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The Struggle of the World’s Most Slender Woman: Battling Anorexia and Inspiring Change

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The Struggle of the World’s Most Slender Woman: Battling Anorexia and Inspiring Change

Valeria Levitin, acknowledged as the world’s most slender woman, endures a life far from ordinary due to years of extreme dieting. Tipping the scales at a mere four stone, she remains a fraction of her recommended healthy weight, set by the NHS at 9 to 12 stone for her height of 5 feet 8 inches.

Despite her fragile physique, Levitin actively discourages young women from emulating her exceedingly thin appearance, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and change.

In a worrying trend, Levitin, originally from Russia and now residing in Monaco, has disclosed receiving numerous letters from young women desperate to replicate her skeletal appearance. At 39, she shares insights from her interactions with these fans, revealing, “I have received emails from young girls seeking my guidance on how to look like me. Each letter is from women, mostly in their twenties, who see me as a role model.”

Levitin openly confronts her battle with anorexia and vehemently opposes the disorder. She refuses to instruct others on adopting a lifestyle that she views as a path to self-destruction, determined to make her stance against encouraging such harmful aspirations clear.

Choosing to publicly address the profound impact of her eating disorder, which began in her teenage years, Levitin aims to deter others from a similar fate. She articulates the profound loneliness, unattractiveness, and disgust she feels, consequences she attributes to the disorder exacerbated by her mother’s fear of her gaining weight, akin to other family members. This familial concern led to strict dieting from an early age.

Valeria’s childhood obsession with perfection, fueled by her mother’s vigilant monitoring of her weight, continued into her teenage years. Upon moving to Chicago at 16, she believed that losing weight would facilitate her integration into a new social environment and enhance her popularity.

Her diet became increasingly restrictive, eliminating sugars and carbohydrates, as she strove to meet societal expectations. However, her inability to consume certain foods over time has led to intolerances, complicating her digestion and further solidifying her resolve to lose weight, particularly after hurtful remarks about her appearance during a school event.

By 23, her clothing size had dramatically decreased, and her ambition to model only intensified the scrutiny on her weight. At 24, she was considered too fragile to dance, and over the next decade, despite consulting over thirty medical professionals, her weight plummeted to a perilous low.

Levitin’s condition has forced her to avoid numerous foods, leaving her unable to recall the taste of bread. The isolation brought on by her anorexia has made relationships and social dining impossible, casting a shadow over her personal life.

Now, she believes that conventional medical intervention is unlikely to help her regain weight. Instead, she suggests that healing requires a reconciliation of body and soul. Relying on supplements to minimize bruising and avoiding situations where she might fall, Levitin is contemplating returning to Moscow to pursue motherhood through surrogacy, hopeful that the desire to nurture a child might restore her health.

While aspiring to start a family, Levitin is conscious of the risks, stating, “I long to have a family because I believe I have much to offer. However, it is clear that having a child in my current condition would be irresponsible. I am committed to fighting anorexia. I have never surrendered to any challenge in my life, and I refuse to start now.”

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