9 Body-Positive Books You Need to Read BEFORE You Diet
We’re pretty well into the new year now, so if you’re still dragging your feet on that “feel healthier” New Year’s resolution, chances are you might need a little inspiration. But where to turn? Most major fitness and health reads, blogs and magazines tend to come with a side order of body shaming, and not only is it discouraging, but body shaming is downright unhealthy. But don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Scroll through and add some of these body-positive books to your to-read list.
1. The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts by Hanne Blank ($18): We love how cheeky this title is. This “proud fat girl and personal trainer” covers everything from physical roadblocks in traditional exercise to where to find super-cute plus-size workout gear.
2. The Body Book by Cameron Diaz ($26): Okay, so Cameron Diaz doesn’t exactly have an non-mainstream body type. But this one’s definitely different from other celeb health and fitness books. The emphasis isn’t on losing weight, but rather loving your body. Instead of 30-day quick fixes, this one shows us a long-term path to “strong, happy, healthy life.”
3. Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery and Loving Your Body by Melanie Klein ($18): Yoga is one of the best types of exercise for body-positivity. It’s rarely about losing weight or changing the way your body looks — the focus is always how you feel in your own body. That’s what makes these 25 testimonials (including one from Alanis Morissette!) so powerful.
4. Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon ($15): As this book proclaims, “Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem.” PREACH!
5. Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship With Food by Susan Elbers ($17): Okay, so this one might sound like it’s just about ending snacking, but really, it’s about ending what the author says are all types of mindless eating: everything from calorie restricting to eating when we’re not hungry. The end result is a healthier relationship with food, so that you can appreciate it for what it is: a nutritional and delicious necessity of life.
6. No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness by Michelle Segar ($17): Traditional (aka body-shaming) fitness guides tend to emphasize motivation for motivation’s sake. In other words, if you don’t want to go to the gym, you’re the problem. This one takes a different route, encouraging you to find a way you actually like to sweat, instead of just forcing yourself onto that elliptical and hoping for the best.
7. Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce With Your Body by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby ($15): These super popular bloggers and activists take us on a journey of “accepting that diets don’t work, practicing intuitive eating, finding body-positive doctors, not judging other women and finding a hobby that has nothing to do with one’s weight.” Provocative and powerful, this book deserves a spot on your shelf.
8. Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Can Get Wrong, Leave Out and Just Plain Fail to Understand About Weight by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor ($15): This one breaks down why exactly the world’s supposed obesity epidemic is… well, not a thing. Less of a guide and more of an educational experience, this one will help you understand the importance of body positivity.
9. Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller ($15): Here’s a badass, unapologetic account of how one woman decided to reject body shaming and embrace her natural shape. She worked with an intuitive eating coach and a trainer to figure out what made her feel healthiest. Follow along and snag some tips for yourself.
Are you trying to get healthy while dodging body-shaming? Tweet us at @BritandCo with which of our book picks is at the top of your reading list!