Books That Helped Me Recover From My Eating Disorder
Addiction sucks. Feeling trapped and isolated, never knowing if you will feel normal or happy again is not something I wish upon anyone. It took me a long time to even admit I had a problem, and part of that journey of discovery was reading and seeing myself and my behaviors reflected upon the pages of books. Sometimes you just don’t have money for therapy, or a dietitian, or whatever pricey resources are out there. But you can rent books for free or buy them for cheap on Amazon, and so I want to share with you the books that helped me recover.
This was the (audio)book that really shifted my perspective. Too many times I heard the words and said to myself, “oh shit yeah, been there.” I don’t think I’ve ever related to something so hard. The entire point of the book explains that diets don’t work, and adopting a lifestyle of intuitive eating is infinitely better for mental health. You essentially eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and quit demonizing foods. I personally found the most recovery from this book and I recommend it to everyone.
The biggest part of my eating disorder was bingeing. My boyfriend actually laughs at me now because I get full so easily and hold my stomach if I’ve had too much. But back in 2017, I could binge for HOURS and eat beyond capacity. It truly amazes me that I was able to eat SO much food at once — I ignored the bloating and stomach pain just so I could consume things I don’t even crave these days. The driving point of Brain Over Binge is that when we restrict food and diet, an animal instinct infects our brains and we have an intense urge to eat everything we’ve been omitting. So if you’ve ever been in binge mode and say to yourself “I’m going to eat all the Oreos and I’ll never do it again,” you’re wrong. It helped to understand that bingeing and restricting is not about willpower, it’s about the science of it all.
I LOVE me some Andie Mitchell. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a long ass time, and when I read her book, I was overcome with emotions and realizations. It’s a memoir about her weight loss journey and dealing with binge eating, body image, and finding a healthy balance. It's a raw, honest account of the struggles she's encountered and how experiences from her childhood to college have impacted her weight. This passage was mind-blowing to me:
"I began to recognize the danger in attaching too much judgement to the foods I chose. Chocolate cake wasn't 'bad,' carrots weren't 'good,' and Bavarian cream doughnuts alone didn't make me morbidly obese. I was the one who abused the food and gave it character. I was the one who combined them all in massive quantities, eating well beyond fullness. I learned to view food as a neutral entity, not positive or negative."
BOOM. Yes queen, thank you. Anyway, this book is great and I highly recommend.
This is sort of a short journal with a different passage every day for one calendar year. It offers thought-provoking affirmations and readings, written especially for Overeaters Anonymous members and anyone seeking recovery from compulsive eating. If you download the Kindle app on your phone, you can buy it and read it every morning when you wake up.