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My step mum has anorexia nervosa and is bulimic because of LL

I am posting out of desperation. I stumbled across your site tonight and a lot of the tips I read about, I realised I have seen over the years with my step mother.

She is 10 years older than me and started LL in May 2006. It's now June 2010 and she has bones protruding everywhere, really bad dry and lots of saggy skin. She looks boyish now and doesn't look healthy at all.

She thrives on exercise and will exercise for hours before and after work.

Anyway, LLC kept on selling it to her up until late last year. I couldn't believe it. Not sure how LL works in THAT respect but absolutely anyone in their right mind could see that she was grossly underweight and should be put back onto eating standard food, not being sold the packets.

It took a visit from my dad to the LLC to say enough was enough. I can't understand though why a LLC would continue to sell the products and more to the point am concerned that she still could secretly be buying it as she never has any money!

Things have got so bad that step mum can't hold a logical conversation from start to finish, she wears thick puffa type jackets on the beach and is still cold.
She wears tight skinny legings, showing off her legs. Lots of make up. Hair is thinner and nails are acrylic (probably cos she has lost quality of them).

She constantly (at least once every 2 months) has a knock or accident in the car with kids in it at times - as she cannot concentrate.

She is a very controlling person and I know a family death upset her, however - I am at a loss to understand HOW and WHY this would start in the first place.

She was a size 24 and 5ft9 ish.
She is now probably a size 8 if I am guessing lucky - could be a 6 or something.

Her children are starting to follow the same patterns of eating and they are teenagers. One (I only recently found out) was self harming last year.

The reason I am writing this is because I need help. I don't know WHAT TO DO. She says she is going for bone tests through doctors and on waiting list for eating disorder clinic but aparently there are far worse people out there who are near the top of clinic's list.

I can't sit by watching her screw up the kids. She's an adult and if she wants to do this to herself then she needs to take responibility for her actions. However, she is impacting upon her kids (my step bro and sis) and my dad and they are all in termoil.

Step mum keeps cancelling doctors appointments and now has dental problems too (from purging).

Can someone please provide some advice? I was told my ex-nurse that she is likely to be at risk of a heart attack at this rate.

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Maybe Starlight will be able to advise you.
It seems as though your relative has some complex issues going on which include the weight/body image stuff.
Have you or your father tried to speak to her GP about your concerns?
It does make you feel very helpless when you have to look on and watch somene who seems to be on self-destruct.
I hope you can help your step-mum find the support she obviously needs.
Having suffered from anorexia and Bulimia for ten years (thankfully it's no longer a problem although I will always have an 'eating dosorder', I just manage it responsibly) I can understand why your stepmother has gone from one extreme to another. Overeating used to be her 'comfort' and now it seems that LL has led her into a different way of using food to harm herself.

If she is underweight then her LLC is clearly irresponsible in selling packs to her (I think they're not allowed to sell them with a BMI of under 22 or 23)
Has the LLC been told about the disordered eating habits that have developed?

It is incredibly hard to support someone who is obsessed with food and lets it control their life. Thankfully LL has not only helped me to lose weight and become healthy (being bulimic does not make you thin) but has also helped me to overcome a lot of issues I still needed to deal with about food.

I really hope you stepmother can get the help she needs but she needs to recognise she has a serious problem that will take over not only her life but the lives of those around her and if she doesn't get help sooner rather than later it'll just get worse.
Getting support through the NHS is very hard unless you are incredbly ill. I was 'lucky' that I had got so bad I was admitted to hospital for 4 months. There I received the help I needed to get me vaguely back on track.

I have done permanent damage to my body through my actions but I understand I need to live with the consequences of my actions. I have lost two very close friends who sadly never overcame their illness. I'm not saying this to scare you but this is serious and she needs to get on top of it before it's too late and carries on for years and years.

It is not about being thin any more. It is about control. There is a way out at the other end and I really hope you can all get the support you need. take her to the Dr and go into the appointment and explain what's happening. She won't tell the truth as it means her having to face the battle of changing her behaviour.

Try not to be angry with her as she is clearly not a happy person for whatever reason. She needs to be pushed to get help and to help herself though. Sympathy can only go a certain distance in terms of usefulness.

I wish you all the best in the journey to her recovery.


Gone fishing
Oh dear. I am sorry to hear about your step mums problems :(

LL wouldn't have given her anorexia, or bulimia. It's just a weight tool. Of course, people can use any diet to lose too much weight if they have anorexic tendencies.

The best thing you can do is contact LL direct and ask them for advice. I'm sure that if she is underweight, or suffers from these health issues, LL wouldn't be happy for her to be doing the diet and would speak to the LLC about it

Please contact them directly so that the necessary actions can be taken to help your step mum's recovery
I did some eating disorder counsellor training with National Centre for Eating Disorders - they have a help line and will be able to give you advice.


I hope you find the help and support you need
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Thanks all for your replies. Very helpful - however (yes ....sorry) the LL team could see (anyone could) that bones are protruding at the collar bone and breast bone (she makes no attempt to hide it). It was/is perfectly clear that she is very much underweight and looks old/saggy/ill/gaunt etc as a result. I am furious that the LLC would continue to sell them to her! Clearly she is breaking the rules. Are these LLC 's on a comission?

please can the lady with history of eating disorder answer this?One burning question I have:

Do anorexics thrive on that horrid feeling of being hungry as it then means that they are in control and escaping whatever it is that they cannot control (other issues in life)?

I am really trying hard to understand just how she developed from being an outward larger lady to now a skeleton with some flesh on.

What I don't get is that she is a successful career lady and mother and intelligent - but yet she cannot see that she is too thin and goes ape if we talk about it with her.

When I have spoken to doctors they say that SHE has to ask for help. But anorexics (like other disorders i.e.alcoholics etc) won't sometimes admit that they have a problem.

She now controls her hunger with whippy ice-cream and sugar free jellies. I can't understand the ice cream thing - she goes mad for it and will drive miles to get one from the 'golden arches'.

Tried to ring B-eat today but they were on voicemail. Will look at that website you suggested - thanks :)
From my experience eating disorders have very little to do with being thin. Anorexics don't even notice they're hungry after a while.

The doctors are right. She can't be helped until she recognises she has a problem. Telling her she has a problem will probably make her 'rebel' even more at the moment.

It is frustrating and upsetting from the outside but I can understand her behaviour as I have seen it woth so many people.

Sometimes it is getting so ill that shocks them into recognising they have a problem, or someone saying something that hits a nerve with them to recognise what they are doing isn't normal behaviour.

Is she getting weighed when she picks up packs from her LLC? If she's underweight (and isn't cheating by putting weights in her pockets etc) then her LLC is going against their code of conduct and needs reporting so she stops 'supplying' her.

I really hope she comes to terms with what she is doing to herself soon and reconises she needs the help that is being offered before she does permanent damage.


Are We There Yet?
I think the lady said her step mom stopped LL last year x

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