Inside Look

Empowering Reads Roundup: Top Ten Books on Overcoming Bulimia

bulimia recovery Dec 11, 2023

Hey readers! It's Sarah, and I'm thrilled to present the Top Ten Roundup for Bulimia Books.


Dive into this list of transformative reads, from Kathryn Hansen's "Brain Over Binge" to Kate Hudson-Hall's "Bulimia Sucks." These books offer diverse perspectives, including personal stories like Iris Ruth Pastor's "Tales of a Bulimic Babe" and insightful guides like Richard Kerr's "The Bulimia Help Method." Whether you're seeking bulimia recovery strategies or a deeper understanding, this roundup is your go-to guide. Let's explore, happy reading!




#1 - *Brain Over Binge Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good, Author Kathryn Hansen



#2 - Bulimia Sucks, Author Kate Hudson-Hall



#3 - Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery, Authors Leigh Cohn and Lindsey Hall



#4 - Tales of a Bulimic Babe, Author Iris Ruth Pastor


#5 - The Bulimia Help Method: A Revolutionary New Approach That Works, Author Richard Kerr


#6 - Hunger for Connection, Author Alitta Kullman


#7 - Andrea’s Voice: Silenced by Bulimia, Author Doris Smeltzer


#8 - Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovery from your Eating Disorder, Author Joanna Poppink


#9 - Something Spectacular, Author Greta Gleissner


#10 - Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder, Authors Peter J. Cooper and Peter Cooper


 *It is important to note Merrit and I may not agree with all assertions of the authors, yet we applaud each for fearlessly sharing their experience, research, and stories with bulimia.*



#1 Brain Over Binge Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good

After completely and independently conquering a debilitating eating disorder, Kathryn Hansen wrote Brain over Binge to share her struggle—and her escape from it—with those still trapped in the compulsive binge-purge cycle. Since the book’s initial release in 2011, it has endured as an essential road map for using the power of the brain to erase harmful habits and create lasting change. The second edition is fully revised and updated with new information, compelling insights, and uplifting success stories that will inspire readers to break free from their own self-defeating behaviors.

Brain over Binge is both a memoir and a scientific account, providing a gripping personal narrative and a research-based perspective on bulimia and binge eating disorder. Kathryn traces the course of her own condition and then describes in detail her unconventional approach to recovery. In the process, she offers a much-needed alternative viewpoint on the landscape of eating disorder literature to help others in the throes of any form of out-of-control eating.

The mainstream view of bulimia holds that it’s a complex disorder that manifests as a means of coping with deep underlying emotional and psychological problems. But the author resolutely departs from this philosophy, cuts through the confusion she experienced in traditional therapy, and simplifies both the origins of binge eating and its cure. As Kathryn explains the brain-based principles that led to her recovery from relentless bingeing and purging, Brain over Binge sheds current and crucial light on our human potential to overcome destructive patterns and reclaim our lives.


#2 Bulimia Sucks

Drawing on her own 15-year experience with bulimia and anorexia, Kate has created the program to help others fully recover from this eating disorder. With her expertise as a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner, and eating disorders therapist, she provides astounding new approaches to help you break the cycle of bingeing and purging, overcome negative thoughts and triggers, help for body image, and stay motivated to recover at your own pace. Here are just a few of the powerful strategies you'll learn:

Understanding the root cause:

  • Learn how food restriction triggers primal hunger and leads to powerful binge cravings.

  • Realize that many symptoms are actually the results of starvation.

 Practical steps to overcome bulimia:

  • Follow the step-by-step guide in this outstanding eating disorder recovery book at your own pace.

  • Eliminate binge urges and cravings for life by restoring your body's own natural food regulation system.

  • Break your bingeing and purging behaviors by understanding how food restriction leads to crazy binge cravings.

 Techniques to improve your mental health:

  • Break through your negative thoughts, feelings, triggers, and urges.

  • Improve your negative body image and reach and maintain your ideal weight without starvation.


