Thursday, January 11, 2007


Anonymous asked me for some book titles in the comments for my last post. I've read soooo many and this process has been reallllly long, but there are a few that have stood out for me as being the most helpful. I think the very first one I read was Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole. It made so much sense to me and I was able to follow its principles for a while, but eventually fell back into my old habits. For me, this is not so much about giving up dieting, but about giving up the cycle of deprivation and bingeing, so IE didn't quite do the whole trick for me.

I read many of Geneen Roth's books, which had me nodding my head a lot, but didn't really give me any specifics on how to go about healing myself. However, I think everyone who eats for emotional reasons should read her book Breaking Free From Emotional Eating.

I had a class that used the book Thoughts & Feelings: taking control of your moods and your life. Working through that book helped me clarify much of my destructive thinking and started me down the road to healing.

French Toast for Breakfast by Mary Anne Cohen was fantastic. For the first time I didn't feel like a failure because I couldn't seem to live surrounded by crappy food and not eat it.

Other books that helped me along the way were:
It's Not About Food: change your mind; change your life by Carol Emery Normandi
The Rules of "Normal" Eating by Karen R Koenig
The Appetite Awareness Workbook by Linda R Craighead
Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink

I think the reality is that you can read and read and read, but not get anywhere if you don't act. I started actually *doing* the exercises in the books and workbooks, which helped me uncover feelings and reasons behind my actions that had always been a mystery to me. I started actually trying to stop myself from bingeing rather than feeling helpless in the face of a seemingly overwhelming desire to eat, eat, eat.

In the past I usually tried to wait as long as I possibly could before eating lunch or a snack, thinking that the longer I waited, the less food I'd eat over the course of the day. I came to realize that waiting until I was positively ravenous before eating did not result in weight loss so much as in the consumption of way too many carbohydrates from bread, cereal, grains, and junk food. My body was screaming to be fed and the reason I was craving cookies or potato chips had less to do with uncontrollable cravings than with the simple fact that I had waited too long to eat. My body was smarter than I -- and knew that cookies would provide the quick energy my cells needed faster than an apple. These past few weeks I have fed myself when hungry -- with nutritious, nourishing food. I have not felt any overwhelming craving for anything. Maybe it's coincidence and tomorrow I'll get that old familiar urge to binge away my boredom, stress, or exhaustion. All I can do is wait and see.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. The book sounds interesting I"ll take a look at it. For the last couple of years I've shied away from reading any more books.. it seemed that in the beginning I devoured all the books I could read on a subject. But while the goal may the same it seemed that everyone had a different way to get there. Some approaches said this and other approaches said that. I felt overwhelmed and confused. Then I decided to follow OO, I jumped in with both feet and gained a bunch of weight. now the additional weight has me feeling down. The only reason that I tried OO is because I felt that I was still holding back that until I really let myself go around food that I would keep stalling. It all started out so simple. but quickly got complicated. I figure that I treated IE like a diet in the beginning and then after awhile I found myself eating for reasons other than hunger. But once again I was confused... what were the reasons?

But like I said in my blog I am so committed to IE, I believe in it 100%. One of my problems is that I have yet to actually meet someone who follows this. I always feel like an odd ball in a dieters world.

I too find it hard to do the exercises. I loved the Appetite Awareness workbook but I could never get myself to actually keep a record of when, why and how much I ate. I also tend to wait too long to eat and then can't stop when I need to.

I hate to say that I am starting over once again but I now feel that I am ready to take some control. For so long I thought, according to the OO forums that any form of control or effort was bad and would result in binging. I had my mindset believing that if I just ate without restraint for a couple years I would eventually find my clothes getting looser. Any time this concern was brought up in the forum we were told to not try to control it, that the legalizing phase takes 2 years and that trying to control when or how much we ate would backfire.

It's taken me a long time to get out of this mindset and believe that it is alright to actually want to lose weight.

I've written a novel here lol!