Monthly Archives: December 2011
New Year bonus
What does Santa do after a hard day’s work at the mall? He drinks himself into a cozy stupor, of course! Literally, he does.
You can check it out at 1:48 right after he gets knocked over by surprised strangers stepping out of the elevator. The other golden moments come at 0:18 when he pees on the garage wall and at 0:39. That one you just have to see for yourself.
Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary destination for your next vacation? Check out these 20 top trips. Where do you want to go next year?
Nearly half of Mongolia’s three million residents are nomads, and most of the rest live in Ulaanbaatar—the country’s capital and largest city. The cultural, economic, and transportation hub on the Tuul River is the starting point for two-humped Bactrian camel treks and other exotic Gobi desert expeditions, but its ten museums, close proximity to national parks, and collection of imperial palaces and Buddhist monasteries qualify Ulaanbaatar as a destination rather than way station.
Wander through the Narantuul, a 2,500-vendor, open-air market; visit Gandan Monastery—Mongolia’s largest functioning Buddhist monastery—and the adjoining Megjid Janraisig and Kalachakra Temples; and view Stone and Bronze Age artifacts, sacred relics, and fossilized dinosaur bones and eggs found in the Gobi at the National and Natural History Museums. During the July 11-13 National Holiday, Ulaanbaatar hosts the nation’s largest Naadam Festival, a legendary cultural celebration featuring wrestling, archery and cross-country horse racing competitions, plus traditional costumes and dance.
-Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Croatia’s 1,104-mile (1,776-kilometer) island-speckled Adriatic coast is a popular playground for sea kayakers, sailors, kite surfers, and divers. Additional water wonders await those willing to travel inland (a four-hour bus ride from the coast) to the mountainous, eastern Plitvice Lakes region, site of Croatia’s first and largest national park.
Nature’s color wheel is in constant motion at 114-square-mile (296-square-kilometer) Plitvice Lakes National Park (above) where 16 terraced lakes, formed by natural travertine dams, change hues throughout the day from bright turquoise to gray depending on the angle of the sun’s rays and mineral makeup of the water. Well-maintained wooden boardwalks and trails link the lakes to the park’s centerpiece cascades, the largest of which—Big Waterfall—plummets 256 feet (78 meters) into the valley below. Home to abundant wildlife, including 261 species of birds, the walker-friendly park is divided into Upper and Lower Lakes sections bridged by the Lake Kozjak ferry.
Glitterati flock by the yachtful to Sardinia’s serpentine northern Gallura coast, where exclusive Porto Cervo and Costa Smeralda are two favorite summer playgrounds. While a winding coastal drive—perfect for a red Ferrari roadster—offers dramatic Mediterranean views and a powerful adrenaline rush, the real rock stars of Italy’s second-largest island are the actual rocks, or more precisely, the prehistoric stone dwellings found in the mountainous interior.
Sardinia is home to more than 7,000 stone nuraghi towers, Bronze Age castles built between 1600 and 1100 B.C. Best known is Nuraghe Santu Antine near Torralba, a well-preserved nuraghic royal palace surrounded by the eerie remnants of a once thriving nuraghic village. To experience modern village life on an island where sheep outnumber humans by nearly three to one, check into Hotel Su Gologone in Oliena, where hearty guests can sign up to shadow a local shepherd for the day.
In Australia’s smallest state, remote rain forests, secluded beaches, and more than 200 vineyards are accessible by foot. Tasmania’s mild, maritime climate and compact size (comparable to West Virginia) make this heart-shaped island 150 miles (240 kilometers) off the Australian mainland a year-round destination for walkers and hikers of all ages, interests, and fitness levels.
Great Walks Tasmania features seven distinct, guided walking tours ranging from the moderate 14- to 18-mile (23- to 30-kilometer) Bay of Fires wilderness trek along the coastal rim of Mount William National Park to the gentler 12- to 28-mile (20- to 45-kilometer) gourmand’s ramble through Maria Island’s eucalyptus forest and pristine beaches. In 2011, Tasmania hosts the biennial Ten Days on the Island international arts celebration from March 25 to April 3, an event that features nearly 500 artists in 111 venues.
Western Norway, known as Fjord Norway, is home to the world’s largest concentration of the saltwater-filled, glaciated valleys. The iconic destination encompasses 1,646 miles (2,650 kilometers) of pristine coastline, glaciers, mountains, and cascading waterfalls, including the 2,148-foot (655-meter) Mardalsfossen, the world’s fourth highest. The region’s six National Tourist Routes offer easy driving access to bouldering, ice climbing, glacier walking, base jumping, caving, and year-round skiing.
