Because I have been part of the blogging world for a long time and because I have many, many talented friends who have published some amazing books, I often have the opportunity to review these books and share them with you.
I have to tell you that preparing words for Emily Wierenga's book Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder has challenged me to the core.
I have never struggled with an eating disorder. Sure, I've had body image issues, but as far as dealing with a full-blown disorder, well, that's a world that's foreign to me. And yet, as a parent of two daughters, I've long-known it was imperative for me to face the reality of this disease.
Consider these heartbreaking statistics:
- It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men
- One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia
- Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia
- Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.)
- An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males
- Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
- 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
- 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight
- 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight
And so into my life comes a beautiful, warm friendship with Emily, widely known for her gorgeous written blog where she celebrates Imperfect Prose, and who is now speaking powerful truth over her life with and recovery from an eating disorder:
I didn’t know about anorexia nervosa. We weren’t allowed to play with Barbie dolls or take dance lessons or look at fashion magazines or talk about our bodies in any way other than holy, so I didn’t know anything except that Mum changed in the closet when Dad was in the room, and made us cover our skin head to foot.
A kind of shame came with this not talking about bodies and beauty became something forbidden. And I wanted it more than anything. So I stopped eating.
It was a slow-stop, one that began with saying “No,” and the “No” felt good. I refused dessert. I refused the meals Mum dished up for me. I refused the jam on my bread and then the margarine and then the bread itself ...
Throughout the pages of Chasing Silhouettes, Emily shares not only her own story, but the stories of others and the voices of health professionals, all speaking to treatment and hope. Deeply spiritual, the book gently insists that the role of faith not be ignored in loving someone who is affected by or in recovery from an eating disorder.
Though the thought of one of my beautiful daughters developing an eating disorder makes my blood run icy cold, I came away from reading Chasing Silhouettes with a sense of hope and empowerment. Emily's own story sings with hope, and learning more about what can trigger these battles has brought calm to my fears for my girls.
I so strongly recommend Chasing Silhouettes - for parents, for teens, for grandparents and aunts and uncles, for those in ministry, for the church at large. We can't look at those statistics and shrug our shoulders and say, "Eh. It's just a phase." Emily's book sounds a wake-up call to all of us, and brings a balm of healing for anyone in the midst of the battle.
I do have a copy to giveaway today, but first I want to make sure to share this information for those who have purchased the book or who want to purchase a copy (or copies!) yourself:
Purchase Emily Wierenga's new book Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder within the first four weeks after its September 25, 2012 release date and receive a special invitation to watch an online forum on eating disorders with bestselling author Dr. Gregory L. Jantz, FindingBalance CEO Constance Rhodes and author Emily Wierenga.
Readers must email a scanned receipt, a picture of them with the book or tell us when and where they purchased the book to email@example.com, and they will be logged in to receive a special invitation to watch the event. They may also submit questions for the panel to answer, some of which will be selected and answered during the forum.
What an incredibly helpful resource that will be for so many!
Emily and her publisher have offered a book for a reader of SortaCrunchy, but this is one book that I so very much encourage you to purchase and give to those in your community. Perhaps a person you know who is in recovery from an eating disorder, a family with teens and young adults, your local public library and especially your church's library. Eating disorders dwell in a place of shame; by shedding light on this disease and speaking boldly and lovingly to it, we can all pull back the veil of shame and offer words of hope!
U.S. and Canadian readers: to win a copy of Chasing Silhouettes, leave a comment a body image issue that you or a loved one has dealt with OR share a link to the book via Twitter or Facebook. You can do all three if you want!a Rafflecopter giveaway