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Runaway Eating:
The 8-Point Plan to Conquer Adult Food and Weight Obsessions

by Cynthia M. Bulik, PhD and Nadine Taylor, MS, RD
2005

runaway eating We all know about the impact that eating disorders have on teen girls and young women. Articles about teen anorexia periodically appear in newspapers and magazines. But it rarely occurs to anyone to address the issue of eating disorders in midlife. And if you are a woman in your 30s or beyond, you may wonder about this neglect — chances are good that you have a friend or two who clearly have issues with food. You may even have a problem yourself — for example, does an argument send you deep into a half-gallon of ice cream? Or are you so scared of losing weight that you've put a load of restrictions on what you're allowed to eat? Do you atone for a big meal by hours of exercise the next day? Are behaviors like these affecting the quality of your life? Then you need to read this book — it will help reshape your relationship with food... and with yourself.

What exactly is runaway eating? According to authors Cynthia Bulik and Nadine Taylor, it's an eating disorder that's not quite serious enough to be classified as, say, anorexia or bulimia, but that still manages to have a negative impact on one's health and happiness. It's the woman who eats like a bird to stay thin, but not to a life-threatening extent. It's someone who binges regularly, but not all that often. The behaviors of runaway eaters are generally driven by emotions and accompanied by the feeling of being out of control. Women who diet on a regular basis are especially susceptible to acquiring an unhealthy relationship with food. Runaway Eating may not be as dramatic as traditional anorexia or bulimia, but it's still something that needs to be addressed.

Bulik and Taylor offer solutions for runaway eaters, along with an 8-point plan that will help change negative patterns towards foods. (If you are not sure you are a runaway eater, they have a test that will help you figure it out.) The authors let you know right away that they believe that nearly any diet is bad, so don't expect yet another book full of menus, calorie and/or carb and/or fat counts and food lists. Instead, you'll learn what triggers bouts of runaway eating and non-food ways to deal with depression and anxiety. You'll discover what constitutes good eating and exercise habits. You find out the roles that hormones and perimenopause may play in affecting eating habits and how to manage. You are taught to reroute your thinking and given better ways to cope with your life.

We live in an image-obsessed society. Nothing can change that. But it doesn't have to make you miserable, and it doesn't have to warp your relationship with food. Runaway Eating provides a balanced, well thought-out approach to eating habits and replacing the bad with the good. Follow its direction and you may never have to diet again.

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