“I’ve had an eating disorder (bingeing) for 38 years. I have been to multiple in-patient treatment centers and have had many therapists. Nothing worked, and I felt I would never recover. It wasn’t until I read Kathryn’s book, Brain over Binge, that something finally made sense to me! My disorder was deeply habitual. My ED behavior was automatic. With Brain over Binge, I was able to learn to slow down my thoughts and actually challenge my lower brain. I learned to put space between my thoughts and actions. This is so empowering! I am now over 8 months binge-free and can honestly say my urges are less every day. Thank you, Kathryn!”
— Michele, 56
“I had always been an overweight child and teenager, joining a slimming club for the first time when I was 13, and this began the cycling of restricting, starving, and then inevitably bingeing, which, when I was about 16, led to purging. There have been times when I was able to keep the binge/purge behavior under control and other times when all I could think of was what, how much, and where I could eat—and then the ghastly feeling of knowing I would be forcing myself to get rid of it. The shame of what I was doing was crippling. I had been married for 7 years before my husband put two and two together and realized what I was doing; I honestly thought that he would leave me as he would be so disgusted by me. Fortunately, he wasn’t and didn’t and has always been very supportive in helping me to find a way to stop the cycle.
I found Brain over Binge on a trip to Berlin in late 2015—in a hotel on a work trip and desperate to eat. I Googled something like ‘can’t stop eating,’ and Brain over Binge popped up in the results. I hadn’t ever come across Kathryn or the book or website, despite Googling something similar many times before. What a joy—I spent half the night reading online, ordered the book so that it was waiting for me when I arrived home, and immediately started putting the 5 components into practice.
I won’t say that I stopped the cycle there and then, but I drastically reduced the frequency of binges/purges over the years since then and have had periods of years between episodes. I recognize that when I have followed the urges, I have been restricting my food and this then sends me back into the cycle. As I had been reinforcing this behavior for so many years, I was a little skeptical that I would be able to re-train my thinking, but with some effort, following the 5 components closely, and ensuring that I feed myself adequately, I’ve done it. So can you.”
— Di, 62
“I have suffered from disordered eating for a few years now. This year, I was so caught up in my bulimia and binge eating that I was unable to focus at school and had to take some time off to repeat my exams this coming year instead. Reading Brain over Binge has changed my entire outlook and life. I finally feel free of my bulimia after it being explained to me through the workings of the brain and neuroplasticity.
Like Kathryn, I would have used any past trauma as an excuse to binge eat and never felt any personal responsibility. I felt it was something that was happening to me rather than something I was doing. I used to binge eat and purge every day and at worst sometimes twice a day, as unfortunately I would self-induce vomiting. Now, I am three weeks binge-purge free and feel strong in my ability to continue. I know this may not seem like a lot of time, but my life feels completely different as I actually have time in the day to think about aspects other than my bulimia. I feel like I have a life again. I cannot thank Kathryn enough. I will keep Brain over Binge with me for the rest of my life and be forever grateful that Kathryn decided to write this book.”
— Emma, 19
“I went through my own journey with Kathryn, which began in 2014 when I reached out to her after reading Brain over Binge after my husband died. The brain-based principles, along with support and coaching, helped me recover from binge eating after struggling with it for almost 40 years. I have truly been there, and I assure you, if I can be free and fully recovered from binge eating, anyone can! My desire to help others gain freedom as well led me to get certified through The Life Coach School, and now I’m the Brain over Binge coach. Through group coaching and one-on-one coaching, I help my clients develop a healthy relationship with food and gain back precious time, mental space, energy, and peace.”
— Julie Mann, Brain over Binge coach
“When I discovered Brain over Binge, I had almost given up hope of ever solving my binge eating problem—which I had been having for more than 30 years, owing to endless dieting. I was food and weight obsessed. None of the solutions I had tried (including many therapies) had worked. I was slowly losing my zest for life.
From the very first pages of the book, I was captivated by Kathryn’s brain-based approach, which was totally different from what I had learned so far. It was an amazing eye-opener. Soon, I started to practice her teachings. To my surprise, I was able to free myself from my binges within 3 months! It felt like a miracle.
Today I am completely at peace with food, enjoying it without any fear of relapse. The weight cycling has stopped, I am in my best physical condition ever, and my mind is clear and calm—which allows me to focus on what truly matters.
This is why I can’t thank Kathryn enough for writing Brain over Binge. Her book has changed my life for the better, both personally and professionally. Not only did it help me end my eating disorder, but it also inspired me to become a coach and to guide with success other women on the road to recovery.”
— Laurence Blairon, 54
“I actually listened to the Brain over Binge audiobook years ago, but didn’t let it sink in—until I found my way back to it last year via The Little Book of Big Change, by Dr. Amy Johnson.
