The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 24, 2014

Janice Blakely spreads eating disorder awareness

NORMAN — At 71 years old, Janice Blakely doesn’t feel the shame or the guilt that she once felt. Now, this vibrant redhead feels the power behind her recovery.

At the tender age of 9, Blakely started hiding her secret. It wasn’t until she was in her 40s that she revealed to anyone that she suffered from an eating disorder.

“It was only through sheer will that I’m blessed to be alive,” Blakely said.

Now, especially during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Blakely wants to tell her story.

“I need to help people like me. Because it’s an overwhelming and debilitating, destructive illness. Oftentimes, it’s not conceived as an illness. It is not a choice. People do not choose to have this infliction. I want to forgive myself. And thirdly, I don’t want to hide it anymore.

Keeping it a secret won’t help anybody,” Blakely said.

During her lifetime, Blakely has battled anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.

“I’ve done everything and anything that eating disorders develop. If you can imagine it, I’ve done it. And there are things that you can’t probably even imagine,” Blakely said.

It all started when Blakely would sneak food out of the family’s kitchen pantry. She would eat until her stomach was so full that it hurt.

“I discovered you can eat and throw up. It became a way of life,” Blakely said. “Food was so important to me that I sneaked it, I hid it, stole it. I stole money to buy it. I’d consume it and then I purge. Then I learned about not eating at all. I lost so much weight that at a certain point your body can no longer operate.”

Blakely thinks that her illness came from a self-imposed image of her own body.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014