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!