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Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating Paperback – September 1, 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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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: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452270839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452270831
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first came across Geneen Roth's books in the early 1990s, as a college student. I'd gone away for school and gained sixty pounds. Deep down, I knew that I had a problem with food, and it wasn't something I could solve on my own. My problem was as serious as that of an alcoholic or drug addict, and food was my drug of choice. When I read Feeding the Hungry Heart, I learned for the first time that I wasn't alone, that I wasn't a freak, that other people, mostly women, had felt the same way I felt. And most importantly, that they'd come through the experience and found a way to be healthy with food. If you suspect that you have a problem with food, try reading this book. Don't expect to find diets or even suggestions for overcoming the problem. If you view your overeating as an addiction, this book is really the first step to recovery. Use it to help yourself admit that you're addicted to food, and then move on to Roth's other books, especially When Food Is Love and Breaking Free from Emotional Eating. They'll help you get a better sense of specific steps you can take. I did what I'm recommending ten years ago, and over several years, I overcame my obsession with food and lost the sixty pounds I'd gained. I didn't do it by dieting or restricting myself from eating anything. And it didn't happen quickly. I'm also fully aware that my relationship to food is just like an addict's relationship to alcohol. It doesn't go away. In fact, in stressful periods of my life, I've turned to food for solace and gained weight again. But this time, the difference is that I know what I'm doing and why. I know why I'm turning to food. And I know what it can't and won't ever be able to give me. Anyone who tells you that it's just a matter of calories in vs. calories out or who recommends that you "just get over it" doesn't understand that food is, for many people, not an issue of physical hunger, but of emotional hunger.
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Format: Paperback
I am sorry you thought this book was a waste of money. This is not the book to read if you are looking for a diet. "Where are the answers?" you say...
Well, the answers are in the stories of these women who have struggled with the agony of a shameful addiction.
This book is so totally anti-diet. Anti-depriving yourself. It's about being good to yourself, maybe for the first time ever.
It's about figuring out WHY, so you can then work toward healing.
The author was not whining. She was simply telling her story, her truth. She tells her story about food, weight, shame, dieting, and the torment of being teased by other kids, in a touching, yet humorous manner.
Maybe you have not suffered the pain of addiction, possibly? I don't know.
I am in a position to give some advice because I identified with many of the women in this book. I suffered for years with food problems and I am finally free. My heart aches for people who are still struggling. This book has helped me in my battle to start being good to myself.
Do yourself a favor, forget about dieting. Eat what you want when you are truly hungry for food. Don't listen to people who tell you you are too fat. Make exercise fun. Enjoy your food, enjoy moving your body. Enjoy life.
Be good to you.
There's you answer.
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By A Customer on January 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have struggled with my weight for most of my 31 years. I bought this book a few years ago and it showed me that I am not crazy - other women have had the same thoughts and actions that I have...Thank God! Whenever I start to feel overwieght or even THINK about going on another diet, I read this book and it puts me right back on track. I loved this book. LOVED it. It has significantly affected the way I view my body and the way I treat myself now.
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Format: Paperback
Because I doubt if Ms. Roth's early years with an abusive mother, emotionally absent father were fiction. Ms. Roth's first book was truly a brave recounting of her conflict with food and you can clearly understand that her childhood had a lot to do with that (as it does for many of us). I also appreciated the writings from other women who've been through the same battles. It really never ends. You have to constantly be vigilant. I would recommend this to anyone who uses food for comfort, anesthesia, etc. The book makes sense.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book I read when I began my recovery five and a half years ago. It always spoke to me, or rather, screamed at me! This is always the first book I recommend to anyone who struggles with food issues, or has a loved one who struggles. Geneen Roth is an amazing writer, and her style is wonderfully eloquent. A MUST-READ!!!
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By A Customer on August 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
During a difficult recovery from bulimia, I sought out emotional advice from those who had been through similar perils and had recovered to an admiral degree. I bought Feeding the hungry heart and read through it as fast and deperately as I would a quart of ice cream. The book is really a culmination of women's stories who had been compulsive eaters and had recovered by taking seminars from the author. While I could certainly relate to much of what was said, I found the stories to be depressing; leaving me with a bit of hopelessness. Never was it thoroughly explained exactly what these women did to lead to a recovery. I felt cheated; as if this was just the prequel to the book with the answers. I wasn't about to pay another $10.00 to find them.
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