Below are some of my favorite books that can help you develop a healthy relationship with food and your body. They’ll help you learn to give up dieting for good, tune into your body’s individual needs/wants and discover YOUR own definition of health!
These books have all had a MAJOR impact on my perspective on health (and my physical health for that matter). They have allowed me to understand that I am the only expert on MY health, just as YOU are the only expert on YOUR health. The one size fits all approach that diet culture takes is incredibly misleading and can actually put your health and well-being at risk. Our needs are highly specific to us as individuals and even change from moment to moment. This is why it’s important to listen to and trust your own body’s innate wisdom. By letting go of control, we are able to approach health from a place of self-care and compassion.
1. Intuitive Eating
When I first started reading this book, the concept immediately clicked. I was so attracted to the idea of freeing myself from trying to control my food and body. I was like “wow this is great, I don’t have to think about my food and body all the time? Yasssss, this is really going to free up a lot of mental space for stuff that actually matters”. I was so excited that this book could help me develop a healthy relationship with food and my body but also resistant because I knew it would take a lot of work.
I am serious when I say my life starting changing the day I picked up this book. It really provides the foundation for understanding what intuitive eating is and how to practice it. Intuitive Eating is listening to your body to guide your food and movement choices. You’ll learn how to follow the 10 intuitive eating principles such as rejecting the diet mentality and honoring your hunger. These principles ultimately guide you to have a healthy relationship with food and your body. It’s seriously a game changer for anyone who’s ready to give up dieting for good and make peace with food and their body.
2. Health at Every Size
The Health at Every Size (HAES) website says it best:
“Health at Every Size principles help us advance social justice, create an inclusive and respectful community, and support people of all sizes in finding compassionate ways to take care of themselves”.
This book will make you reconsider everything you’ve been told about health and weight. It’s an incredibly eye-opening, new way of thinking about health. Health at every size is about listening to your body, eating what you want and when you want and choosing pleasurable foods that make you feel good. This approach has been scientifically proven to improve health and self-esteem. Once you read the book, it’s easy to understand why!
3. Body Respect
This book is AMAZING. It gets into the compelling science behind why thinness does not equal health, why BMI is not an accurate measure of health and why dieting will not improve your health (and instead may harm you). They talk about how our prejudices toward people in larger bodies creates a culture where scientists publish findings that do not support their conclusions, doctors recommend interventions that do not result in long term health improvement and people who do not meet the ridiculous body standards in our culture are deemed to be lazy and ignorant of their health.
Our culture is obsessed with weight which has led to a host of negative health and social justice issues. They propose a weight neutral approach to health. Which means honoring body diversity, self-acceptance and self-love accompanied by paying attention to lovingly feeding and moving our bodies. This kind of approach will allow you to develop a healthy relationship with food and your body.
This one is unique in that it’s actually a guided journal; not just a book. There’s 365 exercises to do daily (not all of them require you to write) to help you find radical self-acceptance. My favorite exercise was this one:
“Reflect on what you pay attention to, what you give priority, and what you put your energy into on any given day. If we are what we pay attention to, are you comfortable with this reflection of you? If not, how can you adjust your energies to more accurately reflect who you are at your core?”.
Imagine how much freed up energy you will have if you let go of constantly thinking about your body!
I hope you love these books as much as me. Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
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If you want additional one on one support, I’d love to do a FREE initial health consultation with you. You’ll have the opportunity to talk about your life, what you’ve always dreamed of, and the goals you’d like to accomplish for your health. To get a sense of what it feels like to have more support in your life. You’ll also learn how to reach those goals by working with me in my health coaching program.