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The Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health Paperback – January 15, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is challenging: it forces you to face your feelings over and over again, as well as going back to your past to face some of your most uncomfortable emotional moments. But this is the whole point: most people with eating disorders are avoiding or pushing away those uncomfortable memories and the fear of those emotions.
Karen's book teaches you that no emotion is wrong and we can handle any emotion that comes our way. The exercises in the book give you opportunities to face each difficult emotion, break it down and show us they're normal and survivable.
Some of the best things in this book are the relaxation techniques and the examples of rational beliefs when it comes to emotions and food. I have been able to put several of her strategies into practice in my everyday life and it has been helping me immensely to figure out many of my emotional responses to situations, as well as keeping me on track with my quest to become a normal eater.
I recommend this book to anyone who is seriously committed to breaking free of the tyranny of diets or eating disorders and is willing to do some tough emotional work. It has definitely changed my outlook on life.
Koenig has organized this convenient workbook into sections that reflect 7 difficult feelings: guilt, shame, helplessness, anxiety, disappointment, confusion, and loneliness. She uses "Stop and Feel" questions throughout the book to help people exercise those seldom-used feeling muscles. She includes "Change Boosters" to practice new behaviors about feelings and eating. So, she gets you practicing this new skill, which you've avoided all your life. And she does it all with her usual wit, personal style, and generous helping spirit.
An example of her writing that I particularly like is from the Introduction: "This workbook...will encourage you not to bury your emotional pain until it turns into a toxic waste dump,but to put on your hip boots and slog through it, detoxifying one emotion at a time no matter how long it takes."
As a life coach and psychotherapist, I've recommended this book to clients who are slogging through it slowly...the way it needs to be used...and starting, little by little, to live with their feelings, rather than continue their obsession with food, weight, and body image.
This book is set up as a workbook. I didn't write in it because I had a lot to say, so I answered the questions in my computerized journal. There were questions that didn't pertain to me, and some I just plain did not want to do. When I got to those I put the book aside for a few days and returned to it. If I felt the same way, I just turned the page and continued to go forward. As I result I got to issues and questions that I did need to work on right now.
If you are having trouble normalizing your relationship with food, take a look at the emotions that are coming up when you eat, or when you refuse to eat.
This book provides a deep dive into the feelings behind disordered eating so you deal with the root causes, not just the symptoms. It does so through a series of journaling and creative exercises around food and feelings organized by chapter. The exercises are very similar to techniques done in cognitive behavioral therapy, but work very well as self-guided exercises. All the exercises are very different and creative and although there were some I was skeptical of, by suspending my disbelief and doing them I found they were actually quite helpful. The questions did a great job of getting me to reflect on my behaviors and were so helpful that my therapist is now requesting her own copy of the book.
There are a few things to keep in mind though if you do decide to purchase this book:
1. It does take time. I have found that each chapter takes me about an hour to work through so I find myself doing about one chapter per week. If you're not willing to commit that much time this is probably not the book for you.
2. It's very writing intensive. There are some exercises that involve drawing, visualization, and other means but for the most part it is a lot of writing. If you find this is not therapeutic for you again this book may not be the best choice
Overall I think this is a fantastic book and one that has really helped me to reflect on my feelings and develop a healthier relationship with food. It is time consuming to work through but you are learning so much throughout the process that it is worth the time invested. I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is required reading for a medical procedure and it misses the boat. It doesn't fit my needsPublished 2 months ago by Ronald Koffman
The book came in perfect condition. I was very happy with my purchase,
Wow! This book is so on point for me. My food issues are so related to emotional issues from my childhood and neglect and undernourishment that it colors many of my choices. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
It might be helpful for someone who is completely emotionally shut down, but, if you're not, it's annoying that every few paragraphs the author asks you how you're feeling and to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Silver Hooligan
Outstanding workbook! Gives you some excellent tools in dealing with unhealthy food behaviors. The book requires much more than simply reading it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by M. Talbot
It was supposed to be new, and the book was written with pencil.Published 8 months ago by Lucrecia de Perez
There is a direct link to food and feelings. This book is helping me to discover it. The book arrived in pristine shape.Published 8 months ago by Lisa Parlas