Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

4.4 213
by Marya Hornbacher
     
 

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Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be "normal," Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia -- until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college

Overview

Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be "normal," Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia -- until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the romance of wasting away to rest forever. A vivid, honest, and emotionally wrenching memoir, Wasted is the story of one woman's travels to reality's darker side -- and her decision to find her way back on her own terms.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061755552
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/17/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
135,405
File size:
668 KB

Meet the Author

Marya Hornbacher is an award-winning journalist and bestselling writer. Her books include the memoirs Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, which has been published in twelve languages, and the New York Times bestseller Madness: A Bipolar Life; the recovery books Sane: Mental Illness, Addiction, and the Twelve Steps, and Waiting: A Nonbeliever's Higher Power; and the novel The Center of Winter. She teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Northwestern University and lives in Chicago.

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Wasted 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 214 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the author has obvious talent as a writer, this is one book I don't think should have been written. It explains too many ways to hide the behaviors of this disorder, which many with eating disorders will be looking to learn, talks way too much about her exercising, and lists her weight pound by pound as it dropped. All things eating disorder victims will focus on. As a recovered anorexic I am insulted by her claim that one of the biggest reasons she 'got better' is because she got bored with being sick. It is an insult to anyone who has ever put in the hard, painful work to get better, and is an insult to the process one must go through to recover.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe this is is what most Eating disorder books are missing! This book is scary and that is all there is to it! I have an eating disorder right now as we speak and I thought this book was highly triggering for me but I also think that it did scare me into asking for help! If you are at your worse with you eating disorder and/or triggered very easily this is NOT the book for you but if you are ready to be scared to death than read it and maybe you will see, as I did, that you can die!
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was hard for me to finish reading when i was finishing my struggle with bulimia, so if you have had a problem with an eating disorder I almost wouldn't recommend it. Otherwise though it is realistic and is well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you have/had an eating disorder, i dont recomend reading this book. it was really triggering for me, and i had to go back to In Patient after reading it. it was a really good book, but a bad mistake on my part in reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was very well written and I could relate, but I did relapse while reading this book. I would recommend this to someone who is recovered from their eating disorder, unlike myself who just got out of treatment. Best book I've ever read though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In graduate school, I read this book for a literature class about autobiography and memoir. As a former bulimirexic, I couldn't wait to dive into the book. As I read more and more, I steadily got more and more frustrated with Hornbacher's portrayal of her experience. The self-indulgent, almost loving way she describes her descent into the disorders and her efforts to 'recover' disturbed me. It is her memoir and her account of her experience, though, but I feel she was too reckless, especially in claiming that the disorder doesn't stop being an issue. Yes, it does stop being an issue -- when one is truly recovering. Having been there, done that myself, Hornbacher does not strike me as recovering at all. Rather, she writes as if she's still in the grips of the disorders -- and enjoys it, despite claims to the contrary. And that's dangerous for someone reading this who is in the throes of the disorders.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without question Marya Hornbacher is gifted as a writer. My problem with the book is that many readers who are in the grips of their own eating disorder will use this book as a way to learn how to be better at being sick, and will judge their own self worth by comparing themselves to the author. By writing about how much the person exercises, the number of calories the person ate, and especially by how much she weighed many people suffering from eating disorders will believe they do not deserve help (any kind of treatment) until they are as sick, if not sicker, than anyone speaking out about their own battle with their eating disorder. My anorexia got so bad my parents were told I wouldn't survive the night the last time I was hospitalized, and I now travel around speaking out against eating disorders; I also must always be careful not to give out any of the kind of information I have just talked about. If I did I know the victims will decide they can only get help when they get as thin, and eat no more than I did, and I know kids would die trying, or come close to it. I know because that is exactly how I felt. I do applaud Marya's courage in speaking out against the treatment centers that focus on forcing fast weight gain on the patients and them sending them home without really receiving any real therapy. That kind of treatment towards these victims has the potential to do real harm to the patients.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a recovered anorexic I was disappointed in this book. It is actually a dangerous book for anyone prone to an eating disorder to read. I felt like it glorified the life of a person living with an eating disorder. Not only did it give dangerous details on how to avoid getting 'caught' with your eating disorder, but it also gave specific instructions on binging and purging.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. The writing is brilliant (though it can get a bit overdone sometimes), it's full of information about eating disorders, and most of all, very insightful to the eating disordered psyche.
Guest More than 1 year ago
reading Wasted was an addiction in itself. real and raw, it carved out a few of my scars and revealed to me my infatuation with CONTROL -and all that it implies- once again. its in-your-face style exposed me too much... I have relapsed... because of Marya's accurate, crude, and exceptional expressions, Wasted might be better fitted for those who do not have an eating disorder -but are trying to understand the thinking process behind it- or for those who have put the disorder behind them -and are strong enough to continually face the TRUTH. a dangerous read for those like me, still struggling with extreme power issues... but a heck-of-a read nonetheless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a seventeen-year-old anorexic girl with bulimic tendencies. I don't want to go into detail in this review because I doubt I could formulate the right words to accurately describe the brilliance of this book. All I can tell you, eating-disordered person or loved one of an eating-disordered person, is that this book is a must-read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
