2014 Readers' Choice Awards Honorable Mention "Look who gained the freshman fifteen," a family member teased when I returned home after a few months of college. . . . When I heard the words my mind decoded it like this: You. Are. Fat. Fat was not good. No, fat was bad. I would not be fat. I stood in front of the full-length mirror in my dorm room and inspected the extra parts. These extra parts needed fixingmy stomach, my thighs, and those cheeks that were round and puffy, like two big apples on the side of my face. I would fix this. Fixing was my forte. These were the thoughts that plagued Lee Blum during her teens and into her twenties.They drove her to an eating disorder and exercise addiction. Eventually, she found herself hospitalized with clinical depression. But that's not the end of the story: drawing strength from psychological, physiological and spiritual sources, she found her voice again. If you or someone you love has been at this dark table, you will find her story enlightening and encouraging.
Lee Wolfe Blum works as a Health Educator at the Melrose Center for Eating Disorders in St. Louis Park, Minnesota where she helps run the Eating Disorder and Chemical Dependency Program encouraging and inspiring patients with Co-Occuring Disorders find hope and healing. Lee also speaks regularly sharing her story of hope at churches, schools, and conferences. Lee lives in Edina, Minnesota. For more information visit her website: leewolfeblum.com or Twitter @Blumlee.
"Having waged my own war with eating disorders, I identified with Lee's account of almost overwhelming struggles, and then the welcome outcome of a hard-won recovery. Her story is raw, real and revealing, . . . a clear and victorious validation of the fact that recovery is possible."
"If you or someone you love has been at this dark table [of depression or anorexia], you will find her story enlightening and encouraging."
"A searing, searching memoir of a young woman's destructive journey with an eating disorder. This might not be an issue we have to face, but the emotions and needs the author describes are instantly recognizable. I felt drawn into her story immediately, reading steadily until I finished the book. . . . A compelling, emotional read."
" Table in the Darkness offers women hope while bringing balance to the roles of faith and therapy in leading broken individuals into a place of healing and restoration. Intense, powerful, it's highly recommended."
"Lee Wolfe Blum, in her engaging, conversational-style book, exposes eating disorders for what they really are. She sets aside all inhibitions and vibrantly recounts the years of her life that were overtaken by an eating disorder. She does an outstanding job of taking the reader on a personal journey from the beginning of the disorder to the end. Her honest depiction of what it can be like for those who are struggling gives hope to so many that recovery is a real goal, and it is in fact a reachable one. While sharing her personal story of recovery, Lee manages to present eating disorders in a balanced way which neither berates nor glorifies them, as many other autobiographical tales sometimes tend to do. This book is fresh, honest and authentic, all the while keeping a very unbiased outlook on eating disorders. Lee does not make the book about eating or not eating, but about the pain and complexities of the disorder. Her vulnerability and honesty makes us feel as though we are talking to a sister or a friend, which allowed the reader to connect deeper with the author and the disorder itself. Lee's struggles are a reminder to just how much can be going on in other's lives that we are so blindly unaware of. . . . She takes you deep inside her most inner thoughts and brings to the surface how truly difficult recovery can be. Lee throughout also expresses the way her relationship with God had impacted her through her journey to recovery. She represented her relationship with God in such a way that was in no way forcing the belief onto others, but to show just how important faith in someone or something is and necessary for recovery. The emotional journey Lee shared with the reader was captivating, attention-grabbing and in the end, hopeful. She allowed the reader to see that things can change, people can make a different choice and that no one person is responsible for eating disorders. I would recommend this book to anyone affected by eating disorders, whether it be a personal struggle or the struggle of a loved one. Table in the Darkness gives some understanding to the innermost thoughts and desires of those with an eating disorder, and it gives us all a great deal of hope for others fighting this battle."
"In Table in the Darkness, Lee Blum shows . . . that recovery and healing from the devastating effects of an eating disorder are possible. This book is a source of hope and instruction for those battling an eating disorder as well as for loved ones."
" Table in the Darkness is a page-turning account of a woman's battle against mental illness and the inspiring story of how she overcomes. I couldn't put it down and cannot recommend it highly enough to those longing for freedom from their past."
"I am a huge fan of Lee Wolfe Blum. She is an inspiring example of the freedom that comes when we allow God's loving truth to seep through the cracks in our armor and nourish the deepest corners of our hearts. In Table in the Darkness, Lee reminds us that God is at work in us always, even--and often--when we're not looking."
"In a world where we are encouraged to hide our pain and ignore the brokenness around us, Lee Blum's Table in the Darkness is a tender, stark and vital reminder that so many in our midst struggle, and struggle deeply. Her story is horrific and hopeful, and the ultimate power of authentic community offers hope to all of us, regardless of what we carry around inside of us. With so few voices reminding us how deeply we need and long for one another, Lee Blum's is a godsend."
"From emotional mountaintops to the deepest valleys, Lee Blum takes you through the stark reality of life with an eating disorder. Her riveting account of real-life experiences and the hope found in her faith in God will leave you hanging on to every page. In my twenty years of experience treating eating disorders I have seen no other writing that offers more for the individual who desperately needs recovery."