Four UNESCO World Heritage sites are located here, including the deep-blue Geirangerfjord (above), considered one of the world’s most unspoiled fjords. Fjords are best experienced from water level, so hop a ferry, book a cruise, or rent a kayak for unobstructed views of the surrounding snow-covered peaks, steep mountainsides, and abundant wildlife. The midnight sun in June and July brings near round-the-clock daylight and the most visitors. Days are shorter in May and September, but the lighter tourist traffic makes for easy meandering from Kristiansand to Trondheim along the Fjord Coast Route.
A laid-back vibe, day trip-friendly dimensions (only 68,036 square miles/176,215 square kilometers), and lively beach scene make Uruguay a favorite getaway for the South American jet set.
The capital city, Montevideo, pulses to the rhythm of candombe, the thunderous Afro-Uruguayan, three-drum sound fueling spontaneous street parades, as well as the all-night Desfile de las Llamadas, the featured event of Montevideo Carnaval. In southwestern Uruguay, stroll the winding, cobblestone streets of Colonia del Sacramento’s 17th-century historic district—a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s only a 50-minute high-speed ferry ride from Buenos Aires—to explore the country’s Portuguese roots. Go west to the hilly interior to play gaucho at a luxury dude ranch or a more traditional working estancia, where tourists can trade labor for trail time. For sun and surf, hit the beaches of Punta del Este, the narrow peninsula dividing the waters of the Rio de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean.
-Messinia Region, Greece
Widely known for its Kalamata olives—Messinia produces about 55,000 tons of mainly cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil annually—this road-less-trampled region on the southwest Peloponnesian coast features numerous World Heritage List archaeological sites, including Olympia, Mystras, and the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae.
Sun-drenched hills and valleys are dotted with stone houses, vaulted tombs from the Mycenaean era, Byzantine churches, and medieval castles (such as the castle of Methoni, above). Retreat to secluded bays, remote beaches, and protected lagoons, including Gialova, Greece’s southernmost major wetland and home to more than 270 bird species.
The latest chapter in Messinia’s 4,500-year history is being crafted by international shipping magnate Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, the visionary behind Costa Navarino, an energy-conscious resort that aims to be powered entirely by renewable resources. The luxury destination’s Navarino Dunes on the Ionian Sea opened in 2010. Initial sustainable elements include “living roofs” planted with native fauna and the world’s first large-scale geothermal heating and cooling installed beneath a golf course.
A lack of white sandy beaches and an overabundance of rainfall keep this mountainous island of tropical rain forests off typical Caribbean vacation itineraries—a plus for adventure seekers.
Perpetual geothermal and volcanic activity—there are seven active volcanoes—make 285-square-mile (739-square-kilometer) Dominica, located between Guadeloupe and Martinique, a paradise in progress. Venture into the rugged landscape Spiderman-style on an Extreme Dominica canyoneering tour, which takes visitors rappelling down pristine waterfalls, deep gorges, and volcanic bedrock canyons. The seven-mile round-trip hike from Titou Gorge to Boiling Lake, a vapor-covered cauldron that reaches 198º Fahrenheit (92º Celsius), is strenuous but worth the panoramic Caribbean views from atop 3,000-foot (914-meter) Morne Nicholls, as well as the chance to explore the Valley of Desolation’s brightly colored sulfur springs, mini-geysers, and bubbling mud pools. Recharge at the locally built and staffed Jungle Bay Resort & Spa. The 55-acre (22-hectare) tropical retreat features 35 secluded, hardwood cottages perched high atop posts beneath the jungle canopy.
Southern Africa’s youngest nation is well known for its vast windswept deserts—the inland Kalahari and the coastal Namib—so it’s no wonder that the country’s first conservation area (established in 1907) is named for the “place of dry water.”
Etosha National Park is a wildlife sanctuary in far northern Namibia centered on Etosha Pan, a 75-mile-long (120-kilometer-long) mineral lakebed. During the June to November dry season, large numbers of elephants, giraffes, black rhinos, lions, and other game are drawn to the park’s natural and manmade watering holes. During the rains, huge numbers of flamingos arrive to feed and breed. In addition to unsurpassed big game viewing, the nearly 8,494-square-mile (22,000-square-kilometer) preserve includes numerous lodging options ranging from rustic guest farms to luxury retreats. For more intimate game viewing, head about two hours south to Mundulea Nature Reserve. Guests at the privately owned nature reserve in the Otavi Mountains encounter antelopes, leopards, hyenas, and other resident game on daylong, guided bush treks.
