Minnie Mama's Blog

In Memory of Isabelle Caro

Posted on: December 30, 2010

I  literally wrote 10 different titles for this post as I kept trying to think of a catchy one, but finally decided to just keep it simple. In Memory of Isabelle Caro. Isabelle was a French model and just 28 when she died. Honestly, I never heard of this woman before yesterday and may be thinking oh what a tragedy a French model died, but it is a tragedy. This beautiful young woman with so much life still ahead of her died and although the cause of her death has not been released, I am guessing it was related to anorexia.

Isabelle is known for appearing in a shocking Italian ad campaign set up to promote awareness for anorexia. You see at one point, at the unimaginable weight of just 62 lbs she fell into a coma and doctors declared that was the end for her, but she was a fighter and came out of it w/ a vengeance against her anorexia. Isabella’s dream was to help others battling this disease by promoting awareness which is why she modeled butt naked for that ad campaign. In addition, she was also working with Parliament to help pass a law that models must be a certain weight in order to model. However, I do fear it was too late for Isabelle as she has passed on. Again, the cause of her death has not been released, but I am imagining the cause is most likely related to her battle with anorexia.

I realize Minnie Mama typically blogs about things related to being a Mama, but this indirectly is related to being a Mama. God forbid this could be our children someday. Or maybe it was / is even you? Anorexia is a disease that can affect men or women at any age and it’s something that will always be with you, even if just in the back of your mind.

Here’s my story and why this story personally hit home with me:

I developed at a very young age and as a result of that I had curves and boobs while the rest of my girlfriends were still stick thin little girls, flat as a board. I remember feeling so out-of-place and ‘fat’ even though looking back on it and back at pictures, I totally wasn’t — I was just a normal developed preteen. However, that all changed when my metabolism started to change and I could no longer eat the whole row of Oreos that my friends could. I started to slowly, but surely put on a few pounds and I was very much aware of this change. One of my closest friends was also experiencing these changes and unfortunately she took them to the extreme. This girl became bulemic and anorexic. I remember her coming to my house and we went out to the yard which was adjacent to the woods where she purged. She stuck her fingers down her throat and threw up. It was horrible. I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there helplessly as I watched my dear friend gag and throw up. I remember singing The Ants Go Marching One by One and to this day I have no clue why I sang that song, but I do remember how it became our secret code word for when we’d purge and tell each other about it. Yes, that’s right. I purged too. Honestly, I never got that deep into it (if there is such a thing) and I think I did it mainly to be “cool” like her, but still I did it. Looking back on it, I wish I had been stronger, happier, and more confident in myself as I obviously wouldn’t have chosen to do that. Peer pressure is a funny thing and as a teenager you’ll do anything to fit in, trust me I did lots of stuff back in the day that I regret and am not proud of, but unfortunately I did it to fit in and be like the crowd I was hanging with. Sigh…
Anyways, eventually my friend was checked into a special hospital as her disease took over and she was incredibly skinny. At one point her mom confronted my mom about this in the hopes of getting me help too, but of course when my mom talked to me I just denied it. I didn’t believe I had a problem and I didn’t want help. I was a teenager and I was invincible or so I thought…

I also had moments throughout my teenage years of crazy dieting. Like only allowing myself to eat certain foods and they had to be fat-free or sugar-free, but I wouldn’t classify that as anorexia as it wasn’t that extreme — it was honestly just crazy diet ideas. I’ve always been too interested in food to starve myself. However, I will admit that looking back on it there was an issue with bulemia. And while the bulemia never fully took over my life, I did flirt with it throughout my teenage years. It was never a regular occurrence and would mainly happen if something stressful happened as it was my way to deal with issues as it made me feel better. Looking back on it now, I realize it was my attempt at finding even the tiniest bit of control in an unstable environment also known as the teenage rebellion years of Katie. Yes, I was a bad teenager, but we don’t need to go there right now…

As a result of the binging and purging throughout the years, my weight did balloon dramatically once I stopped purging. I drank a little too much which meant lots of drunken nights & bad food choices and once you stop purging, well those pounds are totally gonna pile on and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t eat ice cream and other junk food and not expect to stay the same size. Trust me, I put on a lot of weight and it slowly crept up on me… 

For those of you who know a little bit about my weight loss success and losing 80lbs then please KNOW I did NOT lose the weight by bulemia! I successfully lost the 80lbs thanks to Weight Watchers who taught me all about eating healthy, balanced meals and exercising properly. Honestly, I owe all of my success to WW as the program changed me forever. Long story, short — thanks to the help of counselors who my parents insisted I see, I was able to work on my inner issues which included building up my self-esteem and then I slowly learned that I am someone special. I was someone who deserved to live a long & healthy life. I am by no means trying to preach and say that I am ‘perfect’ because let’s be honest no one is perfect and lord knows I have a wicked sweet tooth, but I do try to take proper care of myself (healthy diet, exercise, enough sleep, etc.).

My whole point of this post is not to be like Aww poor me or get you all talking OMG can you believe Minnie Mama used to puke?! I am just trying to raise awareness on this topic as I feel it’s something that can easily be overlooked and even hidden by the person affected. Even at a young age children feel the strong push from society to be “perfect”, not to mention they’re little sponges and mimic everything so if you’re feeling that same pressure to be “perfect” then trust me your little one is gonna pick up on that vibe. Do you really want your child to succumb to those pressures of fitting into society’s mold of what “beautiful” or “perfect” is? I know I don’t which is why I am so hellbent on teaching Isabella that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I tell Isabella that we eat healthy foods not to diet, but to fuel our body and grow big & strong. We exercise for fun to burn off energy and to keep our body healthy. Of course I am trying to drop a few pounds because who isn’t, right?! But that’s something I am doing the healthy way through WW and I am doing it so I can be the best Minnie Mama I can be, not because I am obsessed and it’s something I don’t share w/ my child because she doesn’t need to know about the Mama dramas of battling goldfish cracker bulge.  🙂  Years from now yes I will be a totally open Mama with my child and tell her about anything she asks me because I want her to learn from my mistakes, but at this stage in her life it’s my job to ensure she lives a sheltered life enjoying all of the precious moments of her childhood, healthy eating, and lots of good old fashioned running around & playing for exercise.

It’s official that I am now on a complete babbling rampage, but what I am trying to say is if there’s someone in your life who you may suspect has a problem then please speak openly with them about this issue before it’s too late. Do it for them. Do it for yourself. Do it for Minnie Mama. Do it for Isabelle Caro. Please just do it.

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