Mary shared her personal story of recovering from anorexia on our podcast (Episode #24). Below are some resources related to the topics she addresses in her story, namely anorexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, bulimia, sexual abuse, and healing modalities.
1. Loving What Is by Byron Katie
This book is again not directly about eating disorder recovery but it is a must-read if you are interested in the mental side of recovery. Byron Katie is famous for the “The Work” method or process she teaches that helps people to become free from suffering caused by their own thinking. The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is. Loving What Is will show you step-by-step, through clear and vivid examples, exactly how to use this revolutionary process for yourself.
2. Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat by Stephanie Covington Armstrong (ANAD Board Member)
Stephanie Covington Armstrong does not fit the stereotype of a woman with an eating disorder. She grew up poor and hungry in the inner city. Foster care, sexual abuse, and overwhelming insecurity defined her early years. But the biggest difference is her race: Stephanie is black.
In this moving first-person narrative, Armstrong describes her struggle as a black woman with a disorder consistently portrayed as a white woman’s problem. Trying to escape her self hatred and her food obsession by never slowing down, Stephanie becomes trapped in a downward spiral. Finally, she can no longer deny that she will die if she doesn’t get help, overcome her shame, and conquer her addiction to using food as a weapon against herself.
3. I Am Maris: Portrait of a Young Yogi - a documentary film by Laura VanZee Taylor
At 17, Maris Degener is a yoga teacher, a writer, and a survivor. After suffering from anxiety, depression and life-threatening anorexia nervosa, Maris finds her own path to healing and self-acceptance. Through fearlessly authentic testimony, personal artwork and poetry, and a devoted yoga practice, she travels from despair to inspiration.
ANAD is the leading nonprofit in the U.S. providing free support services to anyone struggling with an eating disorder, disordered eating, and body image.
Founded in 1995, Bodywhys is the national voluntary organization supporting people affected by eating disorders.
In the first book to fully examine obsessive bad thoughts, Dr. Lee Baer combines the latest research with his own extensive experience in treating this widespread syndrome. Drawing on information ranging from new advances in brain technology to pervasive social taboos, Dr. Baer explores the root causes of bad thoughts, why they can spiral out of control, and how to recognize the crucial difference between harmless and dangerous bad thoughts.
7. 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder Workbook by Carolin Costin
8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder was lauded as a "brave and hopeful book" as well as "remarkably readable." Now, the authors have returned with a companion workbook―offering all new assignments, strategies, and personal reflections to help those who suffer from an eating disorder heal their relationship to food and their bodies.
8. Skill-based Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder by Gráinne Smith
Skills-based Caring equips carers with the skills and knowledge needed to support those suffering from an eating disorder, and to help them to break free from the traps that prevent recovery. Through a coordinated approach, it offers detailed techniques and strategies, which aim to improve professionals' and carers' ability to build continuity of support for their loved ones.
This book has been written specifically for the adolescents who are on this terrible journey. The authors promote the view that adolescents deserve to be fully involved in their treatment, to be heard, and to be given a voice to tell their story.
10. The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron
Most of us feel overstimulated every once in a while, but for the highly sensitive person, it’s a way of life. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Elaine Aron, a highly sensitive person herself, shows you how to identify this trait in yourself and make the most of it in everyday situations.