Overcoming a Deadly Disease

Story By: Jacqueline Clark

 “I know I have a lot more to accomplish in this life and if I can help a struggling girl or boy through their pain, my story is worth it.”

                     —- Corinne Weber

Chapman alum Corinne Weber, who graduated in the spring with a health communications degree, details a personal battle with anorexia in her first book, “Where the Monster Weights: How Anorexia Held Me Hostage.” The memoir gives personal insight into her struggle while battling the disease and the steps that led her into recovery.

Chapman alum Corinne Weber
Chapman alum Corinne Weber

Anorexia Nervosa is a mental illness that affects one in every two hundred U.S. women. Weber is of the 30-40% of these women who has fully recovered. However the fight for her life was not one that was easy. 

“Battling with anorexia was the most difficult struggle of my life. There is so much stigma around mental illness, as well as eating disorders, which made it extremely hard to talk about and find support” explained Weber.

With only one third of women who have Anorexia seeking treatment and an even smaller number of women educated about their illness, it is hard for them to find the support they need to get better.

Weber’s story explains how her Anorexia developed as a coping skill to help her navigate difficult emotions. She highlights her feelings of abandonment and loss of control in her own personal life. Her illness acted as a guide and friend during a time she was feeling isolated and alone.

Weber’s debut tell all

“I thought the only thing I could rely on was my eating disorder,” says Weber. “It’s hard to explain but your eating disorder becomes the most important thing in your life as it disguises itself as your life coach and friend. It tells you that as long as you lose weight people will continue to love you.”

Family issues, emotional or physical trauma, genetics, societal influence, and even biology are some of the various reasons behind the development of Anorexia. However, no matter how it begins the fact remains that it is not easy to overcome. Weber attests that battling with anorexia was the most difficult struggle of her life.

Through sharing her story, Weber hopes to bring awareness to the disease and tear down the stigma of eating disorders.

She states in her book:

"I've wrestled with death-my monster, my weaker self-and have clawed my way back to a renewed life. I know what it means to strive and to persevere when the world tells you you're not thin enough, not smart enough, no strong enough. I am one voice of hope proclaiming better days ahead. And no, I would not have chosen my path, but not I see the lessons and the growth that came from the struggle."

She wanted to write the book, she said, to let others know they are not alone.

Weber's debut tell all: Where the Monster Weights
Weber's debut tell all: Where the Monster Weights

“Overcoming my anorexia gave me a purpose and a passion to help as well as educate others about eating disorders.”

Weber, who is from Dallas, Texas, but moved with her family to Singapore in 2004, is getting a lot of attention from her book. Recently she was asked to speak at the American Women’s Association of Singapore. She’s also getting a lot of attention on her Facebook site: Holocaust of the Mind: Confessions of an Anorexic Expat, with nearly 1,000 followers.

Presently, Weber is on a book tour, but is looking into Chapman’s master program for Marriage and Family Therapy. She hopes to one day be a counselor to those who are suffering.

Anorexia is not a choice or simply a method of extreme weight loss. In fact, it yields the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, nearly 20 million sufferers will die from complications related to the disease.

“When we start educating ourselves, we can start opening the door for conversation and when we start talking about it, we can then break down the stigma” said Weber.

Through writing about her battle with the disease, Weber hopes to tear down the false ideals surrounding anorexia and promote others to get better.

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