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    Anorexia Kills

    Anorexia is an incredibly dangerous psychological disorder that kills thousands of girls each year. Many start out with just wanting to ‘lose a couple pounds’ but then many times it turns into a life-threatening disease. When I was 15-18 I was very obsessed with my weight, and even when I was skinny, my modeling agent wanted me to lose weight.

    I was obsessed with counting calories, and I remember one time I went on a fast for three days when all I ate or drank was water. I felt weak, self-conscious and wasn’t comfortable in my body. I wanted to look like the stick-thin runway models I thought were so beautiful. It took a few years to finally appreciate my curves and to be completely happy with my weight.

    Now I don’t diet. I just eat until I feel content but not overly full. It’s so important to get help if you are struggling with an eating disorder before it’s too late. Your heart can actually stop when you’re starving yourself. Here are some signs and symptoms of anorexia according to helpguide.org:

    Anorexic behavior signs and symptoms

    • Dieting despite being thin – Following a severely restricted diet. Eating only certain low-calorie foods. Banning “bad” foods such as carbohydrates and fats.
    • Obsession with calories, fat grams, and nutrition – Reading food labels, measuring and weighing portions, keeping a food diary, reading diet books.
    • Pretending to eat or lying about eating – Hiding, playing with, or throwing away food to avoid eating. Making excuses to get out of meals (“I had a huge lunch” or “My stomach isn’t feeling good.”).
    • Preoccupation with food – Constantly thinking about food. Cooking for others, collecting recipes, reading food magazines, or making meal plans while eating very little.
    • Strange or secretive food rituals – Refusing to eat around others or in public places. Eating in rigid, ritualistic ways (e.g. cutting food “just so”, chewing food and spitting it out, using a specific plate).

    Anorexic appearance and body image signs and symptoms

    • Dramatic weight loss – Rapid, drastic weight loss with no medical cause.
    • Feeling fat, despite being underweight – You may feel overweight in general or just “too fat” in certain places such as the stomach, hips, or thighs.
    • Fixation on body image – Obsessed with weight, body shape, or clothing size. Frequent weigh-ins and concern over tiny fluctuations in weight.
    • Harshly critical of appearance – Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror checking for flaws. There’s always something to criticize. You’re never thin enough.
    • Denial that you’re too thin – You may deny that your low body weight is a problem, while trying to conceal it (drinking a lot of water before being weighed, wearing baggy or oversized clothes).

    Purging signs and symptoms

    • Using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics – Abusing water pills, herbal appetite suppressants, prescription stimulants, ipecac syrup, and other drugs for weight loss.
    • Throwing up after eating – Frequently disappearing after meals or going to the bathroom. May run the water to disguise sounds of vomiting or reappear smelling like mouthwash or mints.
    • Compulsive exercising – Following a punishing exercise regimen aimed at burning calories. Exercising through injuries, illness, and bad weather. Working out extra hard after bingeing or eating something “bad.”

    Some of the physical effects of anorexia include:

    • Severe mood swings; depression
    • Lack of energy and weakness
    • Slowed thinking; poor memory
    • Dry, yellowish skin and brittle nails
    • Constipation and bloating
    • Tooth decay and gum damage
    • Dizziness, fainting, and headaches
    • Growth of fine hair all over the body and face

    Here are two pictures of me when I was at my skinniest. I took this picture because my agent wanted to see if I lost any weight. The second picture is me out at a club in Hollywood with the infamously gross Andy Dick. I definitely hung out with many celebrities including weird ones, and I’m so happy I’m permanently out of the Devil’s Playground.

    Courtesy of Nicole Weider

     

    The girl in this video is a spokesperson for anorexia. She explains how it almost killed her. It may be extremely hard to watch, but it’s important you do to stay strong and not develop anorexia if you’re at risk. Don’t let it take over your life.

    Do you struggle with an eating disorder? If you do, you’re not alone. I’m hoping through my testimony that you can be strong enough, too, to overcome this dangerous illness.

    source: helpguide.org

    Nicole
    Nicole
    Nicole Weider is a Salem, Oregon native who moved to Los Angeles and quickly found success as a fashion model at the age of 17. Today, Nicole is an active wife, mom, producer, actress and author and has made it her mission to share her personal story, the bright moments and the challenges, with young women around the world.

    69 COMMENTS

    1. Thankfully I’ve never had an eating disorder- I like food too much for that!

      But I am self-conscious about my weight and appearance and I have low self-esteem, just like every other girl out there. I try to remember that it doesn’t matter what I look like, because I am precious in God’s eyes.

