Holy slackarse, Batman. I was digging around in the archives looking for an old post when I noticed I'd said last September that I would write a post "later in the week" about the books that had helped me with my mindful eating/living experiments.
Rather than faffing around for another eleven months I thought I'd jot down a few of them RIGHT NOW. Action woman! Kapow!
|When You Eat At The Refrigerator, Pull Up A Chair by Geneen Roth
A good Gateway to Geneen book. I read her mega famous Oprah-blessed Women, Food And God but the writing style didn't gel with me as much as this one. Refrigerator consists of short essays written with humour and straight-to-the-guts-ness. There's a nice mix of insight and practical ideas. I was chuckling throughout, "Geneen you crazy cat! I do that shit too!". I went a little crazy with my yellow highlighter pen.
"If you start eating when you are not physically hungry, it is very difficult to stop when you've had enough. It is like pouring water into an already full glass. There's no space for the food to fill."
This book is a follow-up to another Albers book with an equally unwieldy subtitle, Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food. I skipped straight to this one as it's a workbook full of quizzes and practical exercises and I really love writing inside books. With pen! Naughty naughty.
Seriously, I enjoyed Eating Mindfully. It's practical and the exercises ask some very insightful questions. And just when you're feeling rather raw and vulnerable having learned a lot about why you go crazy with the chocolate, there are practical steps to help you move forward, from setting up your environment, mindful shopping and how to let go of old habits.
Beyond Chocolate: How to stop yo-yo dieting and lose weight for good by Sophie Boss & Audrey Boss
I mentioned Beyond Chocolate during the 10th Birthday Sell Out earlier this year. Here's what I said:
"… I like that Beyond Chocolate is not written by doctors or scientists. It's about two ordinary women who got fed up with dieting, worked to find a new way of eating without going bonkers, then shared their learnings with others. The book has a good balance of "the deep stuff" and practical tools and information, to make the book both useful and enlightening.
What I like most is that Beyond Chocolate stresses the importance of "being your own guru" – that you can have all the information in the world but only you know what is best for you and your body. They don't pretend to have all the answers for you, just tools and ideas to get your started on your own path. At first that can be a scary concept – especially if you've been following other people's diet rules all your life. But it's so empowering when to realise (re-realise, in my case) that you know yourself better than anyone else, and treating yourself with kindness and respect gets far better results than punishment and deprivation."
|Feed Me!: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image edited by Harriet Brown
This collection of essays offers a great variety of perspectives – women of diverse sizes, cultures, backgrounds and ages. There's some fantastic raw and honest writing; I particularly liked the essays by Wendy McClure, Kate Harding and Joyce Maynard – you can read her essay Pie online. The book left me thinking, Dang, we all got issues. That might sound a depressing thought but it was kinda reassuring and I felt more peace and perspective on my own body image niggles. Thanks again Nikki for kindly sending this book!
|The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
Brené Brown is a research professor who has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. I'd watched her TED talk (a great place to start to see what Brené is all about) but I didn't order the book until Jen of Perfect in Our Imperfections wrote about it. Jen is my personal barometer of good things, you see 🙂
It took me three months to finish the book. At first I thought, "I'm cool with me these days, I don't feel unworthy and I'm no perfectionist!". But one phrase in the book kept singing out: hustling for worthiness. To quote from her DVD of the same title: "If we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and have to hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving."
The Four P's of the human doormat! Anyway… I think I'm still digesting this book, but parts of it really resonated. I've since noticed since that so many times when I reach for food it's triggered from uncomfortable feelings of shame or unworthiness. It's been very helpful to recognise that. Interesting stuff!
So there's a wee sample of books that have got my rusty brain cogs working! Note: As always the book links are Amazon.com affiliate links. I make a small commission from any sales made via the links. As a non-US resident I am rewarded in Amazon.com gift vouchers, and have use them to support my workout DVD and almond butter habits. A huge thanks to everyone who has purchased via these links over the years 🙂