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Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder Paperback – September 25, 2012

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Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder + I'm Beautiful? Why Can't I See It?: Daily Encouragement to Promote Healthy Eating & Positive Self-Esteem + Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ampelon Publishing; 2nd edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984009558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984009558
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


As the mother of 6, including 2 daughters, we so pray to avoid any eating disorders....How? As a homeschooled child and daughter of a pastor, Emily Wierenga writes transparently and tenderly about her own journey and how God has brought healing and brings to the page the wisdom of some most esteemed disorder experts on the continent. A deeply helpful read for those in ministry with young women. ----Ann Voskamp, author of A Thousand Gifts

It is rare I find a resource that so uniquely supplements the whole-person approach to eating disorder treatment as what I have discovered in this insightful, inspiring book. ----Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, author of Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders

Chasing Silhouettes is a must-have field manual for parents, spouses and friends of disordered eaters, as well as professionals seeking greater understanding of the family aspects of this struggle. Written in the blood, sweat and tears of the author and her family, and featuring expert clinical perspectives, Chasing Silhouettes blazes a trail of hope and practical insight for all who long to help but don't know how. --Constance Rhodes, author of Life Inside the Thin Cage and The Art of Being and Founder and CEO, FINDINGbalance, Inc.

About the Author

Emily Wierenga is an author, a freelance journalist, commissioned artist, and mother. She battled anorexia both as a child and as an adult and has appeared as a guest multiple times on Canada's premier Christian television talk show and radio talk-back program. Emily also serves as a volunteer counseling for families with anorexic loved ones with the National Eating Disorders Association and has spoken at eating disorders conferences.

More About the Author

I am a wife, mother, and believer.

I am an eating disorder survivor, who makes art with words and paint.

I have two books coming out, this year and next, on the eating disorder journey. The first is 'Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder' (Ampelon, 2012), and the second, co-authored by Dr. Dena Cabrera, is 'Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy' (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013).

My first book, 'Save My Children: The Story of a Father's Love,' was published by Castle Quay Books in September of 2008.

I am represented by Sandra Bishop of MacGregor Literary. I also serve as a volunteer counselor through FINDINGbalance and am a Navigator with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

I am a monthly columnist for the Christian Courier, arts feature editor for TS Poetry, regular contributor to A Deeper Story, and a paid contributor to The High Calling. A former associate editor, ghostwriter and staff writer, I have written for Christianity Today (Kyria), Christian Week, Faith Today, Adbusters, Geez, The Anglican Planet, Focus on the Family, Christian Courier, and In Touch, in addition to having served as copy editor for the Christian Courier.

In May of 2012 my news story for Faith Today, "Parents Forgive their Child's Abductor," took first place in the Canadian Church Press Awards. According to Judge Mark Bourrie, "This is a very moving piece. The sense of joy, hope, faith and forgiveness that comes through simply grabs the heart. An inspiring story. Wierenga captures the terror of every parent's worst fear and tells how the parents of Kienan Hebert's faith never wavered in spite of the tremendous test that it faced. Told with sensitivity, care and skill. "

When I'm not writing, I play guitar, and I paint. My prints and paintings are sold worldwide, and can be found on Etsy through my shop entitled, CanvasChild.

My husband, Trenton, is a math and science teacher. We've been married nine years, have two boys named Aiden Grey (born Nov. 12, 2009) and Kasher Jude (July 25, 2011) and are foster parents to Joey and Jin. We live in rural Alberta, where we snowboard, make wine and go geocaching.

I come from a home-schooling heritage; my mum has overcome brain cancer. She is my song. My dad is her hero. He cares for her daily and pastors a church. I am the eldest of four.

I love to travel. In June of 2009, an excerpt from one of my books secured a trip to a writing workshop in Lake Como, Italy; I've also been to the Dominican Republic, Australia, Korea-where Trent and i taught English for a year-Lebanon, Jordan, Japan, China, Mexico, Holland, England and Germany. When I was young, I lived in Africa along with my parents who were missionaries.

Mine is a broken story, shared regularly on my blog.

Thank you, for standing with me in this literary and artistic chaos.

Live in love.


