May 08, 2017

Why We Overeat and How to Stop: Book Giveaway!

image: clipartfest

By Crabby McSlacker

Does anyone else out there struggle with eating too much, or eating the wrong things, or not feeling sufficiently motivated to exercise?

Even those of us with fancy degrees and initials after our names, who've studied this stuff extensively for decades and know exactly what we should be doing... we often screw it up just as badly as anyone else does.  We may even be in the "healthy weight" range, yet only manage it with much unnecessary angst, inconsistency, martyrdom, acting out, and ill-tempered griping.

So WTF is up with that? Why can't our highly evolved brains save us from self-defeating decisions? And how do we best deal with the seemingly ridiculous problem of not being able to control our own behavior?

Elizabeth Babcock's Why We Overeat and How to Stop isn't a magical solution to overeating. Alas, there is no magical solution. But I think it's as good a book as I've ever read on the subject, and I found myself with many new helpful insights into my cherished but often maladaptive ways. She provided a number of new strategies and practical tips , as well as the motivational boost that comes from taking a fresh look at old assumptions.

Bottom line: I'd highly recommend you buy the book. But heck, you might as well try to win it for free first, right? We've got a physical copy if you like (and are from the U.S.) but also have an (admittedly low-tech) electronic option, so as not to leave out folks who are not from the United States.

So, what's so great about it and why do I recommend it so highly? And how do you win a copy?


1. It's Hype-Free, Well-Researched, Comprehensive, and Practical

There are no claims in this book that there is one special diet or exercise plan that works for everyone.  Instead, you get a framework for understanding the problem at a deep level, general principles of good nutrition and exercise, and strategies for brainstorming your own solutions, ones that most likely to work for you given your own unique challenges and priorities. But there are also plenty of concrete suggestions and examples.

Probably the best way to get a sense of the scope of the book is to check out the Amazon page and hit the "look inside" thingy. Note that the table of contents page is not only sensible, but really really long. She covers the "why's" of overeating, which you really need to know in order to figure out the "hows" of cutting it the heck out.  Plenty of chapters on the "hows" too though.

The writing is reassuringly smart but approachable, and, thank goodness, not preachy or cutesy or condescending.  The psychological and physiological stuff is covered in easy-to-understand, relatable terms.

2. Quite a Bit of Her Book Sounds Like Crabby but Without All the Swearing.

No gratuitous nudity either! Can you imagine?

To the extent that I'm ever successful in taming my gluttonous tendencies, its because I've stumbled on some of the same principles she advocates, though she's bettter at explaining and implementing them and has nailed a lot other nuances I hadn't thought of.

(On the other hand, some of my more peculiar experiments and strategies, the ones that make no sense to anyone but me yet I stubbornly employ and blog about anyway, aren't included in her book. Go figure!)

3. Why We Overeat Explores and Leverages a Key Insight I'd Totally Been Overlooking

It's a simple notion and one that's so intuitive once she explains it. Much better than I can, but I'll give it a shot:

The main reason we behave in counterproductive ways is because in our brains, our limbic system calls the shots, not our cerebral cortex. I.e, our "emotional" processing is older, quicker, and way more powerful than our newly evolved "logical" thinking capacity. So trying to use only the brute force of willpower to get ourselves do what is "smart" is never going to work. We need emotional buy-in or willpower will fail.

Duh, right? Makes so much sense from that perspective. Yet I persist in trying to believe the "thinking" me is in charge of what I end up doing. I go around making all kinds of optimistic plans, then don't follow through because I just don't wanna. Yet I don't use my clever cerebral cortex enough to skillfully manipulate my limbic system to reward the right behavior. I just walk away thinking FAIL and do the same shit over again the next time.

Another reason you should think about buying this book?

Elizabeth is not a famous person with a big book deal. (Yet?)

Instead, she's just incredibly knowledgeable and has solid clinical experience to back up the research, insight, and advice she shares.

And, on a personal level, it became quickly apparent to me from our email correspondence that she's extremely intelligent, conscientious, grounded, sincere, and, well, nice.

How old fashioned, right?

In the world we live in now, where at least temporarily, greed triumphs over compassion, "alternative facts" carry more weight than real ones, and those who make outlandish appeals to illogical and wishful thinking end up on top, I feel like it's important to support people who don't go that route. Those who do their homework, make thoughtful, valuable contributions, and don't trumpet exaggerated and misleading claims about their methods, even if quick fixes are a much easier sell in our culture.

So How Do You Win a Copy of this Fine Book for Your Very Own?

First off: go for it! Enter! Your chances of winning are excellent! Cranky Fitness is coming back from a long hiatus, so only a small hardy band of regulars even read the damn thing, and few will probably bother to comment, and even half of them will say they're not needing a copy and are just stopping by to say hi.

We'll do the random drawing thing in a week. So just leave a comment either here or on the sad little Cranky Fitness Facebook Page. You can even leave a different comment on each if you want two chances to win. I'll fire up the ol' RNG and announce the winner next Monday May 15th.

Note: if you are not from the U.S., or would otherwise prefer an PDF (long story) to a physical copy, please let us know so we can allocate properly.

Should you win, please email me within a week (see Schmooze page for how) and let me know your contact info so I can hook you up.

What happens if you win, but don't come back to check and email Crabby within another week? Well, sorry sweetcheeks, but I ain't hunting you down. I'm afraid I'll just have to give YOUR copy to someone else.

