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Thursday, April 5, 2012

April A to Z Challenge Letter "E" = Eating Disorders #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Welcome to day five of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.
Today's letter is "E" and my topic is = EATING DISORDERS.
Eating Disorders are the real deal guys. We need to pay attention.

Here a few of my favorite books that deal with eating disorders.


Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.
Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat. Must. Not. Eat.

Must. Not. Eat.

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another. 
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.

I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.


The Pact
I took the knife out of my pocket and cut my palm, just a little. "I swear to be the skinniest girl in school, skinnier than you."
Cassie's eyes got big as the blood pooled in my hand.
She grabbed the knife and slashed her palm. "I bet I'll be skinnier than you."
"No, don't make a bet. Let's be the skinniest together."

"Okay, but I'll be skinnier."

1. Wintergirls,  by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether.


“What if I'm so broken I can never do something as basic as feed myself? 
Do you realize how twisted that is? It amazes me sometimes that humans still exist. 

We're just animals, after all. 
And how can an animal get so removed from nature that it loses the instinct to keep itself alive?”    —Olivia

2. Clean, by Amy Reed
You’re probably wondering how I ended up here. I’m still wondering the same thing. Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they’ll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live.  Because when you get that high, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, down.


“We Bulimia Babes are always the first to the table, because we have this strange relationship with food. We want to eat it badly, but afterward we want to puke it up equally as badly. 

The anorexics are another story. They’ll do anything to avoid eating, including hiding out at mealtimes, because they have a hate-hate relationship with food. It ends up causing plenty of friction between the bulimics and the anorexics, because we’ll be sitting at the table ravenous, even for the gross Golden Slopes food, but we’re not allowed to start until every one of the eating disorder patients is present and whichever nurse is head of the Eating Police for that meal tells us we can begin. 

It ends up being like a gang war, except instead of the Sharks and the Jets or the Bloods and the Crips; it’s the Barfers and the Starvers.” —p.6

3. Purge, by Sarah Darer Littmann

From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED.
Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

The Stone Girl

She feels like a creature out of a fairy tale; a girl who discovers that her bones are really made out of stone, that her skin is really as thin as glass, that her hair is brittle as straw, that her tears have dried up so that she cries only salt. 

Maybe that's why it doesn't hurt when she presses hard enough to begin bleeding: it doesn't hurt, because she's not real anymore.

4. The Stone Girl, by Alyssa B, Sheinmel

Sethie Weiss is hungry, a mean, angry kind of hunger that feels like a piece of glass in her belly. She’s managed to get down to 111 pounds and knows that with a little more hard work—a few more meals skipped, a few more snacks vomited away—she can force the number on the scale even lower. She will work on her body the same way she worked to get her perfect grades, to finish her college applications early, to get her first kiss from Shaw, the boy she loves, the boy who isn’t quite her boyfriend.

Sethie will not allow herself one slip, not one bad day, not one break in concentration. Her body is there for her to work on when everything and everyone else—her best friend, her schoolwork, and Shaw—are gone.
From critically acclaimed writer Alyssa B. Sheinmel comes an unflinching and unparalleled portrayal of one girl’s withdrawal, until she is sinking like a stone into her own illness, her own loneliness—her own self.

Eating Disorders are so common in the US that 1 or 2 out of every 100 kids will struggle with one, most commonly Anorexia or Bulimia. 

Unfortunately, many kids and teens successfully hide eating disorders from their families for months or even years.


  1. I think I have this kind of E because I eat too much :(
    do check out my E at GAC a-z

  2. I used to think that. If I got skinny enough I would just disappear. Everyone used to say 'you're so skinny if you turn sideways you'll be gone!' if only it were true.

    Great books

  3. I usually don't talk about this, but well, why not. ; )

    I am suffering from Bulimia. I'm not underweight anymore, and due to meds I have to take I haven't thrown up in months. I actually weight, well, a lot in my terms, but a little over the ideal, I suppose. So obviously people assume I'm cured. That years of thinking that I am not enough and never will be, years of thinking that if only I lost a few more pounds I might finally be satisfied with myself, despite the fact that I knew that these were superficial thoughts, would just go away simply because I don't weight 40kgs anymore.

    But the real problem, the thing at least I really suffered from, about Eating Disorders isn't that you might die from throwing up blood or starving, it's that you can't stop thinking your default ED-lines. No matter how much you weight, if the thought of your weight is becoming obsessive, you are in fact suffering from an Eating Disorder, and anyone who tells you something else can go screw themselves.

    My two cents. I'm not saying everyone who's suffering from Bulimia or Anorexia or Binge Eating or whatever thinks like I do, but I think it's something people often enough forget about.

    Eating Disorders are mental disorders. So even though they inflict harm on our bodies, the real problem is and will forever be the things we think, and the fact that it's fucking hard not to think them.

  4. I'm very touched by these responses. Thanks for touching on such an important topic. I hope lots of people will visit, read these books, think, be moved.

  5. I have been there and done that. I still have my weight obsession to deal with every day. It's hard. Sometimes I plan my whole day on how much calories I'm going to eat. I hate to go out eating because I can't control the amount of calories/fat/carbs I get.

    I read and loved wintergirls. There were so many beautiful passages and I think everybody should read. Great moving post!

  6. yeah my disorder would have to be on the over-eating side---great info-thanks

  7. Amy, this is so important. Thank you for addressing it. My copy of Wintergirls is checked out all the time; the kids really need to understand that there is help and people who care and this is serious.
    I need to get some more of these titles, for sure.

  8. Wow. such powerful topics that more people need to be aware of. thank you for highlighting this sensitive issue. Good luck if you are someone struggling with this!

  9. Thank you everyone for all of you wonderful and touching comments. Everyone of you that left a personal comment--I applaud you because I know that it took a lot of courage to do so. To be honest, I don't know exactly what to say except... THANK YOU. Thank you and also I will be one of those people that you can come to should you feel there is no one else.