In Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind, blogger and author Brenda J. Wood shares her journey from bulimia to healing and wholeness in Christ. The book sprang from entries in her journal, which helped her face her struggles and begin her walk of faith.
Wood brings readers into all the ugliness of her food addictions. She shares how she would eat an entire cake in a sitting, gobble food back to fill the emptiness inside her, devour a pie and drink gravy and think nothing of it. She says, “Food kept my painful feelings and memories in check.”
While I have also used food at times to soothe my soul, I still viewed those dealing with bulimia and other food disorders as “strange.” Wood’s honesty about her struggles helped me see her with more compassion and want to hear how she found healing.
The book is dedicated to Wood’s husband, Ron, and I enjoyed reading more about him and his role in her life. She talks about how she fell in love with her “Knight in Shining Armour” and shares some of the struggles she faced in her marriage, including her addictions and his health concerns. In the afterword, she calls Ron her “Jesus with skin.” I was sad to learn, in looking up Wood’ bio, that he has since passed away.
Wood includes snippets directly from her journal throughout the book and speaks often about the fact that journaling helped her reach healing. In Chapter 3, she says, “My journals tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” such as,
“It’s been a particularly bad week. Yesterday, I felt so lost and alone. I ate everything in sight, set no priorities for the day, and accomplished nothing. I am captive to this awful habit. I need help, but there’s nowhere to turn. If I did, I’d have to admit what I do. Does it even have a name? This disgusting habit on its own is unbelievable.”
Later in the book, Wood shares how doing just that—admitting to what she did and giving it a name—is what prompted her to finally get over it. Her conversion and faith four years before also contributed to her recovery from bulimia.
In the first chapter of her book, Wood mentions that her eating disorders sprang from childhood abuse. This abuse is hinted at throughout the book, but never completely addressed. I realize abuse is difficult to face, but I felt Wood’s story would have had more strength if she’d addressed that aspect more squarely, rather than dancing around it.
Other events were also skimmed over, which I felt could have been given more attention. Wood mentions, “I decided to write my own weight loss plan. After all, who knew me better than me? Astoundingly, this led to my own quite successful weight loss business. The old saying—‘those who can, do, and those can’t, teach’—appeared to be absolutely true in my case.” While I appreciated Wood’s sense of humour and her ability to poke fun at herself, I was curious about how a weight loss plan became a weight loss business, and how her success in helping others made her feel about her inability to help herself.
At the end of the book, Wood includes an excellent appendix on “Bulimia: What It is” with further tips and resources for those struggling with bulimia (or those who know someone who is).
I admire Wood for her courage in writing about a difficult topic. Her book is a slender volume, easy to read quickly, yet its message is much more powerful. In her honesty with her struggles, and with how she overcame them, she offers hope to others that they too can overcome and find healing. This is a resource I would recommend to anyone struggling with a food addiction.
Brenda Wood is also the author of The Pregnant Pause of Grief and Heartfelt Devotionals: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living, as well as a children’s book about grief, The Big Red Chair. She has written cookbooks and a Bible study and her devotionals appear regularly at Everyday Christian. You can find out more about Brenda and her books by visiting her website or following her on Twitter or Facebook.
I received this book for review courtesy of the author; all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.