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Publisher's Summary

Jenni had been in an abusive relationship with Ed for far too long. He controlled Jenni’s life, distorted her self-image, and tried to physically harm her throughout their long affair. Then, in therapy, Jenni learned to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition. By thinking of her eating disorder as a unique personality separate from her own, Jenni was able to break up with Ed once and for all.

Inspiring, compassionate, and filled with practical exercises to help you break up with your own personal E.D., Life Without Ed provides hope to the millions of people plagued by eating disorders. Beginning with Jenni’s "divorce" from Ed, this supportive, lifesaving book combines a patient’s insights and experiences with a therapist’s prescriptions for success to help you live a healthier, happier life without Ed.

This 10th anniversary edition features a new afterword as well as sections devoted to family, friends, and supporters; how treatment professionals can use the book with their patients and men with anorexia.

©2003 Jenni Schaefer (P)2014 McGraw Hill Digital

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Inspiring story and invaluable resource

What did you love best about Life Without Ed?

As a male who struggled for several years with an eating disorder, I can say without hesitation that the audio book version of Life Without Ed is an extraordinary resource for males and females, and people of all backgrounds and ages who struggle with eating disorders. Spoken with honesty, clarity, and compassion, Jenni’s story sends an empowering and hopeful message that full recovery from an eating disorder—and the unhappiness that results from low self-esteem and perfectionism—is possible for everyone. An eating disorder is not a 'condition' that you will battle for the rest of your life. Although we cannot ‘think our way out of an eating disorder,’ (which Jenni calls “Ed”), we can talk our way into a full—and real—recovery by learning to replace Ed’s negative voice with an inner voice that affirms our self-worth and knows that anything is possible if we believe it is possible. Recovery involves changing our thought process, letting go, and accepting that our authentic self will always be good enough. Jenni’s inspiring story is combined with practical exercises that can help you throughout the recovery process--and your life. Life Without Ed is also an invaluable resource for the families of those suffering from eating disorders, clinicians, and anyone who struggles with low self-esteem.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Reassuring for all those wanting recovery from ED

Any additional comments?

Jenni Schaefer’s audible version of “Life without Ed” acts as a great companion for those wanting recovery. Her reassuring voice helps emphasize her story, commitment to recovery and provides great hope for all those struggling to overcome eating disorders.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Practical Insight for Parents and Loved Ones!

If you could sum up Life Without Ed in three words, what would they be?

Insightful, informative, inspiring.

What did you like best about this story?

As the mother of an anorexic teen, this book helped me get a better understanding of what was going on inside my daughter's mind. I found it useful to think of the eating disorder as being separate from my daughter, and now can discern when ED is talking instead of my girl. The book also aided me in expressing my anger toward ED, instead of my daughter. I know Life Without Ed has also helped my daughter immensely, and that in her road to recovery, she views Jenni as an inspiration.

What does Jenni Schaefer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jenni's inflection and emphasis, combined with her natural tone of voice, keeps the listener engaged in the message delivered, and adds palpable feeling to the story.

What did you learn from Life Without Ed that you would use in your daily life?

I learned to be more aware of messages that I might be sending my daughter, from body image issues to labeling food as good or bad. I learned that I don't have to understand the eating disorder, but that my support as a mother is imperative.

Any additional comments?

As a busy mom of 3, I appreciate how the short chapters are easy to fit into my little spurts of down time. Life Without Ed serves as a great reminder that even though someone appears "healthy" on the outside, he or she may still be experiencing quite the internal struggle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Such comfort when ED is in my ear

What did you love best about Life Without Ed?

The comforting voice. Jenni's voice and message trumps the ED and Ms Perfectionist haunting and unattainable demands.

What did you like best about this story?

Learning to separate myself from my eating disorder. I am something special without an eating disorder, and I can heal.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Meg
  • Santa Rosa, Ca, United States
  • 04-05-14

So Good to Have for Some Extra Motivation!!

What did you love best about Life Without Ed?

This book was my bible throughout my recovery. I would have loved to have had this while I was recovering to be able to listen to it in my car while driving for an extra boost of motivation. I'm definitely going to be recommending this to people so they can always have some extra inspiration and motivation with them where ever they go!

Have you listened to any of Jenni Schaefer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I love that now I don't have to wait for Jenni to come to an area near by to be able to hear her speak! Jenni's personality really shines through throughout the audiobook. I love that I can listen to her now whenever I need a little pick-me up.

What did you learn from Life Without Ed that you would use in your daily life?

Almost all my coping skills in early recovery came from "Life Without Ed". Separating from Ed was one of the most powerful tools I used.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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LOVE this book!

Thank you, Jenni! Your story hit home on so many levels. Thank you for adding suggestions and Thom's POV, as well. I have just begun my journey and hope to keep ED kicked to the curb!

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Good overall value

I downloaded this audiobook per my therapist recommendation. I have been in recovery from my eating disorder for just over a year. I’m sure some people will really love this book but I thought it was really cheesy and redundant. There are definitely some very valid points but I felt like I was reading a journal written by a 15 year old.

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A different way to attack Ed

What made the experience of listening to Life Without Ed the most enjoyable?

Grateful Jenni Schaefer wrote this book. It presents a different way to look at, and learn to detach from, ED. I realized how much of an impact this book had one afternoon when I actually heard and recognized Ed's voice. Jenni's narration is clean, complete, easy to understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone who battles with Ed.

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Introduced me to ED

I loved having my eating disorder personified... It is so much easier to deal with "him".
This book also opened my eyes to many characteristics that are not "normal " for the average person and there is a way out!
She offers many exercises and techniques to help conquer ED... I will listen to this many times!

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Terrific book on eating disorders

My 13 year old was recently diagnosed with anorexia and this has been very difficult for me as her father and for her mother as well of course. This book was an eye-opener and very easy to read and understand. The whole concept of regarding the eating disorder as a separate person/personality different from you is powerful. My daughter is reading it as well. Strongly recommended!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-11-15

It's like hearing my brain.

I'm in the middle of my struggle. Hearing this book was like finding a piece of myself after years of only ED.