Ooops, and I almost forgot, here are links for Elizabeth Babcock's Counseling Page where you can read more about her, as well as The Whole You Health Blog where she's got some more great resources to share.

Or goodness, you could also just go ahead and spring for Why We Overeat and How to Stop on Amazon and just pop down in the comments to say hi!

Good luck!


  1. I'd love a copy. Glad to see you're back.
    Not so glad there's no relatable swearing in the book.
    Even less glad that I am starting my health journey all f**king over, again.

  2. Oh count me in, please. Crabby without the swearing? I don't understand.. ;)

    In Canada.. but you knew that.

  3. This jumped out at me: "I persist in trying to believe the "thinking" me is in charge of what I end up doing." That "feels" so true!

    Also Canada.. but you knew that. :)

  4. Sinner Ella, "starting all f**king over again" is the story of my life!

    And god I LOVE my Canadian readers. Work on that weather thing, will ya, I'd really like to join you up there. It's scary down here!

  5. I wouldn't mind winning, even though I'm not really sure I overeat. I just love food. My joints would like it if I lost another ten pounds; the rest of me doesn't care.

    So why is there no Cranky Fitness Thinking Mind vs. Eating Body with gratuitous swearing? All this time you're not spending writing blog posts must be good for something!

    And Blogger! Leah's posts nearly always show up on Facekook before they do on blogger. Yours are more random. I had just checked blogger before I went to FB and saw this post. Then I came back to blogger and you weren't updated. I had to go straight to the web page before I could find it. Internet, why?

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    1. True, my posts are always more random Mary Anne! So makes sense blogger throws 'em out there whenever the hell it feels like it. Thanks for persisting!

  6. This Canadian wants in! Thanks!

  7. Sounds like a great read! I would love a copy

  8. Count me out of the contest, Crabby, please and thank you.
    I enjoy overeating too much to want to stop.

    Thanks for the mention, Mary Anne. It may be gauche to point out the typo, but I love "Facekook."

    1. NOT a typo. Commentary. :) I had to convince auto carrot I really meant it.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

    2. I wondered, Mary Anne. I should not have assumed. Auto carrot takes some convincing.

  9. "A small, hardy band..." we sound so intrepid! I like it!

  10. You're still on FaceBook? Really?

    I am interested in this book and hope to win it as I have bought too many books and fabric this month already. lol

    Another book I like is that comment sense one by Roni of WYCWYC fame. (what you can when you can) It isn't as based on the psyche like the one you're giving away and I think she is self published.

    Ok, back to that box of donuts. I think I need that book!!!! lol

  11. I will never so no to a chance at more knowledge and understanding of our emotional systems. Please throw my name in the hat.

  12. "I go around making all kinds of optimistic plans, then don't follow through because I just don't wanna." That is it right there. I can't even begin to explain it. I figure I am just weak willed. Maybe I am just prehistoric!
    I would love a copy of the ebook up here in Canada.

  13. As I was sitting here over-eating when I saw this post... Yes I would like a copy!

  14. OK, this got me to quit lurking after maybe 2 years of subscribing to your blog and finally comment for a chance to get that book.

    Eating is a HUGE issue for me. The whole reason I followed your blog is, I have PCOS, and especially now that I have major complications, I cannot. Stop. Eating. Not ever. So I exercise, and that led me to your post about how to properly use an elliptical, which was terrific enough to convert me to your follower.

    You haven't yet managed to get me to eat less, though. So an equally well-written resource on how to get my hunger under control is beyond welcome!

    1. So sorry about the PCOS and complications Suzanne, what a challenge! And thanks so much for delurking. (And yeah, the eating less thing, why is that so damn hard?)

      Anyway, good luck!!!

  15. It is nice to hear about someone who isn't saying "do it my way and my way only!!!" Since i've won from you before, i will bow out of this one, although i may be buying a copy later and then gifting it to my library.

  16. Sounds intriguing, count me in Cranky! At least I'm out of the kitchen & reading blogs instead of snacking ;-)

  17. Oooooo, I'd love to win a copy please. I live in the UK.

  18. Just saying HI!

    I can get the book on my Kindle under my subscription...I've started reading it and BAM!! The concept of emotion trumping logic is multifacted; I can see how it applies to my youngest son and his constant struggle to stay emotionally balanced, functional, and out of his depression pit.

  19. Ok last attempt as my earlier comments got eaten!
    Please do give me a chance to win a non physical version, I'd love to see the book. Struggling with overeating has been a big part of my life at times.

  20. Oh yes! Overeating - i think about this often! Would love to win the book, read the book, experience a transformation in thinking because of the book. I'm in!

  21. Count me in, please! In Canada too. :-) Thanks!

  22. Interesting. I've always been of the philosophy that getting your food consumption under control is so damn hard because you can't just *quit* eating, right? You *have* to eat (if you want to keep living). (Unlike, say smoking or buying crap you can't afford or going to bad B movies...) So how do you balance what your brain knows you need with what your id tells you it wants (Right now. Like a 2 year old.)? I'd love to read this book and find out (she says while stealthily putting the chocolate bar back in the cabinet)! :)

  23. This book sounds great. I'd love to win it!

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  25. This sounds like an interesting read. I'd be hapy to win an electronic copy. Now to get into the right frame of mind.


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