Brave Girl Eating- A review

Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown is a story about a family struggling against anorexia.  It gives completely new insights into anorexia, and I’m very glad I read the book.  Harriet Brown is a journalist, who peppers the narrative with research, so I better understand where she’s coming from, but also what the “experts” say.

The therapist in me wants to focus on the research, but if you want to know more about the research, you’ll probably read the book.  It’s engaging, terrifying, funny at times, honest, and both easy and hard to read.  I had trouble putting it down, because I wanted to know more about 14 year old Kitty and her family.  They don’t waste time speculating on the causes of Kitty’s anorexia.  After all, anorexia is often fatal, so the family didn’t care much how she got it or why.  Mostly, they focused on first, keeping her alive, then helping her get better.

I’m always happy when a book like this comes out, and hopefully helps de-stigmatizes mental illness.  Our brains are part of our body… so why, when it comes to mental illness, do we treat it as something separate or different?  We are whole people, not just different parts.  I’m not my wide feet, small hands, pretty eyes, or smart brain.  I’m the sum of the whole.  Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, any more than high blood pressure or diabetes is something to be ashamed of.

And this concludes my rant.

If you’re looking for a good non-fiction book or a narrative on anorexia, this is one I’d highly recommend.

Harriet Brown doesn’t post on her blog anymore, but it still has good info.  It can be found here.

O is for Overweight

Ten to fifteen percent of Americans have an eating disorder.  On the other end of it, 61% of us are overweight or obese (myself included).  That means that only about 25% of people are in “normal” body weight range or have a healthy relationship with food.

These numbers seem pretty staggering to me.  I think back to the books I read, and most of them describe their characters in a way that makes them sound like they’re in that 25%.  If the characters do have an eating disorder or are overweight, it tends to be the focus of the book.

I’m not saying that this is wrong; I’m simply trying to look at things in a different way.  Do we want normal characters, or perfect characters?  Personally, I love the escapism that books bring.  I love being able to escape into a book for a little while and not have to worry about real life.

However, isn’t if flaws and quirks that make characters memorable?

What brought all this to mind was an article I read by a woman who is in recovery from an eating disorder.  She says that reading books about eating disorders can be triggering, and that anything thorough enough for the general public reads like a “how to” manual for anorexics and bulimics in training.

Pardon the pun, but it’s food for thought.

A to Z- A is For Attitude

For the month of April, I’m going to be playing a fun new game suggested by Blogging A to Z.  Basically, my blog entries will be themed by the corresponding letter of the alphabet, not counting Sundays (those will still be TV Guy posts).  So without further ado, onto the meat of the post.

I’m not usually much of a magazine reader, but I was recently at work for court and picked up Glamour because there was an article on Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss in the Hunger Games.  I got dismissed before I finished it, and I had to run out and buy the magazine because I wanted to finish reading.

Jennifer Lawrence has the coolest attitude toward everything.  I believe that attitude creates your reality, so I prefer to be around and read about people with positive, kick ass attitudes.  She fits that bill.  To the haters who criticize her weight (they say she’s too fat), she says that she can’t work hungry and has no desire to look anorexic.  She’s a great role model for young girls, and older girls (like me) too!  It’s nice to see someone who isn’t intimidated by critics.

She also says that she hates it when actors complain.  She says she has lots of money for a 21 year old, has to work hard for awhile, then has months and months off to rest in between.

If you have a chance, I’d recommend picking up the article.  I thought it was refreshing and it’s turned me into a Jennifer Lawrence fan before I’ve even seen the movie!

Fat?  Seriously?  Where?!?