**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptom use. Please use your own discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.
Emily Formea is a writer and coach passionate about eating disorder recovery, food freedom, and self-love. She is the author of Gaining a Life: The Untold Story of My Eating Disorder & Recovery and the host of the To The Girl podcast. To learn more about Emily, visit her website and find her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Here Emily tells us about her memoir, Gaining a Life, and the gifts of eating disorder recovery to which its title alludes, and shares with us one of her favorite excerpts.
Tell us about Gaining a Life!
I wrote Gaining a Life only four months ago and it has probably been one of the greatest achievements of my life! As someone who recovered from her own eating disorder of 10 years, I wanted to showcase that it was not only possible to recover, but also WORTH it! As a blogger and online influencer around eating disorder recovery, I hear daily how so many people want to desperately recover from their eating disorders! They want to stop struggling with food or their bodies! They want to eat freely and stop thinking about or worrying about their plates, BUT… and it’s always a big ‘but’ because it was the same for me for a decade…. BUT they don’t want to gain weight. They don’t want to have their body change at all! They want to leave their eating disorders behind, but they don’t want to leave their control behind with it. They don’t want to accept that they may gain weight, their bodies may change, that they may not know how long their recovery will last, etc. and that was the exact reason I wrote my book!
Sure, I gained weight, but I also gained an entire LIFE! My book is split into three parts. The first half of the book is very vulnerable. It’s me detailing my true decade- long struggle with food to you. I wanted my reader to understand how bad I was with food and my body image to make them feel not so alone, to make them realize that if I could recover, so could they! And to make them aware of how my eating disorder affected my ENTIRE life, not just my body or my diet, I wanted the reader to really know about my background to connect us more! Then, moving into the second half of the book, it is all about how I healed! How I did recover, the process, the pain, the abundant joy, etc.! I explain how I chose to live my life off the scales and calorie-counting apps and how THEY can do the same!! The final few pages are actual exercises to help the reader shift their mindset around food, their body, control, perfectionism, and more to make recovery tangible and long-lasting!