Beating Ana Reviews

People sometimes send me nice notes telling me how much they liked reading “Beating Ana”. This makes me feel really good (and totally justifies those five long years it took me to write it!)

I’d love to hear your experiences as well – I might even post your review here! 🙂

Me signing copies of "Beating Ana" right after it was published. I was totally nervous!!
Me signing copies of “Beating Ana” right after it was published. I was totally nervous!!

Shannon Cutts’s “Beating Ana” will not only move you, it will become a necessary inspiration in your life and help you realize that you can indeed rewrite your own story of recovery from an eating disorder. –Jess Weiner, author of A Very Hungry Girl and Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Lbs from

In “Beating Ana”, Shannon Cutts offers a wealth of guidance that will do nothing less than save lives.  Shannon has taken her vast experience and condensed it into an intelligent, captivating, and motivating work.  This is a book that needs to be in the hands of every person in the eating disorder world:  those who suffer, those who love them, and every professional who treats them. I would not stop there…the truly amazing beauty of this literary treasure is that it is a book every adult needs to read. When it comes to problematic behaviors as Shannon wisely points out, “Everybody has something!” This book can teach us all. -Doris Smeltzer, founder of Andrea’s Voice Foundation, author of Andrea’s Voice: Silenced by Bulimia and Gurze Books Advice for Parents Blog

I think I’ve read almost every book out there on eating disorders when trying to find my way out of anorexia. I read bad books, triggering books, books that convinced me I was “normal” for having a severe eating disorder, and finally, a few good books. Beating Ana is at the top of the list. She did not stop at just writing a book about how to beat an eating disorder (which few books can claim they do) she also started MentorCONNECT. I feel honored to be a part of such a unique and uplifting community. Though girls, women, and men join from all over the world, it feels like there are no dividing lines between us. Shannon is an expert because she lived it, she found the way out, she started spreading the word. She had an idea of mentors helping those still struggling and started a nonprofit group around this fabulous idea. If you want fluff and magic to heal, this is not the place to look. If you want a way out of the darkness of an eating disorder this is where you can begin. -“Picky Reader” (aka Melissa) 

I am so glad I found “Beating Ana” – a friend recently told me about her battle with an eating disorder, and while I was honored she trusted me enough to open up to me about her struggles, as a friend I felt unsure what I could do that would really support her. This book was such a great resource! After reading it, I felt like I really understand what she went thru/is going thru, and now I feel like I can offer my support in ways that would be safe and appropriate to our friendship. Thank you for sharing, Shannon! This book really helped me, and I would definitely recommend it to others. -Monica Adams

After struggling with an eating disorder for well over 30 years, I’m now free from that silent prison and obsessive lifestyle. Throughout the slow and steady process of my recovery I believe in two very important variables for true healthy recovery and they are, structure and consistency. I learned this in a myriad of ways but mostly by interacting and questioning those who once walked the same path of struggle I did. This is why when I read “Beating Ana” I immediately connected with how author Shannon Cutts offers her insightful eating disorder recovery information. She’s based her book on what was true for her by presenting content in a well-structured, consistent way for those who want what she now has; a full and healthy life far from the throes of an eating disorder. From how she unveils each topic, to her suggested solutions, to a “Life Celebration Affirmations” – gentle reminders of hope – the reader is left feeling recovery is not only possible in general, but possible for them. For anyone struggling with an eating disorder (or those who love them), I highly recommend this book as an addition to a recovery “toolbox”. This is the book you’ll refer to often not one that will sit on the shelf! -Alison F. Smela,

Unlike any other book about eating disorders, “Beating Ana” uniquely illustrates the importance of people connecting with one another for support and encouragement along the recovery road. I would never have recovered from my own eating disorder without the help of recovered women who held my hand along the way. Shannon’s depth of passion and honesty will provide much-needed hope to all those touched by this insidious illness. -Jenni Schaefer, best-selling author of Life Without Ed and Goodbye Ed, Hello Me,