    2. Thanks for the article, Nicole! Anorexia is a very dangerous disease because thinness is so encouraged in our society! It is important to educate girls about its dangers and that God loves them no matter how thin they are! So, thank you for spreading awareness! God bless! 😉

    3. Definitely such a scary disease. I grew up taking classes at a Ballet School because I used to want to be a ballerina. And the older my friends and I got the harder it became. Some of my friends who were already thin were being told that they needed to loose weight. One girl was harrassed all the time and placed in the back of all the dances because of it. She was a beautiful dancer. I ended up quitting because of the stress from it all. But I had heard she became anorexic and eventually had to be treated at a hospital for it. One of my mom’s favorite singers Karen Carpenter died from this. It really makes me sad!

        • Woa woa woa! No… I have done ballet… my friend does it and has asked to go pro…. but they tell you to suck in your stomach when doing certian pointe work.. because it keeps your rib cage elevated.. and helps you learn to iscolate it… they NEVER tell you to lose weight! If they dol…. switch schools! Don’t give it a bad rep please!

    4. Thanks for posting this! I’ve struggled with this some; I’m a healthy, average weight for a girl my height and build, but not super thin. Despite my knowing this, though, I still have thoughts about not being “perfect”, due to the constant message that is sent to girls that we have to be JUST so, or we’re not worth anything. What a lie! I think we ought to sue for the millions of girls who have lost their lives (literally and figuratively) to this stupid mentality. I do have a friend that is going to be a lawyer one day…

      • Hey Samara- don’t ever, EVER compare yourself to ‘models’ because even they aren’t that skinny! That’s why I have my before and after photos, so you girls can see the power of airbrushing!

    5. Laura and Alli I am the same way! And Nicole thank you for posting this. Lately I have been wanting to loose some weight. I don’t exactly love the size I am but now I understand that if I try too hard or loose too much weight I could get really sick! Thank you again Nicole!

    6. Thank you for this article.God does not make mistakes. Which means,he did not make mistakes when he created you. He loves your body just the way he made it. He wants us to lose weight and be healthy,but not lose so much weight that we almost kill ourselves.

    7. You look way better now…I wish girls were able to promote healthy body shapes in magazines rather than stick thin. I also saw a documentary of that girl in the video on TV and it she had passed away 2 weeks after the filmed it. I went through all this stuff and I’m so glad that I know Jesus and how he loves me for who I am and despite what I have done. My life is so much better now.

    8. I am pretty healthy for my age, and I’ve heard how horrible it is to have an eating disorder. I had a friend tell me once that she went “anorexic” for a week and lost 13 pounds. And I just dismissed it, even though I knew it was bad. And it is horrible. All we can do is pray for them, and encourage them in these times of need when they need help the most.

    9. I am fifteen, and i have been researching bulumia obesity and anorexia for three years and my heart and prayers go out to this woman and all of the people like her. i hope to be able to start a campain like this someday against eating disorders and self hatred, and help people realize they are beautiful in Gods eyes

    10. Thank you for posting this Nicole <3 I don't feel like I'm the only one who struggles with things like this anymore. And I'm also glad you're out of the devils playground , your modeling agent was wrong and selfish by trying to have you practically self distruct. You have so much wisdom and I admire you so much!

    11. My best friend and I used to be bulimic, luckily I was able to stop but unfortunitly she was not able to. It was at the point where she weighted 62lbs and can’t keep down food at all, her body automatically just gets rid of it.
      It took waaay too long for her family to accept it, but thankfully they have come to terms, and she is now getting help.

      Mind you it took a few years and many doctors to finally figure this out… And even when she did reach out for help her BMI was too low that eating disorder clinics wouldn’t accept her.
      FINALLY she reached a BMI of 15 and has just been admitted into a clinic.
      Please keel her in prayers, this is the hardest thing she has ever done. It’s not manditory for her to be there so she can leave whenever she wants. I know she is trusting in God to heal her body and mind but I know its a struggle for her to stay.

      • wow- I am so sorry you both went through that, and she still is. It’s such a hard disease to beat, but with the right support, and if she believes and has faith she will get better- God will heal her. I just prayed she’ll get better!

    12. My sister’s friend is 12 and she became a little anorexic and it was scary for my sister. She had no idea what to do and her friend wasn’t treating her right. She was really upset and my sister was so confused. That was an experience that I never want to witness or happen to anyone else! It was really scary. Anorexia is not just detrimental to the actual person with the disease, but to their family and friends.

