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Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling Paperback – April 13, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Read it in the light of the moon and the inner wisdom you find will be worth the lost sleep!" -- -National Eating Disorders Organization newsletter

"This beautifully-written book sheds new light on struggles with eating . . . and offers hope for all who want to be free." -- -Kim Chernin author of The Hungry Self

"This book is a gift to all women who struggle for true nourishment!" -- -Christiane Northrup, M.D. author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

About the Author

Anita Johnston, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in women's issues and eating disorders. She co-founded the Anorexia and Bulimia Center of Hawaii in 1982 and lectures widely. Dr. Johnston lives with her husband and two daughters in Kailua, Hawaii.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gürze Books; 1 edition (April 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936077360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936077369
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I feel compelled to share with potential readers of Anita Johnston's EATING IN THE LIGHT OF THE MOON how much this book has helped me on my recovery from bulimia. As a woman with an eating disorder, let me assure that the path to recovery is a long difficult journey, but when things get tough, to this day, I turn to this book.
The concept is different than anything I have read to date, and I have read a lot. I love analysis, thought and literature. Johnston, who, by the way, runs an acclaimed eating disorder clinic in Hawaii uses multicultural fairy tales and myths to illustrate to the reader important steps on the journey to recovery. The story I return to again and again is that of the Tutu bird.
Briefly put, there was a young girl who lived in a village in Africa where the people were starving. Like all the other village children, she was sent out to fetch the animals that had been captured in the village traps overnight so that the villagers might eat. When she got there, there was a Tutu bird in the trap. His song was so sweet that she set him free. She returned to the village and explained what happened. The villagers were so angry that they buried her alive in a mud hut and left her to die. She cried and cried. One day, she heard a sweet song and a ray of light came though the top of her hut. The next day she heard the song again and realized that it was the Tutu bird. The bird was pecking a hole in the mud hut to free her! The bird then dropped in fruits and nuts. This continued until the girl was well fed and the Tutu bird could free her. She returned to an astonished village with the Tutu bird nourished compared to the thin villagers and then left with the Tutu bird to go into the forest forever. The point of the story: Find your voice, listen to it and don't stray.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While Anita Johnson's book focusses on women's use of food as a way to cope with disconnection from our souls, I'm recommending it to everywoman I know! Her chapter "Moontime: Reclaiming the Body's Wisdom" contains a story she wrote for her daughters "to provide them with a new way of understanding the menstrual process". I believe this story has the potential to transform the next generation of emerging women. I want every mother, aunt, health education teacher, and adult woman I know to have have a copy for herself and to pass it on to every women she knows -- but especially our young women and daughters. Johnson's beautiful tale of a young woman's journey toward learning about "women's earth magic" is evocative, full of grace and wisdom, and transformative. My own experience of my female cycles will never be the same.
The life changing power of story graces all the chapters of this book. Women on the road to self-recovery of any sort will do well to spend some time soaking in the goodness Johnson offers on these pages. In her preface Johnson notes that women in recovery from disordered eating "follow a twisting, turning, winding path to their centers. It required them to leave behind old perceptions of themselves that they had adopted from others and to reclaim their own inner authorities. They had to listen to the voice from within to give them guidance and support as they searched from their true thoughts, feelings, and desires." While especially written for those of us working with recovery from eating disorders, this book is an understanding and soulful resource for any woman on the journey to the center of herself. Thank you Anita!
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Format: Paperback
This is a deeply insightful book that speaks to women with disordered eating of all types and severities. I've found that one of the most terrifying aspects of living with an eating disorder is the sense of stark isolation from others that we feel, fueled by the powerful secrets that we keep. As a woman recovered from bulimia, I was appreciative of Dr. Johnston's ability to help me see the many commonalities among women who suffer with eating disorders.
Johnston uses stories, myth and symbol to help explain the emotional and spiritual struggles that women encounter as they seek to regain a balance between heart and mind. Her description of the labyrinth as a metaphor of women's healing path serves as a gentle reminder that healing from disordered relationships with food is not a simple, straight-forward, linear process; and that being judgmental of our "progress" toward healing can only hinder our journeys.
I have read this book several times and have shared it with my mother, friends and colleagues. It has been a catalyst for many emotionally and intellectually fruitful discussions. I recommend it whole-heartedly.
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Format: Paperback
Johnston's book spirals deeply into the core issues that any woman coping with disordered eating would want to address, and she does it with a gentle, patient, and encouraging spirit. Her work uses myth, allegory and storytelling as a way of looking at the deep-seated issues of what it means to be a woman in today's culture and how that affects our relationships with food. This is definitely not a diet or how-to book. It is lyrical, poetic and spiritual, but remains eminently practical. Johnston transcends the standard medical view of disordered eating as a purely physical problem and incorporates woman's mind, body and spirit in her work. Johnston integrates feminine spirituality and feminism with basic healthy living practices and presents options that those of us who have struggled with food may not have considered before. As a recovered bulimic, I can vouch for the efficacy of her approach, and I fervently wish that everyone who has struggled with food and eating issues would read this book.
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