This is not an “ego” book, it’s based on actual success for many people over many years. This book subsequently launched an incredibly good nonprofit MENTORCONNECT site thathas built into a community of people helping people, just as BEATING ANA speaks about. For every person for whom this book didn’t “hit right” there are many others whom it has helped. And clearly Ms. Cutts would have done this whole book if it helped even one other person. She is so committed because she has been there. Her recovery was hard won, as it is for each person. Sharing can only help. -L. Harper

Everything in this inventive, unique self-help book works because it encourages those struggling with recovery to confront destructive thinking patterns with empathy, understanding, and perseverance. 
-The Elisa Project,

I have been reading Shannon’s book, and am a member of her online support group. My struggle with bulimia has been long and arduous, beginning at age 11 till now (26) and though I have had times of “recovery” the last couple years of relapse have been especially difficult. Reading “Beating Ana” has been inspiring, motivational, and uplifting. Recovery happens when one chooses to stop isolating. Connecting to others in crisis has been so monumental in my recent ongoing recovery. I recommend this book to anyone, whether in crisis, or just curious about what it is like to live with an eating disorder. This book is well worth investing in. Luv Ev

I love the book just love it…I am making so much progress in my recovery and it feels great when ED is not that important as it was. -T.M.

Shannon, I really like your book. Really like it. Practical, respectful, smart (and wise), tough (where it needs to be), creative, challenging, comforting — and most of all, it reaches out to some of the most isolated people I have ever known and invites them to join us in this strange and wonderful thing called Recovery. I will be recommending it; definitely talking it up at my new ED recovery weekend workshops. -Thom Rutledge, Psychotherapist and author of Embracing

Food is not something to be feared. “Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder & Take Your Life Back” is a guide to battling what many women and some men face every day due to societal pressures – a crippling fear of food and getting fat due to the eating disorder known as Anorexia Nervosa. Shannon Cutts draws upon her own experience and hopes to inspire other readers to rise up and above and to not fear food. “Beating Ana” is a top pick for those fighting this disease or know someone who is. -MidWest Book Review 

I ended up reading this book in a single sitting. It is truly an inspirational book filled with life stories, and more importantly, life lessons that I think anyone could apply to their own lives, whether you are suffering from an eating disorder or not. Shannon stresses the importance of having a mentor during the recovery process. Eating disorders thrive on secrecy, shame, and isolation, and through connecting with a mentor, who is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher, the sufferer can re-learn how to reach out to the world and once again become a part of life. A recurring saying throughout the book is, “Relationships replace eating disorders,” and I find that to be so true. It wasn’t until I was able to ask for help and admit that I had a problem, that I could really begin the grueling process of recovery. -Angela

Hi Shannon, I am blessed to have met you at your book signing Thursday and purchased your book. I just finished reading your very well written and powerful book. It came to me and my life at such an incredible time. Thank you so much for being YOU and sharing your story and Recovery with the world. I believe this book will help me more than I thought any book or thing ever could. As you say…”Recovery is not optional.” Thank you from the depths of my heart, body, mind, and soul! Peace! -Pam

Hi Shannon I would like to take the time to personally THANK YOU for your book and website.  I have read the book twice so far and referred back to it all the time.  I have been in two treatment centers and once again I am in recovery.  Your book is a true blessing which is helping me each day.  Every time I pick the book or read email or posting I learn something new and supportive. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. –Hadley

“Beating Ana” is a breath of fresh air. Not only is it an important document to add to the record and an item worthy of being in any man or woman’s recovery tool bag, but the way in which it is written (engaging, honest, interactive, and fun) guarantees that it’ll be a tool that’s lovingly worn with repeated use. Recovery often feels like a lonely journey, but thanks to Shannon’s innovative approach, the specter of flying solo is no longer a certainty.  –Ron Saxen, author of The Good

