From Famine to Feast: My Thoughts About My Eating Disorder is the first book by K. Michelle Pahl, who you may know from her blog, From Famine to Feast – The Journey.
The book includes her twelve most popular blog posts, and they were definitely popular for a reason. Together, they offer remarkable insights into what it’s likely living with an eating disorder that may take a backseat, but never actually goes away.
In the intro, Michelle promises the writer she intended to “crank the stereo and dance like a madwoman when the book goes live before ordering a hard copy of my very own.” I think I need to put that on my calendar for when my next book comes out. 💃
In one chapter, she shares some of her eating disorder rules, which her disorder expected her to follow perfectly. Eating was failure. “The secret plan is death. The misery the ED brings on the road to the grave is just a side benefit.”
Besides dealing with the ED and its assorted physical sequelae, Michelle has had to deal with cancer, depression, and chronic pain. She likens neuralgia to “having a pickaxe slam into my head at random intervals twenty-four hours a day for close to a week, ten to twelve times a year.” Of course, like with any invisible illness, she’s had to deal with the peanut gallery thinking she’s faking it. I really dislike stupid people, and reading about stupid people reminds me just how much I dislike them. Yeah, I’m judgy, and I’m okay with that.
In the chapter (blog post) titled The Rise of the Eating Disorder Brain, Part 7,294, Michelle shares how seductive the ED can be. When I get hungry, my reaction is give me a cheeseburger. ED likes hunger, though.
Then there’s the physical ugliness: “It’s vomiting until blood drips from your lacerated esophagus and seeps from the infected sores on your hands, caused by your teeth as you force your fingers down your throat.”
The book concludes with a list of useful ED resources from around the world.
As someone who’s never had even the quickest fling with an eating disorder, it’s very hard to wrap my head around what it would be like. This book does a really good job of showing the living, breathing, ugly thing that is an eating disorder. That the author is at this stage of recovery, particularly given the other challenges she’s faced, is truly remarkable.
From Famine to Feast is available on Amazon (affiliate link).