Reviewed by Michael Fiorini
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, for Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program for Healing Your Relationship With Food and Your Body is designed to assist readers in altering their eating habits. As the title implies, the author incorporates mindfulness exercises for readers to practice at their own pace to increase their self-awareness of appetite and compulsive eating habits. Important to this narrative is the constant notion that altering eating habits is a difficult process that typically involves slip-ups and speed bumps. This is acknowledged in “gray area” sections addressing where certain techniques and routines might be overlooked or not followed strictly. The book speaks directly to the reader and addresses the reader’s internal state of mind during the mindfulness process. Tapping into the emotional response incited through eating and the internal processing and pleasure derived from it are important aspects of the overall approach of the book. Professional readers will find the book helpful for expanding their awareness and applications of the mindfulness process. It is particularly significant for those working with clients who are unsatisfied with or maintain problematic eating habits.
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, For Binge Eating is broken down into ten chapters, with each focusing upon a different aspect of eating and mindfulness. An opening chapter, In Charge, Not In Control, highlights the ways in which self-control with eating is often influenced by things outside of our conscious awareness. The next chapter, Trust Your Body Wisdom, turns to somatic awareness practices that can limit excess eating and bring out lost feelings of hunger. It’s Not About The Food, the chapter after this, looks at the effects that eating can have on individuals. The chapters Change Your Mind and What Am I Really Hungry For? actively challenge eating habits, personal self-regulation processes, and motivations. The following two chapters, Fearless Eating and Mindful Eating allow for greater consciousness during the eating experience, reconnecting readers with the pleasure of food with positive introspective reframing. Just Right looks at proper quantities of food for the individual. The last two chapters, Self-Care Buffer Zone and My Big Life, look at the management of positive habits in relation to life stressors and the direction for greater self-care going into the future, respectively. Included in every section are diagnostic tools situating readers in their unique eating and self-care circumstances, allowing for constant pause and self-evaluation.
Despite being aimed specifically at those readers who want to achieve healthier, positive eating habits, Eat What You Love is also an excellent self-diagnostic tool for expanding mindfulness. It leads readers through self-questioning and introspection in a way that can be incorporated across different therapeutic and self-help modalities; for example, in treating habitual behaviors and addictions. Professionals will find it illustrative of course-of-action techniques and a framework for self-improvement and care. For those specifically dealing with eating disorders, binge eating, bulimia, or different forms of anorexia, it can be one of many useful therapeutic reference points in treatment. Eat What You Love promotes mindfulness and the improvement of the mind-body relationship. It attempts this through its largely diagnostic and self-conscious format, connecting readers to themselves, what brings them happiness, and what influences become most pertinent in their relationship to eating. Such increased awareness can be applied across many different therapeutic circumstances, and so it is a useful tool for professionals to map out a framework for progress and meaningful change.
Michelle May, MD, is the founder of Am I Hungry? Eating Programs and Training, and works as an author and public speaker.
Kari Anderson has 23 years of experience treating eating disorders, and is the owner of myBalanced Life LLC in Arizona, a private practice specializing in binge eating and related disorders.
May, M. & Anderson, K. (2014). Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, For Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program for Healing Your Relationship With Food and Your Body. Phoenix, AZ: Am I Hungry? Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-934076-35-4.
Paperback. 186 pages. Includes references.