Book Review: Eating my feelings (2013)

22:36:00 Karen Li 0 Comments

Book Review: Eating my feelings (2013) by Mark Rosenberg

My summary: 
My interest in this book stemmed from seeing clients presenting with emotional eating issues. I got this book from netgallery. But as soon as I started in Chapter 1, I realised it wasn't the book I was expecting. The book itself is very much written in a conversation style, and as I read the book, it was almost as if Mark was sitting in front of me, telling me his story. It's a very raw, uncensored view of his life. When clients come in to tell me their life story, rarely am I exposed to this kind of language and detail. But till all helped to explain how Mark struggled with his weight including going to fat camp, dieting, taking laxatives, doing drugs, dealing with his sexuality, interest in sex. 

The first few chapters was really hard for me to read due to the swearing, but from "The fifty-dollar diet" onwards, it became easier to read. Mark let us in on his world, growing up as the fat kid, losing weight, identifying as homosexual, and still not being happy with the way he was. 

"I will always be a fat kid at heart, no matter how skinny I become."

My thoughts: 
Feeling uncomfortable with our body is more common that you may think. So many clients come into the clinic after years of struggling with their body image (they have gained weight, lost weight, yet still feel like something is missing). The bible talks about each of us being unique and loved by God. The bible also talks about how God looks at the inside and not just what is outside.

So the bible doesn't explicitly ban same sex marriages- because it doesn't talk about it. It does mention a few times that homosexuality is a sin. When the bible talks about marriage, it's always between a man and a woman. And as far as my own personal Christian view goes, I believe that the bible supports marriage as a union between a man and a woman. 

Eating my feelings is a raw account of Mark's struggle with body satisfaction, emotional eating and his own sexuality.  But the book focuses more on Mark's homosexual journey with a side of body satisfaction. While I appreciate Mark's honesty in sharing his journey, I found the use of language and themes unsuitable for children, and adolescence may need parental guidance. Therefore, I do not recommend this as a resource for parents. Please seek professional assistance should you find that you are unable to help your young person. 

Negative body image is an important issue. While there is an "obesity epidemic" as labeled by the media, some pretty healthy individuals are starving/exercising themselves in pretty drastic ways but still feeling like it's not enough. Just like Mark says, no matter how good he looks, he still felt like the fat kid. Professionals, including psychologists, can help to look at these issues individually. 

Mark knew from a very young age that he was gay and he was searching, but had not found love. This is a timely understanding of same sex relationships. Some politicians are supporting a referendum for gay marriage in Australia. My advice is to do your research before you vote. 

Eating my feelings (2013) will be available in August 2013. I was provided with an advanced review copy of the book by Netgallery but was not influenced by the publishers or authors in anyway in writing this review. 

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