Book Recommendations for Eating Disorder Recovery

What Goes Down: The End of an Eating Disorder

by Callie Bowld

A shockingly honest, humorous, and powerful story of a woman’s twenty-year struggle with anorexia, binge-eating, and bulimia that offers a comedic “been there” voice to help others recover. “I’m starving! Let’s pop in here and get a burger,” your friend says to you, which immediately makes her no longer your friend, because, unbeknownst to her, you have an eating disorder. You can’t just eat. A burger. What goes down, in a disorderly mind? A burger, are you insane? Do you know how many grams of fat are in there? How many grams of fat are in there? And it comes on a bun. Bread?! Please! Why don’t they make those lettuce-wrapped knockoffs anymore? Does the bathroom there lock? Crap, no! Maybe just a few fries. Mostly with ketchup. Ketchup’s a vegetable, right? Why’s this gotta be so hard?! It doesn’t. But if you want to beat it, it can be just a little absurdly funny. Humor is seductive that way. While a sad skinny you—clutching a bowl of tears, blood, and vomit—is in no way funny (or seductive for that matter) my guess is if you’ve heard this mental soundtrack before it’s because you, too, have an eating disorder that either has or will soon become full-blown bulimia. I’ll bet you’re also a high-performing, Type A person who hides stress well and has a lot of responsibility—corporate, domestic, dangerous, lucrative, or otherwise. Part of the reason you to got to that point is because you’re incredibly hard on yourself. It is also the reason you’re a little too good at being bulimic. But is it doing anything for you? Are you impressing anyone with your iron will and disgusting, unproductive routine? No. It’s like volunteering to be Sisyphus but without arms. “I’ll push the rock with my face and teeth, thank you.” Because that’s what you’re doing. I hope something shifted in your brain just then and you finally saw (as I did, after twenty long years) that starving, stuffing, and punishing your body in an effort to try to look and feel good is just that: a joke. My goal is to expose the disease—its roots and progression, its pervasiveness, and its preposterous yet exceptionally-stubborn justifications—and give you the long-overdue perspective you need to overcome it, too. So, let’s dig in. I need a big Tupperware tub and a spoon. You? What … too soon?

Understanding Teen Eating Disorders: Earning Signs, Treatment Options, and Stories of Courage

by Cris Haltom, Cathie Simpson, and Mary Tantillo

Understanding Teen Eating Disorders introduces readers to common teen eating disorder scenarios, their warning signs, and treatment options. Each chapter examines a teen or tween and brings the factors, whether they be environmental, genetic, co-existing conditions, etc. that contribute to his or her eating disorder, to life, while seamlessly integrating the latest research in gene inheritance, brain chemistry, and eating disorders in accessible, reader-friendly language. Each chapter provides treatment options, including outpatient, group therapy, and in-patient programs, for both the young person and the family. Each also ends with a Q & A section that reflects the concerns a parent, loved one, or treatment professional may have.

Tales of a Bulimic Babe

by Iris Ruth Pastor

“Tales of a Bulimic Babe” is about a woman who apparently “has it all”—a happy marriage, five well-adjusted sons, a stimulating career, lots of friends and extended family. But what Iris Ruth Pastor kept hidden from them all was her addiction to a “lover” she called ED—her eating disorder. This is the story of her shedding that secret, facing and owning her addiction, and taking courageous steps to break free of the disorder that ruled her entire life. How did she tame the triggers that led to bingeing and purging? Deal with the ravenous monster within? And navigate the road back to a healthier, happier and more fully engaged life? If you’ve ever grappled with something that prevents you from operating at full throttle, Iris’s brutally honest yet witty and inspirational story answers the tough questions, while reminding us that the possibility of recovery is within our reach. “In this honest, insightful and inspiring book, Iris Ruth Pastor shares her story of recovery from a decades-long battle with bulimia. She brings a poignant and relatable honesty to this memoir, using both wisdom and humor to bring readers on the journey from despair to healing. This is a must-read for anyone who struggles with an eating disorder, or knows someone who does; by sharing her experience, Iris offers insight, understanding and hope.”

Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite

by Frank Bruni

Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and always hungry. His relationship with eating was difficult and his struggle with it began early. When named the restaurant critic for The New York Times in 2004, he knew he would be performing one of the most watched tasks in the epicurean universe. And with food his friend and enemy both, his jitters focused primarily on whether he’d finally made some sense of that relationship. A captivating story of his unpredictable journalistic odyssey as well as his lifelong love-hate affair with food, Born Round will speak to everyone who’s ever had to rein in an appetite to avoid letting out a waistband.

Shattered Image: My Triumph over Body Dysmorphic Disorder

by Brian Cuban  

Brian Cuban is a successful lawyer, activist and TV host is living with an enemy that haunted him for over 30 years – his own reflection in the mirror.  Through a series of very personal, witty and poignant anecdotes, the younger brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban opens up about his personal battle with a mental disorder known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in which the sufferer is preoccupied with a distorted sense of self-image and is often afflicted with eating disorders, depression and addiction. In the book, Cuban illustrates the ongoing nightmare of (BDD) that has permeated his thoughts since childhood, taking the reader through the painful journey of childhood bullying over his weight, rejection and the behaviors that slowly developed as a young adult which took him into the abyss of depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, steroid abuse and eating disorders, nearly causing him to take his own life at the age of 44.

