The Optimistic Food Addict: Recovering from Binge Eating Disorder
by Christina Fisanick Greer, Ph.D
MSI Press

"The mindless eating crept in like a thief, the way it always has before. An extra piece of tofu here. A larger slice of watermelon there. Until I found myself standing in the kitchen eating natural peanut butter with a knife because I had already used all of the clean spoons."

Writer/professor Greer is certain that most of her food issues came from a childhood in which ice cream, pizza and sodas played a major role. Her mother and most women in her family were caught in the cycle of fattening, fad dieting, failing, and fattening again. She got used to being “the big girl.” At age 11 she was lured into sex by a 27-year old man, causing her to dissociate from her body and mistake sex for love. Her journey to self-acceptance, she reveals, has been a long and tortuous road and is not yet complete. Rejecting the societal image of the “perfect” body, she has used various techniques including meditation, therapy, and abstinence from “trigger foods.” By the last chapter of this sometimes amusing but more often heart-rending saga, she believes she has conquered the worst of her addictive cravings and boldly uses the word “optimistic” to describe her current state of mind.

Greer is the author of more than thirty books and teaches writing at the University of Pennsylvania. She has carefully crafted this book not as a how-to but, at times, a “how-not-to,” using her own struggles as a negative example. Exploring her thought processes gives the reader practical insight without dispensing the sense of guilt that often accompanies well-meaning advice. Greer knows that she found her solutions organically, and others may be helped by seeing that, for her at least, food was not the problem. “Lack of self-love was the problem.” The best way to help others in her situation, she states, is through love and understanding. A frank, funny, frustration-ridden account of the triumphs and trials of trying to beat the most basic addiction we all share—food—this personal account opens new ways of looking at this complex problem.

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