Thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments on the post introducing Karen’s book about weight loss, weight gain and weightlessness! Remember you can still comment and be eligible to win a copy of her book until this Sunday, 12 a.m. EST.
Today, we not only have another giveaway, but a fantastic interview with Katie from Health for the Whole Self. Katie is also a good friend and a blogger I’ve admired for a long time! She always writes eloquently and honestly about issues like body image, the culture of thinness and intuitive eating.
Recently, Katie has written an e-book that provides 30 strategies to overcome emotional eating. I purchased the e-book, and absolutely loved it. Not only is it well written, relatable and thoughtful, but it’s packed with valuable tools. It’s a book that you’ll return to regularly. You can learn more about the book and how to get it here.
Below, Katie talks about her own struggles, what helped her to overcome emotional eating, her favorite tools and more. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow!
The details on the giveaway: Katie is giving one e-copy away! Just comment below on today’s post or tomorrow’s post (for part two). You have ’til next Monday at 12 a.m. EST to comment. I’ll pick the winner randomly and let you know who won next week. I’ll also email the winner.
Q: What inspired you to write Taking Action?
A: When I first decided I wanted to face my emotional eating issues, I quickly became frustrated with all of the vague advice I received. I knew I needed to create a healthier relationship with food and with my body, but I had no idea how to even begin doing that!
Over the years I’ve created a toolbox of sorts to deal with my emotional eating struggles, and I wanted to share those tips and strategies with others.
Q: How did your struggles with emotional eating start and how you were able to recover?
A: I was in 7th grade when I went on my first diet, and by 10th grade I was fully entrapped in cycles of dieting and binge eating. I would restrict my food intake and over-exercise for a few months, lose a ton of weight, and then go crazy and eat everything in sight for the next few months.
Food was my absolute enemy.
I don’t really consider myself “recovered,” only because I believe I will always be on this journey. It’s a never-ending process of learning to accept my body, my emotions, and myself.
Having said that, I’m certainly liberated from the diet/binge cycle; I don’t live my life either starving or overeating. I’m at a much more balanced, peaceful place because I’ve made a concerted effort to turn inward and discover what my rocky relationship with food was really all about.
The tools in the e-book – plus working with a counselor specializing in eating issues – have made a world of difference.
Q: What would you like readers to take away from your book?
A: I want readers to finish my e-book and feel empowered. Struggling with emotional eating can leave you feeling so discouraged, even hopeless.
I remember thinking at one point, “I will never be able to be normal around food!” But that just wasn’t true, and my e-book is proof of that.
You don’t have to sit around just hoping things get better. There are things you can do to help make that happen.
Q: What are a few of your favorite tools?
A: One of my personal favorites is to make a list of the pros and cons of binge eating. At first this seems downright mad; I remember thinking, “But there is nothing good about binge eating!” But actually there is.
Once I discovered what overeating was doing for me – helping me to zone out, cure my boredom, distract me, comfort me, etc. – it was a whole lot easier to find more effective, productive ways to fill that same need or void.
I also love the tip about separating facts from judgments. Those of us who struggle with negative body images tend to forget that just because we think something doesn’t make it true. For example, a fact might be that I wear a size “blank,” but the resulting thought – that I am fat and disgusting – is definitely a judgment.
Making peace with food and our bodies is about accepting the facts while challenging the overriding judgments.
Thanks so much, Katie, for your thoughtful responses! Stay tuned tomorrow for part two!
What resonated with you about Katie’s responses? How have you overcome emotional eating? What tools do you recommend?