Dana Lise Shavin: The Body Tourist



S died words that feel at first like trying to chew up a washing machine A prospective boyfriend s assets are appraised thus first in a ridiculous pair of too short lime green polyester pants His rear end is round and cinched up high like a package and later in well fitting Levis His rear no longer looking like a silly package waiting to be mailed is round and firm and brilliantly displayed Her incisive writing gives impact to the serious moments as well for example when as a 22 year old still in the grip of her illness she confronts an addict in a group meeting You ve been an addict for five years Joe Is this what you want for the rest of your life To play around with your recovery your time the people who love you and are waiting to see if you re coming back My voice which would ordinarily be uaking is surprisingly calm All of the residents are looking at me Joe is looking at meI look toward the one way window behind which I now Mr Jenkins is looking at me But all I can see is myself looking back I am talking to myself By book s end she has worked her way to her own truth as an artist as a happy wife and as possessor of a body which though by some standards is still very thin is robust enough to contain her forceful spirit and transport her where her ambition and talent want and deserve to go This is an astonishing memoir of the authors struggles with anorexia It is so beautifully and insightfully written I absolutely could not put it down Read it cover to cover in one day and didn t want it to be over She is courageous honest articulate She gains progressive understanding of her disorder including seeing it in the broader context of her difficulty in taking care of nourishing herself eg living in terrible housing with no furniture She puts things in the context of her relationships and her self She is often funny never self pitying One of the most engrossing memoirs I have ever had the privilege to read The Body Tourist is a diamond in the rough Like the anorexic self depreciating narrator tells us in a round about way we are all a work in progress I really enjoyed this tale the flip flops through time the honesty and raw truth looking back everything is so clear and yet necessaryI found myself completely absorbed in this book Dana tells about her journey out of the anorexia with humor and truth She is counting calories and storing them for later The book like the title and cover is very witty and facinating Her writing is really engrossing and filled with insights into purpose and reason In the mind of someone who makes a living counseling she is honest with herself in the retelling enough to make this believable Dana s actions of omission in her employment housing and affairs of the heart are almost like a car crash I can t look away I can t stop thinking about herDana starts this story right after getting her BA She takes employment counseling others out of drugs and alcoholism and she is not out of the woods herself Fresh out of rehab she is still unable to even eat in front of other much less give advice about how someone should proceed on their recovery Her journey is littered with obstacles and she really rises to the challenge Slowly and surely like any real person coming into their own Her taste in men or lack of sex is jolting Her struggle for normal while ignoring her own needs was heartbreaking I laughed out loud and wept while reading this book It is so brutally honestThis book is so authentic I don t struggle with anorexia but I can relate to the plight of an addiction to something other than reality To wanting things that are no good for you to settling for less than is reuired for survival I read this whole book in two days between hanging Christmas lights parenting four children and dealing with sister s issues To say I loved this read is a gross understatement It was so fascinating I could not put it down I grateful for the glimpse into Dana s life I highly recommend this read. Adore the ordinary sex she could not have the food rituals she thought were normal and most profoundly in her inability to acknowledge her father’s illness and encroaching deathWhile many writers have written candidly and elouently about their struggles with depression addictions and eating disorders those stories usually conclude once there is progress toward recovery Beyond recovery there is another story one that is about how we re join the world and in the living years that follow the darkness pursue a life that is creative engaged and deeply felt in our bones This is the territory of The Body Touris.

Dana Lise Shavin × 9 READ

Free read The Body Tourist – chernov–art.com

This memoir reads like a novel I found myself laughing out loud in some places and moved to tears in others I love Dana s gift for metaphor there s some really great writing in this bookI generally don t read memoirs because too many of them tend to be self indulgent gossipy or devoid of any meaningful insight That is not the case with this book There s a sweet sort of self effacement in Dana s story and the way she tells it that never crosses over into poor me territory Instead her story comes across as sincere honest and absolutely real I d definitely recommend this book A beautifully written portrait of self discovery and what it took one woman to get there A very thought provoking read This book provided a lot of insight into the mindset of someone who is anorexic During her early to mid twenties Ms Shavin deprived herself not only of food but also of life Her denial of human needs food healthy relationships and comfortable living conditions to name a few was the result of a mental disorder and a compulsive need for control in her life By focusing on the controllable amount of calories she ingested every day Ms Shavin hoped to find order and happiness in the uncontrollable worldI ve never had any experience with anorexia and until very recently I considered this disorder and bulimia to be manufactured disorders found only in narcissistic image obsessed 1st world countries like America Reading The Body Tourist furthered my understanding of these eating disorders as addictions and compulsions which should be treated similarly to other mental disordersMs Shavin has the perfect writing style for a memoir of this type simple yet poetic She is able to describe emotions so clearly you d assume that that was the way they had always been described Her story takes us through several relationships and dwellings from love at first sight to the bitter crumbling end Along the way she sloughs off the last tentacles of her eating disorder which coincides with the maturity wisdom and strength that growing older and living through things give all of usThe reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because when I finished the book I was left with several uestions What exactly prompted Ms Shavin to start eating I wasn t sure how she mad Dana Llse Shavin writes a courageous memoir about living with a life threatening eating disorderanorexicShe writes an honest compelling story sharing about her overwhelming struggles We read about Dana s relationship with parents her job and co workers her sex life her fears her inner thoughts her connection with her Jewish identity and her recovery Eating disorders are real serious My own daughter suffered for many years Not everyone has a happy ending but for those who do recover like Dana Shavin we witness their special glowing beauty Dana s contribution through this memoir is a great onewith a healthy optimistic ending This novel is engrossing There was one part I was actually laughing silly There was a time in Dana s life when she didn t have much furniture Here is the funny I related with I once lived in a room with no bed myself Where s your bed Linda calls from the bedroom I close the oven and walk around the corner to where she is standing just inside my bedroom door Right there I say pointing to a spot on the floor against the wall on which a rectangle of blanket is folded neatly A pillow rests on top Linda just stands there looking at it You don t have a bed I like sleeping on the floor It s better for my back What s wrong with your back Nothing I say See how the floor is helping I laugh Linda rolls her eyesAt the end of the book it was a treat to read The Authors Notes We learn that Dana is a very talented artist I went to her website and enjoyed her paintings wwwDanashavinartcom I received a free The Fairytale Hairdresser and Sleeping Beauty kindle copy of The Body Tourist by Dana Lise Shavin published by Little Feather Books from NetGalley in exchange for a fair reviewIt was a tediously slow start I found it diff. In 1983 Shavin graduated from college with a BA in psychology It had been a difficult venture that included an expulsion a multitude of transfers and a four month institutionalization for depression and anorexia By the time it was over she was convinced she was cured and that it was time to start curing others I’m ready she told her parents her therapist her friends all of whom shook their heads in horror at her 95 pound frame But she was undaunted She had landed a job as a counselor in a halfway house for drug and alcohol addicts Shenew better than anyone what it took to become a happy functioning adu.

