Rivera recalls a childhood memory:
I don't just have my mother's face; I have her body, too. We share the same padded hips, the rounded thighs, the kangaroo pouch of a belly. When I see the abrasive way she turns away from herself in the mirror, how can I think of my body as anything but flawed?It's not long before Rivera develops eating-disordered behavior. After a consultation with a diet doctor ("Being this requires sacrifice"), Rivera takes the diet to an extreme, which morphs into anorexia. Not surprisingly, Rivera suffers the physiological and psychological consequences of countless days of restriction and eventually ends up overeating (developing a persona whom she refers to as "Binge Bitch").
Rivera relies on her family, treatment team, and her writing to guide her to health. One of her journal entries reveals: "In The Writer's Life, author Julia Cameron says going sane looks a lot like going insane." What a perfect description of recovery. . .
Note: I've added Insatiable to the EWHAED book list. While this book may be helpful to many, it may be triggering to some. As always, I recommend you be mindful of this as you read.