Amazing Book – “goodbye ed, hello me”
I just got done reading a really great book about recovering from an eating disorder and learning to fall back in love with life and yourself. It’s called “goodbye ed, hello me” by Jenni Schaefer, a recovered anorexic and bulimic. (Ed was her way of referring to eating disorder in the third person.)
Even if you do not have, are recovering from, or have already recovered from, an eating disorder, this book reads in fun, upbeat, down-to-earth language about how to love your body and yourself, and live your life to the fullest.
In fact, this book has been pivotal for me. It helped me recently to take the giant leap of faith from 30+ years of disordered eating to intuitive eating, and for that I am so grateful. It’s only been 13 days, but so far, so good. I’m taking it one day at a time.
I read this book with 27 months of being binge-free under my belt. Through therapy and blogging, I was fully understanding the things that went on in my childhood that led me to become a compulsive overeater all these years. I saw patterns that I repeated with people throughout my life. I was gaining new awarenesses and growing.
I have stopped weighing myself once a day and instead now get on the scale once a month. I am following my hunger cues and asking myself what I really want to eat when I’m hungry. I also found out that my estrogen level was low and started taking a supplement. I don’t know if any, or all of these things, contributed to a new wonderful sense of calmness I am feeling. It is a peacefulness. It makes me feel like I am learning to trust myself and my body.
I felt like I was on the cusp of taking the next step which would be dropping the calorie counting and weighing/measuring my food, but I was floundering on how and when to begin.
I’m a firm believer in that people and things come into your life for a reason. One night, as I picked up the book to read before going to bed, it just so happened that the chapter entitled “Jump” was where my bookmark was.
The author said, “I can’t emphasize how important is it to put on your metaphorical parachute and jump… Jumping is scary, so don’t wait around until you’re not scared to do it. Jump now and declare your independence from Ed.”
There was my answer, my sign. I woke up the next morning and didn’t measure out my cereal or anything else I would typically put in a measuring cup, nor did I put any of my other foods on the food scale. I ate when my body told me it was hungry. I admit to still doing some calorie tabulating in my head (a hard habit to break after decades of counting!), but I never wrote anything down and never truly knew exactly how much I had because my brain couldn’t handle doing all that math. =)
I could relate to so much of what Jenni Schaefer had to say in this book, I hope that some of it resonates with you as well.
Some highlights from the book:
Schaefer said that her eating disorder had become her identity and that (after therapy and hard work) as long as she kept referring to herself as being in recovery from her eating disorder, she was giving Ed a place in her life. This, she says, was a self-fulfilling prophecy for her. As long as she believed that Ed would haunt her, he did, so she stopped believing it. When she started referring to herself as being recovered, she took a huge step forward. She refused to give Ed any power in her life.
Schaefer writes about how she was looking to regain and love herself, no matter what size she was. She challenges – imagine a world where everyone believed the happiest and most successful people were the ones at their natural weight? Better yet, she says, imagine a world where being at your natural weight was embraced by society without having to be tied to happiness or success at all?
She learned that people are attracted to her energy, to her soul, not her body as she used to think.
The author also admitted to being a perfectionist, but she said being that way caused her to ignore or discount what she had achieved, but that now, she is able to fully acknowledge her accomplishments, providing her with the self-confidence to keep moving forward in a healthy way.
She realized too that a big part of her eating disorder revolved around approval seeking, not just from society that said she should be thin, but that her ED became a coping mechanism for her people-pleasing behaviors. She knew this needed to change and took the steps to do just that.
Lastly, she says not to let the past dictate your present. She said the idea of “impossible” is often just an idea constructed in our minds. As long as we believe something is possible, it will be.