Many people talk about eating disorders, finding treatment and recovery, but most don’t speak about what happens next: life after recovery. Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders by Aimee Liu is one of the first books about eating disorders written by a survivor that connects more than 40 personal stories from men and women to recent scientific facts and discoveries. For those who have suffered from eating disorders will find truth with every personal and sometimes heart-wrenching interview as well as an in-depth look at Liu’s personal journey with anorexia.
Liu combines personal interviews with cutting edge research to propose the idea that societal pressure, popular culture, and family dysfunction cannot “make” one anorexic; rather it takes a particular genetic predisposition and temperament. Readers will learn who is susceptible and why recovery requires more than just good nutrition. Liu breaks the stereotype that “white rich girls” most often suffer from eating disorders by interviewing men and women from all backgrounds in our society. Some have had eating disorders in the family, some have suffered abuse, some have had controlling parents, etc. Liu explains that while some common factors cause eating disorders such as OCD, genetics, and personality traits, we should really focus on a unique treatment for each individual.
Different chapters talk about the beginnings of disorders in their lives, what led them to a breaking point, how they dealt with diagnosis and recovery, and how they are living today many years after their diagnosis. Liu weaves her own story in with those of others and uses her well-researched facts to explain the two eating disorders and the difficult recovery processes. Lui combines the personal and professional aspects of these diseases beautifully.
Gaining is a great read for anyone, whether you suffer or have suffered from an eating disorder or not, you will gain some heartbreaking insight on these diseases that affects many around the world. It will help you understand and help those who may be suffering from anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder. While the stories were depressing at times, the overall theme was hope. Hope that one day no one will ever deal with eating disorders again.
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