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ANOREXIA / BULIMIA Real testemony Jeremy Gillitzer (ex – model) Jeremy – who’s currently receiving help at a specialist clinic and now weighs 46KG – began suffering from the eating disorder when he was 12. “I was bullied at school and called ‘Fatty,’” he explains. “I started eating a fraction of my meals, but my family didn’t mind because I needed to loose some weight. But I gradually ate less and less until I was having just a few tiny bites. My parents tried to get me to eat more, but I wouldn’t listen.” Within a year, his weight had dropped, and his worried parents took him to a doctor. He was diagnosed with anorexia and sent to hospital, where he was put on a strict eating regime.

He says: “If I didn’t eat or gain weight, I had my number of family visits cut. I stayed for a month and hated it, but I managed to eat enough to gain weight and they let me out.” But once back at home, Jeremy started skipping meals and by the age of 14 he became underweight again. He recalls: “I would steal laxatives and started making myself sick too. My stepdad begged me to eat and my mum cried, but I’d just lock myself in my room.” After being taken back to the doctor, Jeremy was sent to an even stricter hospital where he

was force-fed and forbidden from visiting the toilet after meals. He has since lost count of the number of times he has been hospitalized. At 19, Jeremy moved in with his grandparents to avoid rows with his stepdad and got a job in customer services. “I made friends at work and started enjoying myself for the first time,” he says. When Jeremy was 25, he moved into his own flat and enrolled on a degree course in political science. He also started working out at the gym and his weight increased. “I became muscular and began to eat a healthier diet. I even stopped bingeing and vomiting,” he says. His friends suggested Jeremy should take up modeling. “I’d never thought of it before but I

needed the extra cash, so I got some professional pictures done and sent them off to modeling agencies,” he recalls. “I didn’t think I was overweight any more, but I wasn’t totally happy with my appearance. I would always find something to be critical about.” Jeremy was soon signed up and began modeling for ad campaigns and catalogues, but although he enjoyed the photo shoots, he was too insecure to look at the pictures. He started to combine exaggerated exercise with exaggerated diets and he weights now 46 kg and he restarted bingeing and vomiting. “I can’t look in the mirror anymore,” He says. “I detest what I see. I have bags under my eyes, my face is gaunt, my teeth are falling and my hands are calloused from rinsing my vomiting down the sink. Jeremy says: “I started a blog looking for help. The messages have given me the courage to seek help at a specialist unit. At the moment, I hardly binge and I’ve put 6 kg. I’m hoping, one day; I’ll be strong enough to finally put the condition behind me.”

1 – Answer the following questions on the text (paragraphs 1, 2 and 3). a - Who is Jeremy? _________________________________________________________________________ b – How much does he weight nowadays? _________________________________________________________________________ c – Does he suffer from any kind of disease? _________________________________________________________________________ d – When did his eating disorder begin? Why? _________________________________________________________________________ e – Did his family worry when he started reducing his meals? Why not? _________________________________________________________________________ f – When did they begin to worry about it? _________________________________________________________________________ g – What did they do about it? _________________________________________________________________________

2 -Find in the text (paragraphs 4, 5) synonyms for the following words or expressions: a) put on - _______________________ e) too thin - _____________________________ b) detested - ______________________ f) brings back to mind - ____________________ c) was successful in - _______________ g) rob - _________________________________ d) deliberately miss - ________________ h) implored - ____________________________

3 – Say if the following sentences are true or false. Find evidence in the text (paragraphs 6, 7, 8 and 9) for both answers. a) When he returned to hospital he was obliged to eat. ________ _________________________________________________________________________ b) They forced him to go to the toilet after each meal._________ _________________________________________________________________________ c) This was the last time he was hospitalized. _________ _________________________________________________________________________ d) At twenty five he had no problems with anorexia.________ _________________________________________________________________________

4 – Complete the following sentences with information from the text. (from paragraph 10 till the end of the text). a) His friends suggested him _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ b) He decided to follow their advice because _____________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ c) He didn’t think he was overweight, however ____________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ d) He enjoyed the photo shoots but ____________________________________________ e) He was so obsessed with his self image that ___________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ f) He hates the way he looks nowadays because _________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________


True testemony (Jeremy Gillitzer)

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