Author Shannon Cutts has created a smart little book in “Beating Ana” for anyone struggling with eating issues. The theme of the book, which I whole-heartedly endorse, is developing relationships to replace eating disorders. Cutts couldn’t be more on target when she says that we need to “feed our minds and hearts with the empowering stories of others.” To extend the metaphor, the book is a most satisfying meal. -Karen Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed., author of The Rules of Normal Eating and Nice Girls Finish

Cutts brings the authority of knowledge grounded in personal experience to her book, discussing the psychological, even psychic, aspects of the disease nicknamed “ANA” for anorexia. One of the relatively few books addressing the pro-eating disorder phenomenon, the book stresses the acceptance of self as the essential element in healthy rather than disordered eating. Cutts personifies the ED (eating disorder) as a mortal enemy and views recovery as a process rather than a destination. Success, she argues, depends on finding—and eventually becoming—a mentor. Cutts describes her experience with anorexia and then explains how and why an ED develops. She also recommends specific assignments for the reader, including watching 14 different films. Finally, she encounters lapses and pitfalls on the road to recovery with Life Celebration Affirmations and excerpts from email exchanges with her mentees. Four web sites, including her own, are listed as resources. Recommended for public or health-oriented libraries. –Library Journal Review (review by Lois K. Merry, Keene State Coll., NH)

With “Beating Ana”, Shannon is bringing back the lost art of mentoring. Her caring spirit is real, authentic and filled with the determination of someone who understands the journey. She believes this work found her and in part I suspect that is true…but the truth is she could only be found by “uncovering” herself. -Mary Ellen Clausen, Founder of Ophelia’s Place, 

“Beating Ana” is a hope-filled gift to those seeking recovery from an eating disorder! Shannon’s optimism and encouragement will heart warmingly guide the eating disorder sufferer toward recovery. –Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC, Director @ Eating Disorder Hope, LLC,

I was extremely impressed with Shannon’s “Beating Ana”. Her positive encouragement is infectious and I have no doubt her words will propel those hesitating about recovery into getting help. Most importantly, Shannon gets to the core of eating disorders and deconstructs them for both those in the midst of them and those who don’t understand them. I love her reiteration that “recovery is not optional” and her conviction that recovery is possible.This tenderly written, expertly executed and breakthrough concept of mentoring is a refreshing new outlook on recovery and takes those beginning their journey step by step into a new way of living.” – Lori Henry, author of Silent

I love your book. You have a gift and I am so grateful to be able to send my clients and friends to the MentorCONNECT site and to your book. I’m glad we are on this wonderful journey together. Thank you and all my best for your continued success. -Kimberly Krueger, Founder/Director, Southlake Counseling Center,

This looks like a simple book but the elements contained within the pages of “Beating Ana” are a support system to aid anyone with an eating disorder to break through to into health. The author says something so profound right on the first page of part one: “Quite possibly, the only experience tougher on a human body, mind, heart, and spirit than falling ill is getting better. It gets unnecessarily tougher, however, when we assume that we will have to heal the same way we got sick–alone. We don’t.” In this book you will find a companion to healing. Chapters begin with a letter to the author, Shannon Cutts, and her response. You know she understands because she’s been there and healed. Next is a short piece on one of the elements for healing and the “recovery workshop” which is something the reader can really do to grow and process new feelings and thoughts. The workshop can be anything from watching a movie to making a list. Each chapter closes with a “Life Celebration Affirmation.” The author writes with the voice of a very understanding mentor, someone who gets what’s going on but who also sees through all the tricks that an eating disorder can bring up so you can get through even the hardest of times. There is a wonderful focus on empowering the reader (or participant!) to experience the beauty within. The book wraps up with guidelines for forming and being involved in a mentoring relationship. “Beating Ana” would be a great companion in a healing process. It is not about the dark side, it’s about getting through the haunting darkness of eating disorders into freedom. I work with young women and this book will remain on my shelf as a wonderful resource. -Aunt Laya Saul, Author of You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way–What I Wish Someone Had Told Me 