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 38 customer reviews
I really felt and understood what Evonne went through.
This book is so helpful to anyone struggling with an eating disorder or the eating disorder of a friend or loved one.
Emily Wierenga has this incredible story of healing and hope.
Joy Cannis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michelle DeRusha on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are so very many misconceptions and misperceptions surrounding eating disorders, and this is one of the many reasons why Emily Weirenga's book, "Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battle an Eating Disorder" fills such a critical need. My assumption, for example, that boys don't succumb to eating disorders is simply wrong. Of the estimated 8 million Americans who suffer from anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders, one million of them are male.

Not only does Emily weave her real-life story of suffering and recovery from anorexia with research and facts about the illness, this book is also a spiritual guide for those of us who love someone suffering from an eating disorder. As is often the case, a book like this might answer our questions from a physical or even an emotional perspective, yet it often leaves the spiritual perspective untapped. Emily artfully weaves all three perspectives together into a coherent, gracefully written narrative.

I appreciate, for instance, that Emily includes a prayer at the end of each section. So often, when we are ravaged by hopelessness and fear, we simply can't pray, we simply can't find the words. Emily offers these words to us to pray when we fear prayer is impossible.

This book is not a dry, statistic-filled, how-to tome. Written in honest, evocative, lyrical prose, Chasing Silhouettes shines truth, hope and grace into the darkest corners of an illness that ravages so many millions of women and men. And while she doesn't shy from telling the hard truth, Emily also insists that the reader comes away from her story, and this book, with the knowledge that all hope is not lost and that, above all, those who suffer through this disease are never alone.

A person I love struggled with this disease. I dearly wish Emily's book had been available to my family in the midst of that darkness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Funkhouser on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My wife recently had a relapse with an eating disorder after thirteen years of relative quiet in regard to her Anorexia. I did not always know how to feel about what was happening, but when you read others stories you hear your own story in the book and it helps you process the reality of it all. There are many helpful recommendations as well.

The only con I have to the book is really just a side-effect of one of its strengths. The book is written from many different points of view at different stages of the disorder, so sometimes it can seem a bit disjointed.

But overall I benefited greatly from reading about other people's stories and emotions especially as many of them had faith backgrounds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurie on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
After reading Emily's book, Chasing Silhouettes, I wished I had this knowledge when my daughter's life was turned upside down. My two oldest girls tested the dieting world, so when my youngest daughterstarted skipping meals I figured she would just grow out of it. But she didn't. She was always a stubborn child and dealing rationally with her was already a struggle. Emily talks about her alternate identity and that is how I would describe her without food. When her eating habits became noticeable on her body, I had no idea where to go for help. Her pediatrician just told her to eat more while she told my other daughter to eat less. I had done my own research on the Internet and every article stated that it wasn't my fault. Chasing Silhouettes reinstate this fact but points out that there are triggers. It haunted me all the time wondering what happened to make her stop eating. After changing pediatrician, she suggested a doctor at our local hospital. They diagnose her with anorexia and suggested we put her on the Maudsley Method. This method makes the child eat what is prepared by parent with no exceptions. Because my daughter was so full of rage, plates and food went flying across the room. This tiny girl became a monster and her words cut like a knife. I really felt and understood what Evonne went through. Therapy didn't make her eat and even admitting her in the hospital didn't help. She would eat what she had to just to get out. For a long time, I felt alone in this battle. Professionals weren't helping and family was in denial. Godly professional who worked with eating disorders are impossible to find in my area. Time after time, prayer is mentioned in the book. I wish I had done that more. I was angry with God for not answering my prayers.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Becky Strahle on October 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Emily's honesty and raw vulnerability is refreshing and will, I'm certain, benefit anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder. I'm sure this book will make a difference to so so many. Many thumbs up!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Flower Patch Farmgirl on October 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
In Chasing Silhouettes, Emily Wierenga writes a moving, wrenching account of her struggle with anorexia. The wisdom in her words reaches beyond the confines of a particular disorder. It grabs at the core of who we are and wish to be, lassoing all the fall-out of our wanting.

I read Chasing Silhouettes through the lens of who I am, all of my experiences, all of my scars. I was surprised by the ways I identified with her words. I think we all have our wounds. We've all felt the sting of hurtful words. We've all wished this or that away, we've wished that we could change something, switch it out with hers or hers.

We're moms now. We look at our babies and things make so much more sense, but the world is even meaner, so we worry.

If you know a young girl, you need to read this book. If your a mom, please read it. A youth worker? It's important to know the reality. Because maybe you don't know someone suffering with an eating disorder, but odds are you know someone suffering with a roughed up body image.
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