book review

Review of Reclaiming Yourself by Joanna Poppink

rp_reclaiming-yourself5-194x300.jpgJoanna Poppink,  Los Angeles based Eating Disorder Therapist and author of Healing Your Hungry Heart wrote a wonderful review of my new book that I’d like to share:


Leora Fulvio takes the mystery out of binge eating in her wonderful new book, Reclaiming Yourself From Binge Eating:  A Step-by-Step Guide to Healing  and offers practical and caring information about how to end this destructive way of living.

Kind and thoroughly practical, Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating is readable, engaging and eye opening. Fulvio obviously cares about people who binge eat and covers the territory so well that anyone who binge eats will find her way of eating, thinking and feeling somewhere in these amazingly helpful pages.

For starters, Fulvio gives one of the best descriptions of resistance to positive change I’ve read in a long time. Keeping  with her style of describing a problem and then offering clear solutions, she describes common sense ways of moving through resistance. Her information, style and tone is steady and confident as she describes the many facets of binge eating and how to cope with them in a positive and healing way.  Readers are certain to feel her confidence and grow more confident themselves as they follow her exercises and guides to self discovery on the way to freedom from binge eating. She is wise and reassuring when she writes, “Sometimes, just allowing yourself to have autonomy and to have authority over your own decisions can be so liberating.”

Throughout this friendly and honest book Fulvio offers clear cut and practical methods to address binge eating episodes and vulnerabilities that can often elude the thinking of a person who binge eats.  She does this with a series of question and answer situations that help an individual find her own answers, answers that empower her in ways that she needs to gain her freedom.

Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating shows you how:


  • healing from excessive shame is vital to binge eating recovery;


  • ongoing wars within the binge eater’s psyche play out in ways of eating;


  • binge eating is a filter that blocks healthy and honest messages from body to mind.

Learning this allows the reader to embrace the healing steps Fulvio defines clearly, directly and with compassion.  She shows the reader that removing the eating disorder filter is crucial for recovery.

Moreover, she  gives an excellent description of how to define healthy eating  in a way that makes it approachable and manageable.  She is kind and reasonable when exploring healthy size and shape, introducing the reader to self respect and showing her that  she can free herself of stereotypes and be the woman she is.

I especially enjoy the questions Fulvio offers to deal with questionable behavior. For example, a person with a tendency to people please may not know she is sacrificing her needs for someone else. The questions: “Will I feel resentful if I say, ‘yes’?”   “Will I feel guilty if I say, ‘no’?” are a clear and concise way of recognizing motives.  Again Fulvio shows the reader that she has a choice.

Her description of many different styles of binge eating helps the reader find and recognize herself and her behaviors.  Again and continually, Fulvio shows you a problem and how to resolve it.  I appreciate her style of being comprehensive in looking at binge eating behavior and always offering ways to understand and resolve troublesome feelings and actions.  This approach will help readers feel appreciated and understood.  This is key because when a person feels genuinely understood she is more likely to accept and explore the healing path that is presented.  This is true in face to face psychotherapy as well, and Fulvio understands this need.

Her first exercise, finding your inner core and wise voice by being still with your hand over your heart, is simple, non threatening and lovely.  It’s a way to begin to love and respect your body, move into a mindfulness state, recognize body messages and discover emotions all at the same time.  Fulvio shows caring wisdom in presenting this exercise to the reader first.

Some highlights I especially like:

  • Developing the habit of creating challenge statements and responding is an excellent way to interrupt the eating disorder filter.  Writing both the challenge and the response when a binge urge looms is an intervention I will introduce in my practice.
  • The description and detailed explanation of how diets fail a person who wants to lose weight, how they trigger binges, how they contribute to weight gain and how difficult it is for people to understand this is engaging, helpful, personal and vital for a binge eater to understand.
  • Bringing clarity to the false promises of diets is a valuable part of this book.  It is one of the precious gifts the author gives to the community of people who want to lose weight yet follow quick weight loss diets and programs that only result, after initial weight loss, in weight gain. She clearly confronts the fantasy that diets help a person lose weight.  She directly addresses the false beliefs and self criticism that are often in the mind of a woman who has lost weight in the past by following diets.

Describing various kinds of triggers: emotional, physical, geographical and going into detail about bewildering triggers such as feeling too full and bingeing on top of a full stomach will help the reader find herself in the pages and encourage her to work the alternative action log Fulvio offers. Her chapter on food where she describes what food is, what foods are needed for a healthy life, how to know what to eat and how to choose what you need without triggering a binge is sure to be a gift to many who have been lost in binges and need a gentle, informed and non triggering education in how to effectively nourish themselves. She then shows you how to begin eating three meals a day – a particular challenge for people who eat throughout the day or for people who skip meals only to binge out of sustained deprivation.  This section is a challenge, but her gentleness and practical attitude allows the reader freedom to choose, stumble, regain her footing and discover what works best for her. She offers many useful and engaging exercises to build strength and awareness, particularly mindfulness exercises that help a person make healthy intuitive choices.

I was particularly interested in her approach to dealing with Night Eating Disorder. I think many people with NES will find help and hope from what she says.

Her chapter on relapse is honest, practical and reassuring.  She offers a list of probing questions to ask during or after a relapse incident that, I believe, will help a person regain her footing, avoid dangerous self-incrimination and be stronger for the experience.

Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating is a  gift to people who binge eat, want to stop and don’t know how.  Fulvio knows how to stop and to heal and how to reclaim  personhood through health and freedom.  I highly recommend this book.




Joanna Poppink, MFT

Los Angeles psychotherapist

author of:  Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder

I Wrote a Book- and You Can Win a Free Copy

Win a copy of this book!

Win a copy of this book!

Hello everyone, I’ve got a big announcement, I wrote a book! Available on amazon starting on March 28th. But it is currently on sale for preorder it now or preorder the kindle version as well.

Let me first tell you a bit about my book and then I will explain how you can win a free copy or get a free “stop binge eating” hypnosis download.

After working with people for nearly eight years, I began this blog in 2007 to help people who were suffering with Binge Eating Disorder. I realized that there was not a whole lot of help on the Internet. Sure, there are some treatment programs and some therapists who specialize in treating eating disorders. But treatment is expensive. This blog certainly wasn’t meant to be a substitute for treatment, but I thought that for some people, who just totally felt alone and who did not know where to go for help, that this could be a very helpful resource.

And so then, in 2009, I began to write the book.  Reclaiming Yourself From Binge Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide to HealingI wanted to write a book that was EASY for people to follow. I wanted to share the stories of the hundreds of people I’ve worked with who have healed their food issues. Reclaiming Yourself is divided into two parts. The first part explains more about what binge eating is, and what different types of binge eaters look like (in terms of their habits) and gives a little bit of research into the disorder. The next part, the meat of the book is a step by step program to help yourself stop binge eating. There are 33 steps complete with exercises to help you rid yourself of the  disordered eating.   I think that some people might find that even just one or two steps might help them a whole lot. The book is designed to be done at your pace. So rather than having to buy it and sit down and read the whole thing at once, you can do a step each week, or each month or as often as you’d like. If you are suffering from binge eating and are working with a therapist who doesn’t understand BED,  you can bring it into your therapist and work the steps with him or her. You can work these steps with a good friend, you can make a group or you can even work on them with a 12 step sponsor.

This book takes a mind, body and spiritual approach to healing binge eating. There are meditations, journal writing exercises, art exercises and actual practical things that you can do to change your behaviors. The point of this book is to help you stop binge eating for good.


The book will be out on March 28th, you can pre-order a copy on amazon. If you pre-order a copy, email me your order confirmation and I WILL SEND YOU OVER a FREE Stop Binge Eating hypnosis download, or any hypnosis session of your choosing.

I am giving away TWO FREE COPIES of the book. If you’d like to win a free copy of the book, you can do one of the following:

1. Like me on facebook 

2. Follow me on Twitter

3. Like this post on Facebook

4. Share this post on Facebook

5. Tweet this post

6. Comment on this post

Or do all six! Each thing that you do will earn you a free entry!

Selection will be chosen by random on March 28th.



Book Review: Healing your Hungry Heart

Healing Your Hungry HeartJoanna Poppink is an eating disorder therapist down in Southern California whose blog I’ve been following for awhile. Her book Healing Your Hungry Heart was released in late 2011 and I truly think that everyone who suffers from any kind of food issue should read it.

What I love so much about this book is how relatable it is. Joanna writes as if she’s sitting there in the room with you, holding your hand and saying, “yes, I’ve been there, I know what it’s like, but look at me, I’ve really found peace with food, it’s so hard, but I know that you can do it too, and I’m here to help you.”  She shares her own personal experiences with a crippling case of bulimia that followed her all the way to her early 40’s. She goes deeply in depth to discuss the issues that are underneath the eating disorder such as not understanding how to adhere to boundaries and why that might be so. She discusses shame, anxiety, depression, sadness, angst, fear, distress, abuse, secrets and how you might be using food to heal yourself. She helps you with gentle exercises (meditation, breath work, affirmations) to cope with the intensity of life without food. This book is so gentle and very calming and soothing, it’s like having someone right there with you, compassionately guiding you.

There is so much wisdom in this book, you’ll have to read it several times, and each time you read it, you will discover something that you hadn’t or weren’t ready to grasp the first time, for example, In chapter 8, Joanna writes: Openness, so different from secretiveness allows you to see what you couldn’t see, understand what you couldn’t understand, forgive what you couldn’t acknowledge. Your openness and willingness to explore your true nature allows you to give yourself compassion and the desire to care for your authentic self. You learn to appreciate the consequences of your actions and attitudes over a lifetime

This contemplation allows you to open your heart and mind to the people around you, to those who were around you in the past, and those who are yet to come into your life. You have the opportunity to become free as imperfect beings in an imperfect world where you are surrounded by imperfect others and can recognize, give, and receive love and respect.

This way of being in the world is very different than the life you lead with your eating disorder. Please remember, this is a glimpse of what can come for you in recovery. Contemplation and mindfulness practices, jibing and journaling, and mindful breathing and doing your affirmations gradually but inexorably will heal you and bring you health and freedom.


I love that passage. Just imagine that, a life where you were free not just of judgement of yourself, but of criticism toward other people. Imagine freeing up all that mindspace, all that incessant chatter that drives you to stay in your eating disorder. imagine freedom. It’s not about being skinnier, it’s about being lighter.  It’s about extricating yourself from the tyranny of your inner critic who so ruthlessly destroys you and everyone around you.  This book is just full of amazing gems like that and ways to achieve this lightness. I wholeheartedly recommend it!