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The Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health [Paperback]

Karen R. Koenig
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 11.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Jan 2007
An extraordinary, powerful connection exists between feeling and feeding that, if damaged, may lead to one relying on food for emotional support, rather than seeking authentic happiness. This unique workbook takes on the seven emotions that plague problem eaters -- guilt, shame, helplessness, anxiety, disappointment, confusion, and loneliness -- and shows readers how to embrace and learn from their feelings. Written with honesty and humor, the book explains how to identify and label a specific emotion, the function of that emotion, and why the emotion drives food and eating problems. Each chapter has two sets of exercises: experiential exercises that relate to emotions and eating, and questionnaires that provoke thinking about and understanding feelings and their purpose. Supplemental pages help readers identify emotions and chart emotional development. The final part of the workbook focuses on strategies for disconnecting feeling from food, discovering emotional triggers, and using one's feelings to get what one wants out of life.

Frequently Bought Together

The Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health + Rules of "Normal" Eating: A Commonsense Approach for Dieters, Overeaters, Undereaters, Emotional Eaters and Everyone in Between! + Nice Girls Finish Fat: Put Yourself First and Change Your Eating Forever
Price For All Three: 28.40

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Gurze Books (23 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936077204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936077208
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 21.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In our fast-paced, too-much-to-do, get-it-done-yesterday world, our attention is more focused on our behavior than on what's going on within us. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By Elizabeth Taylor VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recommend this book, I bought it because I had thought of therapy for years, but, never felt it was a necessity but I knew that for me handling emotions is not easy and as a result I would instead look for solace in things like eating or running away from situations. I was very suprised to find that the author at times was describing me and that was both shocking and a relief. The book gave me more confidence as well as hope and those are two big things mainly I think because its clear reading it that we humans are similar we are all flawed, we all make a mess of things sometime, but, we are capable of reflection and changing ourselves. It sounds trite but sometimes you need reminding of that - and to embrace all we are negative and positive.

The book is aimed at people who have an unhealthy relationship with food and have difficulty loosing weight because of that. It starts off by discussing what emotions are and why not managing them can led to negative behavoirs, it then has an individual chapter for what the author considers key emtions; guilt, shame, helplesses, anxiety, disappointment, confusion and loneliness. Each chapter describes the emotion, its purpose and what value it can have as well as how not really coping with it can lead to negative results. At the beginning, in the middle and at the end of each chapter there is a self reflection or study section where you need to write down your experiences and feelings on reading the chapter, for example ''How does the subject of shame make you feel uncomfortable?''. You need to be honest and able to do this alone, at a time when you can reflect and think - and I put aside 30 minutes each week on a Sunday.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
130 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eye-Opening, Life Changing Book 28 May 2007
By A. Kreinbrook - Published on
After reading Karen Koenig's "Normal Eating" book and loving it, I bought this book in the hopes of further exploring her concepts of addressing the emotions behind eating disorders.

This book is challenging: it forces you to face your feelings over and over again, as well as going back to your past to face some of your most uncomfortable emotional moments. But this is the whole point: most people with eating disorders are avoiding or pushing away those uncomfortable memories and the fear of those emotions.

Karen's book teaches you that no emotion is wrong and we can handle any emotion that comes our way. The exercises in the book give you opportunities to face each difficult emotion, break it down and show us they're normal and survivable.

Some of the best things in this book are the relaxation techniques and the examples of rational beliefs when it comes to emotions and food. I have been able to put several of her strategies into practice in my everyday life and it has been helping me immensely to figure out many of my emotional responses to situations, as well as keeping me on track with my quest to become a normal eater.

