FAT AND FURIOUS: Women and Food Obsession by Judi Hollis

FAT AND FURIOUS: Women and Food Obsession

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Hollis (Fat is a Family Affair, not reviewed) maps the journey of self-examination that women must take to heal food obsessions She contends that we are seeing epidemic levels of compulsive eating, anorexia, and bulimia, and that these eating disorders stem from rage toward the ""mother-daughter wound"" as mothers, not knowing any better, pass on lies, pain, and disappointment to their daughters. As much as mothers deny the ""unhappiness at being born female in a world that prefers males,"" daughters pick up the signals. Faced with dishonesty, they turn to food to numb the truth that the Inner Self always tells. Healing, in Hollis's approach, does not mean blaming the mother or digging through the past for clues to why women are the way they are today. Instead, she promotes the Twelve-Step approach. She asks women to carefully moderate food consumption, to stop using food as a sedative, to seek the support of a sponsor who's had an eating disorder herself, and to begin the self-exploration necessary for self-acceptance, letting go, and rebirth. This book does not pretend that it can heal women all by itself. But it does offer the true stories of women's journeys; it directs women to outside help (including, conveniently, the Hollis Institute, of which the author is the clinical director); and it provides endless writing exercises to promote self-awareness. Interestingly, accepting-mother/accepting-self doesn't always end in a loving relationship; for some women it means realizing that their mothers just don't like them -- not a bad thing, just the troth. Hollis offers the usual self-help lingo, realistically, if sometimes simplistically, examining issues of power and gender to offer a slightly different approach to eating disorders.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Ballantine