Manual Are You EVER Going to be Thin? (and other stories)

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Samantha Anne Mallory's family reunion + voices from her past, present, and future = her something journey through time, backward and forward, her burden.
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In a unique and very engaging approach, the author portrays the thoughts of a young girl as she moves through the different era's of her life unfolding one secret after another and chronicles her efforts to try and piece it all it together. Not only does she live in and face a bizzare family structure, the story also lets in cultural events going on around her such as President Kennedy's assasination.

What I find most moving about the novel is that through all of the turmoil, this young girl, and eventually woman, does seem to make her way through it, but not without examining and opening the wounds of her past.

Anorexia Nervosa

Weight issues are abound, as well as how one is affected by the all the characters in the family they grow up in. There are moments of love suspended right next to moments of sadness as she finds out about her mother's life and what she does for a living. Thoughts about dieting, food, and your body may take up most of your day—leaving little time for friends, family, and other activities you used to enjoy. Life becomes a relentless pursuit of thinness and intense weight loss. The intense dread of gaining weight or disgust with how your body looks, can make eating and mealtimes very stressful.

But no matter how ingrained this self-destructive pattern seems, there is hope. With treatment, self-help, and support, you can break the self-destructive hold anorexia has over you, develop a more realistic body image, and regain your health and self-confidence. This can make it hard at first for friends and family to spot the warning signs. When confronted, you might try to explain away your disordered eating and wave away concerns. Dieting despite being thin — Following a severely restricted diet. Eating only certain low-calorie foods.

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Obsession with calories, fat grams, and nutrition — Reading food labels, measuring and weighing portions, keeping a food diary, reading diet books. Pretending to eat or lying about eating — Hiding, playing with, or throwing away food to avoid eating. Preoccupation with food — Constantly thinking about food. Cooking for others, collecting recipes, reading food magazines, or making meal plans while eating very little. Strange or secretive food rituals — Refusing to eat around others or in public places.

Eating in rigid, ritualistic ways e. Fixation on body image — Obsessed with weight, body shape, or clothing size. Frequent weigh-ins and concern over tiny fluctuations in weight. Harshly critical of appearance — Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror checking for flaws. Using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics — Abusing water pills, herbal appetite suppressants, prescription stimulants, ipecac syrup, and other drugs for weight loss. Throwing up after eating — Frequently disappearing after meals or going to the bathroom.

May run the water to disguise sounds of vomiting or reappear smelling like mouthwash or mints.

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Compulsive exercising — Following a punishing exercise regimen aimed at burning calories. Exercising through injuries, illness, and bad weather. There are no simple answers to the causes of anorexia. Anorexia is a complex condition that arises from a combination of many social, emotional, and biological factors. While the causes of anorexia are uncertain, the physical effects are clear.

Essentially, your body begins to consume itself. If self-starvation continues and more body fat is lost, medical complications pile up and your body and mind pay the price. Deciding to get help for anorexia is not an easy choice to make. But while change is hard, it is possible. Admit you have a problem.

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Talk to someone. You may be ashamed, ambivalent, or afraid.

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Find a good listener—someone who will support you as you try to heal. Stay away from people, places, and activities that trigger your obsession with being thin. Seek professional help. The advice and support of trained eating disorder professionals can help you regain your health, learn to eat normally again, and develop healthier attitudes about food and your body. The first priority in anorexia treatment is addressing and stabilizing any serious health issues. Hospitalization may be necessary if you are dangerously malnourished or so distressed that you no longer want to live.

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You may also need to be hospitalized until you reach a less critical weight. The food and weight-related issues are in fact symptoms of a deeper issue: depression, anxiety, loneliness, insecurity, pressure to be perfect, or feeling out of control. Problems that no amount of dieting or weight loss can cure.

But the book is not perfect. Even then, the story manifests a gratifying sense of unity and wholeness. And it echoes gracefully with another recurring theme — the unrelenting mundanity of life.

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They cut grass, cry alone in bed, fidget with their colostomy bags. And of course, they pop zits, poop, and pee. And it seems Moshfegh is keenly aware of exactly how. Her heartbeat was light and chatty, a rhythm that made you want to waltz around the kitchen. At parties, he wowed people with descriptions of boils and rashes and growths, strange hair patterns, nasty scars, pus-filled cysts, bizarre freckles, cancers, moles. Herb McGinnis, who wowed his kitchen party with a story about hearts and love.

Instead, he chose a different organ.

They are in a few places supple and downy, and in other places knotted and calloused, and everywhere endowed with nerve. But they never pretend to dive beneath the complicated layers of the skin. Instead, these stories are content to examine in the finest of detail all the many ways in which skin, our largest organ, after all, can lead us to a deeper understanding. What could one know about a person? John had known her best of all, had been able to predict her every move, the arc of her sighs, her laughs, the twists of her shadow as it crossed a room. But were those things significant enough, he wondered, to boast about?

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What could be more true about the way we experience that kind of loss, the loss of someone who has moved and coughed and stirred in our proximity for decades? The answer is not simple. What John points to is the irrevocable loss of his smallest but most familiar intimacies.