I recommend this book to anyone who is seriously committed to breaking free of the tyranny of diets or eating disorders and is willing to do some tough emotional work. It has definitely changed my outlook on life.
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop and Feel Your Feelings So You Won't Eat Them Away 17 April 2007
By Karma B. Kitaj, PhD - Published on
Karen Koenig has done it again. Written a lovely book for people with an uncomfortable relationship to food. The Food and Feelings Workbook assists the reader to separate out eating for nutrition or pleasure from eating to drown feelings. Eating-challenged people (my words), she says, grow up in an atmosphere where feelings are taboo, where they were taught by example that it was not okay to express even the smallest bit of anger, disappointment, or sadness. Instead, they were taught to push it under the rug and in our culture, a great way to do that is with food...too much or too little.

Koenig has organized this convenient workbook into sections that reflect 7 difficult feelings: guilt, shame, helplessness, anxiety, disappointment, confusion, and loneliness. She uses "Stop and Feel" questions throughout the book to help people exercise those seldom-used feeling muscles. She includes "Change Boosters" to practice new behaviors about feelings and eating. So, she gets you practicing this new skill, which you've avoided all your life. And she does it all with her usual wit, personal style, and generous helping spirit.

An example of her writing that I particularly like is from the Introduction: "This workbook...will encourage you not to bury your emotional pain until it turns into a toxic waste dump,but to put on your hip boots and slog through it, detoxifying one emotion at a time no matter how long it takes."

As a life coach and psychotherapist, I've recommended this book to clients who are slogging through it slowly...the way it needs to be used...and starting, little by little, to live with their feelings, rather than continue their obsession with food, weight, and body image.
76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is worth doing 7 Jun 2007
By Stella Nemeth - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book several months ago, and finished it last month. It takes a while to actually do the book, but it is worth the time. I learned a lot. The book works for those who are eating too much and those who are eating too little. We all have similar problems and are trying to get into the middle of the spectrum.

This book is set up as a workbook. I didn't write in it because I had a lot to say, so I answered the questions in my computerized journal. There were questions that didn't pertain to me, and some I just plain did not want to do. When I got to those I put the book aside for a few days and returned to it. If I felt the same way, I just turned the page and continued to go forward. As I result I got to issues and questions that I did need to work on right now.

If you are having trouble normalizing your relationship with food, take a look at the emotions that are coming up when you eat, or when you refuse to eat.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for working toward "normal" eating 26 Feb 2009
By Chicago Book Addict - Published on
I picked up this book a few months ago to help myself with my disordered eating. While I do not have a formal eating disorder, I have found since I stopped dieting it's hard to eat food without feelings of guilt and shame. For me, this book has been a great tool for getting back to a more normal way of eating.

This book provides a deep dive into the feelings behind disordered eating so you deal with the root causes, not just the symptoms. It does so through a series of journaling and creative exercises around food and feelings organized by chapter. The exercises are very similar to techniques done in cognitive behavioral therapy, but work very well as self-guided exercises. All the exercises are very different and creative and although there were some I was skeptical of, by suspending my disbelief and doing them I found they were actually quite helpful. The questions did a great job of getting me to reflect on my behaviors and were so helpful that my therapist is now requesting her own copy of the book.

There are a few things to keep in mind though if you do decide to purchase this book:

1. It does take time. I have found that each chapter takes me about an hour to work through so I find myself doing about one chapter per week. If you're not willing to commit that much time this is probably not the book for you.

2. It's very writing intensive. There are some exercises that involve drawing, visualization, and other means but for the most part it is a lot of writing. If you find this is not therapeutic for you again this book may not be the best choice

Overall I think this is a fantastic book and one that has really helped me to reflect on my feelings and develop a healthier relationship with food. It is time consuming to work through but you are learning so much throughout the process that it is worth the time invested. I highly recommend it.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ANSWER for many emotional eaters 14 Feb 2007
By Linda Moran - Published on
Insightful, probing, wise, instructive, loving...and so many more words can describe this workbook. Overcoming emotional eating doesn't happen from passive reading. It happens from hard work with a therapist or with this workbook.

When I read it I got so excited that I started a new Yahoo! Group, named after the book, just for people who want to grind through the book together. The book's author, Karen R. Koenig, has now joined, and is a contributor.

I guess you could say this book has turned into a movement.
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