Sunday, April 29, 2012

Books that I read on my road to ED recovery

When I finally decided to take steps towards ED recovery one of the first things I did was dig into recovery focused blogs and books. I am asked from time to time for book recommendations so I thought I would share a few that I did read and found helpful.  

Diary Of An Anorexic Girl by Morgan Menzie 

This is the very first book I read once I decided to regain my health. I remember sitting on the floor of a Half Priced Books Store looking through various anorexia/recovery focused books, yet this one stood out to me for several reasons. One, it it based on a true story. I needed to read words from someone who had been there done that so to speak, and who had made it successfully to the other side. Two, the book is literally a diary, documenting the thoughts, actions and daily life inside of Morgan Menzie (author) from 1995-1998. Reading her diary entries made her story REAL and made such a strong connection as many of her words mirrored those of my own, at that time.

<gaining> the truth about life after eating disorders by Aimee Liu

Gaining does a great job of combining a personal story with a description of the culture of eating disorders, as well as detailing what scientists have learned, over time, about these illnesses. The book is a perfect balance between personal connection and research. It was SO interesting to read parts of this book and think "THIS IS SO ME" or "I CAN SO RELATE." I highlighted and underlined many concepts in this book. If anyone is interested in more details just let me know. I could write an entire blog post on the themes found here.

Locker Room Diaries. The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image, and Re-Imaging the "Perfect" Body by Leslie Goldman

Very early into recovery I attended a training (for social work CEU's) that centered solely on eating disorders. Ironic, right? Crazy feeling to be sitting in a conference in an attempt to learn how to "help people" when I was the one who severely needed the help. Anyways, one of the speakers that day was Leslie Goldman. I was intrigued by her speech and decided to purchase her book. This is a great read. Humorous, introspective and it highlights lessons that women, of all ages, are learning from inside the locker room. A great book for any woman who is looking to gain a healthy self image.

You Are Not What You Weigh: End Your War With Food And Discover Your True Value by Lisa Bevere

This book is great for any woman who has struggled with body image and negative self esteem (as it relates to physical appearance). While it touches on various eating disorders, it also extends to anyone who is ready to break free from the chains of the scale. This is a Christian based book and incorporates scriptures and Godly encouragement into various chapters. I will admit that I was NOT ready to read this book when I first started to regain my health. I've mentioned it before but in those early days I did not want much to do with God. Yet over time I got there. Once I was ready to embrace God again, this book was a great choice! It also includes pages for recording personal notes and reflections.

Operation Beautiful, Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-it Note at a Time by Caitlin Boyle

Have you guys checked out the Operation Beautiful website? If not, I highly recommend that you do. This is a very inspiring book that showcases positive post-it notes of women around the world. Such a cool idea for spreading the healthy body image message to friends and strangers a like. Definitely a feel good read. Boyle is working on two other books due for release very soon (if not already?). I submitted my story for one of them and "spoke" with Boyle over email so I will let you know if my story is selected for one of the new releases.

loving your body, Embracing Your True Beauty In Christ by Dr. Deborah Newman

This book is in partnership with Focus On The Family. I would say this book has more "Biblical meat" than Bevere's book I mentioned above. Discussion questions are included at the end of each chapter. It takes a look at women of the Bible, Biblical concepts on loving ourselves, and also incorporates the modern day womanly struggle of learning to make peace with ones body.  Great book!

Questions for YOU: 

  • For those who have struggled with body image and/or an eating disorder, did you find any particular books helpful? If so, please share in the comments! It is always helpful to build on our list of resources. 

  • Have you/would you ever post an Operation Beautiful note? If not, I encourage you to do so this week and then link up and share your experience. I like to keep a pad of sticky notes in my car so I write a note whenever the urge strikes. 


  1. Captivating by Staci Eldredge has been a key book for me. I think every woman should read it. It isn't so much about eating disorders as it is about the beauty that every woman possesses and how to tap into that sense of calling and having something worth while to give to the world.

    I have been known to leave Operation Beautiful notes in rest stops along I-70 all throughout Kansas. It is really kinda fun, like being a secret Santa at Christmas!

    1. Captivating is a great book. Thanks for mentioning this one!

      Leaving the notes does feel like playing secret Santa. :) It's hard not to smile when you walk away from leaving a note, isn't it? You can't help but wonder who might be the first to read it.

  2. Great books thanks for sharing! I struggle with food addiction and my friend is reading Made to Crave and says it is fantastic. I hope to start it soon. What has helped me is the step study at Celebrate Recovery. It digs into your past and helps you figure out why we do what we do. It's meant to do together with a church, but I know that you can buy the books outright. I would suggest doing them with a friend if you aren't going to join a church group. Here is the link since I didn't know the specific names of each book.
    Great post thanks for sharing!

    1. My church has Celebrate Recovery! Great recommendation. I have not participated but have heard WONDERFUL things. Thanks for the link!!

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  4. Wow, you were certainly pro-active with your heath, those books all look like great reads. I am familiar with Operation Beautiful and I love the message they are putting out.


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