Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body
Penguin Random House Australia, Oct 26, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages
This book is the sometimes shocking, often blackly funny story of her rollercoaster ride through anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, gym-obsession and, finally, recovery.
Between the ages of 17 and 30, Rachael Oakes-Ash lost 60kg (10 stone) and gained 72kg (12 stone). As the title indicates, it's a book packed with attitude. Rachael may be an extreme case, but almost every woman out there understands her obsession with food, her bad body image and the amount of wasted energy she put into both. Three-quarters of the women in Australia think they are too fat. Most of them are wrong. More than 95% of Australian women have dieted at some point, even though they probably know that dieting doesn't work as a way of losing weight and that it can have the exact opposite effect.
This book is for all of those women. Unlike previous books on anorexia, bulimia, food obsession and bad body image, this is a very accessible story. Rachael doesn't spare herself - readers will learn why she dusted cigarette ash off food scraps in the bin and ate them, why she stole food from the retirement-home dwellers she was supposed to be visiting, and how a smart bulimic plans their operations. But the humour in the way she tells her story means that this is not a guilt-inducing 'heavy' read. It's stark and it's black but it is often very funny.