Earlier this April, I asked my school counselor if there were any books on overcoming eating disorders that she personally recommended. It only took her a couple seconds to share the title that I religiously scribbled out in the back of my planner.

When it comes to all recommendations or inspirational nuggets of wisdom, I write everything down someplace where I can see it and vow to read the text or complete the action as soon as possible. 90% of the time, I follow through with my promise. Book reading tends to be my only exception.

Fast-forward to two months later, I finally remembered that I didn’t pick up the book yet. Since maintaining a healthy well-being is extremely important to me, this was the motivating factor for me to stop by the library and actually start reading the text. Boy, I’m so glad my counselor recommended this title!

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Schaefer struggled with disordered eating beginning as young as elementary school. Each chapter is maybe a couple pages long and covers a different story she had with her eating disorder. Personal struggles like ordering food at a restaurant, seeing refreshments at the office, and reacting to the demanding requests from “Ed” don’t even scratch the surface of all the experiences and lessons within this book. ┬áThis book totally puts eating disorders in perspective by analyzing “Ed” as an outsider (or in this case, an “ex” boyfriend/spouse) that constanly taunts you–the victim and slave to Ed–into harming your body by restricting, binging, and purging food–a never ending cycle that ruins you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I also couldn’t believe how incredibly similar her experiences, thoughts, and feelings were to my relationship with “Ed”. It made me realize that I’m not going through unknown waters and that there are people just like me dealing with the very same issues. It actually felt fantastic hearing my exact thoughts and feelings about “Ed” being told by another person. Even with Jenni’s serious stories, she maintains witty sense of humor that lightens up the mood several times throughout passages! Not only does Schaefer describe her stories and what she has learned from them, but she actually provides action steps and resources to offically break up with “Ed”. After reading the text cover to cover, I felt empowered and hopeful about my circumstances and determined to overcome my abusive relationship with “Ed”.

If you or a loved one are struggling with disordered eating, Jenni is your girl to read!

Julia