    13. Thank you!! This article needs to be pushed into Christian high schools everywhere. A girl at my school went through a phase last year where she lost weight and got really skinny, and started refusing to eat lunch, giving her food away to others – it was horrible! She’s fine now, and looks great with the “extra five pounds” her body needed.

      I was a ballerina until recently (the pressure to be skinny skinny skinny was one of the reasons I quit, actually) and I remember girls who NEEDED an extra 3-5 pounds in order to be healthy. Of course, whenever they gained those pounds over holidays or whatever, they couldn’t accept they were more beautiful as human girls than superskinny waifs.

      Thanks again for putting this out there: I’m definitely goin to be sharing both this article and your website around my friends, I hope it will help them. Your story really inspires me and I hope other girls can learn from the excellent influence that you are.

      • Kess- that means a lot to me, thank you so much. That’s why I’m doing this- is to help and inspire girls to show them how beautiful they are, how to deal with others, and bringing them closer to their faith. Yes please share it with others! That would be the greatest way you could help me!

    14. that video is sooooo sad. i do not have anerexia but i am skinny and my mom is constantly worried about my weight and i tell her not to worry because i eat whatever all the time. it is hard for her though i can tell just the thought of it made her cry the other night i do not kno why but all i can do is pray, eat, and comfort my mom.

    15. I feel the same, with low self-esteem and i’m very self consious as well. But i’m at a healthy weight for a 14 year old girl.. and ive personally thought about what it would be like just to stop eating. But seeing that, mad me think, “how did she even get pictures taken of her? She looks so unhealthy, and not like what half the models i see in magazines.”

    16. I think I had an addiction to working out last summer. I was always at the gym running all day and from 3pm to 7pm. Then I would swim all day before that. I also cut all my calories in half when I was eating a perfect diet. I have just never felt pretty enough. And it’s taking a lot to realize god made me this way for a reason and I am going to have to except that.

    17. i am suffaring from aneroxia at the moment went to a hospital and i 30kg at the age of 12 and got discharged after 8 months but now im going back to the same comdition and now im 13 but im very happy that u r much better now welldone im proud of u

      • Sadia- I am praying for you, please get better- trust in the Lord for your strength, you don’t need to lose weight, you are harming your beautiful body He gave you! God Loves you so much.

    18. I am prediabetic, and when I was first diagnosed, I had doctors telling me I needed to lose 5-10 pounds. No matter how well I ate, I could not lose those extra pounds. This year, I would stop eating while at school and eat very little at home. My mom and I sat and talked, and I prayed about it (my family is not very religious, so when I struggle with spiritual matters, I go to a youth leader, friend, and even Nicole :)). God told me that I was beautiful no matter what my weight. I still struggle, but with the Lord’s strenght I am happy!

    19. I had anorexia nervosa. For the most part, I’ve gotten better. Not completely, like I still count calories and there are still days when I feel like restricting. It’s rough. It’s not not something anyone should have to undergo, and honestly I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy! Nevertheless, it is what it is. Maybe someday I’ll be completely better…. or maybe not. Who knows? For now, though, all there is to do is keep holding out against the temptation to dive headfirst back into another downward spiral.

        • Thank you, I really appreciate the encouragement! I’ve been going to a therapist for several months now. It’s helping. 🙂

    20. Is fasting to become closer to God okay? I have fasted for 30 hours before, but it was to strengthen my relationship with God. Doesn’t it say fasting is good and encouraged in the Bible?

      • yes it is.. one of my contributing bloggers wrote about fasting about 2 weeks ago. Scroll down in the Christian Secret tab and you’ll see it probably on the 2nd page. It talks all about that!

    21. i dont eat that much, not because im anorexic but because I dont get hungry as easily and i am almost never sitting still so if i eat too much i throw up. There’s a girl at my school who i think might be anorexic. She doesnt have many friends but tries to hang out with the popular people. I try to be friends with her but shes a bit of a jerk. AShe never eats fatty foods. she has a perfect body and is really pretty but she thinks that shes fat. At luch she always gives away most of her food. All she eats is a small sandwich and water. She has a pool party at the end of every school year and invites all of the girls in our grade. There are always snacks like soda and chips and pizza but she never eats any of it. i fell really bad for her.