Laos is the only landlocked Southeast Asian country, yet water—more than 50 inches (130 centimeters) of rain falls annually in the northern provinces and the Mekong River flows through nearly 1,140 miles (1,835 kilometers) of Lao territory—shapes the borders, crops, culture, and daily life in this emerging ecotourism destination.
The dry season (November to April) is the best time to embark on a guided hiking tour of the rugged terrain (about 70 percent of the country is mountainous) to view the exotic, endemic wildlife, including leopard cats, Javan mongooses, goat antelopes, and Malayan sun bears. Sign on with Gibbon Experience for low-impact, high-flying travel deep into the remote, northern Bokeo Nature Reserve, home of the rare black-cheeked crested gibbons. Treks begin in neighboring Thailand and cross the Mekong into Laos by boat. Guests lodge in five canopy-level tree houses linked by an intricate network of zip lines and stewarded by a local guide representing one of Bokeo Province’s 400 villages.
Fierce Bronze Age warriors, Vikings, and Gaelic-speaking clans all have called the rugged Highlands home. Today, the primeval landscape north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault attracts outdoor enthusiasts drawn to the mist-shrouded mountains, shimmering lochs, sheer cliffs, and sandy beaches.
Cairngorms National Park—the United Kingdom’s largest thanks to the incorporation of Highland Perthshire—offers recreation at every speed, from hiking in Leanachan forest to kayaking in Loch Insh and the Insh Marshes Nature Reserve. At Nevis Range—Scotland’s highest ski area and site of the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup (June 4)—experienced bikers can take the U.K.’s only mountain gondola, which rises 2,132 feet (650 meters) up the slopes of Aonach Mor, to ride the 3.4-mile (5.5 kilometer) single-track Nevis Red Route down.
To experience more traditional sports like caber toss, tug-of-war, and piping competitions, cheer on the tartan-clad participants during Highland Games (above), held throughout the region from May to mid-September.
With 713 miles (1,148 kilometers) of gentle Mediterranean coastline, Roman ruins and fortified casbahs, and glowing ribbons of Saharan dunes, Africa’s northernmost country offers adventure for all ages. Pictured here is a Roman ampitheater in El Jem, Mahdia, Tunisia.
In Tunisia’s sunbaked Matmâta region, explore the troglodyte lunar landscape (featured in the first Star Wars movie) and float—or walk, if the water has evaporated in summer—in the Chott El Djerid salt lake. June through September, hop aboard the historic Red Lizard train (Lézard Rouge) in Metlaoui for a 90-minute round-trip excursion through the Atlas Mountains. The narrow mining track winds through towering rock canyons and across barren flatlands to Seldja Gorge. Saharan expeditions include camel and dune buggy rides and camping in traditional Bedouin tents.
The eight-day Sahara Desert Trek led by adventure outfitter Exodus includes a five-day walking tour from the Sahara gateway Douz to the oasis village of Ksar Ghilane. One of North Africa’s best preserved Roman archaeological sites is Dougga, a window into life over 17 centuries in an indigenous Numidian city.
-Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec
The 11,714-square-mile (30,340-square-kilometer) Gaspé (Gaspésie) Peninsula is Quebec’s wind-and-sea-sculpted continuation of the Appalachian range. Divided into five natural areas—the Coast, Land’s End, the Bay of Chaleur, the Valley, and the Upper Gaspé—the peninsula contains six wildlife sanctuaries, 25 of Quebec’s highest peaks, and four national parks. Remote Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock National Park are the summer nesting home of 250,000 birds and site of legendary Rocher-Percé, the haunting limestone arch rising from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Summer (June-September) activities include kayaking, canyoning, hiking, sailing, and horseback riding. Winter on the Gaspé brings every imaginable cold weather adventure from downhill skiing and snowmobiling to ice climbing and dog sledding. Drive the 550-mile (885-kilometer) Grand Tour loop (north or south at the Route 132 split in Sainte-Flavie) for a coastal overview of the peninsula, or choose one of Gaspésie Tourism’scustom routes focused on specialty interests like gardens, lighthouses, or paleontology.