#3 Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery

This intimate self-help guidebook offers a complete understanding of bulimia and a plan for recovery. It includes a two-week program to stop bingeing, ideas for things to do instead of bingeing, a guide for support groups, specific advice for loved ones, and "Eat Without Fear," Lindsey Hall's story of her self-cure, which has inspired thousands of other bulimics. This 25th anniversary edition updates all information from previous editions, with additional material on assessment, new diagnostic categories, men and bulimia, evidence-based treatment, family-assisted recovery, the influence of media (including the Internet), the essentials of "long-term recovery," and much more. Drawing on its established track record of success, Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery includes input from 400 recovered bulimics and is packed with valuable tips for therapists, educators, bulimics, and their loved ones.


#4 Tales of a Bulimic Babe

"Tales of a Bulimic Babe" is about a woman who apparently 'has it all'--a happy marriage, five well-adjusted sons, a stimulating career, lots of friends and extended family. But what Iris Ruth Pastor keeps hidden from them all was her addiction to a lover she called ED--her eating disorder. This is the story of her shedding that secret, facing and owning her addiction, and taking courageous steps to break free of the disorder that ruled her entire life.

How did she tame the triggers that led to bingeing and purging? Deal with the ravenous monster within? And navigate the road back to a healthier, happier, and more fully engaged life? If you've ever grappled with something that prevents you from operating at full throttle, Iris's brutally honest yet witty and inspirational story answers the tough questions, while reminding us that the possibility of recovery is within our reach.

"In this honest, insightful and inspiring book, Iris Ruth Pastor shares her story of recovery from a decades-long battle with bulimia. She brings a poignant and relatable honesty to this memoir, using both wisdom and humor to bring readers on the journey from despair to healing. This is a must-read for anyone who struggles with an eating disorder, or knows someone who does; by sharing her experience, Iris offers insight, understanding and hope." --Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin, PsyD

Iris Ruth Pastor is 5'2"--the truth. She weighs 115 lbs.--a lie. She's a baby boomer, author, speaker and storyteller. For the past twenty-eight years, she's written a slice-of-life column entitled "Incidentally, Iris." In between the unremitting rigors of raising five sons, she hosted a radio program, co-wrote a book with her mother--"Slices, Bites and Other Facts of Life"--and became the editor of the "American Israelite."

Iris entered the social media age kicking and screaming in order to foster connection and offer tidbits of authenticity to uplift and inspire herself as well as others. Which she did as a Huffington Post "Must-Read Blogger of 2015." She is terrifyingly dipping into the vlogging arena (a combination of video and blogging), publishes a weekly newsletter through her website and travels the country talking to live audiences about the importance of "Preserving Your Bloom," using your talents and resources to be the best you can be.

While doing so, she tries not to be judgmental, cloying, hypocritical, whiney, snippy, overly sensitive, and overwhelmed. Sometimes she even manages to carry it off.


#5 The Bulimia Help Method: A Revolutionary New Approach That Works

There's a new way to overcome bulimia nervosa, but few have ever heard it. With the Bulimia Help Method, you're not weak, broken or faulty if you binge on food. Nor do you need to solve all of your other problems before you can recover. You have the power to recover within you right now.

The Bulimia Help Method is relatively simple. Anyone can do it regardless of age or how long they've suffered. That's the thing: because binge urges feel so massive and powerful, we convince ourselves that overcoming it must be hard and complicated too. In reality, it doesn't have to be that way at all.

Based on hard science and over 10 years helping people who suffer from bulimia, Ali shares her most effective technique in this book.

In this step-by-step guide you will discover how to:

  • Stop bingeing

  • Stop purging

  • Recover without your weight spiraling out of control

  • Maintain a healthy weight for life, without dieting

  • Stop blaming yourself for your bulimia (we'll show you it's not your fault!)

  • Feel calm and in control around food

  • Boost your self-esteem and general well-being

  • Effectively deal with relapses and setbacks.

  • Have a normal, peaceful and natural relationship with food even if you never remember a time when eating has been this way.


#6 Hunger for Connection

Who develops which eating disorder and why? When do eating disorders begin and what fuels them? In Hunger for Connection, psychoanalyst and eating-disorder specialist Alitta Kullman expands on the "body/mind" personality organization she calls the "perseverant personality," illustrating how food and thought are linked from infancy, and for some, can become the primary source of nurturance and thought-processing for a lifetimeā€•leading to what we call an eating disorder.

