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Coming in February, 2007 (National Eating Disorders Awareness Month)!


To Speak AND To Be!

December 18, 2007

Eating disorders often create an illusion of safety in silence. You become the voiceless victim of the invisible slave driver who berates, condemns, judges, and humiliates you into punishing yourself, and that inner tyrant convinces the true you that it’s too dangerous to speak up or speak out – or nourish yourself.

Maybe the voice of your slave driver sounds a lot like your hypercritical or over-possessive mother or father, your drama or gymnastics coach, your ballet teacher, or the mean girl who ruled your high school. Maybe it sounds like an uncle who abused you when you were small, or like the boyfriend who bullied you in college. In any case, the voice in your head does not belong to you, and you are powerless to control it.

The answer is not even to try to control it. As unbelievable as this may sound, whoever is the original source of that voice is not your responsibility. Not your job. However, you are responsible and accountable for yourself, and you can and must give voice to the true you.

Recovery depends on developing and empowering this true voice. That’s why journals, cameras, paints, pens, free movement, and other tools of creativity play such an enormous role in recovery. Creativity gives us both the license and the means to express ourselves, and in the process of expressing ourselves, we empower ourselves.

Self-expression can occur in the smallest moments. We express ourselves when we trail a finger through a pool of water, when we shape a shadow on the sidewalk or make snow angels. Children who have never wasted an instant worrying about the shape of their bodies or doubted their right to speak can find infinite sources for creativity in a walk to the mailbox. By the same token, taking a creative walk to the mailbox can put you on the path to rediscovering the person who has been silenced since your eating disorder began.

I propose a New Year’s resolution:
See! Feel! Touch! Speak! Tell the world who you really are and let your power fly!

I hope to hear from you in 2008!
Have a happy, healthy, peaceful holiday.

With love,

GAINING: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders
Available in paperback, January, 2008,
from Grand Central Pub.

below for more about Aimee's books & work.

Anthologies of fiction and nonfiction that Aimee has edited or contributed to.
a suspenseful novel of rescue and redemption set in Central Asia at the start of the Cold War, featuring two unforgettable heroines whose fates are irrevocably intertwined.
The unforgettable tale of star-crossed love that spans four decades and two continents.
A young photographer wrestles with her repressed past and identity as an Amerasian in New York's Chinatown. Now back in print after more than a decade, FACE is Aimee's first novel.
Work on Eating Disorders
While there are numerous memoirs available chronicling individual women’s struggles with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders, this is the first book to bring together many people’s stories to create a complete and candid picture of the recovery process. Aimee Liu has skillfully brought together firsthand accounts of recovery to create a realistic roadmap for the journey. This book also includes informational sidebars, written by professionals in the field, on topics including treatment options, choosing the right therapist, the pros and cons of medication, how parents and spouses can help, and much more.
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.
America's first memoir of anorexia, and one of the earliest books about eating disorders, originally published in 1979
Craft & Criticism
Resources and suggestions for students and fellow writers
Aimee's latest book reviews