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Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

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Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

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Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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hungry

Julie Simon Julie Simon former dieter. current helper. self acceptance discoverer.

Julie M. Simon, MA, MBA, MFT is a psychotherapist, life coach, personal trainer, speaker and author of The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual: A Practical Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting, based on her 12 Week Program. [www.overeatingrecovery.com]

I know firsthand how frustrating overeating and gaining weight can be. I spent a good portion of my life stuck in a cycle of overeating comfort foods, gaining weight, and dieting. I was never good at sticking with diet plans. In fact, I always felt hungry and food-obsessed the minute I put myself on a diet. While each new diet plan restored some hope and motivation, compulsive food cravings and a sense of restriction and deprivation always led me back to overeating and weight gain.

I know that I definitely ate emotionally. I used food to calm and soothe myself. It helped numb the pain of unpleasant emotions, self-doubts and other negative thoughts, and general stress. Food altered my brain chemistry; and because food is pleasurable and exciting, it was a good distraction. It temporarily filled up the inner emptiness and restlessness I regularly felt, a sort of spiritual hunger.

The truth is, I was hungry for many things, the least of which was food. I hungered for validation, acceptance, reassurance and hope. I was starving for intimacy, nourishing connections, self-acceptance, self-love, joy, peace, ease, security, passion and purpose.

My mind, body, and spirit were trying to tell me something. It took years of study, therapy, and visits to health care practitioners for me to understand and resolve all the pieces of the overeating puzzle. As each piece fell into place, my life got better and better. I no longer felt constantly hungry or compulsive about food. My weight and mood stabilized. I felt less overwhelmed. I procrastinated less. My inner chaos and outer clutter diminished. I felt more emotionally balanced than I had ever been in my life. A nourishing inner voice was developing and, with it, self-acceptance and self-love. Connection and intimacy were replacing the emptiness and loneliness I had lived with for so long.

Looking back, I can see that my unrelenting hunger, emotional eating and weight problems were actually a blessing in disguise, symptoms bothersome enough to push me to look for an internal solution rather than another diet.

Now I help overeaters and imbalanced eaters heal their relationships with themselves, their bodies and food. A different kind of hunger drives me today—the passion and excitement of helping others connect to themselves, release the weight and create the lives they hunger for, the lives they desire and deserve.

– Julie Simon

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