Review: Hope, Help & Healing for Eating Disorders

As anyone who knows me is aware, I am a part of that group of people who have had a lifetime struggle with weight and eating issues.  I do not have much of a problem admitting this, because this fault is an obvious one. And I know I’m not alone.

In the book HOPE, HELP, & HEALING FOR EATING DISORDERS, Dr. Gregory Jantz explores the many disorders associated with eating such as bulimia, anorexia, and other compulsive eating problems.

An eating disorder / disordered eating cycle begins with a general sense of dissatisfaction. … Next comes a desire to exert control over, to circumvent, or to override these unpleasant thoughts and feelings … the act of eating is the drug of choice. Weakened already with guilt, shame, and safe-hatred, the person with an eating disorder or pattern of disordered eating is well disposed to repeat the cycle again and again… (p. 18)

People with eating disorders … spend all their time thinking about when they are or aren’t going to eat, what they are or aren’t going to eat, where they are or aren’t going to eat, and with whom they are or aren’t going to eat…. The struggle with food is a daily battle with no respite from the negativity, guilt, and shame associated with eating. Each morning dawns with a grim determination to do better, and most evenings fade with quiet despair. (p. 44)

I learned a lot about eating disorders in reading this book. The style of the book is written for the everyday person, it is not a textbook. Each chapter ends with a self-reflective set of questions that probe motives and seek to expose the “other reasons” why we’re eating (hunger is not one of them!). Also interspersed between the chapters are testimonials of people who have overcome. Dr. Jantz is the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources.

Not only does Dr. Jantz deal with such emotional issues such as recovering from abuse, addiction and family struggles, he also has some chapters on treating our bodies with respect. In addition there is a spiritual component to the chapters, including several chapters at the end of the book dealing with deep issues such as forgiveness, healing, and trust.

If you are suffering from an eating disorder or are interested in helping someone who is struggling, I recommend this book without reservation. If you would like to gain further understanding of the emotional issues surrounding our attitudes toward food, I would recommend this book.

This book is written in a style that I believe most people could understand. It is crafted in such a way that it would even be great to go through with a partner or small group. It doesn’t claim to contain all of the answers that can be asked about eating disorders, but it does address a wide variety of matters associated with that problem.

On a personal note, I did see several destructive patterns and practices that caused me to take a look at my own life. I also recognize that there are likely people all around me who have eating disorders who are not obviously overweight. This book calls us to seek God’s help in overcoming our struggles, and I think that is an excellent place to start.

~John

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for Books, Waterbrook Multnomah Publisher’s book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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