Mountain-ringed Shikoku—the smallest and least visited of Japan’s four main islands—is best known for its “walk of life,” the 88-Buddhist-temple pilgrimage retracing the footsteps of the eighth-century monk and scholar K?b? Daishi. Completing the 745-mile-plus (1,200-kilometer-plus) island-wide circuit on foot is an intense physical and spiritual workout that can take a month or more.
Save time—and your knees—by covering the steep route via bus and riding the train up Mount Koya, the pilgrimage’s traditional start and end point. Many Shikoku temples offer basic lodging for visiting pilgrims or o-henro-san. Affordable, traditional accommodations also are available at Shikoku’s rustic to luxurious ryokans, traditional, tatami mat Japanese guest houses. The island’s upscale Yamatoyabesso ryokan is located in Dogo Onsen, an ancient hot springs area welcoming nobility and artists to its therapeutic waters since the sixth century. Shikoku remains a thriving folk art center for weavers, washi (paper) makers, and candle makers.
-Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea’s rugged mountain terrain and remote island location (east of Indonesia and north of Australia) have created a protective cultural and ecological buffer of sorts against the outside world. More than 800 languages, 1,000 distinct cultures, and an unparalleled range of biodiversity are represented in this tropical archipelago where seashells were currency until 1933.
Solo travel can be challenging, so it’s best to sign on with an experienced guide to explore isolated highland villages, secluded Bismarck Sea wreck-diving sites, and Sepik River Sacred Houses. Join the August Asia Transpacific Journey small group Mount Hagen Sing-Sing trip for an insider’s view of Papua New Guinea’s signature entertainment spectacle: a raucous celebration of dance, arts, and culture attracting competitors from more than a hundred tribes, including the Huli wigmen (above).
Considered an oasis of peace and stability in a historically volatile region, the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northeastern Iraq is drawing a growing stream of curious Western visitors to its ancient cities, snowcapped mountains, and bustling bazaars. The 2010 expansion of Erbil International Airport—located in the provincial capital and main commercial center—has improved access to the region and helped fuel tourist infrastructure development. Recent advances include construction of several new luxury and business hotels and additional escorted small group tours focused on Kurdish ethnic heritage and historic sites.
Experienced guides such as Hinterland Travel and Kurdistan Adventures lead 8- to 16-day cultural tours. Highlights include Erbil’s historic citadel and Grand Mosque, the ruins of Salahaddin’s Fortress in Shaqlawa, and the Jarmo Neolithic village archaeological site (7,000 B.C.) located in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains. Some itineraries include excursions into Kurdish ethnic regions in eastern Turkey and northwestern Iraq.
When medical treatment fails, many people begin to trust traditional medicine. In the west, traditional medicine is largely limited to acupuncture, while in the east of alternative medicine is very common, such as treatment of bee stings or bites the turtle’s face. But often, such treatment can lead to adverse consequences.
-A rain of spiders in Argentina
On April 6, 2007, a rain of spiders falls from the sky in Salta Province, Argentina. Christian Oneto Gaona and his friends decided to take a trip to Salta Province during their Easter vacation. They started to hike into the San Bernardo Mountain and two hours later, they found the ground around them was blanketed with spiders of many colors, each about four inches across. They found more and more spiders along their way up the mountain. They looked up, and saw numerous spiders falling from the sky. Christian became probably the first person in the world who caught this weird rain on camera.
In 1997 a Japanese fishing trawler was rescued in the Sea of Japan. They claimed that a cow fell out of the sky, struck the boat, causing it to sink. The crew members were immediately put in jail. About 2 weeks later the Russian Air Force informed the Japanese authorities that the crew of one of its cargo planes had stolen a cow thinking they would have beef for some time. Of course the cow was not fond of its close surroundings and began to thrash about. To save the aircraft and themselves, at about 30,000 feet, the crew shoved the animal out of the cargo hold as they were flying over the sea of Japan.
-A rain of blood in Colombia
In 2008 a red rain that was certified by a local bacteriologist to be blood fell on a small community of La Sierra, Chocó. A sample was collected and taken to the nearest town, Bagadó, where it was analyzed. The priest of the hamlet says it’s a sign from God that people will have to change their sinful ways.
-A star jelly rain in Scotland
In 2009, a jelly rain fell in Scotland. Scientists commissioned by National Geographic carried out tests on, but they have so far failed to find any DNA in it. Theories for the origins of “star jelly” abound, one of the most plausible theories is that star jelly is regurgitated frog or toad ovaries, vomited by buzzards or herons as it is indigestible, others refer to the remnants of a meteor shower or even a fungus.
