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Stop Eating Your Heart Out: The 21-Day Program to Free Yourself from Emotional Eating [Kindle Edition]

Meryl Hershey Beck , Jeanne Rust
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Stop Eating Your Heart Out speaks to anyone’s challenges with food, weight, and emotional eating, and then offers a multitude of effective self-help tools. As the author discloses her very personal struggle with food and out-of-control eating, she is telling the story of millions of others who use food to self-soothe. The book’s focus, however, is on recovery. In her wisdom as a licensed professional clinical counselor, the author enumerates methods that have worked for her and her clients over the past twenty years. Tools for recovery include Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Inner Child work, 12 Step recovery, journaling, creative visualization, meditation, gratitude, conscious living, and so much more. Compulsive overeating is conquerable. If you, or anyone you love, want freedom from emotional eating, this book is for you.

Editorial Reviews


"Meryl Hershey Beck has presented 21 self-help tools in her thought-provoking, beautifully written Stop Eating Your Heart Out. She creatively and artfully takes us along on her journey as she combines tried-and true-recovery methods, such as the 12 Steps, with the new energy techniques. If you have a problem with over-indulging and using food instead of dealing with feelings, then open this book and discover for yourself that you too can achieve freedom from emotional eating." --Dr. James Durlacher, DC, author of Freedom from Fear Forever

"An excellent resource. Here you will learn how to understand varieties of problems that contribute to overeating and how to sort these out. Helpful exercises at the end of each section will guide you on your path to a healthier, happier life." --Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM, author of Seven Minutes to Natural Pain Release

"Meryl has written a book that illuminates the true path to recovery from compulsive eating." --Jeanne Rust, PhD, CEO/Founder Mirasol Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

"This is one of the best books on eating disorders that I have seen." -Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM, author of Seven Minutes to Natural Pain Release

"Meryl Beck integrates some of the most effective weight management tools available into a 21-day plan that will empower you. You will also be able to identify with the author's personal story in ways that will be highly instructive for meeting your own challenges. We highly recommend this superb program." -Donna Eden and David Feinstein, PhD, co-authors of Energy Medicine and Energy Medicine for Women

"Meryl Beck's Stop Eating Your Heart Out is a must-have for anyone searching to make peace with food, weight, body image, and self-esteem because you will find that safe haven you are looking for right here. It is truly food for the soul. Meryl takes this complex and important issue that plagues millions and breaks it down into bite-size, palatable pieces that you can easily digest and lovingly weave into your everyday life. Plus, you will get the pleasure of absorbing all the soul-filled nutrients that are present on each page. I highly recommend this book. Your life will never be the same." --Bronwyn Marmo, bestselling author of The Food is a Lie: The Truth is Within

"Stop Eating Your Heart Out is rich with powerful tools to heal overeating. If you are ready for change and want compassionate and nurturing support on your journey, this book may just be the recipe." --Sylvia Haskvitz, author of Eat by Choice, Not by Habit

"Beck, a licensed therapist with extensive experience treating eating disorders, takes a multifaceted approach to helping those with clinical eating problems overcome them. The book barely mentions food per se, but rather views eating disorders as brain-generated conditions, thus potentially brain-cured. A variety of approaches are suggested--one for each of the title's 21 days. Among the solutions offered are a 12-step program modified from Alcoholics Anonymous, journaling, finding a support group, developing spiritual growth through prayer and meditation, creative visualization, and undertaking personal energy work. An appendix includes a listing of various 12-step groups, online resources for information on eating disorders as well as eating disorder treatment centers, and, finally, an extensive list of recommended reading. VERDICT This book is not recommended for dieters but rather those with clinical eating disorders ready to undertake a great deal of work to seek treatment and wellness. Best for specialized health collections and public libraries with large health collections." --Olga B. Wise, Library Journal

"From the first moment you start reading Meryl Beck's Stop Eating Your Heart Out, I think you'll feel like you're with one of your best friends--someone who loves you, cares for you, and really accepts you just the way you are. I did. Meryl's honest presence and simple, doable approaches fill the pages and made me feel supported and that her suggestions were going to be easy to follow and really helpful. If you've got the chains of emotional eating holding you back, Meryl will help you be free." --Tapas Fleming, founder of Tapas Acupressure Technique®,

"Stop Eating Your Heart Out is a well thought out book that will help those with emotional eating find a path to recovery. Meryl Beck's personal story illuminates the journey and her practical step-by-step guide provides touchstones that anyone can follow to find healing from emotional overeating." --Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, author of The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook

"Meryl has written a wonderful book that demystifies Twelve-Step Recovery and brings the healing tools within Twelve-Step programs to us all. Her book is a valuable contribution in the field of emotional eating recovery. Readers will gain personal insight as well as practical tools for healing and living well." --Joanna Poppink, MFT, psychotherapist, lecturer, author of Healing Your Hungry Heart

About the Author

Admired for her authenticity, Meryl Hershey Beck, a licensed professional clinical counselor, is appreciated and respected for her clarity and constancy in doing the hardcore work in finding no-kidding solutions to end the misery of addictions. She spent the first half of her life as a closet eater, gaining weight and feeling overwrought. Once she became active in 12 Step support groups, the bingeing -- fueled by anxiety, low self-esteem, and the desire to escape -- started to wane. Intent on uncovering the root cause of her overeating, Meryl began to incorporate other modalities in her quest for self-understanding. As a counselor, teacher, and author, Meryl joyfully shares these many tools and techniques that skyrocket personal growth and curtail emotional eating. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and offers private coaching, classes, and trainings throughout the world. Visit her at,, and Contact her at

Jeanne Rust, CEO and founder of Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Centers

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start filling your heart up April 28, 2012
By Deb
Do you identify with any of these statements?
--I am preoccupied with food, eating, and weight.
--I am aware that my eating patterns are not normal.
--I eat when I am not physically hungry.
--I eat very little in pubic and binge in private.
--I eat to comfort myself and relieve distressing feelings.
--I tend to eat more when I am stressed, anxious, or depressed.
--Food has become my friend, my lover, or my drug of choice.
--I feel ashamed of myself due to the quantity of food I consume.
--I feel powerless over my eating behavior.
(The complete list of statements can be found on pp. 16-17 of Meryl's book.)

If so, then you may very well be an emotional eater.

Although that reality may be hard to accept, the hope that Meryl's book offers is undeniable. As she states:
"The goal of this book is for you to have freedom from emotional eating. This means that your relationship with food will change; it will no longer be your best friend or your worst enemy--food will just be food, used for pleasure, at times, and for nourishment. Being freed from emotional eating also means you are able to feel your feelings and deal with them rather than numbing yourself with food...And the more you come to love, accept, and appreciate yourself, the more food will just be food--rather than your drug of choice." (pp. 76, 160)

And, she delivers on this hope with a 21-day plan to help you break free from the trap of emotional eating. As a recovered emotional eater, she's made it though this process herself, and as a therapist and author, she now shares this program with others. You'll have to get your hands on your own copy of this book (I highly recommend it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stop Eating Your Heart Out April 9, 2012
I really would give this book 4.5 stars. The only reason is that some of it is based on OA/AA. I don't think that's bad in any way but some of the techniques is just not for me. But, that being said, overall I really liked this book and like the techniques she outlines to do to get over emotional eating. There is a good bit I can use in this book. Some I already heard before but there is plenty that just makes sense to overcoming your emotional/overeating addiction.

There are things in the book about dealing with past issues, the present, keeping journals, food mood diary (which makes alot of sense to me), and I love guided imagine methods. I wish I could find some good tapes on them though. Any suggestions let me know.

I never heard of the left/right hand method but it's interesting for sure. If you want more explaination you will have to read the book. I don't want to give it away.

Love the section in the back of references and the author put a recommended reading section in the back to read further about eating disorders, weight control, etc.

I will read more from this author for sure.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Started Out Good May 26, 2013
By Hannah
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book started out good, it was like the author was writing about me! Then it got into nurturing your inner child and meditation. If you like that kind of thing then you'd love this book! But for me it really went down hill and didn't help me much at all.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Here I am on my first anniversary after doing the program in this book with a 126 pound body and a new attitude toward food. Whew! I could cry just thinking what a relief this is. After 40 years I've finally ditched the diets and deprivation-binge cycle and now just focus on nourishing myself. I'm not perfect-- went for the Cheetos instead of a decent meal on a stressful day running around town this week-- but the little glitches balance out quickly now. I ended up giving the rest of the bag away, thinking that this was an old habit that I had to have one last unsatisfying fling with, and went back to craving kale salad. Really! I made it through the winter, which is usually my "pack it on" time and am entering summer fitting into my clothes. More importantly, I'm feeling lots of love for my precious body.

