anorexia body changes Book review Books bulimia Controversy Death Good Reads limiting calories Losing weight relationship with food skinny weight loss What I'm Reading

Little Girl Blue

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

Related Posts


  1. Roz@weightingfor50

    I was a BIG Carpenters fan! (I’m a little older than you, so remember their music well. In fact, the first “45 single” I bought was their song “Superstar”. OMG, I’m SO dating myself! 🙂 ) I was VERY sad when Karen Carpenter died. I really didn’t understand about eating disorders back then, but it sure made me aware of them after that. So sad!!! I STILL love her voice to this day, and have “graduated” from LP’s and singles to CD collections. Thanks for sharing the book insight with us Lisa. Have a great day.
    Roz@weightingfor50 recently posted..Confucius says……

    1. Lisa Eirene

      The book was really, really good. You should read it, especially since you were a fan of hers. I find it fascinating that you said you didn’t understand eating disorders back then. I think that was the norm. Now everyone is probably hyper aware of eating disorders.

      1. Jesse

        Unfortunately, it took Karen Carpenter’s death to bring anorexia nervosa to the forefront. Although they hadn’t had a hit record for a few years, she was very well known and it hit us just as hard as the Robin Williams or Whitney Houston deaths did. So sad.

        1. Lisa Eirene

          Sadly, yes, it does take a celebrity tragedy to bring the topic to the press. Hopefully the awareness helps someone.

  2. Deb

    I can’t say I am familiar with her, or her story, but its such a heartbreaking thing to hear of someone hating their body so much that they would kill themselves over it.

    I picked up some new books yesterday via Amazon- looking forward to some of them quite a bit. The one I’ll read first is on brain chemistry.
    Deb recently posted..Day 255

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I wasn’t familiar with her or her story either before I read the book and it sucked me in immediately. It was such a good book.

  3. Ingunn

    Thanks for the review, I might have to pick this up. I was a huuuuge Carpenters fan growing up (seriously, it was literally the ONLY group I listened to!) after The Karen Carpenter Story aired on Norwegian tv. I must have watched that movie 50 times.

    I just looked up the movie on Wikipedia, it definitely adds to my dislike of Richard:

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s cool you read the book too. Yeah, I dislike Richard through the whole book. Not a very likable person. In my opinion.

  4. Jess

    Sounds like an interesting read, I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

    In those pictures she looks 60, not 30! So sad, and such a waste of talent. I am familiar with her music (my mum is a fan), and it is very catchy.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It is very sad. And seeing the photos of her towards the end were horrifying.

  5. Carbzilla

    I was a HUGE Carpenters fan though I don’t really remember where I was when I heard she’d died. Looks like I was in high school when it happened. I finally got up enough nerve to watch The Karen Carpenter Story and just sobbed my eyes out. Anorexia is such a horrible disease. A girl from my high school died of it a few years ago. In high school we just thought she was thin. I think it got much worse later, and eventually took her life. So completely tragic and avoidable. I think anorexics start doing it to themselves but the disease takes over and then they truly become a victim. Of course, I think all eating disorders are caused by early trauma or sexual abuse but maybe that’s painting it with a broad brush.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I think that analysis of the disease is pretty insightful. In the end of the book, Karen realized she was sick and needed help but it was too late. I haven’t seen the TV show, I’ll look for it on netflix.

  6. Lisa

    I can’t say that I am a Carpenter fan, but I do like some of their songs. Due to working in retail with Muzak playing 24/7, year-round, I am really good at mocking a couple of their Christmas songs 🙂
    She died the winter after I started attending an all-girls school, and there were many girls there who had eating disorders. Prior to her death (and after her death), there was about one girl a year who would have to be hospitalized due to low weight/eating disorder issues. Luckily, no one died. I also remember there was a boy at the summer camp I attended who had anorexia. He went every year, stayed all summer, but I think he was 14 or 15 when the counselors noticed something was wrong. He’d lost a lot of weight during the year, but then he evidently wasn’t eating while at camp. I have no idea what was done, but realized then that anorexia and bulemia wasn’t just a girl problem.
    Karen Carpenter’s death was a big deal because of my environment and the spotlight it put on eating disorders.
    Did the book discuss her marriage or why it ended? That part of her life story always seemed curious to me.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks for sharing your experience at the all-girls school. I imagine eating disorders were rampant there. Thinking back to my own childhood, I had no idea what anorexia was until I was in the 5th grade and my good friend at the time was anorexic. She was hospitalized many times in the winter because she’d get frostbite.

