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The Thirteenth Tale
Diane Setterfield
Progress: 25 %
The Sea, the Sea
Iris Murdoch, Mary Kinzie
Normal Eating for Normal Weight: The Path to Freedom from Weight Obsession and Food Cravings - Sheryl Canter Ideally, I'd like to withhold a rating, simply because this type of book needs to be re-read, referred to, and put into practice before determining if it is any good. I think it's only fair, though, to give an initial rating based on the information and writing. So...

There was something about the thought process that you are asked to put yourself through that struck a nerve with me. I actually found myself crying at one point in the book, because it was expressing a sentiment that was deeply embedded in me but I'd never vocalized and would not have been able to find the exact words to do so if I had wanted to. This in itself doesn't make it a great book, or a reason to recommend it- it is simply a book that said the right things for me.

It takes you through a four step process to help overcome compulsive eating. First you are talked through getting rid of all the built up "training" we are given throughout our lifetimes, such as: being ashamed of overeating or eating fattening foods to the point that you find alone time to binge, or obsessing about what you eat to the point that you make yourself crazy and deny yourself- only to turn around and eat out of frustration or anger and not being allowed to be normal. You are asked to observe what you eat without judging yourself.

The second stage is to learn the physical cues of hunger and satiation, "reconnect" with yourself and notice when you are eating for emotional reasons, not out of hunger.

The third stage is to work out what problems/emotions are triggering the overeating. You are asked to stop and think before you eat. "If hunger isn't the problem, eating isn't the solution."

Fourth stage is learning to make good choices, which is where the book fell down for me. As a lifetime dieter, I know what food is "good" and why I should eat it. My problem isn't not knowing that information, it's eating tons of extra food and thinking that if no one sees me do it it doesn't count, and I can't stop myself. That's the reason I enjoyed the first three quarters of the book.

I'm hoping this book will be what I need to keep me going through what the author admits is a long, difficult process. It is for that that I am rating the book as I am.