Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Giveaway: Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder

I'm giving away a book! Scroll down to find out how to enter. 

Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder: Reclaim Yourself, Regain Your Health, Recover for Good

While working on a story about my eating disorder journey for a dance magazine (I'll link to it here when it's published in the fall), I had the wonderful pleasure of getting some advice and tips from Johanna S. Kandel, executive director of the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness and author of Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder: Reclaim Yourself, Regain Your Health, and Recover For Good. She was gracious enough to send me a copy of her book. At this stage in my life, I am wary of reading books that discuss eating disorders because I'm worried they might trigger old habits or cause me to dwell. In fact, one of the greatest things I ever did during the midway stages of my recovery was to purge all eating disorder-related literature from my life. As I began reading, however, I quickly realized that this was not your typical eating disorder book.

Kandel, a former ballet dancer, provides positive, gentle encouragement and advice for women and men in all stages of eating disorder recovery. In my experience, most eating disorder books fall into one of two categories: memoirs of the illness (like Wasted by Marya Hornbacher) or clinical guides to recovery, usually written by people who have never had an eating disorder themselves. Kandel's book resists these categories. Instead, she infuses practical advice for recovery with recollections from her personal journey. Unlike most memoirs or personal anorexia and bulimia stories, she avoids descriptions of harmful habits and thoughts that might trigger eating disorder sufferers. As Kandel mentions in the book, the problem with most movies and books about eating disorders is that they give people who are already at risk for eating disorders a step by step guide for how to do it "really well." Kandel's voice is honest but hopeful, encouraging but realistic.

I wish I had had this book while I was in the early stages of my recovery, but I am learning from it even now. She includes metaphors to help recovery anorexics, bulimics, binge eaters and everyone in between, visualize their mental processes and alter their negative thinking. The book, encourages the reader to take things moment by moment and to be okay with being okay. All of these mind habits are essential for perfectionists and those of us who tend to obsess about what we didn't do or what we plan to do but forget to be present for life.

Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder is nearly essential for anyone battling disordered eating. I can't recommend it highly enough and to prove it, I will be be giving away one copy of Kandel's book! To enter, you must be a follower of Dancin' Words on Google Friend Connect and leave a comment on this post. If you win, you'll get your choice of a paperback or Kindle copy. Leave a separate comment for each of these optional extra entries.:

1) Link to this giveaway on your  Facebook page or Twitter account (one entry for each link).
2) Link to this giveaway on your blog (three extra entries).
3) Buy a copy of the book for a friend in paperback or for their Kindle (five extra entries).

Remember you must first follow my blog on Google Friend Connect to qualify!

This giveaway will close on May 1 so tell your friends and help spread the word about eating disorder recovery!


  1. 2)

  2. This sounds interesting, mainly because, as you said, it doesn't seem to fall into the traditional "I had an eating disorder and this is why my life was hell let me tell you about that and how I got better" or "let's be almost-overly academic when we tell you how to fix yourself" kind of ed-related books. So yay for something new and different, for sure!

  3. Thank you, Sarah, for highlighting the virtues of this book in a market glutted by not necessarily good work on this topic. I was anorexic/bulimic during ages 16-19, not for typical reasons (e.g., body image), but in order to exercise control over some domain of my life that a certain parental figure at the time could not reach.

    Per the virtues of this book, I shall not provide any "how-to" info that might encourage this devastatingly destructive habit. Instead, I want to say that what jolted me out of this horrible time of my life and onto the road to recovery was the sudden realization that I was wasting big parts of my life every day by being absorbed in those ridiculous activities and slowly killing myself. I wanted to LIVE, though, to relish the loveliness of the world by watching butterflies, smelling flowers, savoring tea, reading books, loving people..... I thought to myself, "What on Earth was I thinking with such nonsense over inflicting harm on myself with those activities?" So here I am about twenty-five years later, so very happy that I left that all behind and glad to know people like Sarah!

  4. Please follow and help me on my journey.