*this post contains a gifted product
Every so often I’ll find a book I love so much, I finish reading it in a day.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Last Tudor, As Old As Time, Part Of Your World…and now The Year I Didn’t Eat.
As you might have seen on my Instastories, I was sent this in a PR package and originally I was a little sceptical.
I love reading but I can be quite picky at times, especially if it’s in a genre I don’t regularly read.
However, by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked!
This is where I’m going to add a little trigger warning; this post is going to talk about anorexic and emetophobia (a fear of being sick). If either of these topics could trigger or upset you, please don’t read any further. As much as I love having you on my blog, I don’t want you reading a post that could harm or upset you!
I’ve always struggled with a feeling of not being a “real” anorexic, mostly because it was caused by my fear of being sick.
When I speak about being a recovering anorexic, people always assume it had something to do with my weight.
But that’s not the case at all!
I actually liked the way I looked. I was a healthy size and weight and even though I wouldn’t have minded toning up a little, it wasn’t high on my priority list.
I started starving myself because I caught a sickness bug, was terrified of throwing up (even though it had never bothered me in the past) and decided that starving myself was the best way to avoid being sick.
Not the smartest idea I’ve ever had.
It cost me nearly two years of my life and left me with health problems that I’m still struggling with years after recovering.
But because it wasn’t the story you see printed in magazines or portrayed in films, I struggled with feelings of being a fraud and an imposter.
Which is actually the reason I love this book so much.
It emphasises that everyone’s experience with anorexia (or any eating disorder) is different and no two people experience it the same way.
It helped me realised that even though my experience with anorexia was completely different from Max’s (the main character in the book), it was just as valid.
On top of that, it also highlights eating disorders in men, something that is much needed in today’s society and has long been missing from the media!
I actually think they need to consider putting The Year I Didn’t Eat on the reading list for schools.
Not only would it be a great way to educate teenagers about anorexia, but it would also show boys that there is no shame in admitting they have an eating disorder and to get help.
Whenever eating disorders are spoken about, it still seems to be presented as a female-only condition.
I honestly feel this stereotype is the reason so many guys refuse to admit they’re struggling – they feel that it’s “not something men get” and it makes them “less of a man”.
Those are two things I’ve actually seen someone say when asked why he didn’t get help for his bulimia!
I also think this would be really helpful to people who aren’t anorexic.
It can be hard to understand something you’ve never gone through personally, but this book really gets inside Max’s head and is quite raw and emotional at times.
It challenges the stereotypes around anorexia and could be so helpful in educating people or as a tool to start the conversation about eating disorders.
If you’re interested in reading The Year I Didn’t Eat for yourself, you can pick it up on Amazon!