I had fallen into dieting at age 13, then started to be almost anorexic until my body rebelled at age 15 and made me eat more and gain back the pounds to a healthy weight. At age 17, I went to the USA as an exchange student and was so afraid to gain lots of kilos there that I restricted a lot and lost a significant amount of weight in 4 months. There, I read in Health magazine about a disease I had never heard about called bulimia, which I found appalling. But when back in Germany and faced by ravenous hunger, I remembered it and tried it out. I was disgusted with myself but since I dreaded weight gain, I tried again and again until it was hard wired in my brain that whenever I felt full, I had to purge.
I didn’t eat enormous amounts of high-calorie food, but I couldn’t help feeling panicky when being full. This went on and off for a couple of years; sometimes I was free of purging for years only to suddenly fall back into the purging habit when dreading to have eaten too much too often. I didn’t trust my body and tried to get healthy by eating very healthy and whole foods, while at the same time restricting the amount of food to a minimum. I mostly didn’t binge and purge, but when I fell back into it—sometimes after drinking just a bit of alcohol which lowered my inhibitions—I felt desperate.
I thought I would never fully heal, never be able to eat to satiety and feel fine. Intuitive eating didn’t work, because I had ignored my body signals for so long that I couldn’t hear them anymore. Then I found Fast. Feast. Repeat. by Gin Stephens and tried intermittent fasting and no restriction while in my eating window. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed buying and cooking as much food as I wanted and ate until I felt really full without purging. The urge was there but I could ignore it because I knew that my body would have enough time to process the nutrients. But the fear to one day fall back into purging was still with me—until I read in The Little Book of Big Change about the neuroplasticity of our brain. That’s when I remembered Brain over Binge.
I listened to the audiobook again while simultaneously listening to Kathryn’s podcast. It was as if a switch was turned. I finally understood, and the urge to purge was gone for good. My body is fully nourished, I am not afraid to ever fall back, not afraid to gain weight, even though I eat whatever I want and in amounts I feel satisfied with. Even when I overeat, I don’t feel guilty. I finally feel that I can trust my body and have found food freedom.
All of the books mentioned above have worked together to finally free me (at age 47), but Brain over Binge was the one that made the fear of ever falling back into bulimia disappear for good. I cannot thank you enough, Kathryn. You are a true hero. That’s why I have been writing and editing a book about my own eating disorder story—and I want to publish it to help people who find themselves in the situation I was in and maybe help them to be free a little earlier than I was.”
— Anne, 47
“Eating disorders, especially binge eating, has been present for the last 4 years of my life. It all started when—at 24 years old—I decided to change into a healthier lifestyle. I joined a gym and started another diet (which I had done since my early teens), but this time, I turned to a calorie-counting app. I lost a lot of weight in 8 months. I was at a normal weight when I started, and I had just wanted to ‘lose a couple of kg,’ but this got out of hand. I lost my period, my hair was falling out, and I only slept a couple of hours a night for months.
I was extremely obsessed with food, afraid of it, always hungry, and avoided social situations where I didn’t know what I would be eating. At the end of 2018, I had my first binge, and the binges became more and more frequent until I gained most of the weight back. Desperate to understand what was happening to me, I found a YouTube video about the Brain over Binge book. I’m a scientist so the background theory made sense to me, and it was so incredibly clear. I felt it was my life and my thoughts you were describing.
I started practicing the 5 Components, got well for a couple of months, but then I would try to diet again and the urges to binge would come up again. I struggled with it for 3 years, losing weight, gaining it again, and so on. It was very frustrating because I knew I had the tools to learn to manage it, but there was just something missing. Why wasn’t it working with me?
I thought I would never recover, and I was destined to live with binge eating disorder all my life. By mid-2021, I found myself at the highest weight I’ve ever been. My binges were out of control, and I’d given up, so I decided that I would no longer put my life on hold because I was—in my perception—fat. I decided to stop trying to lose weight. My main focus was to stop the bingeing and keep up with strength training. I started listening to the Brain over Binge podcast again, and then—without even noticing—my binges stopped; or if maybe I had an episode, it was not nearly as bad as they were before.
After almost 6 months, I can say I’m winning over my BED. Some days it felt like an almost impossible task to perform, but with time, urges fade and now they feel like just a suggestion or an idea that my brain throws at me, but I can decide whether or not to follow it. 99 percent of the time, I don’t.
After all this time, I understand what the problem was before and why it wasn’t working for me: I was still trying to diet while in recovery!! I could not accept that I was actually underweight. It took help from a therapist and a nutritionist, but the Brain over Binge principles were the main tools that got me over this, and every single component is important! You can’t trick recovery.
Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing this with the world. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for your book and your podcast. For those out there that still struggle in recovery, never give up, because there’s a way out. It may not occur instantly for you, but I’ve been there, and I can tell you it is possible!”
— Maribel, 28
“I want to thank Kathryn for her course and her book. After 16 years of suffering from bulimia, I have got rid of this damaging habit. At first, not bingeing and purging was a nightmare. My mind only wanted to continue doing it. I was anxious and irritated all the time, but I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. The binges and purges gradually decreased, and after a year and a half, they completely disappeared. The path has been long and hard, but being binge free, laughing and enjoying life again is the best thing one can experience.”
