The Truth About Life
After Eating Disorders

Essays, Articles, & Nonfiction Works
by Aimee Liu

These treatment facilities offer specialized programs for eating disorders, including men and women over age 21.
Discover the many ways others are using their voices, talents, and passions to turn suffering into creativity and hope.
Links to websites and organizations that provide information and referrals.
References cited in GAINING
How do anorexia and bulimia impact life AFTER recovery? GAINING is one of the first books about eating disorders to connect the latest scientific insights to the personal truth of life before, during, and especially after anorexia and bulimia.
"I've read countless books about eating disorders, but I've never seen one like this. Combining the professional wisdom of leading experts with personal experiences from women and men all over the globe, this book fills a gap on the recovery bookshelf. Anyone who has been touched by an eating disorder needs to read this."óJenni Schaefer, author of Life without Ed
America's first memoir of anorexia, and one of the earliest books about eating disorders, originally published in 1979


Treatment Programs for Eating Disorders
Eating disorders affect people of all ages. While writing an article about mid-life eating disorders for PREVENTION magazine, I compiled the following list of programs that specialize in treating all eating disorders.

This list does NOT constitute a recommendation for any particular program. It is simply one place to begin your research if you are looking for specialized adult treatment.

Unleashing the Passion and Power of Recovery
The sites listed and linked on this page reflect the enormous range of POWER that recovery can unleash. The artists and activists whose links appear here all have histories of eating disorders but have now succeeded in filling their lives with passion and purpose. They have found their voices, dared to move out into the world, and risked showing their true selves in order to connect with and help others.
This page was created to honor them and to inspire those still struggling to release their own power, embrace their unique passions, and discover their true purpose in life.

Eating Disorders Support and Information
CLICK HERE for a listing of websites and organizations offer information, support, and referrals to professionals in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders.

Additional books about Eating Disorders
CLICK HERE to see the books and articles Aimee discovered in her research for GAINING.

GAINING: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders
As anyone who has ever recovered from an eating disorder knows, anorexia and bulimia are not really "about" eating, weight, or food. Good nutrition is just the first of many gains that lead back to health. Too often, however, the other crucial gains are ignored, leaving anorexia and bulimia to show up in relationships, parenting styles, compulsive exercise and work habits.
GAINING examines these anorexic and bulimic "shadows" through a combination of memoir, interview, and cutting-edge research. Readers will discover why gaining weight is not "enough," and what therapies, strategies, and practices are most effective in combatting these self-defeating syndromes. The path to a rich and satisfying life is challenging, but it is also more interesting than anyone imagined thirty years ago!

Just as SOLITAIRE was America's first memoir of anorexia, GAINING is the first mid-life retrospective of recovery from eating disorders.

Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives: Guidance and Reflections on Recovery from Eating Disorders
Aimee Liu has woven together dozens of first-person accounts of recovery to create a break-through roadmap for healing from an eating disorder. Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives answers key questions including: How does healing begin? What does it feel like? What supports and accelerates it? Will I ever be free of worry about a relapse?

Throughout the book are informative sidebars written by leading professionals in the field, addressing essential topics such as finding the right therapist, the use of medications, exploring complementary treatments, and how family members can help.

Experience the full process of recovery from eating disorders through the voices of those who have reclaimed their lives.

"Miss Liu writes with a directness that is touching and at times profound."
-New York Times

Originally published in 1979*, when Aimee Liu was just 25 years old, SOLITAIRE is America's first memoir of anorexia. At a time when few doctors even knew the term anorexia nervosa, Aimee was fourteen years old when she reduced her body weight by one fourth. Her periods ceased. She became obsessed with counting calories. Though accepted by the world-class modeling agency, Wilhelmina, she soon lost too much weight to fit into the clothes she was supposed to showcase. For seven years, her compulsion to restrict her eating overshadowed her social, family, and school life. Yet, like most anorexics of her day, she was never diagnosed or treated. In SOLITAIRE Aimee chronicles the events that preceded her eating disorder, as well as the day-to-day realities of living in the grip of this self-defeating syndrome.

Though this original text is more than twenty years old, the anorexic experience is largely unchanged, and SOLITAIRE remains one of the most honest accounts ever written about life with an eating disorder.

* Note: The text in the 2000 re-reissue of SOLITAIRE is unabridged and unedited from the original.


FALSE LOVE & Other Romantic Illusions
Using realistic vignettes to support their premise that "living happily ever after requires a lot more hard work than magic," the authors help readers discriminate between false and true love and give practical advice on avoiding the former. The book opens with a description of the many causes and faces of false love and why these false ideas enjoy such wide currency. It then shows how to break the false love syndrome and build a good marriagesomething for which both partners are responsible. This pro-marriage, pro-monogamy text, full of common sense and insight that bridges generations, is required reading for everyone who wants more out of their relationships.
-- Library Journal

How to Break the Recovery Habit and Take Charge of Your Life

Most self-help programs do more harm than good by promoting dependency. Bound to elicit protests from the self-help movement, this book is based on cases ranging from obsessions to drug addiction. Katz and Liu differentiate between two types of remedial programs: organizations that treat all unwanted behavior as a "disease" affecting the "hurt child within" and that require lifelong adherence to principles relating to a Higher Power; and mutual-support groups limited to helping members cope with specific, short-term problems. The book includes an eight-point program, intended to foster reliance on one's own healing powers, stresses dealing with one goal at a time and acknowledging past influences while developing present strengths and resources.

"Thrive as well as strive" by finding internal milestones of fulfillment. Using case studies of patients with misguided values, along with sociological research, they trace assumptions that lead us to substitute money for human worth, proposing multiple goals over narrow focus. Thought-provoking questionnaires complete most chapters, measuring such things as readers' competition quotient and obsessions.
-- Publisher's Weekly