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Beyond My Body: Recovering from a Complex Eating Disorder, Reclaiming Movement, and Finding my Worth


Are you at war with your body? Do you use food or exercise to seek control? Ally Rae Pesta’s vignette-style memoir shows the inner workings of a young woman’s mind as she becomes obsessed with “healthy” eating, exercise, and being exceptional. Throughout adolescence, Ally vacillates between feeling too much and never enough in a culture that always demands more. After experiencing sexual assault in her teens, Ally feels her body is not her own. As people validate Ally for her athletic drive and shrinking figure, she plummets deeper into an eating disorder, convinced she’s the “epitome of health.” Monitoring food and exercising to exhaustion becomes Ally’s attempt at control.


At seventeen, doctors diagnose her with anorexia, orthorexia, and exercise addiction, forcing Ally to face the harrowing reality that her disorder is threatening her life. Ally tells an authentically raw story about her ongoing healing journey, showing how treatment has enabled her to accept support, create com-munity, build a healthy relationship with movement, and enjoy food. For any individuals, family members, or friends on a similar journey, this frank memoir provides hope for overcoming trauma and achieving hard-earned self-love.

“This book is about so much more than recovering from an eating disorder; it is about breaking down, building up, being okay and then not so okay, crying, smiling, becoming, and being human. An absolute must read as it is a beautiful story about hope, inspiration, and being okay in the in-between, in the healing.”

Cambria Camp,

Eating Disorder Recovery Coach

“Beyond My Body is a captivating and intimate behind the scenes view of the human experience of an eating disorder. Ally lends a powerful voice to the conversation around self-worth, mental wellness, eating disorders, and inspires all of us to reflect on our own relationship with self.”

Jason Wood

Author of Starving for Survival

"Anyone that is working towards healing their relationship with their body would be so lucky to read Beyond My Body along their journey. Ally writes in a way that makes you feel like you've known her for forever, and in a way where you can read it all at once and be impacted, and you can come back to each vignette later to re-read and still have that same impact."

 Rebecca Edmonds

Anti-Diet Coach, @recoveryrebecca

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