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Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too Paperback – December 26, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
"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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From the Back Cover
"Infused with humor, rich in vivid imagery, and deeply compassionate, this book brings hope to those who suffer from eating disorders, offering them creative tools." -- "David B. Herzog, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School "
"Jenni's quick wit and brilliant honesty are an inspiration to anyone trying to divorce themselves from an eating disorder ... an accessible, helpful must-read!" -- "Lindsey Hall, author of Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery"
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.
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