Eating Disorders Anonymous: The Story of How We Recovered from Our Eating Disorders presents the accumulated experience, strength, and hope of many who have followed a Twelve-Step approach to recover from their eating disorders. Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA), founded by sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), have produced a work that emulates the “Big Book” in style and substance. EDA respects the pioneering work of AA while expanding its Twelve-Step message of hope to include those who are religious or seek a spiritual solution, and for those who are not and may be more comfortable substituting “higher purpose” for the traditional “Higher Power.” Further, the EDA approach embraces the development and maintenance of balance and perspective, rather than abstinence, as the goal of recovery.
Initial chapters provide clear directions on how to establish a foothold in recovery by offering one of the founder’s story of hope, and collective voices tell why EDA is suitable for readers with any type of problem eating, including: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating, emotional eating, and orthorexia. The text then explains how to use the Twelve Steps to develop a durable and resilient way of thinking and acting that is free of eating disordered thoughts and behaviors, including how to pay it forward so that others might have hope of recovery.
In the second half of the text, individual contributors share their experiences, describing what it was like to have an eating disorder, what happened that enabled them to make a start in recovery, and what it is like to be in recovery. Like the “Big Book,” these stories are in three sections: Pioneers of EDA, They Stopped in Time, and They Lost Nearly All.
Readers using the Twelve Steps to recover from other issues will find the process consistent and reinforcing of their experiences, yet the EDA approach offers novel ideas and specific guidance for those struggling with food, weight and body image issues. Letters of support from three, highly-regarded medical professionals and two, well-known recovery advocates offer reassurance that EDA’s approach is consistent with that supported by medical research and standards in the field of eating disorders treatment.
Intended as standard reading for members who participate in EDA groups throughout the world, this book is accessible and appropriate for anyone who wants to recover from an eating disorder or from issues related to food, weight, and body image.