AMAZINGLY accurate of what I am going/went through. To those who think it is triggering, it is only triggering if you let it be. Personally, I think it is beautifully written and shows that eating disorders are NOT glamourous, they are terrifying sicknesses and ordeals that way too many go through. Many of the thoughts and feelings expressed by the author are similar if not the same as my own. This book really got me thinking and gave me new ideas and insight into what my disease really is and how I can BEAT IT FOR GOOD!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Easily the best book on eating disorders I have ever read. I had a very hard time putting this book down and ended up finishing it in 2 days. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an intelligent reflection on this topic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up 'Wasted' thinking it would be helpfull during my recovery. I have suffered from anorexia/bulimia for half of my life, and have only been starting to get better these past 6 months. I found this book to be EXTREMELY TRIGGERING! Well written, but still very triggering to anyone who has ever felt sadness and depression in their life... Please be careful when reading...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a recovering bulimic/anorexic, 14 years old 5'5 and 88 pounds. This book told me bluntly all the things I'd denied and refused to believe. Marya tells her story in a straightfoward, almost unforgiving style and still manages to be hauntingly poetic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I admit, I'm barely into this book and I think I'm already done with it. It's kind of hard to believe the things she says when she has obviously made up a lot of details. Her and her 5 year old friend "reading" the labels on foods? Remembering running away, picking flowers, and hiding in a hamper...when she was 3 years old? Hanging upside-down from a chair WHILE eating a sandwich (hello, choking?!). I feel like she's making up a lot of little details to make the story better and this makes me not want to read the rest of the book - how do I know what details are made up and what details are real?! She also says she's not gonna go into talking about how "bad" her family is and how that contributed to her eating disorder, but almost right after that she's talking about her parents arguing at the table and her mom's bizarre eating habits that date all the way back to when the author was in utero/nursing. Sorry, but I'm done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many have commented that this book shouldnt have been written, that it is a blueprint to EDNOS, buli, ana.... the truth is that its not really meant to be a book about her road out. Its a book about her time IN the disorders. I read this in a day. My depression with my own EDNOS was too much and i felt totally alone. I felt like my choices were only mine and i was horrible for them. Reading this, it actually gave me the first bit of hope. Not being alone. Not being the only one.... it is major. Years and years of dealing with this alone and this book, its real. EDs are impossible to define as being cured one way or another. Impossible to make sense of when you are trapped in them. This book does make you see that you arent the only one that feels that way. For some, it may give them license to become worse. For others like me (i read this a few months ago now) it gave me a hope because someone who thought like me has crawled out of "the rabbit hole" Four stars only because she doesnt go into the recovery, wjat it took..... i wish she had. I wish i knew. I wish we all knew
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not the words of someone participating actively in recovery-the author is still "romancing" and enjoying her illness. This book is nothing but a how to guide. Do not buy if you have your own problems with food. I suppose it is an interesting read to anyone without food issues-like passing a car wreck. You cannot not look.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book a disappointment. I thought I would get a compelling story about the struggles of the disease. Instead the book was filled with alot of unnecessary detail making it too long and a drag. And just when you think you're getting to a compelling point...it lacks detail and leaves you with alot of unanswered questions. I felt I had to finish the book since I bought it...but a complete waste of time. It's a story of a very sick girl and her problems...and less about the real struggles of having an eating disorder. Save your money on this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is well written, but I am in the midst of my eating disorder and seeking treatment and I bought this book thinking maybe it can help. It only made me worse. This book SHOULD NOT have put numbers and other certain things that took place. Honestly,do not read this book if you have an eating disorder or anything. If you have an extremely healthy relationship with food and your body and are very confident, then go right ahead. But even if you think you want to lose weight, do not read it. It may do you wrong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone falling into the world of vanity. This book will pull you right out and get your head on straight. The author takes you into such a hell that at times it hurts to go on with her. Everytime I read this book I realized how important it was that I do not get caught up in vanity and place too much importance on being 'beautiful'. This book is great for anyone who feels the pressures of chasing Thin and needs perspective.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why do I do it? Why does anyone? We all have our reasons...ones yet to be determined, but sometimes we are just plain hungry. As a young 'driven' woman, I can relate to Marya's obsessive behaviors. Although I am in slow recovery, the only kind there is, her book has helped me want to get healthy before I begin a third year with the addiction. Marya holds nothing back in her story. The truth of bulimia and anorexia is written on every page. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gave me chills. Marya writes with such realness, such brutal honesty, one cannot help but become immersed in her struggle between life and death. She opens the reader's eyes with her no-holds-barred approach to telling the moving story of the war she battled with herself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being in recovery myself, I can honestly say that Marya's poetic horror speaks volumes. I nearly died myself at 5'10, 88lbs. There are alot of myths out there about this disease (yes, it is a disease), and Marya uses her own life experience to tell it how it truly is. She is an inspiration to all that it is never to late to get help.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, I bought it and read it twice. It sent chills, brought tears and really changed what I thought and knew about eating disorders. If you want to know what it's like, this book is better than a doctor's or fictional writer's view. This is from someone who actually lived it.