    22. I feel so fat. I’m anorexic, at least my mom thinks so. Everyone tells me that I’m sexy and that I have a great body, but I just don’t think I do. Everyone tells me that they wish thy where as thin as I am, but I feel SO fat. I feel overweight and not beautiful. I hate the way I look. I recently lost 20lbs. I’m 5’8 and weigh 120lbs. Am I underweight? I try to never eat and I usually don’t eat more then 500 calories a day. I so badly want to feel thin, but I can’t seem to love the way I am.

      People that know me comment on how thin I am. But I can’t see it. I hate feeling like I am never good enough.

      That’s why I love the song What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction and Just The Way Your Are by Bruno Mars.

    23. I began purging in the 7th grade, and became anorexic. Doctors put me in the hospital in 2009, and for awhile I made strides in my recovery. When I enrolled at a new ballet academy, everything became worse: the teachers had a foam sword to poke your fat with, and they’d constantly chastise me for my “fat” legs and overdeveloped, muscular thighs. I almost had to be hospitalized again, because I was 5’8 and 108 lbs.
      We all have insecurities about our bodies, and things we would love to change… But you are MORE than the sum of those things!!! I, for example, am not just a pair of muscular thighs, but a strong Christian and a powerful dancer. Whatever physical traits you may dislike are gifts from God. It took me years to realize that my body is the Lord’s temple, and that I should not wreck it only to please myself.
      This disorder wrecked my home life, and my relationships with my family. I will never forget my mother sobbing hysterically because she thought she might lose me to anorexia. God gives us all unique, incredible talents and has so much planned for our lives. Don’t waste His love on such a deadly, all-consuming disease!!

      If you struggle with an eating disorder, then pray to God for healing. He can help you, and give you joy and happiness beyond this disease.

    24. Thank you so much for this Nicole. I don’t have anorexia but I think I might be coming close I have been skipping meals and things like that I’m just really scared right now. I think I read this practically just in time! Can you, and anyone else who reads this, please pray for me? Thanks!

      • Hey, this is (was, I actually got an account now) Grace. Another thanks for the sight 😀 I’m doing much much better now! Thanks for any prayers and thanks to Nicole for making the sight and posting this!

    25. My dad used to make fat jokes at me because he thought they were funny and thought I didn’t care, but that’s not true! I cared a lot! My bf, Chris, saved me from myself though. Before I got too bad he made me feel loved and beautiful and showed me how wonderful I am, inside AND out!

    26. I understand that other people are beautiful just the way they are. But I’m not. Even though I’m close to being underweight I still feel so fat. I just want to feel worth something for once in my life.

    27. I’ve been anorexic/bulimic or EDNOS for a year now. Glad to see that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Been going through treatment and at times I want so badly to go back to the binging and purging then fasting but I know that that is NOT God’s plan for me.

    28. Thank you Nicole! This makes me feel better. Thanks to my recent growth spurts, I’ve been feeling fat. So I’ve been trying to loose weight thanks for showing me the dangers so I will not develope it. 🙂

    29. I am struggling with this right now. It’s SO hard. Im So depressed. Nothing can make me happy anymore. I don’t like to hang out with my friends because I feel like I’m the fat ugly girl with a bunch of beautiful girls. I don’t feel good enough, for ANYONE. I don’t feel wanted any where. Please tell me what I should do because im so lost. (Click on my page to read my testimony)

    30. i actually look like this girl… i dont want to! everyone says im tinny. shopping always ends in tears for me and i cant wear anything! i can not eat in front of people the guys always watch me! i dont know why :)i toattally just blush aghhhhh and worst of all people come behind me and stick theyre fingers in my ribs ow!!!!
      -keep you in my prayors laura:)

    31. I have an obsession with my weight sometimes. I mean I eat I know I’ll get fat if I eat but I still do it. i have no self control. I’ve asked God a few times to help me with my weight and he has but I just fall back into my eating habits. I’ve lost and gained weight so much during my life and drastically. I’m really unhappy with the way I look, I wish I were thin, had long hair, fashionable clothes. But I don’t have any of those things and it makes me insecure around others, I can’t except myself and it affects my personality, the worst thing of all, Im on the worship team in my church and whenever I go I feel like everyone hates me and have bad intentions towards me. I don’t want to tell me about how I feel cause I know exactly what they would say, and they have before, it’s the devil or you need to trust in God. Sometimes I just want a friend. It’s hard not to fall back into these symptons! I used to be thinnner than I am now and I can’t do anything I mean people get surgery and sometimes when I’m at my lowest I’ve considered. I have wisdom but it’s hard to know what steps to take. :/

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