Hollywood’s pseudo elite are following the dangerously thin trend by popping an animal steroid outlawed by the FDA for use in feed and show animals. Clenbuterol works like the banned substance ephedrine by raising the body’s resting metabolic rate and burning fat. It’s not illegal for human consumption and is easily obtained online. European meat contaminated with Clenbuterol made over a hundred people sick enough to need hospitalization for symptoms including increased heart rate, tremors, headache, nausea, fever, and chills. If that’s what some tainted meat does to people imagine how injesting the real thing messes up your body:
But possession and purchase for private use isn’t illegal and ‘clen’, as it’s known, is frighteningly easy to buy over the internet. It was first used by bodybuilders who discovered it can burn fat while increasing muscle mass.
“It’s a long-acting agent that increases the body’s temperature and heart rate, which helps burn fat, even when the user is not exercising,” says John McVeigh, an expert in substance use.
The reason behind its ability to build muscle, though, isn’t fully understood. “It’s not been tested on humans – this is an animal vaccine,” says Harrison Pope, a Harvard psychiatrist who has been researching bodybuilding drugs since the Eighties.
“Most of the data available is veterinary, and it reveals a lot of bad reactions in rats. After taking the drug, their hearts started to stiffen. So it seems safe to predict that clenbuterol in high doses when taken by humans increases the risk of strokes and heart arrhythmia.”
But despite the dizziness and palpitations, the ladies who don’t lunch are getting it from their trainers, who sell it as a ‘safe’ alternative to steroids. “In looks-obsessed LA, the appeal of this drug to women is obvious,” says Professor Charles Yesalis, head of sports science at Pensylvannia State University.
“It’s short-sighted, but they see it as a quick fix to get the lean, toned physique popularised by actresses and models.” Brooke Hailey, of LA’s New Directions Eating Disorder Center, agrees. “I see more and more patients with bundles of disordered behaviours: overexercising, over-zealous exclusion of certain foods, the use of anti-anxiety medicines to curb the appetite – it’s the culture and it’s very, very accepted.” Adderall is a drug that’s finding its way into the cocktail mix of cocaine, smoking, dieting and purging that many actresses rely on to curb their hunger.
Remember when Nicole Richie fainted while shopping at Kitson and adamently refused something to eat? Richie’s stylist, the pencil-thin Rachel Zoe, denies supplying her clients with diet pills or drugs, saying she’s “too much of a control freak” to take them. There are rumors around Hollywood to the contrary, but if she is telling the truth at the very least she sets a bad example with her own emaciated figure.
The article goes to cite use of the ADD drug Adderall as another quick-fix way to stop eating and get that coveted skeletal look. Women just go to their doctor and claim to have trouble focusing in order to score a prescription.
I lost 20 pounds in two months by eating right and exercising. It was a matter of finding the right formula to use for eating right and working out. My goal was to get to a size six, though, not look like a skeleton. This is an attainable goal if you set your mind to it. Six years ago I got fit quickly on Body for Life, and this year I lost my stubborn baby weight on Best Shape of your Life. (Body for Life is a great program, but you have to work out every day. For Best Shape of your Life you only workout 2-3 times a week. With each you eat small meals six times a day, and both programs feature workouts that take less than 45 minutes.)
Pills and supplements are quick fix catch-22s that can cause long-term life-threatening health problems. Unless you’re willing to sell your precious health to the devil, the only way to lose weight is through a sensible diet and exercise program and there are plenty out there that work.
There’s more at work than simple weight loss with these poor women, though. Victoria Beckham recently said that she thinks she looks terrible naked. Body dysmorphic disorder is a serious mental problem in which someone has a distorted perception of their body and obsesses about it to the point of doing themselves harm. If her tiny body will never satisfy Victoria, she’ll never lose enough weight to be happy with herself.