Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book Club Time

It's book club time! This month the Deep South Moms Blog is hosting the book club for "It Started With Pop Tarts" by Lori Hanson.

I had to overcome a few hurdles while reading this book. My biggest difficulty was redefining what bulimia was. My definition involved binging and purging, through vomiting or laxatives. After researching a bit and learning that bulimia can in fact be present without purging I was then able to move forward. I learned that it can in fact be a matter of binging, then going for a long run, or dieting excessively to make up for the excessive intake.

Lori tells the story of her youth. She was troubled and struggled with self esteem from an early age. Her first experience with binging was in boarding school when she and a friend stole a large package of Pop Tarts from the kitchen. It continued to build from there.

Her struggle with food continued into adulthood and later she turned to alcohol as another coping mechanism. The lack of self esteem, poor body image and struggles in her personal life were contributing to her bulimia.

Lori found a way out of her turmoil through natural methods, and determining the root causes of her problems with food. While these methods might not work for everyone, I think this book is a great way to show one person's path. The most important thing is that every girl, every woman can find the path to self confidence, good body image and self esteem.

I've struggled with my own weight since my early twenties. I never saw it coming since in high school I could eat whatever I wanted with no consequence. I thought I must just have a super metabolism. I'm not bulimic, but I definitely have my own issues with overeating, especially sweets. In that regard, I could identify with Lori's struggle.

As I was reading, I wondered just how prevalent these feelings of poor body image leading to eating disorders really were. What I found was unnerving. One survey of approximately 4000 women ages 25-45 found that 65% of those surveyed experienced "disordered eating" with an additional 10% reporting symptoms of anorexia or bulimia. That's just one survey, but those results opened my eyes. Body image is a significant problem among women, and I am glad that Lori shared her story, to open people up to an alternative method of healing when conventional methods may not be sufficient.


Bonggamom said...

The bulimia thing was also one of my a-ha moments when I read the book! I didn't know that you could be bulimic even though you don't make yourself vomit. It was eye-opening for me because I tend to binge, then purge -- via dieting.

Mary Kate said...

Wow...what a heavy topic for a book club. Did they give a reason for choosing that one? I need to hop over there and read more about it. That is exactly what I suffered from for too many years. I am free from that "addiction" 99% of the time but it is still there and rears its ugly head when certain stresses hit! I have wanted to write a post about this topic on my blog especially now as we get into the summer and all I seem to hear is women complaining about their body!

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