Shel's Reviews > Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling

Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston
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did not like it
bookshelves: mh-books

This is one of the most ridiculous books on eating disorders I have ever read. And by ridiculous I actually mean horrifying that a clinical psychologist who co-founded an eating disorder center can actually believe in the stuff she is spewing.

I am offended at her view that "recovery from disordered eating calls for a deliberate, conscious attempt to reclaim our feminine side so we can bring our masculine side back to balance. (p.15)" She consistently genders human traits and perpetuates the ideology that masculinity is the strong, assertive side where femininity is the weak and gentle side. Her views completely disregard men, trans and gender queer/non-comforming people who have eating disorders. While I do have to remember that the book was written in 1996 and that views on gender have changed significantly in the past twenty
years, that is the main point of her book and I am saddened and angry that professionals today would regard it with such esteem.

If this book leads someone into recovery I would not be one to scoff at that. Recovery is deserved by all and the way in which you reach it is a personal journey of self discovery. As a proponent of evidence based treatment this book does bring up a lot of concerns and challenges. I would not recommend it to anyone wishing to get a better look or understanding of eating disorders. Also someone looking for a path into recovery could be very discouraged based on her views and practices, as I mentioned it is very exclusionary of major populations of individuals.

I don't speak for the eating disordered community but in my personal experiences is treatment and connecting on a larger scale with the eating disorder community online, I have yet to meet one person who embodies what she claims is the "typical" female suffer, not say that they aren't out there though.

I feel it is important for people (especially professionals in the field) to understand the problematic nature of this book and that it could have devastating effects for someone starting their journey into recovery.
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Reading Progress

June 15, 2016 – Started Reading
June 20, 2016 – Shelved
June 20, 2016 – Shelved as: mh-books
June 20, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Natalie For what it's worth, I went to one of her co-founded centers a few years ago and got to chat with her via Skype. Had massive anxiety at the time, was barely able to talk and such... and she literally sneered in my face the whole time. Went "yeah" in a condescending voice, etc. The counselors I was with looked shock but did nothing. Not sure if anyone cares or believes me, but it was an incredible experience, especially since I was paying for treatment, etc.... All I can say is stay away from this woman and her facilities. She is a phony and knows nothing and should not be in the position she is in.


message 2: by Nicolina (new) - added it

Nicolina I’m struggling with the comparisons between the femininity and masculinity in this book as well. While I somewhat understand the “bigger picture” of what she is saying, I still don’t care for it. I have yet to understand how this book can be helpful with eating disorders and it is so far, one of my least favorite of anything I’ve ever read.


message 3: by Beth (new) - rated it 1 star

Beth Medvedev I agree. This book is awful.


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