— Alicia, 40
“In my 10+ years struggle with an eating disorder, Brain over Binge was the first book I had ever read that broke down the concepts of the brain so clearly, as they apply to bingeing and restricting. I will never forget getting to Chapter 11, ‘I Had Control All Along’ [renamed ‘I Was Not Powerless’ in the second edition], and marching around my apartment, book in hand—I had never felt so empowered! In fact, Brain over Binge remains my most-referenced book and my copy has more highlighted pages than not.
I remember the very first time I used Component 2: Separate the Higher Brain from Urges to Binge, and truly felt myself separate from my lower brain and reconnect with my true self. I had been dealing with urges all morning and was about to eat an entire jar of peanut butter (as well as whatever else was in the kitchen). It was the most empowering thing as I had finally realized I did have control all along!!
Furthermore, Brain over Binge taught me the biology behind bingeing and how I would never find freedom from bingeing if I did not start eating enough. After reading the book, then working through the Brain over Binge Recovery Guide and listening to just about every podcast on Kathryn’s site, I found myself feeling more encouraged than I ever had in any previous treatment for my eating disorder.
After getting my bachelor’s in dietetics and nutrition, I went on the get my master’s in counseling, focusing my research on the brain in eating disorders. Neuroscience became and still remains the basis of my work with clients. On the side, I provide presentations on diet culture, eating disorders, and the brain, and run a Facebook page devoted to helping individuals develop a positive relationship with food. I even chose my therapeutic orientation, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, because I found it similar to the principles I had learned in Brain over Binge that had been so helpful to me.
My life and life’s purpose is forever changed, and it is all thanks to the book I just happened to find at Barnes & Noble one day.”
— Laura, 26
“When I Googled ‘does yoga help with compulsive overeating,’ I was taken to a yoga teacher’s site. Her name is Pauline Hanuise, and that day she interviewed Kathryn Hansen, who wrote Brain over Binge. I was floored! This is exactly what I was searching for. So back in 2012, I believe, after reading Brain over Binge, I started to really understand my ‘problem.’ I was in a yo-yo, on-again-off-again diet lifestyle that started when I was 17 years old. I would binge eat after starving myself or restricting food groups, and then punish myself with laxative purges or more strict diets—to try to keep my weight down.
By the time I was in my 30’s I had a binge eating habit, and I finally understood that diets were making things worse—but that did not stop me from wanting to lose weight on one last ‘perfect’ diet. Now, in my 50’s, I am learning to eat the way I knew how as a child—intuitively, when hungry. I know what a lower brain message is, and thanks to Kathryn, I don’t feel like I have a disease I will never be rid of. I just built a habit around listening to those junk messages begging me to eat as much as I can.
I now eat as much as I want, and it feels best for me not to be overly full. I am patient and learning to be okay being at a weight I am not currently comfortable with. If I diet, it will just keep me overweight and sad. I now practice eating adequately and not restricting food groups. I know my body will respond in the weight that is best for my frame and my health. I walk every day and feel balanced—not striving to be ‘perfect,’ as my lower brain would suggest. Ha! I am on to it now. Thank you so much, Kathryn.”
— Eileen, 58
“I have had various versions of an eating disorder since I was about 17. It began with severe restricting, which morphed into bulimia, and then hung around for about 20 years as a binge eating disorder. It was exhausting, defeating, sad, lonely, secretive, self-limiting, and miserable. Over those years, I did manage to cobble together a career, a family of my own, and a pretty productive life, but the disorder has always been a shadow hanging over my head, diluting all of life’s pleasures.
After years of therapy, workshopping, my own study, medication, and an endless (and futile) search to discover how I could fix my broken self, I settled into accepting that I would never be free of it. Like a functioning alcoholic, I just accepted myself as a functioning binge eater who would never be free of this curse in my life.
Then I stumbled across Kathryn’s book about 3 years ago. It completely changed my thinking and made perfect cognitive sense to me. It’s simple, well-researched brain science. Fact. Kathryn’s scientific research and writing really helped me to separate my personal self from my habitual behaviors. These words don’t seem like enough to describe the impact Kathryn’s books, podcast, emails, and knowledge sharing has had on me. Quite simply, her book completely changed my life and has helped me to liberate myself from the shackles of a 30-year battle.
For me, the cognitive understanding was instant, but changing the behaviors has taken time and practice. However, unlike any other approach I have ever tried in the past, I kept moving forward. I now work occasionally with Brain over Binge coach Julie—who has helped me to see how far I have come. I am a healthy, energetic, fit, happy, present, and recovered Mum of 3 gorgeous boys. I will be forever grateful to Kathryn for her generosity in devoting her professional life to sharing her knowledge to help others. Thank you, Kathryn!”
— Sarah, 48
“I’ve been trapped in the diet-binge cycle for half my life. It started in my early teens when I pushed myself too hard to lose weight. However, I didn’t understand this was the root of my problem—not some emotional trauma—until I read Kathryn’s book a few years ago.
