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The true confessions of an eating disorders survivor. This confessional self-help guide explores the complex emotional truth of what it's like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. Activist author Marissa LaRocca's revelatory tale includes her struggle with her secrets, including sexuality, and how she emerged as an outspoken advocate for gay rights and women's health issues.Many young women and girls struggle with the body image issues that engender eating disorders with elaborate rituals around food, binging, purging, and hiding it all while trying to maintain a face of normalcy to the world. Anorexia and bulimia have become major national health crises with skyrocketing statistics indicating that between three and five percent of the population suffer anorexia nervosa alone. Sadly, many never attain the sense of being 'normal' and deal with a lifetime of body image and self-esteem issues.This intimate account of courage and the search for truth and meaning will have you rooting for Marissa LaRocca as she unravels the emotional layers of her own battle with food, body image, and sexuality. Readers of this riveting memoir, Starving in Search of Me, will relate to the coming-of-age story of a young woman confronting some of life's major issues while living, for a time, in two closets: one to hide her eating disorder and one to hide her sexuality and very identity. Echoes of Portia de Rossi's Unbearable Lightness resound in LaRocca's portrait of a life seemingly lived out in the open but, in truth, very much concealed. Through her inspiring triumphs and revelations, activist and author Marissa LaRocca invites readers to confront themselves. She asks, 'What if, at the root of all 'disorders,' is the refusal to acknowledge or permit certain feelings-feelings that, if witnessed, have the power to free their sufferers? To what extent are 'disorders' actually doorways to helping us understand the truth about our lives?'In addition to her personal story, LaRocca takes a close look at society's role in the development of eating disorders and other mental health challenges, establishing that the prevalence of such 'illnesses' represent a collective yearning for connection, acceptance, and emotional nourishment amongst generations that are starving for so many things. Starving in Search of Me resolves with hope and an abundance of insights, tools, and resources to support eating disorder sufferers and members of the LGBTQ community alike. It's a head-on journey toward total self-acceptance that will nourish the spirit and inspire readers to embrace their differences and nurture their authentic selves.What You'll Learn Inside This Book: Identify the root causes, symptoms, and triggers associated with an eating disorderAcknowledge the 'life issues' that are being masked by 'food issues' or another addictionDisempower compulsive behaviors like binging, purging, and obsessing about calories and exerciseHeal your relationship with food through healing your relationship with yourselfEscape the victim role, become empowered, and take responsibility for your own happinessConnect with your life's purpose and authentic self, transforming your weaknesses into strengthsFree your mind through tuning in to the body and witnessing emotionsImprove your body image and self-esteem by aligning your lifestyle with your true values, desires, and what is realisticEffectively communicate your needs with confidenceEstablish guilt-free lifestyle boundaries to reduce anxiety and maximize vitalityEnhance peace of mind by developing a reliable support systemEliminate the need to be perfect by practicing forgiveness and compassion toward yourself