-A rain of worms falls from the sky in the USA
Jennings Police Department employee, Eleanor Beal was just crossing the street to go to work when something dropped from the sky. The sky wasn’t falling. She says it was worms, large tangled clumps of them. Where they came from is a mystery, but some believe that a water spout spotted less than five miles away at that same time near Lacassine Bayou could have something to do with it.
-A multi-coloured snow that fell over Siberia
In the Omsk region, about 1,400 miles east of Moscow, smelly orange, yellow and green snow fell in 2007.
-A rain of fish in a desert town in Australia
Lajamanu sits on the edge of the Tanami Desert, hundreds of kilometers from Lake Argyle and Lake Elliott and even further from the coast. But it’s not the first time the remote community has been bombarded by fins from above. In 2004, locals reported fish falling from the sky, and in this opportunity the freak phenomena happened not once, but twice in February 2010. “Hundreds and hundreds of small white fish had fallen alive from the sky everywhere”, a witness said.
-A rain of money in Germany
In 2007 a German motorist saw money flying through the air in her rear view mirror. She pulled over and tried to collect all the notes, unsuccessfully. When police went with her to the scene they could not find any more cash. The money’s origin is unknown.
-A starlings’ rain in England
In the Somerset village of Coxley near Wells, over a hundred starlings dropped dead from the skies over Julie Knight’s garden in March 2010.
-A fresh meat rain in USA
On March 9, 1876, a shower of meat fell near the house of Allen Crouch, who lived near Olympian Springs, covering a strip of ground about one hundred yards in length and fifty wide. The sky was perfectly clear at the time, and she said it fell like large snowflakes, the pieces as a general thing not being much larger. Two gentlemen, who tasted the meat, express the opinion that it was a either mutton or venison.
-Alice in Wonderland Climbing Wall (Japan)
Tired of a ho-hum climbing wall? Check out this whimsical climbing wall at the ILLOIHA fitness club in Japan, as designed by architecture design firmNendo. It looks straight out of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland!
-World’s Tallest Climbing Wall (Netherlands)
This is the Excalibur climbing tower at the Bjoeks climbing center in Groningen. It is 121 feet (37 meters) tall with an overhang of 36 feet (11 meters), known as the highest climbing tower in the world.
-500ft Climbing Wall (Switzerland)
The Diga di Luzzone is both a working dam and one of the largest artificial climbing walls in the world. Bolted in the 1990s, this spot in Switzerland is home to one of the two largest man-made climbing routes in the world, a 540-foot, five-pitch monster that curves its way up the side of the Luzzone dam. As climbers go through the pitches, the concave wall changes character, starting off slabby, then straightening out to vertical.
-Campus Climbing Wall (Netherlands)
People are literally climbing up the walls in this dormitory located in the University of Enschede. Built as a gift to the local mountaineering club, the climbing wall is incorporated into the building’s architecture. The new function isn’t merely decorative, shaping its final form as it becomes an influent design theme. Architectural design by Arons & Gelauff Architecten.
-Silo Climbing Wall
The city of Amsterdam wasn’t quite sure what to do with three abandoned sewage treatment silos, so they decided to hold a competition to determine the best adaptive reuse project. One of the projects submitted for the competition was by Amsterdam-based NL Architects, who proposed to transform the silos into an incredible set of climbing towers. In addition to the climbing areas both inside and outside the silos, the project would include multi-purpose areas, offices, restaurants and other commercial spaces
-On Wall – Climbing Project (Japan)
“On Wall” is a collaboration of product designers Tomoko Azumi, Rie Isono, Norico Katayama and lighting designer Hiroe Tanita. They created simple but beaufiful shapes mounted onto walls, that allow designers (or everyone else of course) to climb up and look at things from another perspective. This mix of installation - space design and lighting design is certainly one thing: fun to try yourself!
-Inflatable Climbing Wall
The Iceberg Floating Water Slide brings adventure to the lake or water parkand features a 20-foot climbing wall, so you won’t be afraid of falling.
-Extreme Edge Climbing Wall (New Zealand)
This climbing center in Auckland is the largest on the continent. A central, Stone Henge boulder is surrounded by acres of climbing fun.
