Emotional Over-eating

Emotional Over-eating: Know the Triggers, Heal Your Mind and Never Diet Again

Emotional Overeating Marcia Sirota book coverThis book shows how over-eating isn’t caused by access to too much fattening food, but by unmet emotional needs and unhealed emotional wounds. The book explores how three aspects of the psyche– the “child within,” the “adult self” and the “internalized parent” are involved in compulsive overeating.

The book explores how childhood abuse or neglect, or the lack of the basic emotional necessities of childhood create emotional wounds and needs which are dealt with in adult life through addictive behavior, including overeating. Tools are offered for the healing of these wounds and for obtaining what a person truly needs in life, in order to be happy, fulfilled and finally free of addiction.

The book offers several visualization exercises, as well as exercises for releasing anger, healing pain, and building self-acceptance. The book explores several new concepts, such as “ruthless compassion” (a way to become more empowered in relationships and around addiction); the “optimal self” (how to become the best and most fulfilled version of oneself); and “pathological hope” (the false hope of healing and love which drives compulsive overeating).

The 12-step approach to overcoming addiction is shown to be lacking and a new, “four-pronged approach” to overcoming compulsive eating is demonstrated. It involves facing, grieving and letting go of the wounds of the past; taking responsibility for self-love and self-care; rejecting the negative self-talk which promotes compensatory overeating, and pursuing the relationships and activities designed to bring real meaning and fulfillment in life.

Chapter Summary

Chapter One begins with a discussion of the current epidemic of obesity in North America, presenting the idea that the true cause of obesity isn’t simply the over-abundance of calorie-dense food combined with a more sedentary lifestyle, but rather, a lack of happiness in people’s lives and the presence of emotional wounds incurred during childhood; both of which cause compensatory overeating.

Dieting is discussed as an inadequate and inappropriate solution to overeating and being overweight, and the goal of freedom from the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors associated with disordered eating is explored.

Chapter Two presents a discussion on the nature of happiness and how unhappiness contributes to compulsive overeating and obsessive thinking about food and weight. A way to move toward real fulfillment is presented, and there is more discussion about how dieting can’t bring a person either freedom or happiness.

Chapter Three explores the real, emotional and psychological causes of overeating and being overweight and presents the concepts of the “child within,” the “adult identity,” and the “internalized parent,” demonstrating how an unbalanced interplay of these aspects of the psyche is responsible for all addiction and dysfunctional behavior.

Chapter Four shows how the 12-step approach to addiction is ineffective in enabling a person to find freedom from addiction and how the disease model of addiction isn’t helpful. The “Ten Truths” are posited as a preferable guideline for overcoming addiction, and the concept of the “Inner Warrior” is explored as an aspect of the psyche which can bring a sense of empowerment and self-confidence in the face of addiction.

Chapter Five demonstrates how to gain self-acceptance and how important this is in beginning to overcome compulsive eating. Tools for healing the emotional wounds at the root of addiction are offered, and the philosophy of “ruthless compassion” is shown to be an attitude which, when adopted, is extremely effective in helping to overcome overeating and all other addictions.

Chapter Six discusses the attachment to an overweight identity and how to let go of this identity, so as to be able to let go of the extra weight. It also discusses the people in one’s life who try to sabotage weight loss, and how to identify and deal with these individuals. Becoming one’s “optimal self” is discussed as the ultimate goal, as opposed to simply losing weight.

Chapter Seven discusses how childhood sexual trauma is associated with many cases of disordered eating. It discusses how to reclaim one’s healthy sexuality and sensuality, how to free up one’s creativity, and how becoming empowered with regard to sexuality and creativity will enable a person to more easily overcome compulsive eating.

Chapter Eight discusses how disordered eating is associated with food being an overly-important subject. It discusses breaking the spell that food in general and certain specific foods have on a person, and learning to eat for health and enjoyment, rather than out of compulsive need. It discusses how to become conscious about food and eating, and how to overcome the urge to binge. The “four-pronged” approach to overcoming emotional overeating is presented as the real solution to this very challenging problem.

For more info check out the Ruthless Compassion Institute

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