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Book Review: The Self-compassion Diet

What a delight to blog about THE SELF-COMPASSION DIET: A STEP-BY-STEP PROGRAM TO LOSE WEIGHT WITH LOVING-KINDNESS by Jean Fain, LICSW, a colleague from the Boston area, where I lived and worked for decades. Although I rarely focus on weight loss, this book has such powerful strategies for becoming a “normal” eater (and shedding pounds), that I want to spread the word.

The premise of the book and CD is simple: by using self-compassion or “a deep awareness of one’s own suffering,” you can radically go from being a dysfunctional eater to a functional one. Fain describes self-compassion as composed of mindful awareness (a basic technique of keeping attention on the present moment), self-kindness (treating yourself with caring, understanding and validation), and common humanity (the awareness that suffering is part of the human condition and that others suffer in a similar way). I love that Fain considers self-compassion both a personality trait and a learnable skill, as I am all about skills’ education to help folks become “normal” eaters. Which means, if you don’t have the skill, then go on out and learn it.

THE SELF-COMPASSION DIET is full of practical wisdom about how to set yourself up for eating and weight loss success using guided visualization, meditation, positive self-talk, cognitive restructuring, writing and journal exercises. Fain sprinkles quizzes throughout the book, teaches with cases studies from her decades of counseling troubled eaters, and provides page after page of exercises which will help disregulated eaters learn to expand their thinking in order to improve their eating.

Fain lays out four weight-loss paths which can be used alone or in combination:
1) self-compassion, 2) hypnosis (yes, it really works!), 3) mindfulness (see my blogs on the subject for an in-depth description), and 4) social support. Each path is backed up by scientific evidence that explains how it helps troubled eaters eat “normally” and lose weight that stays lost. Fain’s writing style is smooth, cozy, down to earth and oozing with compassion for the years you’ve spent beating yourself up for one failed diet after another. I can’t help but identify with her: we’ve both overcome our own eating struggles and combine our personal wisdom with clinical training and decades of experience. Fain’s clients have had tremendous success using her program which can be found in her book or on her CD. See order details below:

Product Details:

Paperback: 240 Pages 
Publisher: "Sounds True Inc." (December 28, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1604070757 
ISBN-13: 978-164070757
  • Price: $16.95 

  • Official Release Date: January 1, 2011 
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-60407-326-3

Also available: Companion Spoken-Word Audio
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
AW01721D/2 CDs, 1 ¾ hours, 5 x 5 ¼
U.S. $19.95
ISBN-13: 978-1-60407-077-4 UPC: 600835-172127