Writing in a highly accessible style, Kullman brings humor and gentleness to her interactions with patients, offering health professionals and mainstream readers alike an essential guide to understanding and/or working with cyclical eating disorders of all types. From psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and counsellors, to eating disorder specialists, researchers, and students, Hunger for Connection not only provides guidelines for therapists of varying theoretical orientations and levels of expertise, but help and hope to people suffering with eating disorders and those who care for and about them.


#7 Andrea’s Voice: Silenced by Bulimia

Vibrant, talented, strong, and beautiful, Andrea Smeltzer seemed destined for a great future. But after a one-year struggle with bulimia, she died in her sleep at age 19, catapulting her mother Doris into a wrenching but ultimately rewarding journey of discovery. This unabashed account not only speaks about one family’s tragedy, but also critiques the social and personal attitudes toward our bodies and appearance that create victims like Andrea. Andrea's poetry and journal entries, combined with her mother's reflections, offer insight and understanding about a crushing disorder that afflicts far too many young people.


#8 Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovery from your Eating Disorder

A resource to help you overcome the struggle of emotional eating, realize your self-worth, and live the life you deserve.

One in five women suffer from eating disorders. While this issue is primarily associated with teenage girls, doctors report that a growing number of women are also developing these disorders later in life or have hidden these problems for years. For women in their thirties, forties, fifties, and beyond, issues of loss from divorce, death, empty nest syndrome, marriage, and career pressures can trigger an eating disorder.

Eating disorder self-help. You might find yourself juggling careers, marriages, and families, all while struggling with eating disorders for years. Healing Your Hungry Heart is that friend you can lean on. Psychotherapist Joanna Poppink offers a comprehensive and effective recovery program for women with eating disorders, based on her thirty-year professional practice treating adults with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. She shares her personal struggles with you about bulimia, along with stories from a wide range of clients she has counseled and a step-by-step program that identifies:

  • Early warning signs

  • Challenges to early recovery

  • Triggers to emotional eating

  • Impact on sex life and family relationships


#9 Something Spectacular

Greta Gleissner, a longtime professional dancer, dreamed her whole life of becoming a Rockette. Then she became one—and she fell into the grips of a powerful eating disorder that began poison her life from the inside out.

Something Spectacular is Gleissner’s raw, personal chronicle of the devastating effects bulimia exacts upon her life during her time as a Rockette. As her disorder takes over, she begins to lead a dual life: happy-go-lucky on the outside; tortured by obsessive, self-destructive voices on the inside. Immersed in an environment in which even talent is secondary to appearance, Gleissner hides her disorder by any means necessary—lying, cheating, and stealing with no regard for the consequences of her actions—until she hits rock bottom and is forced to face the truths behind her disease. Her intensive odyssey of self-discovery ultimately gives her the strength to reshape her self-image, embrace her sexuality, and break free of the malignant hold bulimia has on her life.

The first book to give voice to the pervasive but often unaddressed problem of eating disorders in the dance industry, Something Spectacular is a gripping exposé of the insidious nature of eating-related diseases—and a profound account of one woman’s journey toward self-acceptance and recovery.


#10 Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder

One in twenty women in the Western world experiences bouts of uncontrolled binge-eating and many of these are suffering from the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. Stringent dieting and making yourself vomit after overeating are common features of bulimia nervosa, as are depression, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. This illness causes great distress to sufferers and those who care about them, but in recent years there have been real advances in treatment.

In this third edition, Peter Cooper's sympathetic and highly acclaimed guide gives a clear explanation of the disorder and the serious health issues that can result from it. He describes the treatments available today and, most importantly, sets out a self-help guide for those who want to tackle their difficulties with a step-by- step program. This program has been found in independent clinical research to be of substantial benefit to people with bulimia nervosa (Psychological Medicine, 2005). This book will also give friends and family a much clearer understanding of the illness and its treatment.


As we wrap up our exploration of the Top Ten Roundup for Bulimia Books, I hope you've found these summaries insightful and inspiring. These books are more than just words on pages—they're beacons of hope, offering unique perspectives and strategies for those navigating the challenging journey of recovery from bulimia. Here's to your wellness, resilience, and the transformative power of literature.


With Love & Light,

Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee is a Certified Eating Disorder Recovery Coach with four professional certifications, including one from the esteemed Carolyn Costin Institute. Since 2016, she has run a private practice currently located in Dallas, TX, assisting clients globally along with mentoring newer recovery coaches.

Posted on December 11th, 2023. 

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