Food: The Good Girl's Drug by Sunny Sea Gold
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
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I read Food: The Good Girl's Drug a few years ago, and I ate it up. No pun intended. It spoke to me. Rereading it gave me just as much insight as the first time. Gold lets her readers know they are not alone. She promotes healing, acceptance, and awareness of all eating disorders.
Order of information.
The book breaks down well. Gold splits her book into understanding the disorder, how to heal, and how to live life after the eating disorder. What helped me a lot was how the mental disorder happens and why it happens. Food: The Good Girl's Drug talks about the root of eating disorders like your genes and your family's traditions. It talked about what different triggers looked like and how to combat them. I could examine the root cause of my eating disorder and work from there.
Gold includes statistics and anecdotal evidence. The gravity of the situation is clear from the numbers. After figuring out why I binged, it also helped that the stats confirmed it was normal (though it shouldn't be) what happened to me. Reading about other people's binges was bittersweet because I have been there, and I can relate. But I don't want anyone else to go through that.
I like the interactive parts of Food: The Good Girl's Drug. There are questions and exercises throughout to help you think about all aspects of an eating disorder. One of the essential tasks was making a list of activities to do instead of binge eating. When those feelings arise and all you want to do is eat, you will have some tools to distract yourself.
Some of the other exercises include keeping a journal about negative body thoughts or of when and what you eat. Another activity that helped was the "then what?" game. For example, if I don't eat, then what? Eating disorders are not about food; they are about the underlying issues. These exercises helped discover the real reason for terrible relationships with food.
I like that the book was positive and supportive. It pointed out the gravity of an eating disorder, but it focused mainly on getting better. In my opinion, healing is the whole point. Gold has a way with words that made me feel empowered and encouraged me to be better.
One criticism I have is that I wish there were more about interacting with family and friends. There is a small section at the end of the book entitled "How to Deal with Friends, Loved Ones, and Food Pushers," which is ten pages long. It's about women telling their loved ones and how sometimes it went well and sometimes not. The book doesn't go into how to talk to loved ones.
Many people don't understand eating disorders, especially men. I have had a few interesting conversations with men, including my husband and dad, about my weird relationship with food. They don't know what questions to ask; I usually get a deer in the headlights look. I liked how Sunny shared how she talked to her husband about her eating disorder. I wish she went into it more and her relationship with her mom too. My eating disorder has been a real strain on my relationship with my parents, and I needed more help. But maybe that is my book to write.
I would recommend this book. Food: The Good Girl's Drug was helpful to me in every stage of my eating disorder. I am still working through why it happened, and Gold helped me figure that out.
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