-Largest Outdoor Climbing Wall in Central Europe(Czech Republic)
This climbing wall is currently the largest outdoor climbing wall in Central Europe. This concrete structure, 80 m in diameter, measures 15 m at its highest point. The wall’s height averages between 10 to 13 m. A total of 46 safety lines currently features 84 paths with difficulty levels from 3 to 9-UIAA.
-Marymoor Park Climbing Wall (Washintong, US)
Marymoor Park, located on the north end of Lake Sammamish in Redmond, Washington, is King County’s largest, oldest, and most popular park, with more than 3 million annual visitors coming to roam its 640 acres (2.6 km2). Among recreational activities available are various sports facilities, rock climbing, a dog park and a velodrome
-The twin doctors who made a pact of starving of never gaining weight
They’re trained doctors whose parents are distinguished writers – yet for 20 years these identical twins have competed with each other in the most disturbing way imaginable. Even now, with preternaturally childish bodies and voices, the young women admit they struggle to make sense of what has happened to their lives.
To the utter despair of their parents — 58-year-old Christy and his wife Clare, 56 — the twins have spent most of their teenage and adult life in and out of various recovery clinics. Today, the twins will be hospitalised again for several months — only this time, they say, they are determined to beat the disease.
This was not the first case of twin anorexia to gain global attention; twin sisters Michaela and Samantha Kendall also fought anorexia for many years. Michaela died in 1994 from the direct effects of anorexia on her body, and Samantha fought to recover and was not at an extremely low weight when she died, but committed suicide in 1997.
-The male model who died from anorexia
Jeremy Gillitzer was once a male model with stunning looks and a six-pack. But what most people don’t know is that behind that great look, he battled anorexia and bulimia for most of his adult life. Through a regime of chronic starvation, self-induced vomiting and relentless exercise, he whittled his body down to practically nothing. When he died in 2010 at the age of 38, he weighed 66 pounds.
-The anorexic mom who wears the same cloths as her 7-yr-old daughter
Standing side-by-side in matching outfits, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Rebecca and Maisy Jones as sisters. But, in fact, this is a picture of a 26-year-old woman and her seven-year-old daughter. After suffering from anorexia half her life, Rebecca’s tiny frame fits easily into clothes designed for seven to eight year olds. Weighing just five stone, the young mother weighs less than her daughter, despite standing eight inches taller.
“Wearing the same clothes as Maisy gives me a sense of pride. It’s wrong, but it makes me feel good. I don’t think I’m thin – I always see myself as bigger.”
The medical secretary survives on soup, toast and energy drinks – even though doctors have warned her the lack of nutrients could kill her. At the same time she encourages 5st 9lb Maisy to enjoy chocolate and cupcakes.
-The anorexic girl who would walk 12 hours a day to lose weight
An anorexic woman who dropped to three-and-a-half stone after walking up to 12 hours a day has battled back to health. Lauren Bailey’s healthy look masks a ten-year struggle to overcome the condition which nearly killed her after her weight dropped to that of an average five-year-old. The 26-year-old, who would obsessively pace the streets from 6am to 6pm, spent 18 months in hospital in a last-ditch bid to overcome her anorexia.
-The mother who fought against her daughter’s anorexia by losing three stones in diet pact
Dolly Jenkinson is the mother of an anorexic. She can’t pinpoint exactly when her daughter Ruth, now 17, developed the eating disorder that almost killed her, but Dolly, 44, has been on the journey with her, and is ¬brutally honest about where it led. Few mothers of anorexics would have taken ‘playing the game’ to the level Dolly did. After years of accompanying her daughter to conventional treatment sessions, GP visits, even signing the papers to hospitalise her, Dolly, a ¬manager for a construction firm from Northover, Essex, came up with her own idea of how to help Ruth beat anorexia.
So what was her solution? Incredibly, she went on a diet, joining Ruth in a calorie-controlled ‘pact’ even she describes as illogical. Dolly admits not everyone shares her enthusiasm for the way she has handled the situation. She says the family therapist charged with helping them cope with Ruth’s anorexia was horrified by her radical ‘solution’.
To date, Dolly has lost 3st and is a size 10; while Ruth has put on 2st – although she is still very thin and, arguably, has a long way to go.
-The mother who suffered from pregorexia and now fights to promote eating disorder awareness
While most expectant mothers marvel at the site of their growing baby bumps, Maggie Baumann says she was “horrified.” “As my stomach began to grow, I remember being in the shower and my bump was sticking out and I looked down at my body and I thought, ‘I don’t even want to be in this body,’” said Baumann.
