Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia

By Sheila and Lisa Himmel

From the back of the book:

“As a writer, Sheila Himmel used to love irony. It made for the best stories. But Sheila found it harder to appreciate when she was reviewing exotic cuisines from bistro to brasserie, while her daughter, Lisa, was at home starving herself.”

Not only does this book provide a wonderfully candid memoir by a mother and daughter team, it also teaches the reader the intricacies of eating disorders – from the different forms to the emotions that play into them to the help (or lack of) available to families.

I truly enjoyed reading this touching book written by these women. I felt so sad for Lisa as she struggled with her emotional issues and eating disorder. As a mother myself, I wanted so badly to be able to give her a big hug and let her know there are people who do care about her.

Eating disorders are often misunderstood. There are definite reasons why people choose to starve themselves and they can’t be fixed by telling them to just eat something. These disorders are very complex and, like an addiction, become something the person may struggle with the rest of his or her life.

As I read this book, I recognized a couple people I know who may fall into one of the categories. I hope I’m wrong, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on them and be ready to intervene with emotional support should that become necessary.

Now, for those of you who live here in the Pacific Northwest or are planning to visit soon, Sheila and Lisa will be at Elliot Bay in Seattle, Washington, on Wednesday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. If you are able to attend, please stop by and say hello to them!

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