Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Beauty Comes with a Beast: Overcoming an Eating Disorder is a nonfiction self-help book written by Korrie Jo Vance. For Vance, her eating disorder, commonly referred to as ED, was not an urbane and attractive man, but rather a vicious and spiteful female entity whose attacks left Vance shaken and feeling worthless. Vance’s struggle with eating disorders spanned a long 15 years, and she shares with the reader her journals which recount every step of her journey back to health. She shares how the weight she gained as a teen made her the butt of cruel jokes both in school and out, and how she would hide in the bathroom to change into her gym clothes. As is the case with so many others with eating disorders, Vance was never one of those persons who could eat anything they wanted and stay slim and trim. Her metabolic processes would bedevil her every effort. Even the strictest diet would swiftly lead to a plateau or, worse, a gain in weight. But while her husband and friends saw a trim and lovely woman, Vance and her beast only saw rolls of fat and a body totally out of shape.
Beauty Comes with a Beast by Korrie Jo Vance is a frank and moving account of her triumph over the beast -- her own eating disorder. She shares the frustrations and heartache, the obsession with being small that she knew could kill her. I especially appreciated how she shares the early journals in the hopes that people will gain some inspiration from seeing how far she’s progressed. I also got her frustration with the tendency to categorize eating disorders based on tables or sizes rather than an illness that can’t be quantified or reduced to the numbers on a scale or calories counted. Vance’s story is well-written and her triumph over her beast is inspirational indeed. Beauty Comes with a Beast: Overcoming an Eating Disorder is highly recommended.