Obesity even being over-weight is more than simply a problem of surplus body fat; it is primarily an emotional issue. In her book When Food is Comfort, Julie M Simon argues the case for viewing eating problems from this central perspective.
As she explains, recent research indicates that a lack of consistent emotional nurturing during early infancy or through later childhood— times during which our brain patterns are being developed, as the points during which our connection to love and to food are established.
A Healing Approach
Simon presents seven powerful techniques for controlling food addictions. These include the consumption of unhealthy comfort foods, general overeating, or the use of food as a way of avoiding emotional issues.
Each technique is born from her own experiences and from personal research into eating disorders initiated by her own emotional problems. As she explains in her book, she was just one of many of us who eat partially for the wrong reasons.
“I could get stuck for long periods in pain for emotional states like anxiety, anger, sadness, hurt, shame, loneliness, frustration, depression, and hopelessness” she explains. “Food sorted out of my brain chemistry, helping to numb the pain of unpleasant emotions, self-doubt, and other negative thoughts. It also helped relieve stress.”
A Structured Approach
When Food is Comfort is split into three specific parts.
- Part One – Parental nurturing beyond food and shelter
- Part Two – Nurturing becoming your own best friend
- Part Three – Creating nurturing connections
Within these Simon explains how through therapy and the intentional exposure to other forms of counselling she began to learn a language of self-nurturance. She bases this approach upon the self-application of unconditional loving, affirmation, validation, and a constantly supportive and compassionate communication with the Inner Self.
The author assures her readers that these approaches to self-care can lead to greatly improved health; along with enhanced levels of self-esteem, increased energy and a notable loss in bodyweight.
The pleasant sensations that food creates means that we end up having to tackle some of the deepest and most pernicious subconscious control mechanisms which traps us into unhealthy eating.
When Food is Comfort offers a truly comprehensive, step-by-step program—one that is specifically aimed at helping the reader understand how to challenge set presumptions and to nurture themselves with a level of loving kindness for which the inner spirit truly craves.
Throughout her book Simon strives to help her readership understand that it is important to break the powerful emotional connection to food and to replace it instead with a more effective emotional connection to one’s Inner Being. In this sense she proves that being over-weight is essentially a spiritual issue rather than just a practical challenge.
This is a pleasant and sympathetic book—one in which Simon infuses the narrative with a strong sense of personal compassion and understanding; after all she has been there and travelled the road herself and the healed scars of her journey help to create a genuinely personable and effective remedy to weight issues.
When Food is Comfort is replete with powerful, productive, and practical advice. The addition of case studies and personal recollections results in a book of inestimable value to those who have struggled with other approaches to weight-loss such as dieting and calorie-counting. For many, I am sure, this book offers an effective approach to long-standing emotional problems and the eating disorders they create.