The Brain over Binge approach resonated with me immediately. I’ve learned so many useful skills, but it all boils down to one key insight: the urge to binge is just a faulty signal from my lower brain, which I can dismiss. As long as I keep that in mind, I will not binge. And to keep that in mind, I still use the Brain over Binge resources. Every time I read a blog post, listen to a podcast, or follow an Instagram Live, I’m amazed by how accurately it describes the thought processes I struggle with. It is so healing to know that I’m not the only one suffering from binge eating, and that there are others who truly understand what it’s like.
I am still working on recovering fully. Since I’ve read Kathryn’s book, I’ve had binge-free periods, but also periods during which I lost sight of what I truly want from life and gave in to the binge urge. However, even when I’m not doing great, it is still so helpful to know that the urge can be dismissed. That is exactly what I need to remind myself of to break free again.”
— Ivana, 25
“I have struggled with bulimia for 15 years of my life. I have spent my years of bulimia feeling out of control, desperate, and constantly consumed by food. It was a nightmare. I have been through four different therapy approaches over the years, but my problem never got solved. I was in a never-ending spiral, and I was falling down a black hole. At that point, I was bingeing and purging every day. In January 2021, I found Brain over Binge by accident (I was surfing on YouTube and found a guy talking about the book, saying that it saved his life) and immediately purchased it, thinking that it was not going to work anyway. I read it literally in a few days and Kathryn’s story felt so familiar to me. It clicked in my head.
By May of the same year, my bulimia had reduced significantly—to only 1 episode or less per week. At that point, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t seem to manage to stop completely. While I was in the kitchen listening to the Brain over Binge podcast, I heard about a summer support group that Kathryn and coach Julie were offering. I signed up to get the extra support. I have to tell you, that group of people together with Kathryn and Julie saved my life. I met so many extraordinary people who inspired me so much. So many different people, so many different stories, but everyone with the same goal: stop binge eating! That was an incredible journey (the best journey of my life).
During the months of the support group, everything wasn’t easy—it was messy, I had a few relapses, but I am proud to say that from the last month of the group until now, I have not binged or purged. This is almost 6 months of freedom.
Coach Julie and Kathryn talked about the non-weight benefits of not binge eating, and I couldn’t grasp it fully at the beginning, but now I can: Life isn’t always easy, there are ups and downs, but life is so wonderful and so colorful now that I do not binge eat. I now have time to focus on hobbies, family, friends, and I have so much energy that I can conquer the world. Kathryn, I am so grateful for your book and for your courage in sharing your story. You have saved me! You are making a huge difference all around the world!”
— Giulia, 31
“My complex relationship with food began around the age of 12 when I discovered my best friend’s walk-in pantry full of chocolate and sugary treats. My friend would take a little something every now and then if she felt like it, but I felt a compulsion to just keep sneaking back for more. I see now that this was the start of my complex relationship with food, but it wasn’t until my early 20’s—when I started really dieting and got positive reinforcement from losing weight—that I became stuck in an unnecessary cycle that lasted close to 20 years.
My story is a common one—working hard, playing (and drinking) hard, running fast, chasing an unrealistic and unnatural body goal. In my 40’s, I came to realize my drinking patterns were unhealthy, so I began my journey to address the habits that had been consuming me for so long. I stopped drinking completely (a subject of another story), but with that, my eating patterns deteriorated further. My motivation for seeking help is largely thanks to my teenage daughter, who helped hold a mirror up to my disordered patterns and for whom I wanted to break the cycles repeated through generations in my family.
I discovered Kathryn’s podcasts, which instantly resonated with me. I could relate to her story, and her philosophy was just what I needed. There is both a simplicity in her teaching as well as a richness of information, and I devoured it all through the audio format. I signed up for the Brain over Binge course and listened driving from work. Her voice is compassionate and neutral, and I feel she’s been a wonderful teacher for me this last year.
I have found this work much, much harder than giving up alcohol, but I am slowly staring to change my habits and to think differently. I am also working with a nutritionist as eating adequately is hard for me because I’ve lost intuition after having dieted for so long. Most importantly I am starting to genuinely love my imperfections. This is important work for us to do, not only for ourselves but to free our future generations, and I’m so grateful for Kathryn’s work and support.”
— Elspeth, 48
“The ideas in Brain over Binge were the ultimate keys in my recovery. After reading, I no longer believed that there was something fundamentally ‘wrong’ with me. Instead, I decided to focus on what was actually going on inside my body which was leading me to binge. The idea that bingeing stems from different parts of the brain was eye-opening for me, as I now could change my perception on what the root cause of binging was. Every time I would feel an urge, I would say to myself, ‘This is just my lower brain sending a faulty message.’ As simple as it sounds, it helped me to have a peaceful relationship with food.”
“I am a mother, a wife, a sister, an entrepreneur, and a full-time elementary librarian. My childhood was filled with much trauma. I watched my mother binge and purge. I watched her inhale cartons of sweets, breads—whatever she could get her hands on. I thought she did so because of dysfunction of our house. My father was an abusive alcoholic, we were poor, and both of my parents were Polish immigrants without formal education. In seeing my mother binge and purge, I did too. Living in our house wasn’t easy—I thought that’s what I needed to do to survive.
Years of therapy reinforced this thinking. I searched for what was underneath all of the urges. Only, I could never find it, no matter how hard I tried. My earliest memory of a binge was when I was five. I had just come home from kindergarten—I was bored, lonely, and anxious about what the night would bring when my father came home. In the fridge I found a cupcake tray. I ate all six. Since then I have binged all of my life. I purge by playing mental tapes in mind that instill beliefs like ‘there’s something wrong with me,’ ‘when I find out what it is, I will stop,’ ‘I won’t do this again,’ ‘I will stop tomorrow.’
My mind became a battle ground—telling me how bad of a parent I was to show this way to my daughter. Even though my love for my daughter is never ending, I felt like a failure. Even though I was the first in my family to graduate high school, to go to college, to earn two master’s degrees, three state certifications, to start a business, to obtain a patent, to almost get on Shark Tank, I felt like a failure.
When I read your book, Brain over Binge, I cried. I cried tears of sadness as I read your story and heard your harsh words to yourself, even though I used that same harshness in my mind. I cried because I felt your pain. And finally, I cried because I felt your relief. And then, my relief! As I type I am crying again. However, these are not tears of sadness, or frustration. These are tears of gratitude.
Thank you! Your words gave me the tools I needed to regain control in my life. To take back my highest brain. To live as my truest self.”
— JSR, 46
“I was anorexic for a few years before developing the binge eating habit. I don’t remember when I went from anorexia to bulimia (bingeing and overexercising to try to make up for it); all I remember is how absolutely miserable I felt. I tried recovering through traditional therapy, and I guess the whole ‘think about what you feel every time you eat, and write it down, and then analyze it’ just didn’t work out for me. I felt hopeless. Some days I just didn’t want to exist at all.
Then December 2020 rolled around, and one evening, by chance, I happened upon the Brain over Binge website. I was so desperate back then that I just thought, ‘Why not, let’s try this one as well.’ I remember that night well, I always will. I started following the Brain over Binge course, and I put aside one hour every day for it—no matter how many exams I had to study for, no matter the work I had to do for my internship. I must admit it was difficult at first. I wanted to be recovered right away, I wanted to be healthy and happy, and I was scared of taking the leap of faith of not restricting. But I did. I put up with it. I let the urges come and released them, I learned they were just thoughts. Days turned into months and months turned into more than a year now.
I have to say that Kathryn’s program has provided me with a second chance at life. No exaggeration. As I write this, I am sitting in front of the sea, and I’m the happiest I have been in years. Recovery didn’t solve all the problems in my life, but it did teach me to live each day fully. Kathryn’s program has taught me to be honest with myself, to be compassionate towards my body, to be forgiving of my past, to forget the years of suffering and shame. It has taught me to take things day by day, to accept that I have been doing the best I could with the means I had.
I have managed to use the tools Kathryn has given me in many different areas of my life (not just for eating related things), and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that today I am the best version of myself, much of it is thanks to the Brain over Binge course. To anyone who may be reading this I want to say: Take the leap of faith. Commit to recovery through the bad days. It’s difficult at first, but it will get better, and you will get your life back. You will learn to be soft and kind towards your body and your soul. Good luck, everyone, and thank you Kathryn for teaching me the way.”
— Federica, 23
“I began using food as a tool to calm myself at the age of four. Over the years, I’ve tried everything from Overeaters Anonymous, where I learned how to put a bungee cord around my refrigerator to prevent eating in the middle of the night, to being a patient of Dr. Atkins. Nothing I did had the impact that Brain over Binge had.
The science-based approach not only confirmed I had done my work in therapy but gave me permission to stop picking at the scar tissue. The pain this habit has caused me is indescribable. It has been a 50-year sea of darkness filled with shame, embarrassment, and constantly being stuck in the hope/nope loop.
Although I still have moments, or even days, where I eat beyond my comfort zone, they are moments or days, not months and years. My goal is to feel better, not to be perfect. With Kathryn’s help, her willingness to share her vulnerability and what she learned, I achieve that more often than not. To wake up and not have my first thought be an analysis of what I ate the day before, to eat out and not obsess for hours beforehand about what I’m going to eat and what I should avoid, to take a trip without investing hours arguing in my head about what food to bring—it’s truly a gift. There is no measurement for my gratitude.”
“Kathryn’s work has saved my life. I binged for over 30 years, and the more the years passed, the more I thought that breaking free would be impossible. I started dieting at 12, and that set up a cycle of frustration, overeating, shame, self-blaming, depression, and weight gain. My restriction only ever lasted until the evening, and then I made up for the calories.
When I was 27, I felt really desperate, and I was determined to really get hungry this time. After 15 days, I had my first bulimia event with throwing up. I could not even believe what had happened.
Through the years since then, I changed jobs, I married, I moved to another country, my parents got sick, there were good days, there were bad days, good events and bad events in my life. What never changed was that my life was filled day by day with overeating and vomiting whenever possible. I had to replace all of my teeth at 41. I blew all of my salaries on this self-destructive behavior, despite always having had respectable jobs. My self-worth and self-loathing were below zero.
I had lost all hope. I felt totally powerless over this. I told myself every night that this would never happen again. I was put on Prozac, which did nothing for me. I thought I would die many times from the side effects, from my body and organs giving up on me from the masses of food.
But now I am so full of hope and joy because I can live my life in freedom. I am so full of power, and the depression is lifting. My energy has come back. I feel the freedom that a human being should be able to feel.
No more asking myself, Was it this trauma or that trauma, or this stress or that stress, or this hardship or that hardship that caused all this? No! It always was the hard-core conditioning that my survival instincts underwent since I was 12, and it is scientifically proven that it is in my power to stop this. So I did. My suffering was absolutely enormous, and my gratitude to Kathryn is therefore equally as enormous.
I must admit that I do consider myself a food addict after all this time, and there are indeed unsafe foods for me, and I accept that. I have to stick to whole foods, and that is fine with me. But before I put the Brain over Binge concepts into place, even my healthy, whole-foods diet went out of the window daily and ended in horrible binges.
I now know that urges to binge have no power over me. An urge is not permanent, and I have the power to wait it out by doing nothing. The most important thing for me to finally be free was to understand that there is nothing wrong with my soul (like depression, melancholy, past problems, life’s stresses, hardships, losses of loved ones) but that instead, it is a false programming that I have to concentrate on. Yes, the programming has to be overcome, but it is totally possible and doable.”
— Melanie, 52
“Brain over Binge has completely changed my life. Although I have always understood the workings of the brain, I never attributed my cravings for overeating to the lower, animal brain. Kathryn’s book has completely changed how I view my cravings and urges. Like her, I tried so many different approaches to stop overeating, but Brain over Binge has helped me completely understand those urges and not give in to them. I am so grateful.”
— Katie, 37
“Although I’ve never had bulimia, I am familiar with loss of control with food. I’ve also been dealing with eating disorders, diets, problematic body image for almost 30 years. I’ve read books and heard lectures on the topic, and know for a fact: Brain over Binge is a real revelation! I realized that the key to ending an eating disorder is really in my brain.
In the same way, I quit smoking 5 years ago. I just stopped. The voice in my head said, I want nicotine, but I did not react and did not put nicotine in my body. This caused the voice in my head to realize, No more nicotine, and the desire for it eventually stopped.
Once every few months I heard the voice saying, Well, what about a cigarette. So what? I have not put nicotine in my body since.
Brain over Binge demonstrates the same: I realized it’s just a voice, and all I needed to do was not respond to it and not act on it.
My food issues started somewhere in childhood and continued to my teenage years. In high school, almost every day, I did not take food to school. Maybe I didn’t like the food, maybe I thought I didn’t need food and would eat later. Whatever the reason, I didn’t eat for many hours during school and stayed hungry. After coming home from school, I didn’t eat properly, and my brain constantly broadcasted, I am hungry, which I probably was!
27 years after high school, my brain still thought I was hungry (regardless of whether or not I was truly hungry) and constantly transmitted that signal: hungry … food … eat. What a smart brain!
In short, last year I decided to put an end to it. I stopped dieting for good, and I’m learning to eat intuitively and appropriately. My 2-year-old daughter already knows what I forgot a long time ago.
I have no doubt that the message Kathryn gave through her genius book was the key for me to go free. I am truly thankful for ending 30 years of a disordered relationship with food.”
— Aya, 45
“I tackled my bulimia about 2 years ago (thanks to your book). I started off with anorexia, which progressed to bulimia. I thought it was something I was just going to have to live with. I got a therapist and a meal plan, but nothing worked. And by chance I came across a video that mentioned Brain over Binge, so I thought, Why not give it a shot? I have read it twice and on occasion picked it up when I’ve felt like I’ve wanted to binge. I wanted to thank you personally because as I see it, you saved my life. I have recommended your book to many people I know who have eating disorders.”
“I have struggled with various eating disorders from about the age of 12. When I was younger, between different health problems and an extreme focus on working out, I became hyper-focused on my body in a negative way. I had never attended the same school for more than a year up until I was about 14, which was the last of many moves.
It was a rough time, there was a lot going on, and due to the uproar, I went virtually unnoticed. Being a highly social person and having no one to talk to and pretty much nothing to do for hours, I became more and more depressed. I didn’t know it at the time, but my thyroid went off the charts hyper, and I was eating a lot more to compensate for how fast my metabolism was working. However, when I got it to a more stable place, I still had those survival-driven eating habits.
It was one of the worst times I had up until that point, and my family and even some of my friends noticed. I felt so completely worthless. I started to go back to extreme dieting and started exercising even more. I felt like I was doing a good job for a while, but I hadn’t figured out yet that bodies can’t sustainably be underweight. So I became discouraged when I leveled out at what I now know is my normal weight.
As time went on, I slowly drifted back into binge eating disorder, but I felt so bad about it that I became bulimic. I would go through cycles of either throwing up, overexercising, or extreme starvation. I tried so hard to ‘fix’ myself. I read every website, usually while crying, and every self-help and health book. I took health classes and became very educated. Still, I was always left wondering, Why can’t I just eat normal and not have to worry about this all the time?
Then the summer right before I was going to turn 16 rolled around, and after having completely given up, I tried a last-ditch effort when I found the Brain over Binge podcast. I was so excited at what Kathryn was teaching that the next day I bought the Brain over Binge audiobook. I finished within that same week.
Initially when I started the book, I couldn’t even fathom why I was still trying. I was dead set that it wouldn’t work, just like everything else that had great theoretical advice and nothing with an actual realistic ‘how to.’ But something changed when I heard Kathryn’s story. It was honest and personal, and I could relate in a way I hadn’t with other ones. I felt like she really knew how I felt.
Then when she started talking about how she actually cured her eating disorder, I started to get hopeful again. It still took me a while to fully understand how to use the principles in my own life, and then longer to untrain my brain from bad habits, but I can sincerely say that once I got it down, I never went back.
I have never relapsed in the two years since I found Brain over Binge, and although I still eat too many cookies around Christmastime, I can say that my brain has physically changed. I no longer go through those self-destructive spirals. This book has changed my life in a way that no other ones have. I am so grateful for it.”
“I’ve always loved food. I grew up in a household where food was abundant, and I ate too much of it. By the time I was a teenager, I was overweight and continued to gain weight in my twenties. I was heavier than a heavyweight boxer. I was miserable and felt out of control.
I had already tried various diets, having moderate success each time. However, when I was about 30 years old, I started a diet which finally concluded with me reaching a healthy weight for my height. People I hadn’t seen for a while would shower me with compliments. I felt amazing.
However, what no one knew was, I was harboring a secret. My desire to eat large amounts of food hadn’t disappeared, so I fed it (my binge urge). I was terrified to gain weight, so I would make myself sick. This continued for the next 20 years.
I had such a dichotomy of emotions: pride at the weight loss, shame at the binge/purge behavior, fear that I was damaging my internal organs beyond repair.
About three years ago, after leaving a long-term relationship, I decided to deal with this once and for all. I referred myself, via my doctor, to an eating disorder specialist team. After a series of questions (‘Are you suicidal?’ No. ‘Do you want to harm yourself?’ No. ‘Do you want to stop doing this?’ Well, ummm), they declared I didn’t have an urgent mental health issue and advised me to go do some research about eating disorders online.
I am still disappointed about the lack of help there is for non-mentally-ill bulimics. That aside, I began researching books, and that’s when I came across Brain over Binge. I have to say, it was the testimonials which really sold it to me.
Even so, I was highly skeptical. I could hear myself saying in my own head, Yes, well, I’m too far gone. I’m a saboteur. I don’t think I will ever be able to eat normally because I’m not wired up right. I’m not sure I want to stop. What even IS normal eating?? How am I meant to know that? I’m too tired for this. No one has had my type of journey, so I doubt this plan will even apply to me.
Let me tell you, every time my brain challenged a concept, Kathryn preempted my brain’s next move as if she had walked in my very shoes. I have never read a book like it, a book which not only knew what I was thinking but explained to me why I was thinking it, and did so with kindness and without judgment. The book convinced me wholeheartedly that when I was ready (no pressure, and only if I felt like it), I was completely able to retrain my brain out of this hideous, soul-destroying habit.
And I did!! If I can say one thing, please trust in the process and don’t worry if you slip up. On August 1, 2021, I said my first unequivocal ‘No!’ to my binge urges and got on with my life. On August 16, in an act of self-sabotage, I gave in and I binged and purged. This was the last time. It was almost as though I needed to test myself, to check if I really wanted to. Well, I checked, and I really don’t want to do it ever again.
I have ignored binge urges since, and the binge urges disappeared. I just don’t have them. Miraculously, I have stayed the same weight. Weight gain was one of my big concerns about recovery. As I no longer make myself sick, I am properly hydrated and reasonable amounts of food fill me up in a way I didn’t experience when I was making myself sick.
I generally eat healthily and plant-based, but I also can now eat a slice of cake without planning to get rid of it or feel guilty. What I am also amazed about is the realization that over the last six months, I have stayed the same weight, have not been on a diet, and kept in every single thing I have consumed, including dessert, sweets, wine, carbs, etc. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to experience eating like a ‘normal’ person! Before this, I was either a hugely overweight person or a slim person with a shameful secret. Now I’m neither. I’m a happy, relaxed, healthy person and you can be too.”
