A few mentions to books helpful for persons struggling with body image that will prove helpful:
As a quick add on from 2015 I would like to bring this resource page to the top of the list; I think you will understand why when you click in and especially if you are a parent.
Regaining Your Self; Understanding and Conquering the eating Disorder Identity by Ira M. Sacker, MD
This book is a must read, in my opinion for anyone struggling with a disordered body identity and this need not mean that you have an eating disorder. I would estimate this to mean MOST women in our modern society and this pains me as in my eyes EVERY woman is beautiful. Also, you need not be female to struggle with body image and disordered eating.
”Most people with eating disorders pick up on things that get a lot of approval from the outside world, rigidly channelling themselves into activities that look good, rather than those that feel good to them. They learn how to perform so as to get the maximum amount of recognition from others, rather than satisfy themselves. Seen from the outside, these people start out as great children and grow up to be competent adults. Their lives are highly successful, filled with accomplishment and praise. Inside, however, they feel a constant, anxious refrain: I’m not good enough………..
Many of my patients appear to be happy achievers, but it’s a façade. Internally, their psyche – which is just another way of saying their soul or personality – is actually quite fragile and unconsolidated. To put it another way, they simply don’t know who they are…………they are trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and an inability to set goals unrelated to the disorder. Their lives are on hold, with little accomplishment.”
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normality of Hating Your Body, by Courtney Martin.
Based on extensive research and in-depth interviews with women from various socio-economic backgrounds, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters lays bare a stark new world culture of eating disorders, food and body issues that affect virtually all of today’s women. Though eating disorders first came to be recognised about 25 years ago, Martin’s book shows how the issues surrounding body image have only become more complex, more dangerous and more difficult to treat. The current ‘epidemic’ of obesity is simply the flip side of the same coin. Drawing from interviews with sufferers, psychologists, nutritionists, and other experts, Courtney Martin’s book reveals a whole new generation of ‘perfect girls’ who have been conditioned from a young age to over-achieve, self-sacrifice, and hate their own bodies – this, despite being raised by a generation of mothers well-versed in the lessons of feminism. Filled with vivid and often heart-breaking personal stories, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters is both a shocking expos and call to arms, offering hope for a new beginning, one young girl at a time.
This book blew me away so much that I wrote to Courtney to thank her for creating this book. I believe every Mum and her daughter should read this book. Courtney blessed me with the following reply:
“Dearest Andrea, Thank you so much for this incredibly touching and beautiful email. I do feel like I know you, and I love what I know. Good luck in your continued journey. It is sort of mind-blowing to think how amazing our lives can be if we just truly internalise our own wisdom, isn’t it? The book, in so many ways, was my effort to teach myself what I already know. I’m just so honoured it meant something to you. Take care, Courtney.”
Susie Orbach On Eating
“There are many reasons why people eat more than their bodies need. Some of these have to do with the ideas that we have about body size. Most of us believe that we will be happier if we are thinner. That message constantly bombards us. So we try to change our bodies to be thinner. That’s usually how we get in trouble with food in the first place. We ignore our stomach hunger and try to know better than our bodies how much and when we should be eating”.
Then our mouths and mind rebel. We get bigger rather than smaller. If we are dieting we only stay smaller through excessive rules and regulations. But dieting actually makes you fatter because it interrupts your bodies natural signals and slows down your metabolism.
When you do start to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full after years of being on one scheme or another, you will most likely go down a size or several sizes.”
Weight Loss for the Mind, by Stuart Wilde
“Don’t forget, the way people perceive you is clouded by their own program and what is often an extreme lack of perception. They see you in whatever terms benefit and confirm their opinion. How you actually are is mostly a secret. It lies deep within your spiritual self and often is not seen by others. Cling to that reality, and never mind what people think. Trying to win the approval of others by doing a goody-goody routine is often just a carry-over from the child within who seeks parental acceptance. It’s not necessary for a mature adult.
Worrying about what people think disempowers your values. It places control in their opinions and their reactions. Let people think what they like. They will anyway.”
Cure Your Eating Disorder, 5 step program to change your brain, by Dr Irina Webster
This book is exceptional, however I cannot recommend enough visiting the webpage and downloading the affirmations as here: http://www.anorexia-cure.com/anorexia-cure/index.htm
Please note, that the root of some eating disorders can be past life traumas and patterns running from this trauma, and this is why I highly recommend working with a therapist open to all realms of possibility when assessing cause and treatment.
THE BECK DIET SOLUTION: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person by Judith S. Beck
The Body Fat Solution: Five Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscles, Ending Emotional Eating, and Maintaining, by Tom Venuto
The Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to be Perfect
Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome, a step by step guide to breaking the cycle. Kelly Allison, Albert Stunkard, Sara Thier.
Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e): Survival Kit for Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorders, by Ulrike Schmidt (Author), et al
Overcoming Bulimia Workbook: Your Comprehensive, Step-by-Step Guide to Recovery (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook), by Randi E. McCabe (Author), et al
Mindful and Mindless Eating: Guided Meditations to Become Lighter with Food
EFT Night eating