Anxiety & Panic

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The Emotional Eater's Repair ManualReview - The Emotional Eater's Repair Manual
A Practical Mind-Body-Spirit Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting
by Julie M. Simon
New World Library, 2012
Review by Lynne Trevisan
Oct 8th 2013 (Volume 17, Issue 41)

The title does not do this book justice.  In fact, in this author's opinion, the title limits the number of people who will read this book because many will think "I am not an emotional eater; therefore, I do not need this book."  The tools the author shares in the book help address any person's self-destructive habit that comes from an emotional point of view, whether it is food, shopping, drugs, alcohol, sex, or any other behaviors that the person then feels guilty about after giving in to the temptation.  She shares methods of capturing negative self-talk and ways to change the negative to positive.  She also addresses methods of how to grieve for life's disappointments as well as traumas.  Simon shares how to build a life that includes nurturing oneself and soothing the pain in a productive, healthy manner. 


Additionally, she shares how chemical imbalances can lead to overeating, how to pay attention to the signals our body produces, and how sleep impacts weight, which has a major impact on the body's ability to release excess weight because it controls the amount of ghrelin produced. With the book, Simon tells how hidden health problems can impact weight gain as well as holding on to fat so the person who is trying to lose weight cannot.  Of interest is the perspective regarding exercise.  In the book, Simon states "when you're not exercising regularly, you may feel disconnected from your body signals and ignore early warning signs of illness" (2013, p. 223). She also discusses the benefits of exercise that we all know such as, "increases your metabolic rate, helps burn calories, and relieves stress" (2013, p. 223).  Simon then addresses the reasons we make excuses to not exercise.  Once again, negative self-talk plays a role and Simon reveals approaches to overcoming the self-talk.


Next, Simon covers filling ourselves up spiritually.  She suggests finding quiet time to just be one with self.  She offers prayers that help us to let go of past hurts and anger, and to accept what is in our lives. Next, finding purpose and meaning in our lives is imperative to moving forward.  She provides techniques to address the boredom of routine work, reframing negative thoughts, and making a positive contribution to someone else's life. We all have something significant to contribute, even if it doesn't feel like we are contributing something significant.  Being able to recognize that what we do impacts someone else in a positive way shows us we have purpose.  If that element is not present in life, then it is helpful to create the opportunity for doing so through volunteering. 


Finally, and in my opinion most importantly, Simon addresses having gratitude for everything in our lives.  Oprah suggested in her television show many years ago that we have gratitude for everything, including the challenging issues that make us stressed or the traumas we encounter for those are the times we learn the greatest lessons.  Being quiet and focused may allow us to know what the lesson is.  Regardless, being thankful for all of the blessings we have in our lives is essential. 


It was a pleasure reading this book because I saw many of my own as well as loved one's behaviors throughout the book.  I have recommended it to many and hope it helps those who do read it to rise above.


© 2013 Lynne Trevisan



Lynne Trevisan, College of Health, Human Services, and Science, Ashford University


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