In “Beating Ana”, Shannon takes the readers on a journey of self-discovery and self-healing that will leave them truly understanding that recovery IS possible.  I especially liked how each chapter included a “Life Celebration Exercise” and “Recovery Workshop.” These action items engage the reader and compel them to take control of their situation and recover. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with an eating disorder and I plan to use some of the material in my own support groups. I just wish this book was around when I was overcoming my eating disorder – it would have made the process much easier. –Andrea Roe, Author of You Are Not Alone,Volumes I & II and most importantly, a recovered anorexic and bulimic

Through Shannon’s beautiful prose, she offers her readers honesty, truth, and compassion. She holds a mirror up for us to explore who we are and how we came to be. Shannon provides us with tools for our healing and generously lifts us with her hope. She believes in us. After reading “Beating Ana”, we are left believing in ourselves.Barb Steinberg, LMSW, Workshop Presenter & Consultant,

I think that “Beating Ana” has the potential to make a real impact on people dealing with eating disorders, particularly anorexia.  Your format for this book is unique in the market.  I am unaware of any other book on anorexia that uses your format of someone going through the experience and then immediately confronts their thinking with empathy, compassion, and advice learned through having experienced many of the same things.  I love that.  So often as I read the letters I think, “she sounds just like me.” Your responses are always well thought out, helpful and recovery focused.  Your format is more like a therapy session that you have written down and can refer back to. –Jen L., anorexia survivor

It’s real! Shannon Cutts’ book “Beating Ana” is titled beautifully as it offers a wonderful perspective on how to slay this life stealing, relentless disease. I was simply charmed by Shannon’s delicate balance of solid advice and creative ways in which one can nurture their soul well into recovery. This book sheds light on one’s own personal journey and connects you to a safe pathway. Thank you from all of us in recovery that share the same passion about Hope and Recovery. Another Angel. -Shelley Jensen CPC., Founder of Shelley’s Angels Society and “S” Team Counselling

Shannon’s book “Beating Ana” is riveting, compassionate, and remarkable. She brilliantly reveals how individuals can move beyond the grip of their eating disorder to lead an extraordinary and fulfilling existence. Shannon is dynamic and insightful, and each word she writes comes from the heart and soul. She understands the ‘Key to Life’ that exists within all of us. I would recommend this book as a recovery companion to all those suffering from an eating disorder. –Dr. Lisa C. Palmer, LMFT, CHT, PhD, The Renew Center of,,

In “Beating Ana”, I found it easy to feel the love, compassion and understanding the author has for her and others who struggle with eating disorders. “Beating Ana” helps the reader to truly experience the heart and mind of someone struggling with an eating disorder and gain an accurate measure of understanding and empathy. I felt touched, motivated and inspired to apply the many lessons taught as well as the heartfelt, practical advice from someone who truly knows the eating disorder recovery process from first hand experience. –Lynette L. Taylor,MT-BC, Music Therapist, Center for Change, Inc.,

Mentoring is an ancient and honorable tradition. It brings to mind the relationship with older siblings, trusted community elders, apprentices and master craftspeople, and even traditional spiritual advisors. In “Beating Ana”, Shannon Cutts brings experience and compassion to the ‘craft’ of mentoring and brings it into a field – eating disorders recovery – rich in opportunities to nurture and support each other. –Laura Collins, author of Eating With Your Anorexic, Founder of F.E.A.S.T.,

In Beating Ana, Shannon Cutts shares experiences from her clients and gives readers glimpses into the lives of individuals who suffer with eating disorders. By sharing actual email exchanges with her clients she demonstrates the importance of having support for recovery. Shannon’s MentorConnect program provides the much needed support system by having individuals in recovery mentor others. By mentoring others, individuals further their own path to recovery. This book includes numerous workshops and processes individuals can use to gain more understanding about their eating disorder and how to overcome it. These processes are based on a 12-step approach. Beating Ana connects the reader with Shannon’s loving, caring approach and offers hope an inspiration for a life beyond. Individuals need support both during and after treatment and Mentor Connect is a great way to get it! -Lori Hanson, Award-Winning Author of It Started With Pop-Tarts… An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia and It Started With Pop-Tarts 2.0, The Secrets to Surviving & THRIVING in Your Teens 

