I’ve signed a book contract! But rather than create something under a veil of secrecy and merely tease you with an Amazon pre-order link, I want you to join me and be part of the process.
We have 10 months to write a book – a project about eating disorders (ED) and body image.
This isn’t just any old book about ideas on “how to recover,” but it’s a journey (as cheesy as that sounds), as each month we will start a new chapter with a different theme.
By taking part, you will be included in the project and may even be published in the book, if you wish to be.
Either way you’ll be contributing to something rather special and hopefully helping others trapped in the darkness of eating disorders.
I’ll be asking for your experiences and campaigning for change.
So why do this?
I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since I was 11 years old – I’m now 29. In that time I’ve done my GCSEs, A-levels, a degree (albeit disjointed and taking a lot longer than most), I’ve bellydanced in the live finals of Britain’s Got Talent, I’ve been an inpatient in an eating disorder unit, I’ve trained and worked as a journalist, I’ve been called the “worst bulimic” medics have ever seen and, I’ve also become a mum, vlogger and blogger!
So it’s been a real ride of highs and lows but sadly the thing that has stuck by me is my ED.
Don’t get me wrong it’s nowhere near as bad as it was at one point but I’m not going to lie and say it’s disappeared because it still acts as a crutch for me – something I’m hoping to change with the help of this community we’re creating, to encourage an open, honest and useful debate about living with an eating disorder.
Interweaving this entire journey will be themes such as mental health, wellbeing body confidence and exercise.
Topics we’ll be looking at are:
1. Childhood: Children with eating disorders and parents with eating disorders. Are eating disorders nature or nurture?
2. Family: Are eating disorders in your genes? Could what you eat as a family influence your likelihood to develop an eating disorder?
3. Abuse: What impact does abuse have on how you see your body? Are survivors of abuse more likely to develop eating disorders?
4. Bullying & Body image: How can we build or maintain body positive messages during vulnerable times in our lives? Is it always in our control?
5. Race/ Identity: If you’re from an ethnic minority, does this impact your mental health in any particular way? Are you more prone to eating disorders? And what’s it like being of dual heritage today?
6. Disorder / treatment: What life is like as an in patient and out patient on an eating disorder unit. Is there the right treatment available for all? Or is it a postcode lottery?
7. Career: Why do many ambitious and successful individuals suffer from an eating disorder?
8. Relationships: How do you date with an eating disorder? Can you sustain a relationship with an ED?
9. Giving birth: Dealing with an ED whilst pregnant. How having children saved me…
10. Recovery: Can you recover from an eating disorder? If so, how? Or at least how can you best manage it?
All of the topics above follow my own personal journey in chronological order – from my childhood to giving birth to my own children.