Beyond My Body: Recovering from a Complex Eating Disorder, Reclaiming Movement, and Finding My Worth

by Ally Rae Pesta

Ally Rae Pesta’s vignette-style memoir shows the inner workings of a young woman’s mind as she becomes obsessed with “healthy” eating, exercise, and being exceptional. Throughout adolescence, Ally vacillates between feeling too much and never enough in a culture that always demands more. After experiencing sexual assault in her teens, Ally feels her body is not her own.

As people validate Ally for her athletic drive and shrinking figure, she plummets deeper into an eating disorder, convinced she’s the “epitome of health.” Monitoring food and exercising to exhaustion becomes Ally’s attempt at control. At seventeen, doctors diagnose her with anorexia, orthorexia, and exercise addiction, forcing Ally to face the harrowing reality that her disorder is threatening her life.

Ally tells an authentically raw story about her ongoing healing journey, showing how treatment has enabled her to accept support, create community, build a healthy relationship with movement, and enjoy food.

For any individuals, family members, or friends on a similar journey, this frank memoir provides hope for overcoming trauma and achieving hard-earned self-love.

Beyond My Body is a captivating and intimate, behind-the-scenes view of the human experience of an eating disorder. Ally lends a powerful voice to the conversation around self-worth, mental wellness, and eating disorders.

Jason Wood, author of Starving for Survival and ANAD Director of Community Engagement

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