Icult to remain focused on what the book was about It was about the struggle overcoming effort purported victory over anorexia I believe the point could have made in less than the existing 341 pages I gave it almost four starsIt was a painfully articulate memoir There were times I wept for the circumstances she encounteredLink to purchase I have spent my whole life living with disordered eating My mother struggled with her weight and at some point everyone in my family decided that I should be her diet buddyWhile I can look at photos and see that I wasn t fat I always thought I wasIt is only in my 50s that I am able to see that controlling how much I eat doesn t help me control anything and everything elseI identified with Shavin and with her struggle It s realFunny horrifying and honest this is a great bookI received this free from NetGalley Fascinating shocking funny I could not put it down This book is about Shavin s recovery from anorexia but is also about her intense effort to understand herself and why she starves herself Finally her recovery isn t just to get and stay at a healthy weight but to live truthfully as difficult as that can be Her writing is lovely and profound I think I understand an extremely complex mental illness better as a result I recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone who has ever wondered why someone becomes anorexic why it can be so intractable and how with strength humor support and honesty a sufferer can recover Brave edgy funny insightful heartfelt searching these are some of the adjectives that Dana Lise Shavin s coming of age memoir THE BODY TOURIST inspiresThe book charts in intricate detail and vivid prose Shavin s journey of recovery from anorexia which she describes as a pathology with a noble heart that aims to scour away self delusion and excess down to the bare bone of truth God The Light Beyond the Forest knows there was little truth in Shavin s childhood home her estranged parents were so mired in their own problems that they never acknowledged feelings simply shutting each other and their youngest daughter the author out her writer father by isolating himself in his study and popping Valiums her mother by compulsively dieting and exercising At 5 9 as a student at Bard College 20 something Shavin starves herself down to 82 lbs getting herselficked out of school and hospitalized After she has attained 99 lbs the magic number for release from treatment she sets about becoming a superhero savior of people in the thrall of addiction among whom she once included herself though now she claims to be Recovered Recovery however turns out to be a long process not a single event Shavin s uest for wholeness and truthfulness takes her through six years of dead end mental health counseling jobs relationships with limited men living in derelict structures All the while gradually painfully she learns to eat and live again Her recovery is jeopardized by her unhappy parents who to give them the benefit of the doubt undoubtedly feel love and concern for her but are able to express it mostly through criticism and sarcasm Her mother s lashing out at 10 year old Shavin as a fat pig likely contributed to the daughter s later eating disorder Anorexia is a shifty opponent never letting its victim see herself as she truly is distorting her self image and fostering denial denial that she is ill that she is frighteningly skeletal rather than attractively thin that she could die This pattern of denial takes over all aspects of the anorexic s life during the time of Shavin s struggle toward wellness and independence her father becomes mortally ill with bladder cancer but she denies it so thoroughly that his death blindsides her It becomes a wake up call a turning point in her recovery Have I mentioned that this book is funny Shavin spins off wacky inventive images such as when she and her brother are trying to persuade a Mexican airline rep reluctant to grant them an early return from vacation But our father ha. LtOr so she thought As you might suspect the burden of self contempt faulty logic and interpersonal turmoil that are the character traits of depressive disorders and addictions do not miraculously disappear once medication and therapy have taken effect Where then do these dangerous obsessions go once a person sets foot on the road to recoveryFor Shavin they lived on beneath the radar of her supposed newfound health disguising themselves in the falling down houses she happily moved into and dangerous neighborhoods she somehow didn’t fear They announced themselves in the deeply flawed men she professed to.