The Book of Chelsea Browning Smith entitled “Diary of an Eating Disorder”. A mother and daughter share their healing journey greatly helped my outlook on eating disorders. This book also contains some compiled diaries of her in adolescent stage of her life. All along I thought that these were all just ordinary diseases that most women undergoes but as I read through the book, it exposes that it is more than having a problem with regards to foods but it is more on the emotional aspect. Everyday of every year many women becomes victims of these diseases due to emotional instability.
Emotional instability may be cause by some aspects that most women sees everyday, may it be in terms of physical attributes they see perceive that are more acceptable towards the society, their families and most of all their loved ones. We can really never judge someone who is undergoing these disorders, namely anorexia and bulimia. She was very much open to everything that her openness helped the readers realized the goodness of God. I really appreciated her transparency with regards to this matter.
It is a fact that many of the women nowadays are fighting this dilemma and as humans we need someone to hold on to, to regain our confidence and strength. Every word in the book just depicts what exactly a normal human being feels. We all know that anorexia and bulimia nervosa has received a great deal of attention in the popular media in recent years. This disorder is listed under the category of disorders of childhood or adolescence in DSM-III. Anorexia consists of extreme weight loss due to a reduction in eating.
It occurs most frequently in female adolescents; only about 1 in 10 people with anorexia are male. The disorder is believed to be rate, but one study found an incidence of 1 case out of 200 adolescent girls. The person often has major problems in self-esteem and concerns about physical appearance. Weight reduction may be one way for the person to feel in control of her or his behavior, and to improve self-esteem. However, for anorexics, dieting gets out of hand. They develop an unreasonable fear of eating, and often suppress hunger by engaging in repetitive activity such as frequent exercising.
When anorexics must eat because others (e. g. , parent) demand it, they often will induce vomiting after meals to get rid of the food ingested. At the other end of the spectrum from obesity is anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder associated with self-imposed starvation. The already underweight person continues to restrict food intake, often to the point where death is a genuine concern. One of the most distinguishing traits of people who have anorexia nervosa is that they do not see themselves as thin.
When they look in a mirror, they actually perceive themselves to be overweight or gaining weight. In the latter case they may go out and jog 5 miles or stay up all night jumping jacks. The resulting weight loss and attendant physical stress often lead to an absence of menstruation among females, and the person may look pallid and gaunt. Having this overview in mind, I really can relate towards her feelings. It was not easy to experience the disorder but she managed to overcome and succeed her weakness.
The book just touches the very heart and soul of the readers, especially those that are experiencing the same disorder. This book somehow gives them hope that as long as they have God and they have the will to overcome it, and then truly they will succeed. The book will really make you cry knowing how she struggled so much and knowing this, those who are also suffering these disorders will be strengthened in such a way that they know that they are not alone, that they are not the only one who is experiencing such troubled times.
The author also believes that faith is a very important ingredient especially when are in tough times. It is through faith that we can be able to surpass all the waves that are before us. As adolescents, Chelsea emphasizes the importance of having a relationship with the Almighty. Through that relationship we have in Him, we would not feel any pressures and insecurities at all because we see ourselves as precious creatures and beloved masterpieces of God, knowing these in mind we would do our best to take care of ourselves.
The author’s choices of words acts as a medicine or a healing ointment that helps those who in bondage will be freed and will no longer be enslaved by self inflicted hurts and hatred. She was so brave; I salute her for her courage. It is not that easy to tell the struggles, troubles and hurts one has experienced but Smith stood up. Through her braveness many people were blessed and also encouraged. Smith and Runyon have done a wonderful deed when this book was published. The book is very point blank.
Each detail that Smith exposes when she suffered anorexia and bulimia for two years was so vivid that all readers could clearly feel the intense emotions behind it. It is somewhat a living testimony that because of what Smith has undergone she has become a dignified and composed woman that she is right now. The book also shows how successful and happy Chelsea was but no one knew what was really happening within her, all her hatred, struggles and frustrations that eventually lead to her eating disorders that eventually she was able to recover.
Her recovery also gave the readers joy as she survive the travails, the readers will really be able to relate with the whole book. Smith tells in her book everything that she felt at the different episodes of her struggle with the eating disorder. She shared in this book the treatments she had and how she felt with the process. Chelsea’s perseverance was so great that anyone who reads the book will really be blessed and encouraged by this life changing material.
1. Smith, Chelsea & Runyon, Beverly. (1998). Diary of an Eating Disorder: A Mother and Daughter Share Their Healing Journey. Taylor Publishing, New York.
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