Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beating Ana - Excerpt and Giveaway

As you know, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week begins on February 22. To address this very serious issue, and offer tangible help to those who deal with ED, I bring to you today Author Shannon Cutts and her enlightening book, Beating Ana.

About the Book

Imagine a world in which is it easy to find someone to turn to who understands your struggles, identifies with your wounds, and knows how lonely and scary it feels to live inside your skin. No longer would you have to feel ashamed, hopeless, or helpless when you resolve each day to beat your eating disorder, only to fall down again. In this fantastic brave new world, you would face your eating disorder head on, standing tall and firm with supportive friends by your side as you get better—and stay that way! In Beating Ana, Shannon Cutts opens the door and invites you into this world as she introduces you to a whole new way of thinking about and recovering from your eating disorder.

Shannon, too, fought hard during her 15-year battle with anorexia and bulimia and is now in a strong decade-long recovery from both. She understands firsthand the total isolation, dead-end thinking, and exhausting mind tricks that eating disorders confine you to, and has found a way to break free from eating disordered thinking and living—for good. Here, in Beating Ana, Shannon shares her own story with you and introduces you to a fresh, new, powerful, and proven approach to overcoming your eating disorder—the world of mentoring and connecting together.

From the very first page of Beating Ana, you will experience the empowering joy of sharing your recovery process with others as Shannon guides you in the same fun, introspective, practical and empowering techniques that she developed to achieve her own lasting recovery and has since passed along to her own mentees. You will walk with Shannon through the recovery process as you read private correspondence from five of her longtime mentees and participate right along with them in self-quizzes, short exercises, motivational affirmations, and journaling that is specifically designed to give you the courage, support, and tangible skills to say 'no' to your eating disorder and 'yes' to your life

About the Author

Shannon Cutts is known as a compassionate and charismatic advocate of our right to feel good about ourselves, our bodies, and our lives. Following her recovery from a fifteen-year battle with anorexia and bulimia, Shannon founded Key to Life and MentorCONNECT to share the power of mentoring with others.

Book Excerpt

Making the transition from being one of the many who suffers from an eating disorder (ED) to becoming one of the few who triumphs over your eating disorder is as rocky as any I can think of. Quite possibly, the only experience tougher on a human body, mind, heart, and spirit than falling ill is getting better.

It gets unnecessarily tougher, however, when we assume that we will have to heal the same way we got sick—alone. We don’t. In fact, I couldn’t. My loneliness and isolation were precisely the reasons why recovery felt so difficult—impossible, really. So here, in this first section, Part One: Welcome to Our World - I will introduce you to a whole new approach to eating disorders recovery—an approach that worked for me when I had literally lost all hope of surviving my eating disorder in any other way—an approach that has the very same power to renew your hope and transform your experience of recovery.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!


It is our Tuesday evening support group. On tiptoes, speaking in hushed whispers, they sidle forward, eyes groundward, chests barely rising and falling, curling up into the depths or balancing on the edges of their chosen seats. . . . They are afraid to breathe too loudly for fear someone will notice.

It is scary to be noticed when you don’t like what you’ve become. It is scarier still to be noticed when you don’t know who you are. And when the little you do know of yourself consists of the constant competition, comparison, and criticism of an eating disorder in your head, at first it can be very scary to be noticed keeping company with others like you . . . to realize that you, and your eating disorder, are not alone.

But eventually, if you want to heal, if you want to live, you adjust. You get used to two things—one, being noticed, and two, not being the only one with an eating disorder. You also get used to not being the only one with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, low self-esteem, self-harm, Promiscuity or sexual anorexia, substance abuse, alcoholism, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bottomless fear, uncontrollable anger, and endless aching loneliness . . . and you get used to sharing the burden of guilt generated by being willing, for quite some time now, to do just about anything and everything to ease the void within, even if what you are driven to do drags you down, and then drags everyone else down with you. In fact, oddly enough, this sense of collective ownership is eventually part of what gives you some small, and, in time, much greater relief.

This process—of harnessing the transformative, healing, relieving power of naming, owning, and then sharing both the pain and the promise of recovery with at least one other person who has been there, understands, and is willing and able to help—is called mentoring. Mentoring neatly circumvents the isolation in which an eating disorder flourishes by putting us in direct connection with each other—heart to heart, mind to mind, spirit to spirit. Mentoring has become a virtually lost art in this isolating age of eating disorders. Yet I have spent the past twenty years of my life putting into daily practice, and the last five years compiling, the material you hold in your hands now, because mentoring saved my life. I have seen it save the lives of many of my mentees, and I believe it has the same power to save your life as well.


The Prize

One winner will get a copy of this book.

To Enter
  • Just leave a comment with your email address telling me of - How eating disorders have affected your life or the life of someone you know?
  • Don't forget to include your email address in the body of your comment or your entry will not be considered. 
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Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

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Deadline   Midnight CST of March 6, 2009.

Eligibility  US & Canada

  • Winner's address and email will be shared with the Sponsor.
  • Winner must respond with their full name and address to the notifying email within 3 days of it being sent or a new winner will be chosen.
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  1. Members of my family suffer from eating disorders and I am very interested in reading this book.

  2. Eating diorders have pretty much run the majority of my life.

    I've been anorexic and I've also been obese. I'm either one or the other and have never in my 45 yrs stayed at one weight for more than a few months.

    I would really enjoy reading this book, thanks so much.

  3. I follow your blog!


  4. I subscribe via email!


  5. I'm following you on Twitter

    greeeneyedwhwom (twitter name)

    Eating Disorders? Win this book

    Hope I did this correctly!


  6. Please include me in your drawing. I have never had any close family but my friends daughter was hospitalized for some time with an eating disorder. It was terrible.

  7. to this day an eating disorder that a family member has had for over 50 years still haunts me. it has wreaked havoc with her body as well as her mind, but she does not consider a problem but rather "dieting" this has been passed onto her daughter who suffered for many years yet has slowly been pulling out of it thanks for the giveaway

  8. I have a friend whose daughter has been tormented by many issues. I'd love to read this book to get a better handle on understanding it all.

  9. As someone who used to be anorexic in college.. and to a degree, today (But doing better!!) -- I was an overeater all my life, then I went ana for a few years, lost so much weight that my teacher thought I was on drugs. Now, I have a healthy relationship with food, and went vegetarian because of that obsessive need to control my food. Thank you so much for offering this giveaway! eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com

  10. I have a loved one who is undergoing treatment for ED. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I have suffered with anorexia and body image issues, it would be validating to read about how someone else has felt the same way.

  12. Although I have been fortunate enough not to have anyone in my family with eating disorders, I would love to read this book and also have it on hand as my own daughter gets older. I feel that with a soon-to-be-teen, I should be as aware of potential dangers as possible.

  13. I follow on Twitter! (amweeks)

  14. Thank you all for participating! This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified.