Love Hunger

Love Hunger

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by Frank Minirth, Paul Meier M.D., Robert Hemfelt, Sharon Sneed, Don Hawkins

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Based on the premise that overeating is linked to emotional and spiritual deprivations, Love Hunger begins with a relationship inventory that will help you understand how disappointments with your family, spouse, or self can result in obesity. It then provides a comprehensive program that helps identify whether or not you are using food as a substitute for


Based on the premise that overeating is linked to emotional and spiritual deprivations, Love Hunger begins with a relationship inventory that will help you understand how disappointments with your family, spouse, or self can result in obesity. It then provides a comprehensive program that helps identify whether or not you are using food as a substitute for love, career fulfillment, or friendship and shows you how to break that addiction. Once you begin dealing with the psychological basis for your eating problems, you'll be ready to lose weight healthfully, with a dietitian-designed food plan, that includes daily menus and recipes, as well as strategies for relapses, maintenance, motivation, and more. This is a complete plan for body, mind, and soul.

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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7.74(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.91(d)

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By Frank Minirth Paul Meier Robert Hemfelt Sharon Sneed Don Hawkins


Dr. Frank Minirth, Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Robert Hemfelt, Dr. Sharon Sneed and Dr. Don Hawkins
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7852-6023-3

Chapter One


Barbara Jamison, a heavy-set woman of 185 pounds, had lofty childhood dreams of becoming a woman of confidence and sophistication. The dream sustained her through a difficult childhood. In fact, she even dreamed of becoming a teacher to troubled children. Certainly no one watching Barbara on this day some thirty years later would have thought her to be a picture of confidence and success. Barbara had made certain no one could see her that afternoon. If fact, even though she was alone in her apartment, she had locked her bedroom door. Plopping onto the middle of her bed, she began ripping the bags open and savoring their contents: chocolate creams, extra-crispy fried chicken, creamy crab salad, and a yet-unopened box of doughnuts.

She always had to have high-calorie snack foods when she binged. Barbara's binges began in early adolescence as a means of coping with her harsh and demanding father, an ex-military man. When Barbara was ten years old, she lost her mother to cancer. During her teen years, Barbara not only lacked the nurturance of a mother, but also her father's "drill sergeant" family tactics and periodic rages intensified as he searched in vain for comfort or solace for his loss. Inevitably, Barbara would return to binge eating after the numerous fad diets she embarked on in high school. The Kampus Korner drive-in in college became her source for quick, inexpensive binges-downed before she raced back to the dorm to stick her head over the lavatory and get rid of it all in the binge-purge cycle of her college years. Then came Tom and their troubled marriage ... Well, at least since he'd moved out, it was easier to hide her bingeing, even though the ravenous monster seemed to demand feeding more often when she was alone.

At last the monster seemed to be stilled, and with the carton still half full, Barbara was able to put the spoon down. She was too miserable for any more movement. With a sweep of her arm she brushed the leftovers from her bed and leaned back. Her last prayer before sinking into oblivion was, "Dear God, where will it end?"

Barbara is a compulsive overeater whose addiction to food became so intense that she sought our professional counseling in Dallas, Texas.


"But doesn't everyone overeat sometimes?" you may be wondering. "I always eat until I'm uncomfortable at Christmas." "I binged in college-before exams, when I broke up with my boyfriend, when my roommate got a care package." "Sure I've gone on diets and then gained it back-plus a little." "Does that mean I need counseling?"

One of the difficulties in working with food issues is these gray areas. It's much easier when dealing with alcohol or drug addictions-either you drink or you don't, you're either drug-free or you aren't-but everyone has to eat something, and the lines of what's too much are highly individualized.

Our definition of a compulsive overeater is not some fixed weight limit or percentage, such as someone who is thirty pounds over normal weight. We concentrate, instead, on the subconscious causes of this obsessive behavior.

We define compulsive overeaters as people who are eating to satisfy emotional hungers, hungers of which they may or may not be aware. The compulsive overeater may be a few pounds or a few hundred pounds overweight. The issue is not how much the person weighs, but rather his or her reasons for eating.

The compulsive overeater may be addicted to food just as the alcoholic is addicted to alcohol or the workaholic is addicted to work. This strong emotional reliance on something on the outside to make one feel good on the inside is called codependency, or addiction. Unless the causes of this behavior are identified, the person will never be free from an addictive relationship with food.

Three Eating Disorders

Compulsive overeating, like that of Barbara, is just one type of eating disorder. Two other types are anorexia and bulimia.

Anorexia is chronic self-starvation to more than 20 percent below the ideal body weight. Anorexia is an eater's attempt to control something in his or her environment-a rigid, authoritarian father, for example-by controlling food. Often anorexics are so hungry for love that they stop trying to fill their hunger. Their fasting anesthetizes the pain of love hunger. Bulimia is compulsive overeating to fill love hunger, then purging the food out in an attempt to purge out pain. The purging is one with self-induced vomiting, laxatives, or diet pills. Bulimics then feel empty, so they binge again; then they feel guilty, so they purge again.

Although the emotional dynamics of all three eating disorders and the principles of recovery are similar, this book is focused primarily on the compulsive overeater, and for the sake of simplicity, most of our references will be directed to this disorder. Anorexics and bulimics, however, share many emotional dynamics with compulsive overeaters, and we invite all who suffer from any eating disorder to walk our pathways to recovery. It is important to emphasize that anorexia and bulimia are serious, life-threatening problems, and if you identify yourself in one of these categories, you must seek medical help as well.


If you're trying to decide whether or not you're a compulsive overeater, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you eat when you're angry? Do you eat to comfort yourself in times of crisis and tension? Do you eat to stave off boredom? Do you lie to yourself and others about how much you have eaten or when you ate? Do you hide food away for yourself? Are you embarrassed by your physical appearance? Are you 20 percent or more over your medically recommended weight? Have significant people in your life expressed concern about your eating patterns? Has your weight fluctuated by more than ten pounds in the past six months? Do you fear your eating is out of control?

If you found yourself answering yes to several of these questions and identifying to some degree with Barbara, you are a compulsive overeater. This book is written by doctors with a passionate interest in treating eating disorders. Dr. Frank Minirth and Dr. Paul Meier are psychiatrists who also have theology degrees. They treat patients from a psychological, medical, and spiritual perspective. Dr. Robert Hemfelt is a psychologist who specializes in obsessive-compulsive behavior and maintains an active private practice in the Dallas area. Dr. Sharon Sneed is a practicing nutrition consultant who has helped thousands of patients with various health problems associated with improper diet. Dr. Don Hawkins has helped provide insight from his many years of pastoral counseling. Our collective expertise for compulsive overeaters brings together medical, psychological, spiritual, and diet components.

Whether you are a first-time-recovery patient like Barbara or a successful dieter at your goal weight, we invite you to come along on this journey with the doctors and our unique methods for dealing with eating disorders.

We do not offer easy answers-the problem is too complex for that. But there are answers. And there is comfort in understanding the complexity of the problem. If you, like a majority of Americans, have repeatedly gone on diets and fallen off, an understanding that this is not a single problem that "just requires a little more willpower" is a key to understanding why so many past attempts to conquer the problem have failed-and why a multifaceted approach can succeed.


Excerpted from LOVE HUNGER by Frank Minirth Paul Meier Robert Hemfelt Sharon Sneed Don Hawkins Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Frank Minirth, M.D., is founder of The Minirth Clinic and has authored or co-authored more than thirty books, including Happiness Is a Choice, and Worry-free Living.

Paul Meier, M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of the national chain of Meier Clinics as well as best-selling author or co-author of more than eighty books. He holds five degrees in the fields of medicine, psychiatry, and theology. Happily married, he has six children and two grandchildren.

Dr. Sharon Sneed., is a registered dietitian and a nutrition consultant.

Dr. Don Hawkins is the host of the live nationwide call-in program Life Perspectives and has authored or coauthored over twenty books.

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Love Hunger 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would suggest you tell your buddies to talk to her and tell her all the stuff thats good about you and see wat she says. And also, Do NOT hang around her. Hang around her friends and she might get jealous of her. -Miss Anynamous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just tell him to stop. Thats it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm turning 13 soon and i really like this guy named aiden and i'm pretty sure he likes me back but how do i know? And also i get tongue tied around him cause i tried to talk to him on thursday and i stuttered. I'm in 7th grade.HELP ME PLEASE AND PLEASE DON'T SAY I'M TOO YOUNG FOR THIS ETC. Cause people younger than me have dated peope in mygrade. Thanks. Reply back to lizzi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Add me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey my nickname is maddy i need a bf im 11 btw but i want a bf plz help put yur title as hey maddy if u will help
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just go up to her and ask or just become friends eith her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone want to have sex im 12 my boyfriend wont like it but oh well
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hae a HUGE crush on this kid named Luke and dome of the girls who r my best friends thibk he is gross i cant blame them vuz he eats glue but getting to the point...i am moving away and i really want to kiss him befor i leave but i for got to:( E lies really close but im to afraid to go a few blocks and go and talk to him. As you can see i really honestly need help not only from whoever is reafing this so spread the words ha i just said and tell sme one who you think can help me. Thanks soooooo much lozie aka lottie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bf cheting poist back to kate
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear you, my freinds all have boyfreinds.i want one too.but im nervous to talk to only 10,do you thing im too young for a boyfreind?-need a bf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need help theres this boy i really like and we used to like eachother in the 3 grade but i have always liked him and we are best friends and now hes moving schools and now i just feel like theres a big empty hole where he should be and im not sure if he likes my but im pretty sure but there is also this outher girl that LOVES! Him and shes always running over to where he is and trying to impress him and whenever im talking to him (alot) she always comes over and shoves me away but everytime she does that he looks at me mouths help. And we are supercompetitive and whenever we are around each other we are both happy and are joking around and laughing. Does he like me? Oh and he asked for 2 hugs on the last day of school!!! -Anna &#12485
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well mabe ur dad has some right to not letting u have a bf.mabe he thnks ur too yung for that commitment.look i was in a rela nd its not soo eazy as it seems,sometimes u hav leve stuff u wan to do to b wit him,i had too and evn thought it waz grt wile it lasted ,wen ur single u feel free to do wat evr u wan nd not feel guilty for chekin out a guy;) nd i wasnt aloud to dat ither nd wen ni did it went the rong way:/ dont fool ur self wait untill u truly know urself and ur a lil older:) u nvr knw wat the future holds for you:) hop it helps -melii
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi my names Cher and i can help you with all of our relationship problems. Just go to Hunter Hayes res.2 and ask me a quesrion. And ill het back to you. Plz recommend me to everybody and anybody you meet. Thank you. Cher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So, i know my friend likes me, and he knows i like him. But my bff also likes him. And i dont know what to do. She doesnt know that my friend has no feelings for her. She doesnt know that he likes me. Me and my friend arent officially together, but if we do get together, and my bff finds out, will that ruin our friendship? Respond to Ariana.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can u please help me i like 3 boys ones really funny and the other one is smart and the next one is cool they all make me smoile for some reason can u help me u'r my only hope type me back real soon - missy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been told rumors of guys liking me but how do you really tell if they like you? Respond anybody to elise
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She won't answer MY question so she won't answer yours. My question. Who IS love tug tug and why won't she answer?