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Breaking Free from Emotional Eating Paperback – May 6, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geneen Roth is a writer and a teacher who has gained international prominence through her work in the field of eating disorders. She is the founder of the Breaking Free workshops, which she has conducted nationwide since 1979. She is also the author of Feeding the Hungry Heart, Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating, and When Food is Love. A frequent guest on television and radio programs, she has written for and been featured in Tie, Ms., New Woman, Family Circle, and Cosmopolitan. Her poetry and short stories have been published in numerous anthologies. Born in New York City, she now lives in northern California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Later Printing edition (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452284910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452284913
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Geneen Roth is the author of the bestseller, When Food is Love and seven other books. She has conducted workshops for over thirty years and has lead retreats for the past ten.

Roth is a frequent contributor to many publications including Salon.com, Huffington Post and Good Housekeeping and has appeared on numerous national shows from Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America, and The View, to Primetime Live and NPR's Talk of the Nation.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

241 of 246 people found the following review helpful By lucky on August 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life in all the ways I was longing for it to be changed.
I read Geneen's work in the middle of my eating disorder. I didn't begin using it right away because I didn't trust it. I didn't like it. I didn't think it would work. It does.

Different approaches work for different people. I think this worked for me because, deep down Geneen's philosophy is in accordance with my own. I wanted to be my own authority. I wanted it bad enough to give this a try. I didn't tell myself I had to do this forever. I didn't have blind faith. I also didn't give up on it in the first three months. I gave myself a year to decide. A year, where I promised myself I wouldn't diet. A year in which to work through every exercise I reasonably could. In addition to committing to this book, I continued seeing a therapist on a weekly basis. That helped, but this book is what ultimately gave me coping tools. I know that I was in the extreme, not everybody needs as much help as I did. I also know that distorted eating is very normal in this culture. I feel blessed to have been able to examine something so fundamental, and transform what was a problem to a benefit. I've read all of Ms. Roth's books and enjoyed each of them. This one has a great combination of explaining and exercises to do, which is why I chose it. However, the chapters are widely divergent in terms of work. Her other book "Why Weight" appears to be the same exact work better organized, but less expository. If you are unsure if this work is for you, buy or borrow "Breaking Free". If after reading through it you feel excited but overwhelmed by the work load, you may wish to try "Why Weight" as a work book.

I rarely review books. I chose to review this one because it was life changing, and a big risk. Hopefully my experience is of some help.
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183 of 194 people found the following review helpful By Robin Wondra on May 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book completely transformed my view of food. It truly is all in our perspective of how we look at a sitation and Geneen Roth helps us to love ourselves, truly. She describes her own pain and suffering with compulsive eating and allows us to remember that there are many other women out there feeling the same way. I read this book for the first time when I was sixteen and was able to stop bingeing for a year! Now, I am rereading it at 19, after going through a hard time, and once again practicing her teachings. I love her. She is such a wonderful inspiration and has completely changed my life.
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By DCtoMI on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I usually wait until I've finished a book before I review it. But I'm too excited about this one! In 90 pages (fewer, really) Geneen Roth brilliantly broke down my whole lifelong obsession with food. After incorporating her changes, I have made peace with food. I let it talk TO me, not FOR me. And I'm happier about my eating habits than I have been in years! Last year, I joined Weight Watchers. And initially, I loved that I could eat what I wanted as long as I was accountable. I lost 17 pounds and found the meetings inspiring. Then something happened. I became more food obsessed than ever! At breakfast, I was thinking about dinner. On Wednesday, I was thinking about what I'd eat over the weekend. Saving points for a couple of drinks. Planning ahead for a dinner date. It was driving me crazy and making me feel like a failure and a weakling when I didn't stay within my points! This book really calmed me down in no time flat. And it made me realize that, when left to my own devices and allowing myself to eat what I really wanted, I didn't always want pizza, burgers and fries! This is still shocking to me! :) I feel free now. I think about what to eat when my body tells me it's hungry. Not by the "points" I have yet to use. And not by the fat or carb content. I think WW is a great program. And I have learned things that I will continue to use for a long time. But for a foodie like me, Geneen's way makes so much more sense. I love, love, love this book!
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Sunshine7 on July 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had problems with emotional eating/binge eating on and off for over 15 years. Geneen Roth shares her struggle with emotional eating and as you are reading you feel as if you are not alone. That many other people share your struggle and there is help. This book is based on her work shops with exercises but mainly deep reading that really gets you to re-set how you think about yourself. I have and I do recommend this book.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By S. S. on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It may sound corny, but this book really did change my life. I was knee-deep in a seven-year-long binge/starve cycle. My life had passed me by and I was numb to everything, only being able to think and obsess about eating constantly. When I remember those times, I am amazed. A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have been able to even fathom imagining I could recover, or change, or that I would one day start to live again.

I just reread this book one full time through again-- I usually refer to certain chapters at certain points in my life, but I found myself completely pulled back into compulsion recently-- and once again, this book helped me save myself.

Geneen Roth is inspiring and-- dare I say?-- caring. She speaks to the reader with deep empathy as someone who has been there and truly wishes to help. This book taught me to do the daring thing I had never considered before-- love and value myself. To learn to eat when I was hungry. It sounds so simple to someone who may not struggle with food, but that's what this book does. It teaches you how to eat when you are hungry and it affirms that you are worthy. It is a beautiful book, raw in its empathy and emotion.

Granted, it may not help everyone. Every person is different. But I daresay it will help many, and it certainly helped-- that's an understatement-- me.
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