There’s nothing like reading a book that stirs and moves you, that inspires change. A book that you can relate to, one that has you nodding your head in agreement the entire time you’re reading it. One that makes you want to meet the author and become fast friends.
When you’re feeling fat —which is typically code word for an array of emotions — when you feel your recovery is tenuous, when you want to improve your body image, when you want to read a good, inspiring story, these books can help. I’ve either read these books, will be reading them shortly or have heard wonderful things about them.
What are your favorites?
You’d Be So Pretty If…, by Dara Chadwick, is a great resource for moms, moms-to-be and really anyone with body image issues. Part memoir, part practical guide, this book delves into Chadwick’s own body image issues and offers advice to moms on being a positive role model. Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Dara!
50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, by Susan Albers, Psy.D, explains why we emotionally overeat and how we can curb it. I just purchased this book, and it offers a wealth of great advice. Other valuable books by Albers include: Eat, Drink and Be Mindful:How to End Your Struggle with Mindless Eating and Start Savoring Food with Intention and Joy and Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food. I’ll be featuring an interview with her, too.
Goodbye ED, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life, by Jenni Schaefer. An amazing eating disorder advocate, Schaefer has written an honest, hopeful book that talks about her own recovery, focuses on enjoying life and gives readers the tools to help them with theirs.
Another book I’ve heard great things about is Schaefer’s first book, Life Without ED: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too.
Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon, Ph.D. Think everyone can (and should) be skinny if they just work hard enough at eating right and working out? Bacon debunks many myths about weight using today’s science and offers practical advice. I’ll also be interviewing her in January for Weightless. A lot of great interviews planned, for sure!
100 Questions & Answers about Anorexia Nervosa, by Sari Shepphird, Ph.D.
Here, Shepphird, who has over 20 years working with individuals with eating disorders, offers a complete, straightforward guide about anorexia and debunks many pervasive myths. Whether you’d like to find out more about anorexia or have a loved one with the illness, this is a great read. I’ve interviewed Shepphird before about eating disorders and her book here and here.
Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently , by Sarah Maria, lays out an inspiring, spiritual guide to overcoming poor body image. Sarah Maria talked to me about her book and building a healthy body image here and here.
Feed Me: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight and Body Image, edited by Harriet Brown, consists of a collection of beautiful, heartbreaking (and so relatable!) essays by great female writers, including Magali Amadei of the blog 5 Resolutions, who writes about her bulimia, and Kate Harding of Shapely Prose. This one is on my to-read list!
Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? , by Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei, is a body image guide for moms and moms-to-be. Today, many women are terrified about how their bodies will look during and after pregnancy, and our culture happily fuels these insecurities, promoting an insidious pressure. I’ve heard great things about this book, which surveyed over 400 women.
This Is Who I am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes, photographed by Rosanne Olson, is a beautiful collection of photos of women of all ages, shapes and cultures. Each picture is accompanied by a story, told by the woman portrayed.
Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop by Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D. The Director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina, Bulik has extensive experience in treating eating disorders, including binge eating disorder. In her book, Bulik discusses why individuals binge eat and gives us the tools and techniques to stop.
Again, I’d love to hear about your favorites below. What books have inspired you?
Also, if you have any questions for the authors I’ll be interviewing, let me know below. Just leave your questions in the comments or send me an email at [email protected]