Cheryl Kerrigan is an author, eating disorder survivor, and activist. She is a consultant for Walden Behavioral Care, an eating disorders treatment facility in Waltham, MA, and works with Thom Rutledge, co-author of Living Without Ed, at his Recovery Retreats. She has contributed to multiple eating disorder books and is the author of Recovery Reflections, a recovery blog for Walden Behavioral Care. Cheryl “brings recovery to life” by speaking about her experiences at treatment centers and schools around the country. To learn more go to www.cherylkerrigan.com or www.tellingedno.com.

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Paperback, 256 pg, '11
Product Code: TEO
ISBN: 978-0-936077-62-8
MSRP: $16.95

eBook - epub format
Product Code: EBPTEO
ISBN: 978-0-936077-63-5
MSRP: $9.99


Telling Ed No!

and other practical tools to conquer your eating disorder and find freedom

Author: Cheryl Kerrigan


This unique, accessible guide has more than 100 practical recovery tools for facing and conquering your eating disorder. It's perfect for those times when you need immediate support, ideas, or just plain encouragement.

Cheryl Kerrigan recalls having unhealthy thoughts about food and body image as early as age five. Held captive by her eating disorder (Ed) for more than two decades, Cheryl experienced an entire childhood, adolescence, and much of her adulthood from the perspective of a tortured prisoner—until she found the strength and support to break free.

Based on the author's own incredible story, Telling Ed No! brings the recovery process to life, from family interventions to life in a treatment center to throwing out your scale and beyond, helping you see that you really can break free and silence Ed for good. Using inspiring real-life stories and candid straight-talk, Cheryl presents over 100 practical recovery tools as well as exercises and questions designed to encourage journaling and discussion that will help you navigate your path to recovery. You'll learn:

  • why having a "treatment team" is essential, and how to assemble one
  • how to end self-destructive behaviors such as cutting and over-exercising
  • how to transform Ed's controlling rules into powerful new recovery rules
  • how to enjoy family holidays and nights out with friends without anxiety
  • and much more.

Part self-help book and part memoir, full of raw emotion, tough decisions, fears, and triumphs, this unique workbook will help you learn to incorporate food, laughter, and love back into your daily life one step at a time.


Foreword by Thom Rutledge

Section One: When Ed Had Control
1 Born Into Captivity
2 Me + Ed = Normal
3 Prisoner for Life?

Section Two: Gaining The Upper Hand
4 The Intervention
5 The Treatment Facility
6 Let People In
7 Communicate with Supports
8 My Treatment Team
9 Tell Ed No!
10 An Outpatient Contract
11 Prescription Help
12 Journaling
13 Meal Planning
14 Swallow Up
15 Prayer
16 Throw Away Your Scale
17 A Snap on the Wrist
18 Arts and Crafts
19 Pros and Cons List: Ed versus Recovery
20 Patience
21Hold Ice
22 Sit On Your Hands
23 Residential Treatment
24 A Letter to Yourself
25 Connect with Supports
26 A Separation Contract
27 Tangible Objects
28 Meditation
29 Going Out to Eat
30 Self-care
31 Recovery Poster
32 Yoga Therapy
33 Honesty
34 Feelings Box
35 Massage
36 Use Your Senses
37 Support List
38 Conversation Topics
39 One By One

Section Three: Breaking The Chains-Separation And Strength
40 Role-Playing-Seeing the Separation
41 The Five Messages Exercise
42 Recovery Reminders
43 Talking to Ed
44 Music
45 Affirmations
46 Trust
47 Evening Treatment
48 Rename a Fear
49 Goals and Steps
50 Planning Ahead
51 Take Risks
52 Protect Your Inner Child
53 Face Ed Head On at Meals
54 Crying
55 Weight Gain
56 A Workout Buddy
57 Gratitude Journal
58 Positive Self-Talk
59 Body Mantra
60 Self-Love
61 Transform Ed's Rules
62 Throw Away Your Skinny Clothes
63 Disobey Ed
64 Recovery Web Sites
65 Put Distance Between You and Ed
66 End the Conversation
67 Meals To Go
68 A Letter to Ed
69 Mindful at Mealtimes
70 Who's Talking-Ed or Me?
71 Punch a Pillow
72 Tattle on Ed

