Extreme anorexic Valeria Levetin, 39, has bravely decided to speak publicly about the disease that has consumed her life and destroyed her body.
Born in Moscow, Valeria and her family emigrated to the United States when she was 16. Though she was perfectly healthy, she became concerned about her weight while she was still in school.
By her early 20s things had taken a turn for the worst when Valeria developed an eating disorder as a result of excessive and unnecessary dieting. She soon hit a dangerous 4st, whereas a healthy weight for a woman of her height lies somewhere between 9st and 12st.
Now living alone in Monaco, Valeria is determined to recover from her condition. ‘This disease causes loneliness,’ she says sadly, ‘it causes people to turn away.’
Since launching her campaign against anorexia, Valeria has received hundreds of messages from people all over the world wishing her the best of luck with her recovery.
‘It’s very comforting to receive support letters,’ says a thankful Valeria.
However, despite her skeletal form, Valeria has received an alarming amount of emails from young girls asking to learn how to become as thin as her. Refusing to help anybody suffer at the hands of her disease, these letters only encourage the Valeria to fight her disorder with even more gusto.
‘I hope my story helps others,’ declares Valeria, ‘it’s not a game, it’s not a joke, it’s your life.’
If you’ve been affected by this story, visit Beat for support and advice.