The Stress Eating Solution*
Rewire Your Brain
This book purports to help you quit stress eating—which the author loosely defines as eating nonhealthful foods when you’re not hungry for emotional reasons like pleasure, comfort, love, or fear—by using the brain’s inherent neuroplasticity to rewire itself into more healthy, authentic constructs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of neuroplasticity, it simply means that our brains are more adaptable and easier to change than we think. The brain has billions of neurons that make physical connections that allowed us to think, feel, move, and do everything in life. These neurons fire together in patterns to bring up memories, make us move, and organize our thoughts, amongst other activities.
I am an RN, and neuroplasticity was something that interested me while I was in nursing school. I read quite a bit about it. Our brains are amazing organs that have truly untapped potential.
So, when I found out this book had to do with neuroplasticity and what the author calls “emotional brain training,” I was curious. In the Welcome section of the book, she describes some structures of the brain and recent thoughts on brain science. She credits those from whom her ideas spring. While she tries to simplify it, the descriptions do get a little technical at times. In this Welcome section, she also set up some concepts like a joy inventory. Before you start the first 30 days of the program, she also has you tell your story of weight and overeating so you can work with your personal narrative in the pages that follow; she then tells you how to set up the practice that you will be following over the two months of the program and afterward.
The work that is meant to be done over the first month takes up the bulk of the book. In this section, she gives you tools to better understand yourself, to incorporate joy, and to work on specific circuits that have to do with eating and releasing weight. Each day is divided into a mini-essay about the topic of the day, why it is important, how to do, other little tips and insights, and a checklist of what precisely you should do that day.
The scientific aspect of the work is not the only potentially difficult concept that you will have to work with. It is clear the author has been working with this training for a long time—I believe she is one of the founders of EBT—so she has created a lot of jargon and buzzwords to describe EBT concepts, tools, and practices. Even some regular words, like sanctuary and freedom—are given special meaning within this system. The book, I believe, really needs a glossary so that you can more easily dial in on the precise definitions of these concepts as you are working through them each day. I found this particularly confusing in the Using Tech to Connect section, where she tells you ways to connect (which appear to be an integral part of the process). There is a lot of jargon there that has not been introduced so that it is actually meaningless to read it before you dive into the rest of the book. A brief glossary in that connection section would have been helpful or a few words that describe each EBT buzzword or phrase within the suggestions themselves would be useful as well as a glossary at the beginning or end of the book that can be easily flipped to.
At the beginning of the book, she states that each day’s work on this process should take about 10 minutes. This is definitely not true. It might take you that long or less to read about the days topic but to actually implement it will often take continuous work throughout the day or more than 10 minutes at a given time.
The book has some of the common problems with grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage. The book is said to have two editors, but I am curious whether there was an actual copyeditor and/or proofreader.
One thing that the author should fully disclose on whatever book sites she sells this on—and I am letting you know here—is that her website in support of this book is a membership site. While the connections that she says are essential to this process can be made if you find like-minded people interested in the program, she definitely promotes her website’s telegroups and app. I’m not sure if the app is free, as I haven’t looked at it, but nothing else is. At the time that I write this, the price for different levels of what you might need or want range from $39 to $699.
All that said, I find the concept of this book fascinating and wonder at its efficacy. I am tempted to try it out—my own personal free version—but I am unsure if I will truly be able to devote the time that I believe it will actually take to do correctly.