Baumann, a 48-year-old mother of two, says she struggled with an eating disorder during her pregnancies, a condition sometimes referred to as “pregorexia.” “I wasn’t even thinking about the baby,” said Baumann of her first daughter, Christine, who is now 23.
Baumann, who lives in Laguna Niguel, Calif., struggled with anorexia since her high school years, but that it worsened after she got married and began having children. “I feared my pregnancy,” said Baumann, who gained a normal 33 pounds during her first pregnancy. “I refused to buy maternity clothes and our neighbors didn’t even know I was pregnant until the ninth month. I hid it well.”
Baumann says that it was during her second pregnancy when she gained a measly 3 pounds that she saw her anorexia worsen. She began over-exercising to try and quell her growing belly. An hour and a half of cardio — running, biking and even volleyball — was typical for her up until she gave birth. Even when Baumann almost miscarried Whitney at the beginning of her pregnancy, cutting out exercise and increasing her daily caloric intake was not an option.
Finally suffering from chest pain, Baumann went to the emergency room and after doctors told her that her organs were failing, checked into an in-patient treatment center in Arizona. Today, Baumann maintains a healthy weight and lifestyle and is proud that both her daughters live similarly healthy lives.
-The model who bared it all in a controversial campaigned called “No Anorexia”
Many of you will remember Isabelle Caro, the brave model who bared all to show the true horror of anorexia. Isabelle lost her eating disorder battle on November 2010 at age 28 after being treated for an acute respiratory illness. Isabelle appeared in posters for an anti-anorexia campaign in 2007, but the ads were banned in several countries. It was not clear why it took so long for her death to be made public. The anti-anorexia campaign came amid a debate among fashion circles on the use of “ultra-skinny” models on the catwalk.
Caro herself suffered from severe anorexia nervosa since the age of 13. The model told CBS News in 2007 that she agreed to pose for the campaign because “I said if I can put my years of suffering to good use then it will not have been pointless. … I know it’s a shocking photo, and I want it to shock. It’s really a warning that it is a serious illness.”
The model, who was 5ft 4in tall (1.65m) at the time of the poster campaign, reportedly weighed 32kg (five stones).
-The woman who beat anorexia to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother
Her frame was so skeletal that doctors warned Hayley Wilde she was just over a week away from death. But three years on, after an eight-year battle against anorexia, she has bounced back in the most emphatic fashion by giving birth to a boy. Her son Michael was born weighing a healthy 7lb 14oz, something that would have been unthinkable when she was at her lowest ebb.
She had been fighting the condition since she was 11. Her 5ft 7in frame was down to 5st 1oz, and doctors warned she could have ten days left to live if she did not start to put weight on. She was hospitalized for months on end and fed through a tube. Her hair started to fall out and her periods stopped for four years. But expert medical help and the support of her parents saw her pull back from the brink, and finally she and her partner were thrilled to discover she was pregnant.
-The bride-to-be who had to beat anorexia to fit two-size-too-big wedding dress her fiancé bought her
Anorexic bride-to-be Kate Puncher overcame her disorder after her fiancé bought her a wedding dress two sizes too big and told her to put on weight to fit it. The ex-model developed the condition after an ex-boyfriend threatened to break up with her if she put on weight, she claimed. She hit 25kg (4st) at one stage, surviving on nothing but mints and using laxatives.
She was told the damage done to her body meant she would never be able to have children. But when she became engaged to firefighter Barry, 30, he told her to start eating or there would be no wedding.
‘The thought of putting on weight was terrifying but I was prepared to do anything to be Barry’s wife,’ the 31-year-old said.
She began eating three meals a day to put 20kg (3st) on her then 30kg (4st 9lb) frame and was even too big for her dress at the final fitting. The couple, from Glasgow, married in Cuba in 2009 and Mrs Puncher has since given birth to a daughter.
-The Uruguayan sister models who both died of anorexia 6 months apart
The fashion world reeled over the death of Eliana Ramos, Uruguayan model – just six months after her model sister, Luisel Ramos, 22, died shortly after stepping off a runway during a fashion show in Montevideo. The sisters were supposed to appear alongside each other on the catwalk the night Luisel died, but she collapsed before the show’s finale. Miss Eliana, 18, was found dead in her home in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, on Tuesday. While no medical report was immediately released after Eliana’s death, Judge Roberto Timbal says that she died of a heart attack.