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on February 26, 2004
Jenni Schaefer has accurately captured the life and feelings of a perfectionist in her book Life Without Ed. Although I have never experienced an eating disorder, I obsess about calorie intake on a daily basis and am bound by the chains of physical appearance. I found the exercises at the end of each section helpful in confronting the voices and negative criticisms that my own abusive SuperEgo (Ed) throws my way.
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.
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on January 22, 2004
This book is already life-changing for me, and I'm only half way through it. I have battled an eating disorder for over 30 years, and my eating disorder finally has a name. For me, I have to be totally focused on my diet - now named ED - to lose weight, or I'm totally blowing it - now who is finally named Counter-ED.
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.
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on February 3, 2004
I found Jenni Schaefer's "Life Without Ed" extremely informative, helpful and friendly. Her honest humor brings a personal touch to such a difficult personal problem. She quite simply, and expressively, puts it all out there, confronts readers with the nitty gritty truth about their experiences and decisions, and comprehensively presents the means to stand up to E.D. Schaefer's book also serves to inspire and encourage, as she's been there, too. And her book provides the same practical exercises that have helped her to regain herself. I highly recommend this book to those who've not net left ED, and to those who are trying to support someone in recovery.
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on February 25, 2004
I just looked up the word "campy," and there is nothing campy about Life without Ed. As a woman recovering from an eating disorder and as a clinician treating eating disorders, I find this book to be a refreshing change from the staus quo of tortuous memoirs and over-intellectualized material that tends to occupy this market.
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.
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on January 10, 2004
This is a fantastic book!! Jenni Schaefer gives us a very realistic look at living and winning against our eating disorders but adds enough humor to make this an enjoyable read. She also lets you know that you are not alone in this fight and at times it seems she's fighting ED right there with you.The book helps you come to understand what and who you are up against with your eating disorder. The chapters are short(easy to get thru before your attention wanders). However,the chapters are filled with so much information that you find yourself rereading them and picking up more info each time. The exercises in the book truly work. This whole book teaches you to Separate, Disagree and Disobey ED(eating disorder). I especially liked learning how to talk back to ED -I feel ED's power comes from the mental warefare he launches inside your head 24/7. The book provides steps to combat and end this constant emotional abuse. I feel you will really benefit from reading this book. I highly recommend it!!!
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on January 15, 2004
I have struggled with an eating disorder for years and have read book after book on eating disorder recovery. But I've always ended up going right back to the same old behaviors - bingeing, purging, and starving. Life Without Ed is different.
Learning to refer to my eating disorder as 'Ed' has really worked. I have learned that Ed is the one who thinks I'm fat. Ed is the one who doesn't want me to eat. Ed is the one who makes me binge and purge. And I have learned how to separate from Ed and have found myself.
Life Without Ed is written in a way that is easy and even fun to read. The short sections are really refreshing and can be read in any order. So I didn't become overwhelmed like I had before while reading other books. And Jenni actually makes you laugh as you take steps toward recovery. I never knew that recovery could actually be fun.
After reading Life Without Ed, I have real hope. I now know that I am headed toward an amazing life without Ed.
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on February 3, 2004
"Life Without Ed" is wonderful! I was so happy to find an eating disorder book filled with humor and optimism, and I couldn't help smiling as I read through each unique section. I'm recovering from an eating disorder myself was comforted to know that I'm not alone in my struggles, setbacks, and eventual successes. Jenni Schaefer found a way to put a positive spin on a serious issue. The book was not only informative and educational, but it was hilarious, too! I finished feeling hopeful and eager to implement some of Jenni and Thom's activities into my own recovery. I definitely recommend this book to anyone dealing with their own Ed, or anyone else interested in learning more about eating disorders from an inspiring point of view.
P.S. I also liked that the cover allowed me to read this book in public without trying to strategically hide a big EATING DISORDERS title. I know you can't judge a book by it's cover, but I noticed and appreciated it anyway...
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on January 14, 2004
Life without Ed is a life changing book! I have struggled with food issues and body image issues. This book provides new and freeing techniques to start a person on the road to recovery from these issues - or continue them on that road. Schaefer talks openly and extensively about her own struggles with her eating disorder and the methods that she has used to recover from it. It was comforting to me to read that someone else has the same problems that I do and then showed me what to do about it. The humor in the book kept me glued to it! Schaefer's way of laughing at her own mistakes helped me to laugh at mine too! I recommend this book to anyone who even thinks they might have an eating disorder. It is full of encouragement and direction to bring you out of the depths of despair into the light of freedom!
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on January 22, 2004
As one who's lived their life never having met ED, I found this book to be informative in the understanding of eating disorders in general. This book makes it helpful in empathizing about a situation that has been out there for a good while. The informative text came across in easy to read chapters and a writing style that allowed you to follow along whether you previously knew about this disorder or not. It is insightful to read about someone's struggles with an every day event such as eating and to learn about their rigorous process in living each day. I'm glad for Jenni and for all the people who will "divorce" ED and continue to improve their life. This book certainly will help!
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on January 14, 2004
I do not have an eating disorder, but I do have several friends who suffer with eating disorders. This book has afforded me a new insight into the world of ED sufferers. This book would be a great gift for those with eating disorders to give to anyone they might have trouble telling about their problem. If you gave this to someone and asked them to read it and then talk to you afterwards, I think you would be amazed at how they would understand your problem, and hopefully be able to offer a level of support that they might not have been able to offer before. I applaud Jenni for fighting so hard and getting to the finish line.
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