Listen free for 30 days

Dying to Be Thin

The True Story of My Lifelong Battle Against Anorexia
Narrated by: Yaz Shah
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

”The figure looking back at me was little more than a skeleton with just a thin layer of tissue paper for skin, drawn over the stick-like bones. I stood staring for a good couple of minutes, considering what I'd become. And my verdict? Brilliant, I thought. It's been worth every moment of all that hard work.”

Say the name Nikki Grahame and most people will remember the bubbly, highly strung and hugely entertaining Big Brother 7 contestant. Since leaving the Big Brother house, she has forged a successful career for herself in presenting and writing. Yet Nikki isn't just another reality television contestant and her life story is not like any other you will ever read.

From the age of eight until she was nineteen, Nikki battled anorexia nervosa but few cases have been quite as extreme as hers. Aged just eight and weighing just under three stone, Nikki was diagnosed as anorexic.

For the next eight years, she was in and out of institutions - seven in total - during which time she attempted suicide twice and had to be sedated up to four times a day so that she could be force-fed. At one point, she was sedated for fourteen days while doctors sewed a tube into her stomach, through which she was fed in order to get her weight out of the critical range. The lengths that she went to avoid eating and find ways to exercise excessively shocked doctors who have worked in the field for years. As Nikki says, “I've always wanted to be the best at everything I do, so I had to be the best anorexic - and I was.”

This compelling book tells the story of an incredible journey.

©2010 John Blake Publishing (P)2013 Prospero Media

More from the same

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great informative read

inspirational for someone suffering this battle. informative for anyone needing or wanting to understand anorexia more

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful and honest

A vivid and honest account of how destructive Anorexia can be. The level of detail made it very interesting and the descriptions of the various units helped me visualise what Nikki's time as an inpatient must have been like. Upon listening to the book, I thought she was very brave as so much of herself is revealed. At the points where she hits rock bottom, it's hard to hear and I did have to take breaks. Well worth reading if you are interested in child and adolescent mental health.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyable listen

the music is quite cheesy, but I absolutely enjoyed listening to the real account of living with AN and treatment. I could relate so much. the ending seemed like a fairy tale though!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for sara
  • sara
  • 05-05-20

Respect

I have so much respect for Nikki after reading this. When I initially watched BB I just thought she was a spoiled brat that I still loved because she was so endearing. This explained so much and dispelled many of the doubts I had about her. It also helps other people who are struggling with an eating disorder of how bad it can get and what you miss out on when you do go down the rabbit whole.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ro_runner
  • ro_runner
  • 07-11-15

Not What You Might Think

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not necessarily. I am more interested in the professional treatment & analysis of eating disorders. This book is a bit on the sensational side from that perspective, notwithstanding that I believe it to be an honest account from the author's viewpoint.

What was most disappointing about Nikki Grahame’s story?

There is a giant piece missing in this book that only Nikki's caregivers could possibly provide. It seems highly improbable to me that Nikki simply "woke up" one day & decided she'd had it with her anorexia & wanted to be better. Something psychologically was going on all those years that changed. What that might be is far more intriguing to me than the fact that this self-absorbed young lady wound up on Big Brother (a show I've never watched). While it is none of our business, my guess is problems at home were much deeper & Nikki's psychological problems more far more intense than even this dramatic book would reveal. From this account, it would seem that one can simply change her mind one day & go from the brink of death to stardom. That is not reality -- & certainly not for hundreds of young women suffering from eating disorders. Might they not now think that even though there will be pain along the way they might end up the same way? And what result when they do not?

What else would you have wanted to know about Nikki Grahame’s life?

Accounts directly from others -- mom, dad, sister, caregivers. Anorexia is not well understood & I don't think it can be understood simply from the point of view of the person affected. This is a disease with poor insight & the person affected is not the only one walking a hellish road. Perhaps this book is not the right forum, but I am interested in what approaches to Nikki's care were discussed with her parents.

6 people found this helpful