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"The truth is we all talk to ourselves. We just need to get better at it," counsels psychotherapist Rutledge in this self-help book for women with eating disorders, which he wrote with one of his patients, Schaefer, a singer/songwriter and media personality in Nashville, who both binges and purges. As might be expected in a book that draws from both psychotherapy and country western music, the story concerns a fine woman and the no good man she's stuck with. In this case, the evil, controlling character is a non-person Schaefer names Ed, from the initials E.D. (as in eating disorder). Whether Schaefer is alone in her kitchen or dining with friends, she "hears" Ed telling her she resembles a "barnyard animal," that all the girls in her eating disorder therapy group are thinner than she is, or that it would feel good to go to bed on an empty stomach. "There is something inside me... that has chained itself to Ed with a heavy-duty lock and thrown away the key," she writes. With the help of therapist Rutledge, who shares his professional observations in sections entitled "Thom's Turn," Schaefer finally gains the strength to keep Ed at bay. Schaefer's literary construct of an interior voice will delight some readers and annoy others, but if it helps any readers overcome their own disorders, it's been effective.
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"I would die if I were as fat as Marilyn Monroe. Or at least Ed used to make me think so."--Jenni Schaefer
I have never been married, but I am happily divorced. Ed and I lived together for more than twenty years. He was abusive, controlling, and never hesitated to tell me what he thought, how I was doing it wrong, and what I should be doing instead. . . . Ed is not a high school sweetheart. Ed is not some creep that I started dating in college. . . . Ed's name comes from the initials E.D.--as in eating disorder. Ed is my eating disorder.
--from the Introduction
Jenni had been in an abusive relationship with Ed for far too long. He controlled Jenni's life, distorted her self-image, and tried to physically harm her throughout their long affair. Then Jenni met psychotherapist and author Thom Rutledge. He taught her how to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition. By thinking of her eating disorder as a unique personality separate from her own, Jenni was able to break up with Ed once and for all.
Inspiring, compassionate, and filled with practical exercises to help you break up with your own personal E.D., Life Without Ed provides new hope for the disorders that plague millions of women and young girls. Beginning with Jenni's "divorce" from Ed, this supportive, lifesaving book combines a patient's insights and experiences with a therapist's prescriptions for success to help you live a healthier, happier life without Ed.See all Editorial Reviews
My name is Rachel, and I suffered from anorexia nervosa for 7 months and was close to being hospitalized. My care team told me this and gave me 2 options. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nathan
Great tools for ED sufferers. I wish it were marketed less toward women, as the sufferer in my family is male.Published 3 months ago by ABH
Not great for everyone and she still seems very insecure about her ability to cope with food.Published 3 months ago by Ladyzeppelin