These 15 Body-Positive Books Could Help Transform Your Relationship With Your Body
When seeking to change our lives for the better, we often turn to books. If your journey to empowerment includes improving your relationship with food and your body, we've selected 15 reads that are all about about encouraging us to look at our bodies in a new way and stop obsessing over everything we eat. They're written by experts in the field, or inspiring women who've been on the journey themselves and want to share their experiences with the world.
Our picks cover body positivity, health at every size, intuitive eating, and how to eat the best way for you when you don't want to follow a diet. Add your favorites from our list to your 2019 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, and keep the good vibes going by dipping into three body positive Instagram accounts that aim to encourage self-love and acceptance.
The Intuitive Eating Workbook
Get a practical guide to achieving a new way of looking at food with The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food ($17) by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It offers an evidence-based model to help readers pay attention to cues of hunger and satisfaction and cultivate their body-mind connection.
The Goddess Revolution
The Goddess Revolution: Make Peace with Food, Love Your Body and Reclaim Your Life ($11) is by Mel Wells, a former model and actress who created a unique method to transform her relationship with food. This book is full of the techniques she uses to achieve a healthy, satisfying, guilt-free relationship with her body, minus strict regimes and diets.
Body Positive Power
Megan Jayne Crabbe has documented her recovery from anorexia and her championing of body positivity on her inspiring Instagram account @bodyposipanda, and now she's brought her advice to book form with Body Positive Power: How to Stop Dieting, Make Peace With Your Body and Live ($15). She argues for a new way of seeing ourselves and celebrating our bodies, without diets and the cult of thin.
Remember Ruby Tandoh from The Great British Bake Off? She's gone on to enjoy a successful career as a food writer, and in Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want ($17), she encourages everyone to celebrate the pleasure of food. She has spoken about her struggles with eating disorders and fosters a more positive attitude toward food in her writing. In this book, Ruby provides an alternative to fad diets and food crazes with recipe ideas, advice, and eating inspiration.
Just Eat It
In Just Eat It: How Intuitive Eating Can Help You Get Your Sh*t Together Around Food ($16), registered nutritionist Laura Thomas — a qualified practitioner of the Intuitive Eating method — provides an anti-diet guide on how to enjoy food on your own terms. She offers practical tools, exercises, and techniques to help you develop a healthy relationship with your body.
The Body Is Not an Apology
Activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor puts forward her theory for our relationship with ourselves in The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love ($12). In it, she explores how systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and invites us to reconnect with our minds and bodies. In rejecting the systems that perpetuate body shame, we can spread the word on how to celebrate our collective strength.
In Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food ($12), Jan Chozen Bays shows us how to tune into our body's own wisdom about what, when, and how much to eat. In this revised version, updated with fresh insights she's garnered over the past 10 years, Jan provides the tools to identify our habits and patterns with food and develop a more compassionate attitude toward ourselves.
The No Need To Diet Book
Nutritionist Pixie Turner gained a cult following with her Plantbased Pixie blog and social media accounts, and in her second book, The No Need To Diet Book: Become a Diet Rebel and Make Friends with Food ($19), she explores subjects like emotional eating, orthorexia, fitspo and body image and why weight is a poor proxy for health. She provides opportunities for self-assessment throughout the book, with tips at the end on how to work on each area.
Health At Every Size
Linda Bacon's revised and updated Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight ($12) shows you how to tune in to your body's expert guidance and eat what you want, when you want, to help you feel good. Her book has been scientifically proven to boost health and self-esteem, with the program evaluated in a government-funded academic study.
Eat It Anyway
In Eat It Anyway: Fight the Food Fads, Beat Anxiety and Eat in Peace ($13), Eve Simmons and Laura Dennison share their own experiences of eating disorders, offering tips and coping mechanisms to help you remove any anxiety linked to food. Their book includes recipes, ways to love food again, and expert commentary that debunks healthy eating myths.
Big Fit Girl
Louise Green shares her own story of how she stopped dieting and unleashed her inner athlete in Big Fit Girl: Embrace the Body You Have ($12), inspiring others to do the same. She describes how the fitness industry fails to meet everyone's needs and offers research-based advice on how to start exercising and how to improve your relationship with food.
Am I Ugly?
Body positive activist and body confidence coach Michelle Elman aims to liberate everyone from unrealistic aesthetic standards and broaden the definition of beauty through her Instagram accounts @scarrednotscared and @bodypositivememes. In Am I Ugly? One Woman's Journey to Body Positivity ($18), she tells her own story. The memoir recounts her childhood experiences of health problems and 15 complex surgeries that left her scarred, mentally and physically, and follows her journey to health and positivity.
The F*ck It Diet
In The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy ($18), Caroline Dooner presents the flaws of dieting and diet culture and offers you a different path to heal your relationship with food. Put simply, the anti-diet is eat whatever you want and trust your body knows what it's doing.
Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls
Body positive activist Jes Baker is known for The Militant Baker blog, and Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living ($12) is her manifesto and call to arms for people everywhere to embrace a body positive worldview, rejecting fat prejudice and fighting body shaming. She shares her personal experiences alongside notable guest essayists.
Break Up With Your Diet
Break Up With Your Diet! A 21-Day Workbook and Journal for Intuitive Eating ($9) by Gillian Elizabeth takes you on a three-week journey that rejects calorie-counting and leads you to a healthy and positive relationship with food. There's a daily reading and activity, with journal pages for food logs and exercises to help you embrace your own hunger and fullness levels.