Section Four: The Escape-Finding Freedom
73 Being Present
74 Weight Acceptance
75 Eat and Enjoy a Fear Food
76 Positive Mantra
77 Rejoin Society
78 Me Time
79 Self-Acceptance
80 Live by a Healthy Rule
81 Accept Compliments
82 Recovery Reflections
83 Give Back
84 Create/Rediscover Food Traditions
85 Attend Recovery Events
86 Give Thanks
87 Socializing
88 Support


"Cheryl's work is honest, forthcoming, and ultimately, hopeful. She shares intimately her battles with her own mind, her therapists, and her eating disorder, but shows how persistence and commitment to self lead to true recovery. With not just stories, but clear outlines of recovery tools and lessons learned from each chapter, Cheryl's book is educational, practical and an inspiring story of triumph."
— Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008

"Telling Ed NO and other practical tools to conquer your eating disorder and find freedom is a raw, honest look at the harsh inner dialogue that goes on inside the mind of someone with an eating disorder. Cheryl Kerrigan poignantly illustrates the sharp contrast between the chains with which Ed enslaves, and the freedom that Recovery gives. Like a trusted friend, Cheryl gently takes the reader's hand, persuasively encouraging a practical path toward healing, health, and wholeness."
— Sari Fine Shepphird, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and author of 100 Questions and Answers about Anorexia Nervosa.

"With Telling Ed No, eating disorders survivor Cheryl Kerrigan shares her own day-by-day, step-by-step recovery journey for one purpose - to prove to us that we can each be heroes in our own lives. When seen through Cheryl's eyes, asking for help becomes not a weakness but a unique source of strength. Cheryl also dedicates significant time to guiding us through techniques to tune out Ed's voice and tune in to a new, fresh, and powerful voice - the voice of recovery. Telling Ed No is a timely and refreshing reminder that YES! doing the hard work of recovery really is worth it! Bravo, Cheryl!"
— Shannon Cutts, Author of Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back and Founder/Director of MentorCONNECT: Where Relationships Replace Eating Disorders, www.key-to-life.com

"Telling Ed NO and Other Practical Tools to Conquer Your Eating Disorder and Find Freedom is a must read for anyone struggling with an eating disorder. Cheryl's humor and honesty can helpfoster understanding and provide support to individuals as they face the real challenges of recovery. Cheryl's willingness and courage makes the journey feel less daunting and will help all feel supported and less alone. Additionally, it can provide family members with useful information and help individuals understand the seriousness of eating disorders. This book provides much needed information and tools that can also augment one's treatment while educating the public."
— Melissa Freizinger, Ph.D., Clinical Director, Laurel Hill Inn

"Cheryl's vivid and candid portrayal of life with an eating disorder, what treatment is like, and what it takes to recover are helpful to those considering treatment. She also provides insightful questions to ponder throughout the book. She generously shares her painful strugglesto help others recover. Great book!"
— Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC, Director, Eating Disorder Hope

"Without providing triggering details (a rarity), Cheryl Kerrigan is able to share her journey of healing from an eating disorder and at the same time provide valuable, inspirational tips and tools for those who are ready to join her in Telling Ed NO! As Cheryl's story attests, Recovery does happen!"
— Doris Smeltzer, MA, Author, Andrea's Voice: Silenced by Bulimia

"In Telling Ed NO, Cheryl Kerrigan not only shares herpersonal story of her battle witheating disorders, which consumed over 22 years of her life, but also about her recovery and how shemanaged to overcome the disorder. Included in this book arereal-life exercises and tools that she used to beat Ed (her eating disorder) and that can help you as well. This book shows us that recovery from an eating disorder really is possible -- even after struggling with it for over 20 years. You don't have to live with your eating disorder forever. Ed's chains can be broken and you can take your life back. I highly recommend this book to anyone whose life has been affected by an eating disorder. You are not a hopeless case. If Cherylcan do it, so can you!"
— Andrea Roe, Eating Disorder Survivor and Author of You Are Not Alone- The Book of Companionship for Women with Eating Disorders, Volume 1 + 2 (plus Companion CD)