by Julie Simon
New Book Offers a Mindful Approach for Ending Emotional Eating
Current brain science shows that a lack of consistent emotional nurturance in infancy and childhood, when the brain is being formed, can result in difficulties with self-regulation, causing us to seek comfort and nurturance outside ourselves, often in substances, like food, and behaviors such as overeating. The good news is that our history is not our destiny and the brain can be rewired.
In When Food Is Comfort: Nurture Yourself Mindfully, Rewire Your Brain, and End Emotional Eating, author Julie M. Simon, explains that emotional overeaters can learn to self-nurture instead of turning to food for comfort, through the simple, easily mastered skills her book offers.
“Through practicing these skills you’ll learn to access an internal nurturing voice: a mature, wise, validating, affirming, unconditionally kind, loving, soothing, comforting, encouraging, protecting, hopeful, and helpful adult voice,” writes Simon. “This is the part of you that can help you stay with and process your unpleasant feeling states, reframe self-defeating thoughts, remind you of your strengths and resources, and help you meet your needs.
Part 1 of When Food Is Comfort discusses how we develop self-regulation, or the ability to manage emotions, moods, thoughts, impulses, and behaviors. In Part 2, Simon presents seven skills that make up what she calls inner nurturing, along with information, tools, and special tips that readers can use to practice self-connection and self-nurturance. She helps readers learn to relate to themselves and others in ways that create and support brain connections and facilitate learning and growth. In Part 3, Simon offers strategies for attracting nurturing others into their lives, as well as four habits to cultivate in order to better nurture others.
“Building new skills takes practice and patience. You will not master them overnight. Allow yourself the time you need to proceed through the three parts of this book,” writes Simon. “Learning to turn inward and use a kind, supportive inner voice may feel awkward. But as you build the integrative circuits of your brain, it will get easier, and you’ll feel better equipped than ever to address your needs and set limits on unwanted behaviors. That’s the power of inner nurturing.”
About the Author
Julie M. Simon, MA, MBA, LMFT, is the author of When Food Is Comfort and The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual. She founded the popular Los Angeles–based and online Twelve-Week Emotional Eating Recovery Program and offers workshops at venues like Whole Foods and UCLA. She lives in Los Angeles and you can visit her online at http://www.OvereatingRecovery.com.