meals are too fattening)

Keep a Logbook of calorie intake

No added sugar, high in essential fatty acids, locally produced, packaged in biodegradable material

Bratman,S. 4 june 2010, WHAT IS ORTHOREXIA? 14 March 2011 http://www.orthorexia.com/

I only know about orthorexia because a friend of mine had all the symptoms of anorexia but she ate, so how was this possible? What we didnt realise at the time is that she would burn more calories than what she ate in a day or eat foods that burned more calories than what they contained. As a result, I decided to follow the traits of an orthorexic person by eliminating dairy, alcohol, carbohydrates, added sugar , caffeine and fats and including traits of an excessive dieter.

Written by kimcalitz

March 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

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