A couple of things to know: I don't suppose that just reading this book would do much by itself. You have to *do* the exercises. Not necessarily 21 days in a row --that would be ideal, but you can fit them into your actual life, and I admit I only got through #17. But that was good enough to root out enough of my emotional eating issues to make a decision to quit my seasonal dieting and move on to healthy eating that I can enjoy and sustain. As a companion with "Stop Eating Your Heart Out" I would recommend something a book the "Clean" program by Dr. Junger, to get in balance, drop extra weight and make a transition to healthy eating. I used that to take off 15 pounds in a month last summer, and because of the Emotional Eating work I had done it was a remarkably smooth process. I've also found The Gabriel Method book helpful to support weight stabilization through giving our bodies what they need and want.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Guide to Stop Overeating May 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wish I had this book years ago, when I was still struggling with compulsive eating. Like many overeaters, I was fixated on diets, which only makes the problem worse.

Stop Eating Your Heart Out sheds much needed light on why we are driven to pizza or ice cream or a binge when we really aren't even hungry. This book weaves the author's story of healing from her own compulsive eating with step-by-step guidelines for assuaging the emotional and spiritual pain that drives us to food as drug or diversion.

Each chapter explores issues that can drive unhealthy behavior around food and then provides tools for relief from the emotions and patterns that keep us from satiety. Meryl discusses the importance of knowing your eating history, cultivating a support system and learning forgiveness and gratitude. She gives a list of practical alternatives to eating, meditations and visualization techniques.

Meryl discusses her evolving relationship with spirit and how this helped in her struggle. Rather than leave this on an esoteric level, she gives tools for connecting with a higher power (even if you don't believe in God), including time in nature, use of breath, prayer and meditations.

I was particularly impressed with the chapter on energy psychology or energy medicine. Here she explains this powerful but little understood tool for healing. She lists various energy therapies and then provides a step-by-step guide to using EFT, one of the more popular techniques for releasing uncomfortable feelings. From there she guides the reader through an energy therapy process she developed herself. RITT is the author's own process for clearing urges for tempting foods (think chips or chocolate) along with triggering emotions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time.
Another obvious diet book....waste of money!
Published 1 month ago by Leslie
1.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent and frankly a little too hippy for me
Has some general insight that some may find useful, but to get to it you have to read a LOT about the authors personal issues. Read more
Published 2 months ago by E. Stasny
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This was clear, easy to understand and comprehensive. I highly recommend it.
Published 3 months ago by Susan MillerTully
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are struggling- this is 'the miracle pill' book!
I wish I could give this author a hug- this book was truly life-changing for me! Finally, someone gets it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by WR
5.0 out of 5 stars I was a bit surprised by the amount of focus on 12 step programs which...
Spoken from the heart, this book is filled with helpful information. I was a bit surprised by the amount of focus on 12 step programs which is not necessarily bad, a good type of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift of Wisdom!
Meryl Hershey Beck has developed an easy and new system of healing and changing behaviors. You may not be aware of habits that can be developed over a lifetime in order to numb... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jilly Jesson Smyth
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book I found the story heartwarming
Terrific book
I found the story heartwarming, the author's courage inspiring and her precise guide something readers could take home and to their hearts - transforming lives... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
This book is so helpful in figuring out why we have the self destructive behavior of over eating. I am so glad that I bought it
Published 15 months ago by Mandie
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful
The book is providing me extra work out side of counseling sessions and then I can use what I learn to help with my recovery in my counseling sessions.
Published 17 months ago by Sandy Manley
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
Each chapter really challenges you. You start to view how and why you eat very differently. It gets you to the core of why you emotionally overeat and that's something I really... Read more
Published 18 months ago by kdunlop
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More About the Author

Meryl Hershey Beck, MA, M.Ed., LPCC spent her early professional life as a high school and community college teacher. In 1990 she became a licensed counselor (LPCC) specializing in 12-Step Recovery and eating disorders and soon designed and implemented a successful outpatient Food Abuse Treatment week. After she discovered energy techniques, Meryl began writing about and teaching energy modalities to mental health practitioners nationwide beginning in 1998. An authority in this field, she has presented at workshops and conferences internationally. Her book, STOP EATING YOUR HEART OUT: The 21-Day Program to Free Yourself from Emotional Eating, tells her story and presents many tools to skyrocket personal growth and alleviate emotional eating. Known as "The Ambassador of Joy," Meryl teaches ways to break the chains of emotional eating and live an authentic, joy-filled life.


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