Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too Paperback – Jan 12 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
"The truth is we all talk to ourselves. We just need to get better at it," counsels psychotherapist Rutledge in this self-help book for women with eating disorders, which he wrote with one of his patients, Schaefer, a singer/songwriter and media personality in Nashville, who both binges and purges. As might be expected in a book that draws from both psychotherapy and country western music, the story concerns a fine woman and the no good man she's stuck with. In this case, the evil, controlling character is a non-person Schaefer names Ed, from the initials E.D. (as in eating disorder). Whether Schaefer is alone in her kitchen or dining with friends, she "hears" Ed telling her she resembles a "barnyard animal," that all the girls in her eating disorder therapy group are thinner than she is, or that it would feel good to go to bed on an empty stomach. "There is something inside me... that has chained itself to Ed with a heavy-duty lock and thrown away the key," she writes. With the help of therapist Rutledge, who shares his professional observations in sections entitled "Thom's Turn," Schaefer finally gains the strength to keep Ed at bay. Schaefer's literary construct of an interior voice will delight some readers and annoy others, but if it helps any readers overcome their own disorders, it's been effective.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jenni Schaefer does not discount the seriousness of eating disorders nor does she try to convince you that divorce from ED is easy. She provides practical ways to distinguish between what is healthy and what is ED. The awarness that I gained from this book (especially section 1) has enabled me to start the separation process from my own abusive self criticism.
This book applies to all recovering perfectionists. The exercises, personal experiences, strength, and weakness that the author shared make it a real and valuable resource on my path to recovery. I highly recommend this book to anyone enduring self criticism and abuse.
I always thought that my problem was lack of will-power, or focus, and have noticed I eat when I'm upset and stressed. My weight has varied up and down 50 pounds numerous times over those thirty years(size 18 down to size 4 at 5'9"), and I was afraid that a doctor would laugh at me if I asked for help.
Dr. Thom and Jenni gave me great exercises that I was able to start last weekend. I have started purging my size 4's and 6's out of my wardrobe that were previously THE measure of success by ED. Wow! How liberating that exercise alone feels.
Another exercise with a cassette tape is one my husband and I are going to use to get past some old stuff that we've had a hard time getting past.
I scoffed when I read Dr. Thom's suggestion to begin reading the book in small portions to allow proper digestion. After all, I've probably read more self-help books than number of days he's been alive, but he was right. I can't wait to finish this awesome book.
The recovery work described in this book is undoubtedly the real deal. Jenni Schaefer has obviously worked hard to overcome her eating disorder and she is to be congratulated for that. And while we're at it, let's congratulate her for the willingness to share her story so candidly, and for being creative enough to bring such a delightful sense of humor to this very serious subject matter. She no doubt gets some of the humor from her therapist and co-author Thom Rutledge. His writing (the best of which is Embracing Fear) always manages to bring together serious self-help and the kind of humor that offers a perspective that is in and of itself healing.
If you have even the slightest interest in understanding the inner-workings of eating disorders, buy this book. If you are a therapist or counselor who works with eating disorders, buy this book. If you love someone with an eating disorder, buy this book. And if you have an eating disorder --- definitely buy this book.
Who says medicine has to taste bad to be good? Learn, grow and enjoy Life without Ed.
Sarah Wiley, Ph.D.
Most recent customer reviews
Nice theory, did zip all for me. I might not be in the right stage of recovery for it though.Published 15 months ago by Miss Pearl
As a parent, I had no idea what my daughter was going through. This book was recommended by a friend and it helped me visualize my own daughter's disorder in a way I could... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Janice Haakons
This book is an amazing read, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in eating disorders! and it came quickly in the mail.Published 23 months ago by Samantha Lewis
A very good read for anyone experiencing disorded eating and struggling with it. Could be helpful for the right person.Published on Sept. 17 2013 by Lady Di
Great book again by Jenni Schaefer! Best to hear it from those who have recovered and are able to regain there life again. She is truly and inspiration to many. Read morePublished on March 24 2013 by Chelsea Clake
I'm sure she's a nice woman and I appreciate the strength it takes to write about such embarassing personal things BUT as someone who has been living with eating disorders for 17... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2004
This adorable little book is jampacked with wisdom, encouragement, enlightenment and advice on how I can rid myself of ED, so I carry it everywhere I go. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2004
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