Friday, July 3, 2009

Emotional Eating "Shrink Yourself"

Book On to my next book to review--Shrink Yourself by Roger Gould MD. The introduction and first two chapters were more about emotional eating than the entire book by Geneen Roth was.
In the introduction Dr. Gould identifies the emotional eating problem as powerlessness. I must say that label pretty well fits all psychological problems. I mean those suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, lack of confidence, low self esteem... are all lacking power in their lives.

Nevertheless in Chapters 1 and 2 he provides an over abundance of case histories of those suffering from extreme stressful situations such as divorce relying on food and relates it to an alcoholic.

Chapter 3 is the Cost of Powerlessness in which he states that it's easier to be upset with yourself for pigging out than it is to deal with the emotional upset of something like anger or rejection. He goes on to say that overeaters have a feeling phobia--they're afraid of feeling emotions all of which I agree. There's also the challenge of maturing--throwing out the old childhood limiting programs and rewriting you own guidelines of life. The inability to deal with this conflict throws a lot of people into binging.

Chapter 4 is about how we let our low self esteem take a hit from other's criticisms, rejection... and that it's the low self esteem which contributes to binges and I agree with what he's saying.
Even self doubts (without anyone else's input) triggers binges. It's the critic within you--the self puts downs--that drive you to binging. He promises that in part II he'll give you a way of dealing with your critic.

Chapter 5 is somewhat about being hungry for what you lack or not knowing what you lack or not living up to your potential (dreams). Then there's the everyday pressures and stressors that contribute to overeating.

So far I'd say it's a one legged approach in that up to this point the book has been about eating in response to undesireable stress and fear--nothing about eating in response to happiness, celebration, achieving goals... Maybe that will come later in the book.

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