Brain over Binge provides both a gripping personal account and an informative scientific perspective on bulimia and binge eating disorder. The author, Kathryn Hansen, candidly shares her experience as a bulimic and her alternative approach to recovery. Brain over Binge is different from other eating disorder books which typically present binge eating and purging as symptoms of complex emotional and psychological problems. Kathryn disputes this mainstream idea and explains why traditional eating disorder therapy failed her and fails many. She explains how she came to understand her bulimia in a new way - as a function of her brain, and how she used the power of her brain to recover - quickly and permanently. Kathryn also sheds new light on eating disorder topics such as low self-esteem, poor body image, and dieting. Brain over Binge is a brave book that has helped many by delivering an informed and inspiring message of free will, self-reliance, and self-control.
©2011 Kathryn Hansen (P)2016 Kathryn Hansen
This was one of the most helpful and insightful books i have ever read. Reading this book helped me work through a lot of my issues with food and recognise the cravings for what they are: neurological junk!
I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with bulimia, binge eating disorder, overeating and chronic dieters.
I found the information in this book invaluable.
The narration and editing however, are another story. There are several instances where the narrator left clear markers to be cut out when she made errors (see chapter 18 of the book).
There is an instance where something has gone wrong with the recording making it inaudible however this passage wasn't redone.
At times the narrator enunciated her 't's' like a posh English woman. At others she completely gobbled them up.
She either read like an English graduate or a 5 year old (this is when she paused mid sentence as if there was a full stop).
I also had trouble understanding some of her pronunciations. For example, she said "are are" but I later realised she was saying "are our".
Having said that, the information in this book was enough to keep the frustration of the performance at bay.
"Powerful ideas based on personal experience"
This book contains story of the author's struggle and recovery followed by the detailed analysis rooted in neuroscience.
Ideas presented in this book are easily generalizable to other eating disorders and bad eating habits. I personally don't have bulimia. What I have is a bad eating habit which I was not able to stop in many years. It does not cause me any emotional suffering, but does cause my weight to hover 25 lbs above of what I believe it should be and what it was before I developed this bad habit.
The core message of this book is that your cravings are not you. Cravings originate in your animal brain and your human brain is capable of simply observing these thoughts without acting on them. Such dissociation makes the cravings to lose their power and over time cures the addiction.
I liked the narration of this book. It turns out that the book was narrated by a person who suffered from bulimia and cured after reading the book.
Overall I enjoyed listening to this book, learned the science behind the food addiction and one powerful technique for stopping it.
"It worked for me"
I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. It is very detailed, clearly explains every concept, and gives a totally different approach to dealing with bulimia or BED. I also appreciated the author's personal story. There was much that I easily related to.
I was a binge eater for about 40 years. I quit binge eating before I finished the book. My whole attitude toward food has changed. I did not expect that, and I am so grateful to have found this book.
"Truly an eye opener about bulimia"
An insightful read and truly an eye opener about bulimia. For those who have lost hope of recovery, this book is with a read.
I found this book very empowering. It made me realize that *I* had the power to stop binge eating. I felt quite hopeless and lost before I read this book. Since listening to this audiobook I have not binged. That might not last forever but it gives me hope that the key to quitting binging is in my hands and achievable. When I quit drinking I found that the AA model of recovery wasn't for me and found that an alternative book called Kick the Drink by Jason Vale provided a similar message to this book in that it's "simple" to quit drinking/overeating. You just need to stop doing it and you can start today! By doing this over and over you change the neural pathways if your brain and the habit loses power and it gets easier to stop over time. I have quit drinking in that manner and while I was cranky at times, I got over it in a few months and I am now hopeful I can do that for overeating as well (without needing to ascribe to Over Eaters anonymous method of powerlessness/surrendering to a higher power. While I believe in the universe, I like Buddhist principles of self-reliance and that's why I liked this book. I highly recommend it!
I don't have time to read many non fiction book so buy a lot of audio books to pass the time while driving to work. This is one of the BEST BOOKS I've ever bought. Couldn't wait to get in my car! Held my attention throughout (over 10 hours - what a bargain!) unlike some audio books where I find my attention wavering frequently. I bought Never Bing Again before this book and although it's a great book (and a very good copy/similarity to this book?!) I found the recording very poor (a computer like drone) and the constant push to go to his website to download extra material or other information, initially, annoying. I would however, still buy both books because they are both dedicated to the problem of binge eating and I learned a lot from both of them. The author of Never Binge Again has a good food plan concept so I have definitely gained great tips and tools to succeed from both books.