— Juliet, 50
“When I was binge eating, thoughts of food and the action of bingeing felt all-consuming. I would feel a loss of control that was terrifying but still eat until my stomach hurt, which was always followed by guilt. I tried journaling, portioning out the food that I wanted and stepping away, and incorporating more ‘fear foods.’ The concept of the animal brain and the thought that there was absolutely nothing forcing me to take the action of going to the kitchen to start eating was such a light bulb moment. It made me feel like I was finally in control—in control of the steps I took to the kitchen, in control of opening the pantry, in control of opening the food, and finally in control of when I stopped eating. Every time I realized I was in control at each point, it allowed me to pause and think, Is this action really going to serve me and my desire to recover? I’ve now been binge-free for 7 years.”
— Danielle, 28
“I began my journey toward full recovery in late 2018, but it was a day in 2013 that first comes to mind when I think about the path that has led me to where I am today. I woke up in the morning on a day that I was to host a party at my house, feeling overwhelmed and stressed about the party preparation that lay ahead. I remember the first thought that popped into my mind was, There is no way I will make it through this day without bingeing. When I think about that memory now, it makes me both sad—about the person I was on that day and for so many years before that day—and amazed that the person I had yet to become had not even been born yet!
I had just turned 51 in October of 2018 when I first read Brain over Binge. I was 40 years into a life that began with anorexia when I was 12, included years of bulimia through young adulthood, and finally settled into binge eating disorder as an adult. I was at ‘the end of my rope’ for about the one millionth time in my life, in despair yet again that there was no way out of my struggle. I thought I was doomed to live in the hell of disordered eating and the viscous cycle of dieting forever. I must admit, when I first read Brain over Binge—even though I was absolutely fascinated by this new way of looking at my struggle as an addiction that I needed to recover from, not a weight problem to be solved with a diet—I was skeptical.
My mind naturally went to the familiar old thinking that I will first go on a diet, lose all the necessary weight, and then start practicing these techniques. It couldn’t sink in that it was something that I could literally start in that moment, and that it would get me where I wanted to go. But I also describe myself in that moment as someone who ‘wanted to lose the problem’ (a life of preoccupation with food and weight) even more than I wanted to lose the weight.
I decided to take the necessary leap of faith and began to practice Kathryn’s principles of ‘noticing and observing urges’ as they are described in the book. I had a working knowledge of the principles of intuitive eating, because of course I’d read every book on the topic of ‘how to eat’ over the years. I loosely coupled intuitive eating with my new practice of ignoring my urges and began to string binge-free days together almost immediately. By March of 2019 (5 months later), my brain was rewired and my body had dropped all the weight it had to lose. I was living for the first time in 40 years, free of the struggle, and I still am today, three years later. To say that Kathryn and Brain over Binge changed my life is an enormous understatement. I am forever grateful for the knowledge I gained by reading her book.”
— Caroline, 54
“After 6 decades of secretly binge eating, I now have a lightness of being in mind, body & spirit. Although I presented healthy, happy, and energetic, I was a mess inside my head & digestive track. Kathryn’s Brain over Binge book & on line class inspired me to admit I was binge eating. Kathryn’s reassuring articulation and professional guidance for recovery is graced by her calm, thoughtful voice and personal experience. These step by step insightful tools gave me permission to be honest and open with myself, lifting guilt, empowering me to develop a healthy relationship with food, emotions & self talk through the understanding of urges and cycles of binge eating. I peeled my ” final onion skin” with the wise, to the point, user friendly Brain over Binge coach Julie. I am free, inside & out! Thank you BOB team!”
— Dari, 73
“Keeping it simple with getting proper nutrition and ignoring binge urges has been key to my recovery.”
— Janet, 59
“I was bingeing for six months before I started reading Brain over Binge. Recovery did not happen overnight for me; I had to continuously digest more information, reflect on my habit, etc. for the proceeding two months before dismissing urges progressively became easier and easier. The Brain over Binge approach has taught me SO much, but most importantly, the mindset shift was life-changing. Although it took two months to completely solidify, once I was truly able to fully recognize that ANY thought, emotion, or feeling that encourages bingeing is nothing more than false wiring, dismissing binge urges became much easier. Even the physical sensations that seemed so real, or the voice that sounded exactly like me when it said “it’ll be pleasurable, you’ll enjoy it, so go on,” were all neurological errors.”
— Sal, 19
“Just like Kathryn I was an athlete who became obsessed with my weight. After a series of fad diets, I went into full binge mode. This lasted for 25 years until I came across Brain over Binge. I finally started eating adequately and the urges slowly faded away. Today, six months later, I consider myself fully recovered.”
— Lisbeth, 44
“I have been working with a disordered eating learning opportunity for many years. The aspect of it that the course helped me with was the recognition that the urge to binge is just neurological junk and I am able to dismiss the urge without fighting it or engaging with it. The urges come and go but I have not binged in over 77 days as of this writing. I know I can go back and review my notes if the binge has something more to teach me and I’m not a failure.”
— Tom, 72
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