It was a routine sports physical. After the exam and Maddie was back in her clothes, the doctor came back into the room to chat. Part of the conversation was a warning from him that girls her age need to start watching what they eat so they don't put on "unwanted" pounds. Those words stayed with Maddie, and as her desire to create the perfect figure began to occupy more of her thoughts, those words may have urged her to go way beyond what was healthy and wise.
Most of THINANDBEAUTIFUL.COM involves Maddie writing about herself and confronting the fact that she is suffering from an eating disorder. She has many people who offer her support, but recognizing whose support she should seek is difficult. Her family and school friends are ready to do whatever is necessary, but she is drawn to an online chat group known as Girls Without Shadows. Their belief is they have the right to do what they want to their bodies in their desire to be thin and beautiful. The idea of eating disorders does not exist for them.
Author Liane Shaw presents the all too common problems of anorexia and bulimia in stark detail as she helps Maddie tell her story. The excuses and denial typical of those with eating disorders is made plain for all to see. Anyone suffering with one or both of these disorders, or anyone who knows someone who is, will benefit from reading Maddie's story.