I wouldn't have considered myself bulimic (yet!) but I have recently become more and more worried about my out of control eating habits and I completely related to the binge/purge cycle she describes. I've spent years yo-yo dieting and my binge purge has developed from just occasionally overeating, to pigging out, to full out gorging, to more recently... proper mini binges. All this while watching my weight creep up year after year. Scary.
My purges were frantically exercising, starving myself or spending a fortune and a huge amount of my time and energy on restriction diets, fad diets and skipping out food groups. Anything that I could think of to undo the pigging out I'd done at the weekends or all through the holiday seaons etc. It seemed I could only "be good" for 2-4 days maximum before I was manically craving something sweet or walking on autopilot backward and forwards to the fridge searching for something to fulfill me.
The author is totally honest and obviously a very intelligent lady. I related to soooo many of her observations about dieting, purging and exercising and...The Power of Our own BRAINS and HABITS.
This book clarified a lot of issues I've had with my own "lack of willpower" to stop pigging out. The hardest thing I've ever done in my life is stopping smoking and I couldn't figure out why I could finally break my lifelong 35-40 a day smoking habit but couldn't stop myself from stealing the kids chocolates (honestly!) or forcing a 5th piece of cake down my throat...even when I wasn't hungry and didn't necessarily want any more!!! It was great to have lightbulb moments and say "actually...stopping bingeing is not that much different from breaking my smoking habits, and I finally managed that ok" - by doing almost exactly what she advises in this book. (eg Don't ignore your cravings). I have a lot of faith in my own ability to stop pigging out now.
One of the best narrations I've ever listened to on an audio book. I'd buy a book from this narrator without hesitation.
I live in France an I am fascinated by the way the French eat yet stay slim and healthy. All I want is to be more relaxed around ALL food, eat in moderation, eat all food groups without worrying and stressing that I'm eating the wrong things, exercise because I want to...not because I have to and basically just get on with my life and get off this yo-yo dieting hell that I've been on for the last 25 or so years.
I feel that this book has given me everything that I need to take control of my brain and therefore my binges and achieve these food goals. Because I'm more relaxed about food, I'm also now not in a hurry like I normally am, to loose the 1.5 - 2.5 stones that's crept up on me in these 25 years. I just want to ear normally and stop gorging...and I believe that this book has done it for me....and I know that my weight will come down (slowly) just by taking control of my lower brain.
Well done and thank you Kathryn Hansen.
My ONLY criticism...the use of the word "However" If you were reading the book I don't believe it would be annoying but listening to that word cropping up all the time was a bit irritating. Sorry.
"Excellent alternative view"
A truly eye opening viewpoint on binge eating - it has helped me enormously. I would highly recommend.
"Transforming hope to a reality"
Having read the book prior to purchasing the audio book I knew what I was in for - a completely radical yet simple way of addressing a life hijacking problem which silently and hidden affects many. I have found it very powerful to 'hear' the work and be able to replay sections where I was only half listening, and I am hopeful of really being able to embrace what seems such a genuine answer to a really difficult problem I have grappled with for years and years. I personally have even said to different therapists I had felt 'addicted to binge eating and not only the initial highs of that but the awful lows that follow.' How clearly this is expressed in this potentially life changing book, and amplified in its clear and understanding reading.
Thank you both for giving me hope, and I so hope that I (and many others) will be able not only to continue to 'touch' the concept, but to grab hold of it and totally embrace it, freeing myself (ourselves) from the chains of this disordered way of living and eating.
This is a humble clear self help book where Kathryn Hansen shares her life changing realisations and develops practical skills and techniques for suffers to use. Lydia Wente, herself a recovered bulimic binge eater adds a depth of understanding in her clear reading. Along with the hard copy this audio book makes and irresistible combination - and the same can be said of Kathryn and Lydia!
Thank you both for giving me hope, and I so hope that I will be able not only to continue to 'touch' the concept, but to grab hold of it and totally embrace it, freeing myself from the chains of this disordered way of living and eating, something which you have both been able to do through this new approach, and I'm sure many others have too. Thank you.
After counselling and medication I stopped binging and purging but then it returned with a vengeance!
This book has felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I honestly feel like I can live a life without binging now :)
This book is utterly fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to write this during a time which I'm sure was already busy enough with two small children and one on the way!
Kathryn puts binging in a new perspective. It's just a habit which can be corrected. I'm impressed and a believer.
loved this, going to listen again as so informative and interesting. really helpful for any one with an eating disorder. worth buying.
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