Is it possible to be addicted to food? When does indulging in 'comfort' food become substance abuse? Is it possible that there is more than a lack of will power at work when someone can't stop eating? In Food Junkies, Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell explain what is - and isn't - food addiction, tackling this complex and poorly understood problem through the stories of many survivors and from the perspectives of medical researchers/practitioners. They break down the science behind the research so that anyone can understand it, and take a fresh look at obesity, overeating, binge eating, anorexia and bulimia. For people struggling with these issues — and their families — recognizing the condition is the first step to gaining the kind of support and advice they need.
Food Junkies (finalist in the 2016 Voice Arts Awards) offers hope and guidance. Read by Lisa Bunting, according to one audible customer review, her "calming voice assists with decreasing the shame so often found with addiction and can open the listener up to actually hearing," while another noted the audiobook version "brought the science to life in a different way than the book. It made it even more real as one can't 'skim' or 'rush' through the life-changing content."
Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
NO tattoos. Not my generation! If I wanted a job or success in a career, I could not get tattoos. It is very different now. But, would I have a tattoo now? Nope – the permanency of ink deters me. I also find tattoos are too unattractive when the body ages. I have seen too many people regret them after a few years.
Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
Yes, as a person in my 50s, the last 10 years of my life have been pretty consistent: work, family, house, and chores. All the same. Routine. Boring? Well, it allows for a vivid inner life. Mind you, two years ago I was still writing my book, and this routine life was disrupted.
How long have you been writing?
I started to write as a teenager and into my 20s, but I have found that the writing process is very disruptive for a solid working life. I am a physician and need structure throughout the day and evening. Writing puts a wrench into this. The creative process has no routine and would often rob me of my sleep. I had stopped writing for years for this reason, other than the occasional post, poem, eulogy. I reopened the writing process for my book, and sure enough – it created havoc to my daily life. Like a mother with a mewling newborn baby, I am very glad I did it, but not sure I want to do it again! The book-writing process took about five years to write. Now I am enjoying my recovery from this!
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Be prepared to have a disrupted life, to have your routines take second place. Don’t push creativity away (you can’t!) and keep writing despite its cruel demands. Do lots of walking, sleeping, music, conversation, reading to allow the ‘right brain’, where creativity emerges, guide you?
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
The personal is political. Food calls to everyone, and while some hear the message louder and more compellingly, most of us struggle somewhere, somehow with food. This book will help anyone understand why this is so, why it actually normal to crave food even beyond our self will.
Our current food environment is toxic. I had never expected to become political about this issue. I wanted to speak to those who struggled with eating disorders and weight. Let the advocates speak out against Big Food. But, how could I ignore that our food industry dominates our food choices AND our research, educational and clinical agendas? That it is insidiously making our population sicker as decades past, and dooming our children to shorter sicker lives?
Once we change our diets and see how much better we feel, it behooves us (and me) to challenge our toxic food environment, if for no other reason than to save our children. They are our most vulnerable victims.
Vera Tarman is a medical practitioner who focuses on addictions. She is the medical director of Renascent, an addictions treatment centre. Dr. Tarman conducts workshops and speaking engagements on the science of food addiction and "comfort food" abuse. She has reached audiences across the world. She lives in Toronto.
Phil Werdell is a recovering food addict, a social work clinician, and an educator. He is the primary organizer of the Food Addiction Institute and the International Society of Food Addiction Professionals, and is Director of ACORN’s Professional Training Program. Phil currently teaches Addictions Studies at Springfield College, School of Human Services, Tampa. He lives in Florida.
Lisa Bunting is a stage, screen and voice actor, drama instructor, audition coach, and professional skills development simulator. For Post Hypnotic Press, she has narrated the non-fiction self-help titles The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, The Remarriage Blueprint, Voice Arts Awards-nominated Food Junkies and the forthcoming i-Minds. She was named Best Supporting Actress at LA’s Focus International Film Festival, Winter 2015. She is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity and ACTRA.
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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN gift card.