In the last five years, the number of people suffering with eating disorders has more than doubled. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetic women are nearly three times more likely to develop an eating disorder than non-diabetic women. Diabulimia, one of many eating disorders, is the dangerous and often fatal practice of altering or omitting insulin to lose weight. The uncanny link between diabetes and eating disorders is irrefutable.
Diabulimia is an eating disorder in which people with Type 1 diabetes deliberately give themselves less insulin than they need, for the purpose of weight loss. Often, people with Type 1 diabetes who omit insulin injections will have already been diagnosed with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and/or compulsive eating. Diabulimia can be triggered or exacerbated by the need for diabetics to exercise constant vigilance in regard to food, weight and glycemic control. The frustration of managing blood sugars and their subsequent effects on weight and self perception (altered by dealing with a chronic illness) can also be damaging to self-esteem and body image.
Here's the inherent irony: While diabetes treatment necessitates heightened awareness of food, rehabilitating an eating disorder almost always involves the opposite, deliberately minimizing focus on food. It is a catch-22. Intensifying the toxicity of this relationship even further, eating disorders exacerbate the complications of diabetes (blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, neuropathy and amputations), and diabetes exacerbates the complications of eating disorders (isolation, emotional eating, obsession with food and body weight). It is a life threatening partnership.
Eating to Lose is one woman's memoir her journey from illness to recovery, and carves a pathway of hope and empowerment for the millions who continue to suffer with diabulimia. Eating to Lose is written for them, and perhaps even more importantly it is written for their parents, and all parents in fact, who may unknowingly and involuntarily contribute to the stereotype of distorted body image so damaging to a woman's self-esteem.
Eating to Lose is a book about hope, about possibility, about transformation and renewal. It is the first book to address the toxic marriage of both diabetes and eating disorders. Written with gritty honesty Eating to Lose offers a firsthand account of true healing and provides hope both for individuals with diabulimia and their families. - return to top -
Reviews"Maryjeanne Hunt's personal story provides hope that recovery is possible - a message that recent research confirms. This book is written in an engaging style that will leave readers with a better appreciation for the unique struggle of eating disorders and Type 1 Diabetes. For those readers engaged in their own struggle, the book will help them realize that they are not alone." - Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Behavioral and Mental Health Unit, Joslin Diabetes Center
"In her book about diabulimia, Maryjeanne Hunt describes a coming to grips with the power food and weight had over her and how she learned to live with it and transform it into healing. Diabetes, especially Type 1 Diabetes, can lead to eating disorders in a misguided attempt to control blood sugars and lose weight, often by omitting insulin injections. This book is well-written and inspiring for all of us who have a love-hate relationship with food whether or not we have diabetes." - Rita G. Mertig, MS, RNC, CNS, DE, author of What Nurses Know: Diabetes and The Nurses' Guide to Teaching Diabetes Self-Management
"Maryjeanne Hunt shares the most intimate details of the dangerous bondage created by her distorted body image and her healing to a life nourished by 'nature's intelligence' and divine imperfection." - Florence Brown, MD, Joslin Diabetes Center
"For women with diabetes, food is medicine, and as a result, we are more likely to develop disordered eating behaviors. Maryjeanne Hunt shines a light on this too often overlooked side effect of living with diabetes. Readers follow Hunt's inspirational journey of overcoming diabulimia and embracing a healthy lifestyle. This is an honest story that hits home and will keep you thinking long after you've turned the last page." - Amy Stockwell Mercer, author of The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes- return to top -
Maryjeanne Hunt was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1971. As a teenager she developed diabulimia and battled her eating disorder for 22 years. Now fully healed, she has been free of her eating disorder since 1997.
Maryjeanne has held a position as wellness columnist for CNC Newspapers, published nationally since August 2009. She has been a licensed personal fitness and certified weight management coach since 1987, where she counsels others on wellness, diet, and body image. Her story has been featured on ABC News and Oprah Radio.