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Diary of an Exercise Addict

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  482 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
In 2000, Peach Friedman, a college senior freshly broken up from her boyfriend, set out to beat the blues by beating herself into shape. Running ten miles a day and taking in as little as 800 calories, she fell from 146 pounds to 100 in three months and was at serious risk of cardiac arrest. What Friedman suffered from was exercise bulimia a newly diagnosed and rapidly spr ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by GPP Life (first published 2008)
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The Ghost Files by Apryl BakerMermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee WestFeeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn MoriartyThe Perfect Mother by Margaret LeroyDiary of an Exercise Addict by Peach Friedman
5th out of 65 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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This is what it felt like to read this book:
"I was stressed. I started exercising. Then I lost weight. I kept exercising. Then my mom got worried. I ate."

Compare that to how it feels to read this excerpt from Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia:
"It does not hit you until later. The fact that you were essentially dead does not register until you begin to come alive. Frostbite does not hurt until it starts to thaw. First it is numb. Then the shock of pain rips through the body. And then, ever
Apr 04, 2010 adrienna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was pretty weak. I think the author may have tried so hard not to be a trigger that she lost all authenticity. And, as another reviewer mentioned, the constant comments about her perfect blonde hair got really old.
Jan 22, 2012 Cari rated it it was ok
This should really be two and a half stars, but I round down.

Diary of an Exercise Addict was good, an easy and relatively quick read that for the most part held my attention. Unfortunately she wandered away from the point quite often--I wasn't particularly concerned about her relationships or sex life, mainly because that wasn't what I was reading this for. More about her interaction with her family would and less about various romantic interests have been great; don't tell me that a woman has t
Nov 01, 2010 kb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of times I wanted to put the book down because the author sounded too self-absorbed... but then what kept me going was my constant self-reminder that it was a DIARY I was reading.
I learned to like it, and even cried over some parts... because I could very much relate. The author was struggling with body issues stemmed from emotional stress, which is kind of similar to my own, just in reverse.
What I like about it is that all the entries seem raw and come from something real deep, which mak
Ess Zee
Feb 02, 2015 Ess Zee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The beginning had potential and it did hook me in. I didn't like the delivery. As a previous review stated it simply went "I was sad, I exercised, I got thin, mom got worried." Nothing built up to that.
David Of
Jan 27, 2012 David Of rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For those interested in recovery tools, look elsewhere. This book is a diary of the self-involvement of eating disorder. Consequently, due to the irrational nature of eating disorders, the recollection is frankly crazy and at times nearly obsessive. That Ms. Friedman was able to so well compose her experience is laudable, and a testament to her character as a recovered individual. This book is excellently communicates what it means to be disordered by its writing style and the author's recurrent ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Brie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written as journal entries and depicts the struggle with a girl named Peaches that develops an eating disorder in her late teen years. The confusion for me was that it seems like she has more of an aneorexic/bulimic issue than an exercise one. Peaches comes off as a bit of narcissist and somewhat spoiled. Mom and dad pay for her to lead a very flexible commitment free (with regards to work) life. She can pick up and leave jobs after a few weeks and
know she has her bills covered. She
Apr 18, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfict, psych, memoir
This was not compelling, there was no thread of self-reflection to help the reader make sense of this retrospective: she seemingly was well, then worse again, then well again for no cause (which I realize may have been the exact truth... but you're writing a memoir! Tell the reader what's going on from your present perspective and at least help us make sense or get something out of this book...) and it was disorienting and confusing. And not in a compelling, day-in-the-life-of-a-disorder kind of ...more
Sep 29, 2013 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was refreshing to see a book that spoke of an atypical eating disorder rather then the stereotypical purging through vomiting.

She points out the health concerns that are common with exercise bulimia.

IMO she is truthful about the courage it takes to get the help and that its not an easy fix.