“Beating Ana” is a gift! Shannon gets to one of the core problems in eating disorders. Secrecy!  This “secret”  leads to shame, isolation and loneliness. Those struggling with ED feel alone and imprisoned in these vicious lies of the eating disorder. So I strongly agree with Shannon, the way of escape is through mentoring relationships. Shannon invites us into the sacred places she has walked with her mentees. Through letters you see the real anguish of those tormented by ED. Shannon gently, but powerfully challenges their erroneous beliefs, and becomes a healthy mirror through her Life Celebration Affirmations. Shannon is able to build trust through sharing experiences of her own recovery and therefore offers real hope. Shannon gives practical, relatable “how to’s” through creative journaling exercises, which become a map towards recovery. I would recommend this book to my clients. –Colleen O’Grady-Long, MA, LPC, LMFT

There are many books out there that bring a clinical perspective to recovery. There are others that are more of a memoir, touting all of ways that the author was strong and turned into a beautiful recovered superhero. Shannon’s book does much more than either. It is extremely approachable and conveys what a huge heart she has. After all, having a huge heart and huge aspirations is what gets many of us into the ed mess in the first place! My favorite part of the book, and I would recommend reading it solely for this part, is the movie connections. There are movies that are in some way related to the recovery journey, complete with some thought provoking questions. This part of the book enabled me to reconnect with favorite movies such as Beautiful Mind and discover new favorite movies such as 28 Days. The message that is brought through this book is also strong. People recovering from anything, people struggling with anything, are not alone. Ever. Recovery is a raw blend of what is great in life and what hurts, so having support from people like Shannon and the community she has created through Mentor Connect has been empowering. Definitely recommended. -Astrid Rodriguez

This book changed my life. The idea that “relationships replace eating disorders” is so powerful. It helped me to move from the edges of recovery into a strong recovery. It’s an easy read, you feel like the author is walking with you. I read it cover to cover, couldn’t put it down once I started-Ann Marie Simone

In reading “Beating Ana,” I found myself thinking about how helpful having a mentor would have been when I was going through my struggles with anorexia and bulimia. I’ve since become a mentor on MentorConnect, and have found that the mentoring aspect is extremely helpful to those going through recovery. In my time with MC, I have seen countless cases lend themselves to this conclusion. My own mentees say how grateful they are that they have this connection to recovery. It’s really amazing, and none of it would be possible without Shannon’s book starting the movement. I reference it a lot when guiding my mentees, and think it’s one of the better books on how relationships can replace EDs. Bravo, Shannon! -Lindsey Hirschorn

As someone recovering from an eating disorder, “Beating Ana” was a valuable resource for me. Not only did it provide me with inspiration and motivation to continue on my journey, but it gave lots of great activities to keep me on the right track and in a recovery mindset. I enjoyed the book, but when I finished it did not stop having an effect on me; I became a member of the author’s site called MentorCONNECT, which is another wonderful outlet for those who are dealing with this illness to find strength and hope in a community of people who are positive. Worth every penny! -Melissa

For anyone who is struggling with an eating disorder, this is the definitive self help book. If you TRULY follow the directions you will survive. What other choice have you got. -Michele (survived a 33 year old battle and is now in recovery)

I read “Beating Ana” when I first began working on my own recovery from anorexia, and it truly changed my life. Author Shannon Cutts felt like a friend by my side who provided me with hope, compassion, and practical tools to overcome my eating disorder. After finishing “Beating Ana,” I immediately joined MentorCONNECT, the online eating disorder support community founded by Shannon Cutts. It has been an instrumental part of my recovery and has proven to me that “Beating Ana’s” message that relationships replace eating disorders is right on target. “Beating Ana” is a must read for anyone seeking recovery from an eating disorder. -Abbey Olson

Ready to order your copy? Just click HERE!

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