Diary of an Exercise Addict

Diary of an Exercise Addict Reviews

1 review
Ranked #811 out of 892 in Books

Friedman suffered from exercise bulimia—a compulsion to purge calories through excessive exercise, and a rapidly growing eating disorder that affects some 400,000 American women.
In Diary of an Exercise Addict Friedman recounts her descent into a life-threatening illness, her remarkable recovery, and the setbacks along the way. With refreshing candor she lays bare her relationships with family, friends, and lovers and the repressed desire that finally surfaced as she found her own way back to health.

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Recommended? You Betcha!
November 02, 2008

I am in recovery from an Eating Disorder and this subject matter is very close to me. I believe there is a need for people who suffer from this disease to speak up about their illness - to educate people, but more importantly, to share with others who are still suffering.

Sometimes, the best teacher is someone who has been there and survived to tell the tale.

Peach Friedman has been there - she suffers from an eating disorder that manifested itself (cross addictions) through her food and her exercise habits, but also through her isolation, irritation and overall inability to deal with life - on life's terms.

There is no cure for eating disorders, once you have it, it is for life - but you can recover from it. However, first you have to actually admit and accept that you suffer from the illness and this is where Peach's book starts off.

The author has just broken off with her long term boyfriend and while she does not appear to be extremely hurt by this, you can immediately sense, by her diary entries that she is denying her feelings and channelling her hurt towards something else - "what can I do to divert my pain?" - I know I can go to the gym and exercise!!!!

For some, this would only be a temporary thing - however, for Peach, it becomes a sacred daily activity that she MUST do. As with any addiction, her desire to go to the gym and work out only increases and increases - until it completely takes over her life. Addicts are, for the most part, incapable of doing things in moderation - and Peach is no exception.

In her diary entries, Peach clearly acknowledges that the only thing that makes her feel a little better about herself is going to the gym and sweating and pushing herself to the maximum. Yet, this too will become "not enough" - and her addiction will start showing itself in her view and attitude towards food. Yes, less food, entertwined with binging sessions and more working out will make her more , more, more!

Interestingtly Peach discusses one of the less-known issues in eating disorders - binging. While anorexia and bulimia are very well documented, there are many, many sufferers who binge - basically eating large quantities of food in one sitting, but who do not purge afterwards, and Peach will alternate between binging sessions and anoxeria tendencies.

Reading this diary was so difficult. From the cover page where you can see how skinny Peach is (and I bet that many of us envy her bony, unhealthy body in some ways) to the last page, I could not stop crying. You can follow her progression into the disease and when she talks about wanting the food and being so hungry, yet denying herself a taste, I just wanted to scream!

The entries in which she details her love/hate relationship with her parents were very touching. It is obvious that there is so much unfinished business there. But, what I identified with the most in this book, is Peach' diary entries in which she talks about her body and how she feels empowered and beautiful now - even as everyone around her can no longer look her in the eye because, in reality, her "beautiful new body" has indeed become unhealthy and skeleton-like. This, to me, is at the root of this disease - our inability to see our own realities and to deal with them.

Through therapy, lots of hard work and a little luck, Peach manages to successfully work on recovering from this disease. However, as every addict in recovery knows (and if they are willing to be honest) - we are only one step away from returning to the disease, which means we must be thankful and vigilant every day of our lives.

I want to thank Peach for her honesty in sharing her experiences. It must have been difficult to bring back to the surface all of these emotions. Yet, it must also have been comforting to get them out there.

This is a great book for anyone suffering from an eating disorder or for anyone who wants to know more about this subject.

These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.