I did get a little bored around the end with the redundancy of recovery/relapse but that could have been because of where my head was at the time.
Susan Erhardt
I skimmed the last 50 pages or so because I was so bored with the author by then. Her story of recovery was interesting, but I could have done without the f-words and descriptions of her sex life. She comes across as a bit of a spoiled brat. She certainly was lucky to have a wealthy family who was willing to support her while she went into a treatment program, had loads of counseling and worked very, very part time while she found herself.
Nov 14, 2009 Erika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting topic (exercise anorexia) but not very well written. The book tends to self-pity and suffers from a lack of depth. I have no doubt the author felt her suffering very deeply, but she somehow couldn't convey that depth in her writing. Kind of disappointed.
Accurate description of the madness of exercise addiction and the frequency of relapse. However, the writing is a bit jumpy and I would have preferred more in depth discussion regarding the factors leading to her ultimate recovery.
Nov 19, 2008 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Smart, wrenching, gorgeously written memoir by poet Peach Friedman.
Aug 29, 2009 Anastacia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't even finish this book, it was so bad.
Feb 15, 2015 DebHo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Diary of an Exercise Addict Peach Friedman excerpts pages of her diary over a seven year span from being "healthy and normal" to slipping into an eating disorder ultimately leading to an exercise bulimia and her struggle to get out of it and back to "normal". Her total honesty frankness make this book easy to read and understand her struggles. Little parts of her daily routine are chipped away over a year time span until she is full blown anorexic and has developed exercise bulimia. Reading h ...more
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The writing style was quite different from Marya's Wasted. Not quite as florid, but it did still get poetic at some parts. I don't know if this is her looking back completely or if she had journals from these years to "reference" and be a little more exact. Some of the time-jumping around (it's separated by dates, either exact days or month, year) confused me, or the references to the future where she'd write "but I didn't know that I'd be donating these clothes to my teenager sister" or somethi ...more
Sep 14, 2009 Annie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
This book was a disappointment. I picked it up because I enjoy exercising and wanted to see where it turned into a compulsion for this girl. Peach Freidmann discusses her six-year ordeal with anorexia/exercise anorexia in 1-5 page length snatches of what her life looked like on a particular day or month while she recovered. She also included some diary entries (which made no sense to me half the time). It was a short book and seemed really jumpy/scattered. It was written with almost a trivial, s ...more
Nov 10, 2008 Whitney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peach writes an incredibly powerful story of her struggle with a nightmarish disorder. Despite the pain and suffering she experiences, the book is a page-turner as Peach opens up her life and shares intimate details. I read the entire book in one evening well into the night - I could not put it down.

It's very well written and sheds light on a lesser-known eating disorder, though anyone who struggles with disordered eating can relate to much of what Peach goes through. This book offers hope to a
Shari Harrington
1/5 on the friction scale.
I got bored really quickly with this book, even though I was into the story when it started. It became very repetitive. Although I did like learning more about the mindset of someone with anorexia and fitness bulimia, I grew tired of the fill-in information was that included in between the tid-bits of information that explained the mental illness side of things.
Feb 25, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*An attempt to exercise control*

_Diary of an Exercise Addict_ poignantly details Peach's struggle with exercise bulimia--a serious disease that finally gets the attention it deserves. As Peach's life become more out-of-control and uncertain, she desperately reaches for a false sense of security by restricting her caloric intake and amplifying her exercise routine. An honest, candid, and enthralling read, Peach's diary offers both a warning about eating disorders, as well as hope for the (often l
Mar 23, 2014 Eileen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was alright. I really don't know what more to say.
Jan 29, 2009 Elise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a weird love for these trashy tell-all books. I think it goes along with my love for The Jerry Springer Show and Maurey Pauvich. Anyway, this book was fine - a very quick read - I finished it in a few hours. It could have been more confessional about the being fucked up stuff (I like reading about people's dissents into disorder) and less heavy on the introspective emotional stuff (I'm not sure I care what you think about life Peach Friedman).

Three stars just b/c it was entertaining enoug
Maggie Wiggins
With memoirs, oftentimes the writer is not a writer by trade. Sometimes, they succeed. Sometimes, they should just stick to what they've been doing all along (not exercising obsessively, but their career). I read 90% of it and neglected to read the final chapter for months. Remembering that there was a bit left, I read it. It didn't make a huge impression. It's a compelling story told in a lackluster way.
Mar 04, 2009 melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually read books about fat girls getting thin and such but this was an interesting insight into anorexia and exercise addiction. It made me really tired to read it. I mean, I run for thirty minutes and then need a nap. Peach would work out three times a day. And live off of salad. I kinda wanted to eat a whole chicken after this. Fast read, though, and worth it for anyone interested in ED and recovery.
Jun 28, 2013 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only criticism that I have for this book is that I wish there was more of it. Friedman writes honestly and openly about her struggle with exercise addiction. The perspectives that were shared had many differences from many other memoirs and stories shared about eating disorders and disordered behavior. The writing style was incredibly moving, but I hoped for more and more. Fantastic read.
Feb 16, 2009 Roanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, probably two and a half stars.

Interesting in the same voyeuristic way all these books interest/appeal to me. I even learned a couple of things. But she's preachy-screechy-holier-than-thou at the end, and her smugness rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe she's earned it, but it bothered me a whole lot.

And she needs to get over how "perfect" her hair is. God, that was annoying.
I liked the author's writing style, but i didn't think her problems were that severe (or perhaps she didn't write about them in detail). And while the book claims she was an exercise addict, she was actually more bulimic and anorexic. She got a lot of attention for being sick (was on the View, in people magazine) and it felt like her claim to fame which bothered me.
Jun 22, 2010 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't come across many books about exercise addiction, which is an addiction I am pretty sure I have, so it was refreshing to see a book like this on the shelves. AND it is fairly well written. I think Friedman and I are eerily similar, so that helped keep me intrigued. Read it to understand this not well documented, but prevalent, disorder.
Friedman's story was especially interesting to me, considering my own background. As I was reading, I often felt like I was looking into my own mind. I wish that she had written more about her recovery, though, and had included fewer rambling trains of thought that didn't seem to go anywhere.
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