“Everyone’s scars and bruises are manifested in their childhood.” Those words are from Alyonka Larionov, 31, who speaks candidly about her experience. Indeed, to understand Larionov’s story you have dive into her younger years and family life.
You might recognize her last name. Her father, Igor, was one of five members of the NHL’s Red Wings’ “Russian Five.” Larionov’s mother was also an athlete – a Russian figure skater.
It’s clear Larionov’s childhood was anything but ordinary.
Larionov was born in Moscow, Russia. Before she moved to Detroit in 1995, Larionov lived in four different countries and attended multiple schools. At home, her parents put an emphasis on exercise and eating healthy. Junk food was out of the question and tennis became Larionov’s pastime.
However, the intense focus on fitness and food were among the factors that created an adverse affect.
“I always had this complex around food,” says Larionov.
With a strong awareness of the appearance of her body at a young age, Larionov says there eventually reached a “tipping point.”
“You start to get a high from being hungry. And you start to get a high from getting results. And you start getting a high from the reaction people give you. It became this disease. This disease to please.”
Larionov chronicles her 10-year battle with anorexia nervosa on her web site, here.
Today, Larionov wears multiple hats. She describes herself as a host, producer, storyteller and social engineer. In her past professional life, she has worked at organizations such as VICE Media and the New Yorker Rangers. Larionov is also the founder of Wo/Men Workshop. It’s a “guided workshop and moderated group conversation where women and men gather to discuss what it means to be a modern human in today’s society.”
Listen to Larionov’s story as told by herself in the video above.