There are so very many misconceptions and misperceptions surrounding eating disorders, and this is one of the many reasons why Emily Weirenga's book, "Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battle an Eating Disorder" fills such a critical need. My assumption, for example, that boys don't succumb to eating disorders is simply wrong. Of the estimated 8 million Americans who suffer from anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders, one million of them are male.
Not only does Emily weave her real-life story of suffering and recovery from anorexia with research and facts about the illness, this book is also a spiritual guide for those of us who love someone suffering from an eating disorder. As is often the case, a book like this might answer our questions from a physical or even an emotional perspective, yet it often leaves the spiritual perspective untapped. Emily artfully weaves all three perspectives together into a coherent, gracefully written narrative.
I appreciate, for instance, that Emily includes a prayer at the end of each section. So often, when we are ravaged by hopelessness and fear, we simply can't pray, we simply can't find the words. Emily offers these words to us to pray when we fear prayer is impossible.
This book is not a dry, statistic-filled, how-to tome. Written in honest, evocative, lyrical prose, Chasing Silhouettes shines truth, hope and grace into the darkest corners of an illness that ravages so many millions of women and men. And while she doesn't shy from telling the hard truth, Emily also insists that the reader comes away from her story, and this book, with the knowledge that all hope is not lost and that, above all, those who suffer through this disease are never alone.
A person I love struggled with this disease. I dearly wish Emily's book had been available to my family in the midst of that darkness.