Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor

Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor

As I mentioned in my post on Tuesday, I have sought the assistance of a medical professional because I've really become exhausted with my disordered relationship to food, my addiction to dieting and my negative body image thoughts/talk.

I would like to mention a young woman who helped point me in this direction; Blair Inniss writes monthly posts for The Book Wheel and one particular post, during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, really helped me to get things moving in a new direction. We commented back and forth with one another, via the blog and Twitter, and I appreciate her candor regarding her own struggles.

Taking in new information related to a sociological and cultural view of food, body image and dieting has been helpful for me as I try to reframe my way of thinking; several podcasts have been recommended to me, as well as a couple of books. The first is Body Respect by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor; both of these women hold advanced degrees in dietetics and Ms. Bacon also holds advanced degrees in psychology and physiology. 

Misinformation about weight is so embedded in our cultural landscape that we all absorb it and it becomes deeply ingrained in us. These ideas are so strongly and commonly held that most of us don’t even recognize them as assumptions. We think they’re “fact.”

When I start to think about the social status that is available to those who are thin, I am often reminded about conversations that I've had with Jonathan, my husband, regarding large individuals. He has never known what it is to be/feel fat, so it's tough for him to reconcile why/how a person becomes/stays fat; we used to have heated discussions during episodes of The Biggest Loser during its early seasons (we quit watching years ago). 

Our culture perpetuates the anti-fat myths that keep people depressed and at war with their own bodies: a war where little battles might be won in the short term with a diet, but then lost overall because those who turn to dieting can rarely maintain long term the look that is the accepted norm - one that is not necessarily the best weight for them. And they feel worse about themselves for their failure.

While absolutely stunning in its simplicity, the concepts presented in Body Respect almost seem too good to be true; again, because I am in a process of recovery. It was, at times, a tough read. I'd like to think that, one of these days, I'll be able to fully embrace these ideas and feel comfortable with my health at any size; right now, there are definitely still moments when I think, "yeah, this sounds great, and I can be happy with my body...as long as I can weigh just a little less." 

Issues with weight regulation often start when we try to take over the process of weight control by aiming to be a certain weight and following food rules to try and reach that weight. This leads to a troubled relationship with food, body (self) hatred, and metabolic responses to inadequate nourishment and stress.

I would highly recommend this book to any reader who is concerned with the "health" and "weight loss" information that is being peddled throughout our society by, quite often, misinformed individuals who are perpetuating the idea that thinner is better. Regardless of whether you, personally, have experienced difficulties in your relationship to food/body image/weight, there is likely someone close to you who has or is currently struggling with this and it might be nice to hold an alternate perspective.

That was way harsh, Tara.

That was way harsh, Tara.

My #WomanUp2016 Reading List

My #WomanUp2016 Reading List