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.
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