My mom has a picture of me hanging out on the floor with a huge pile of books besides me when I was only 4 or 5. I've always been mesmerized by books, and whenever the newest Harry Potter book came out, I'd disappear for a few days. I still can't get enough of books. I have an unbelievable craving for knowledge, and my favorite thing to do is to read with my legs up the wall at night. Reading has exposed me to new ideas and completely different perspectives. Books have opened up my mind to ideas I would have never considered before, and along with journaling, I'm able to find quite a bit of insight on myself and life lessons.
I always recommend a handful of books to clients, and these books are ones I've read to change my relationship with food and my body. They are quite different from the usual diet or health book out there and cover the topics those books seem to leave out. You know, those mindset switches for health, why dieting doesn't work, why to look beyond weight, and why your food struggles are a sign of a deeper problem.
Of course, I want to share them with you too!
If you want to free yourself from the diet mentality...
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch*
The book that started it all. In college, I was taught that weight loss occurred on calorie counting, portion-controlled diet plans. I hated that idea, and it bored me just thinking about teaching women how to measure portion sizes and manage willpower. Instead, I read Intuitive Eating and ended up changing my entire relationship with food. It started me on a path of self-love and nourishing my body out of love, not fear.
The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating will guide you gently along your path. Embrace them fully by rejecting the diet mentality and giving yourself unconditional permission to eat. It will guide you back to your natural state and how you ate as a child. That is, with pleasure and by listening to your body (without even thinking about it). The freedom you'll find from intuitive eating is incredible.
If you want to learn the truth about the connection between health + weight...
Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon, PhD
I just read this a few months ago after learning about Health at Every Size a few years ago. This is an area that desperately needs attention. Most health-care providers promote weight loss as the ultimate goal and key to health. While weight loss may naturally happen when you start to nourish the body, move more, and live well, it doesn't always happen. It doesn't even matter.
Your weight will naturally fluctuate, and your body has a set-point weight within 10-20 pounds that it likes to stay within. This truly means it is possible to be healthy at every shape and size, considering that health is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When you stop trying to control what is simply a number on a scale, you can focus on feeling well. You can develop healthy habits because you respect your body and love yourself.
If you want to discover + satisfy your true hungers in life...
Woman, Food, & God by Geneen Roth
I swoon over Geneen Roth's every word. The way she links weight and food to our true hungers and needs in life is incredible. She brilliantly puts into words what it's like to never feel truly full, even after binging, because emotional needs are unfulfilled. Many women really resist these ideas because it's much easier to try to fix your problems physically by changing your diet or exercise.
The change happens when you look below your food and weight struggles at the real problem. When you accept that you may be binging because your relationships leave you unsatisfied and lonely, you can address that. Food is just a substitute to feel better, but looking with love at the real struggles will help you realize that you no longer need food to fill you up emotionally.
Go ahead, and pick up one of these books. Dig in. Take time to read them, or breeze through them. I know the feeling. While reading these, I had moments where I never wanted to stop reading along with times where I needed to really take it in.
I'd love to know in the comments below:
- What are your favorite books about healing your relationship with food and your body? Let's create a list below!
- Have you read any of these books?