8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb
This was my ‘bible’ whilst during my recovery from anorexia. It covers every aspect of the recovery journey with helpful information and explanations followed by writing or other activities to complete.
Biting the Hand that Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia by Richard Maisel, David Epston and Ali Borden
This book proposes a new way of understanding and talking about eating disorders which separates the illness from the sufferer. This means the sufferer is not wholly defined by their illness, but can separate their illness from their authentic self and thus begin the process of strengthening their healthy beliefs and habits.
Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi
This memoir describes experiencing an eating disorder with aching realism, hits on some of the core lessons recovery, and leaves you feeling that there is hope.
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Of particular relevance to the topic of eating disorders and body image is the chapter entitled Hunger, which looks at the way the beauty standards set by society lead women to disordered eating habits and life-threatening eating disorders. It links these beauty standards to issues of women’s empowerment and in doing so, the book becomes a strong motivator for eating disorder recovery.
Body of Truth by Harriet Brown
This book examines our obsession with our bodies and their shape, and how we can start to shift the way we think about them. Brown discusses many of the common myths relating to weight and shape, and how these are perpetuated by the sciences and media. In addressing these myths, Brown offers us more accurate, nuanced and helpful ways to understand weight and health.
Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright
This series of essays by a writer and poet who suffered has suffered from anorexia is hauntingly beautiful. My favourite bit of the book is the way Wright describes a typical anorexia sufferer as someone who thinks and feels too much, and far too deeply.
Hunger by Roxane Gay
In this memoir, Gay tells the story of her experience of sexual assault as a young girl and her subsequent struggles with her weight and self-image. Gay explains, “I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”