      The book briefly mentioned her marriage but it sounded like it was just that the guy wasn’t a good guy. The friends who were interviewed implied that he was kind of a boy toy or playboy type.

  7. Kristin

    I was a huge fan of the Carpenters. I think Karen Carpenter had the voice of an angel. I must have been a senior in high school when she died and I was devastated. Anorexia had only been in the public eye a bit by then but perhaps it became more noticed after that. My college freshman roommate had quite advanced anorexia–she was supposed to be in recovery but she was extremely thin and it was clear from her behaviors that she still had issues. She went home after the first semester and I hope she got some help. I will have to read the book, although I expect it will be very sad….
    Kristin recently posted..Weekend double

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I hope she did get help with her issues. The book is definitely worth a read. I wasn’t even a Carpenters fan, had no idea really about them, and I was sucked in immediately. Good book. And not all sad.

  8. Randy

    I am the author and thank you for your kind words. I am glad to hear you were moved by Karen’s story… next step — buy a Carpenters “Hits” collection and get to listening!!!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you for leaving a comment! Like I said in my review, I had limited knowledge of the Carpenters and didn’t know their music but your writing was spectacular and it sucked me in. I definitely want to check out her music now.

  9. Tricia

    I have been a fan of the Carpenters since I was about 9 years old and my grandmother bought me their Singles album in a little record shop. Even at that young age I was so taken with the emotion in Karen’s voice and the musical quality of their recordings. I have lots of good childhood memories of the mid to late ’70’s just being a kid and listening to the Carpenter’s music, even when it wasn’t cool!! I was a freshman in college when one of my best friends called and told me Karen had passed away. I remember listening to radio tributes and crying that evening. I still listen to Carpenter’s music to this day although sometimes it is hard not to feel sad that Karen’s life ended so tragically and wonder what could have been if treatment was readily available at that time. I think many variables contributed to her complicated disease – it was not just her controlling mother, although she certainly didn’t help the situation.

    BTW, just found your blog and am inspired by your weight loss success. I’m on the journey now to become more fit and healthy and have enjoyed learning about your story. Good Luck!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Hey Tricia–thanks for leaving a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog on your first visit and I appreciate your story. The consensus from everyone is that Karen had a beautiful voice that’s never been matched. My boyfriend–who is into metal music–even said she had the voice of an angel.

      I understand your emotions. When I was 14, living in Seattle, my most favorite singer died. It was absolutely devastating. It was the music I listened to in my teen angst and it made me feel better. It made it hard to listen to Nirvana after Kurt died.

  10. Diane Sampson

    This book is amazing. Even if Karen had not been famous, it would still be a fascinating and sad story. Someone here asked about her husband. The book does give a lot of info about the marriage. He was a real con artist, and I believe that her marriage was the final nail in her coffin. Buy this book! : )

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I loved the book as well. It was so well-written that even if you weren’t a Carpenter’s fan, it was still intriguing.

  11. Eddie Hahn

    I grew up listening to Carpenter’s music. I remember listening to Greatest Hits albums on family road trips. I am 50 currently, and would have been a Junior in High School in Monroe Oregon when she died. I don’t specifically remember the news broadcast /brief at the time-back then we only had the 3 major networks, PBS and HBO. The knowledge of her death was more of a gradual awareness. I recall a friend in New Jersey dubbing a couple of cassette tapes for me around 1992 or 1993. I would then have my own copy of a musical sound I loved so much. I remember discussing my pride in having my own copy of the Carpenters music with my dad (who died in 2012). He retorted “I never liked the Carpenters.” I then realized it was my mom who liked their sound. (The two had divorced in 1985). It makes sense that my mom is a fan: she teaches and plays piano. I don’t even think I realized until the last 5-10 years (not sure why)-that the “Carpenters” were essentially a brother-sister pairing. I just assumed she was the lead singer of a band with a random name (not the family name.) Conversely, I somewhat disagree with the notion that anorexia nervosa was not well known at the time of her death. I remember seeing a documentary movie in health class in 1982 regarding bulimia/anorexia. By the way, I am a marathoner (200 lifetime marathon runs)–and I am/have been conscious of a thin build, but I always ate “like a horse” to replace the calories. Isn’t this kind of a “sexist” disease in that sense? I haven’t heard of males under eating/under nourishing by choice/ or to gain attention.

  12. Robert Galbreath

    HUGE Carpenters fan…I own every album, even pre-A&M recordings.
    Saw them twice in concert…member of their fan club… February 4, 1983 I had 4 wisdom teeth extracted,, came home and the news was reporting Karen’s death..I was so high from the medications I thought I was imagining the terrible things I was hearing on the news. So tragic..

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: