Recommended Reading

Just diving into the anti-diet world and need some guidance? We've curated a list of books that are worth your time and money.

Happy Fat by Sofie Hagen

Happy Fat is an emotional reflection and critique of our restrictive culture and society that demands we dislike ourselves. I listened to this book which is narrated by the author themself. Sophie’s anger, frustration and dedication to do this work is so very clear.

This book will make you laugh but will also stir up a lot of anger – an essential feeling to feel when healing!

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Health At Every Size by Lindo Bacon

The HAES framework is firmly established within the anti-diet movement and it has played a big part in helping the movement gain momentum and attention. This book was a sigh of relief for me as it backs up the concepts by clearly illustrating the science behind why diets don’t work.

If only we could ensure that every healthcare professional read this book...  Thank you, Lindo.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker

Jes Baker rightly coins this book as a handbook or unapologetic living.

This book is a call for women to respect their body, celebrate it and fight against fatphobia. Jes highlights that embracing and accepting your body improves your mental health and promotes change in wider public perceptions.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf was a former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton. She is a leading spokeswoman and an instrumental figure in the feminst movement.

This book is the origin of this well shared, thought provoking quote: “A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison

I consider this book to be a great ‘textbook’ on dieting and why diets don’t work.

Christy Harrison starts out with a detailed history of how and why dieting was introduced. She refers to dieting as the ‘life thief’ throughout the book and will provide you with an alternative to diet culture – intuitive eating!

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk explores the notion of trauma and its effects on the body.  “Trauma is not the story of something that happened back then," he says, "It's the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear living inside people.”

Trauma can take many forms so traumatic experiences associated with diet culture, a negative relationship with your body or the constant binge/restrict cycle may all require healing from.  This book provides wider and important reading to consider around this topic.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies

This book challenges the stereotype of a feminist (a negative and derogative image created by the patriarchy in order to keep females from following the movement). 

Scarlett Curtis invited a wide range of wonderful women to share what feminism means to them.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Notes On A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Notes on a Nervous Planet is a detailed exploration of how modern life is actively both contributing and engineered towards a decreased sense of self and provoking symptoms such as anxiety. In particular, Matt Haig refers to the role of social media and how this can impact upon, for example, body image dissatisfaction.

This is a great book to provide wider context to the anti-diet/fatphobic systems we find ourselves in.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Just Eat It by Laura Thomas

Just Eat It is an essential book for your library, that assists in learning how to reframe your relationship with your body and food.

The book focusses on the Intuitive Eating principles and does a really good job at providing reflective interventions that promote further exploration and growth.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Fearing The Black Body by Sabrina Strings

This book explores the historical development of fatphobic ideologies that were developed in Western, white, patriarchal systems of oppression. Sabrina Strings chronologically charts how these white oppressive systems developed ideals of race and beauty that were simply not inclusive for people of colour.

The fear of fatness did not arise due to health concerns. Fatness was demonised due to its association with being immoral and inferior and its connection with people of colour.

We encourage you to read this book and educate yourself on the racist origin of fatphobia.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

This is the original Intuitive Eating book, written by Evelyn Tribole and one of my clinical supervisors - Elyse Resch.

They share the Intuitive Eating framework that provides an alternative to dieting and an important aspect of this multifaceted work where you are beginning to repair your relationship with your body and food.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

This book focusses on Megan’s first-hand accounts of freeing herself of self-hatred and obsessive behaviours around food and exercise.

I listened to this book on Audible first before buying a hard copy to use as a reference. Megan’s passion and commitment to this work is so clear, and the Audible version really helped to bring that to life.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

This book is incredible. It isn’t meant to be a nice, easy read. Instead, Sonya encourages us to get uncomfortable and think about the systems of oppression which provoke shame and supress our self-worth.

This book was very influential in my decision to do this work beyond the therapy room, as Sonya stresses the importance of doing this work and then sharing this work.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Fat Is A Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach

This is the first book I ever read on this topic, and I therefore consider it the catalyst for starting the process of healing my relationship with my body.

Susie encourages the reader to understand the systems of oppression surrounding the role of women in a Westernised society.

Her reflections as a female psychotherapist were first shared in 1978 and remain just as relevant today. 

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This is one of my favourite books of all time, and I don't say that lightly. 

Glennon shares her intimate memoirs as a woman in a society that requires her to follow the rules, play nice and shrink parts of herself (including her body) to fit in and be loved.

The story is about returning to ourselves, to our wild and becoming untamed. Please, just read it!

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert

This book explores how our minds have neurologically developed to be quick to react to perceived threats. If, for example, we consider, any deviation from the westernised beauty ideal as a ‘threat’ to our sense of self and to our acceptance in society then it becomes easier to identify how continuous bombardment of these perceived threats can lead to anxiety and/or low mood. Developing kindness and compassion for ourselves and others can help in calming down the physiological threat system and can act as a protective mechanism against the harm caused by the diet industry.

Paul Gilbert does not directly refer to the diet/beauty industry in this book, but I have used his teachings to inform my Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) interventions with clients. It’s a good book to read to provide a broader basis for interpretation of the work required to heal from diet culture.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Rising Strong by Brené Brown

In order to achieve whole-hearted living we must first be willing to be seen, be willing to be vulnerable and be willing to fail.

This book provides a framework for change (the reckoning, the rumble and the resolution) and Brené Brown provokes (as always) so much heart felt reflection in the reader.

Reading her books is in itself a form of therapeutic intervention and these books very much align with the framework I work within in my therapy practice.

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.

Fattily Ever After by Stephanie Yeboah

 

In her debut book, Stephanie shares her experience and the lessons she's learned living as a Fat Black woman. 

She shares how she has managed to reach a place of body acceptance when society has continually told her she is not good enough. 

We recommend looking for this book at your local bookshop, but here is the link to purchase it on Amazon just in case.