Anything we care deeply about is emotional when it launches. Whether it is our children, an idea, or a project we have a connection that evokes feelings. Amy and I feel very connected to this book project and as such, the launch is proving to be exhilarating and emotional as expected.
Amy and I met in 2008 just after I founded the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA). I instantly knew we were kindred spirits because she spoke about the BED journey in a way that I felt, but did not have the words for at the time. It's amazing to have that type of connection, and I feel humbled to work alongside Amy and call her my dear friend.
For me, Amy was, in many ways, the link to my final pieces of recovery despite not having a client-therapist relationship. Proximity to her wisdom about BED treatment and recovery helped deliver me to a place that felt like home. I'd had plenty of treatment that took me just so far. I knew, when I began BEDA and met Amy that I was not finished, but had no idea what pieces remained and where to find them. What Amy shared as a part of the BEDA board, in the many conversations over meals and in my living room, as well as in the talks she often gave in my presence was enough to take my healing to another level and find my way to my relationship with food and my body that provided me a level of peace that I never expected to find.
When a book editor approached me about who in the eating disorders community could write a book on BED that would truly serve those with the disorder there was no doubt in my mind. Amy truly is the rare thought leader in this field who has the lived experience of BED and over 25 years of developing her approach and honing her skills in this population. It is difficult to find an eating disorder specialist with the depth and insight around BED, and it is my hope that many will be served by Amy's expertise and wisdom through the book.
My part in this endeavor is small, but I hope that the stories I share are relatable, if even in a small way. We each have our own stories and journey. No two will look alike. Some will intersect with other eating disorders, some with include substance abuse and other mental health issues, some will include trauma, and many will include not feeling our bodies are good enough or even somewhat worthy in cultures that do not value bodies of every shape and size. Despite our differences, I know there will be many who can relate to the core of what I am sharing and feel validated as you begin or continuing your journey.
Last but not least, I want to acknowledge the many privileges I have that led me to this place as the co-author of a published book that shares my story. I am white with all of many unearned benefits that go along with my skin color. I am cis-gendered, straight, college educated, married with a strong support network, and am currently economically stable. As a higher weight woman, I experience fat phobia (weight bias) daily, but I realize that my other privileges mitigate its intensity to some extent. This book would not have been possible without my privilege and I want to recognize that there are many stories that need to be told by people outside of my positionality. I want to be of service in amplifying those stories and will work to do so.