How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia

by Kelsey Osgood 

She devoured their memoirs and magazine articles, committing the most salacious details of their cautionary tales to memory–how little they ate, their lowest weights, and their merciless exercise regimes–to learn what it would take to be the very best anorectic. When she was hospitalized for anorexia at fifteen, she found herself in an existential wormhole: how can one suffer from something one has actively sought out? Through her own decade-long battle with anorexia, which included three lengthy hospitalizations, Osgood harrowingly describes the haunting and competitive world of inpatient facilities populated with other adolescents, some as young as ten years old. With attuned storytelling and unflinching introspection, Kelsey Osgood unpacks the modern myths of anorexia, examining the cult-like underbelly of eating disorders in the young, as she chronicles her own rehabilitation. How to Disappear Completely is a brave, candid and emotionally wrenching memoir that explores the physical, internal, and social ramifications of eating disorders and subverts many of the popularly held notions of the illness and, most hopefully, the path to recovery.

It Was Me All Along: A Memoir

by Andie Mitchell 

All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake. It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.

This Mean Disease: Growing Up in the Shadow of my Mom’s Anorexia Nervosa

by Daniel Becker 

In the first book written by the child of someone who died from an eating disorder, Daniel Becker shows us the heartbreaking details of his mother’s anorexia nervosa—her unrelenting obsession with food and her inability to nourish herself. His earliest memory of her is watching as she packs her suitcase for the first of numerous hospitalizations. From the observations of that confused child to his realization of helplessness as an adult, Daniel conveys the inner world of an anorectic and her family. He provides an intimate portrayal of how he, his father and his two brothers each struggled to balance their loyalty to Mom against the increasing awareness that only by separating from her could they ensure their own survival. In the end, Daniel must come to terms with his mother’s slow demise and begin to lead a life out from under the shadow of her illness. Part cautionary tale and fully descriptive of how eating disorder effects family members.

The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care

by Judith Matz, LCSW and Ellen Frankel, LCSW 

If you’re one of the nearly 116 million Americans trying to lose weight, only to find that every diet you’ve tried has failed you, you are a diet survivor. You can step off the destructive diet bandwagon and reclaim your self-esteem, positive body image and a happy, healthy life. These 60 inspiring lessons will give you the tools you need to change your relationship with food, your body and yourself. Dieting is hazardous to your health. Diets don’t work and they won’t work, and yo-yo dieting will make you fatter. Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel are sisters and therapists specializing in eating problems and weight issues. Each holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and has over 20 years of clinical experience in the field of eating disorders. They are the authors of Beyond a Shadow of a Diet.

Help your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder

by James Lock PhD and Daniel Le Grange

Tens of thousands of parents have turned to this compassionate guide for support and practical advice grounded in cutting-edge scientific knowledge. Top experts James Lock and Daniel Le Grange explain what you need to know about eating disorders, which treatments work, and why it is absolutely essential to play an active role in your teen’s recovery—even though parents have often been told to take a back seat. Learn how to monitor your teen’s eating and exercise, manage mealtimes, end weight-related power struggles, and partner successfully with health care providers. When families work together to get the most out of treatment and prevent relapse, eating disorders can be beat. This book is your essential roadmap. Featuring the latest research, resources, and diagnostic information, the second edition has been expanded to cover binge-eating disorder.

Food: The Good Girl’s Drug

by Sunny Sea Gold

Bingeing, compulsive eating, food addiction, emotional overeating—no matter what you call it, too many women wrestle day to day with what they eat. It’s a love-hate relationship that always seems to be spiraling out of control. Food: The Good Girl’s Drug is one recovered binge eater’s attempt to inject some sanity back into the discussion about food, body image, and overeating. Sunny Sea Gold started fighting binge eating disorder in her early teens. But books on the topic were often aimed at housewives with kids and a white picket fence, women she had a hard time relating to. What about the girls who found themselves using all their roommate’s peanut butter, nibbling from the work refrigerator, or hiding a stash of chocolate from boyfriends, and were too ashamed to say anything? Calling on top mental health professionals, nutritionists, and fitness experts, Sunny offers real advice to a new generation fighting an age-old war. With humor and compassion, Food: The Good Girl’s Drug is about experiences shared by so many women—whether they’ve been struggling for years, or have recently admitted to themselves that, yes, it’s more than just a bad habit.

Your Dieting Daughter: Antidotes Parents can Provide for Body Dissatisfaction, Excessive Dieting, and Disordered Eating

by Carolyn Costin

Your Dieting Daughter is a must read for anyone wanting to help contribute to a young woman’s development of a healthy self and body esteem, whether she is 13 or 30. Costin has updated the first edition of this book to reflect her 15 additional years of expertise on dealing with the tricky issues of body image, food, and weight in a culture that places an unhealthy emphasis on being thin. From aiding a young girl to lose weight for health reasons; to encouraging a young woman to accept her natural body size; to helping detect, prevent, and understand eating disorders, this second edition is full of practical and invaluable information. Chapters guide parents in the Do’s and Don’ts that will help a daughter to accept, respect, and care for her body. Readers will learn the importance of setting a good example and the critical need to take the focus from numbers and measurements – such as scale weight, clothing size, miles run, or sit-ups accomplished – to important goals like health, body acceptance, and finding physical activity to enjoy. Whether you are interested in being a good role model for you daughter, helping girls and women who are currently suffering from an eating disorder or body image issues, or raising the next generation of girls to value the size of their heart over their body size, this is a book not to be missed.

Body Kindness: Transform your Health from the Inside Out and Never Say Diet Again

by Rebecca Scritchfield 

Imagine a graph with two lines. One indicates happiness, the other tracks how you feel about your body. If you’re like millions of people, the lines do not intersect. But what if they did?  This practical, inspirational, and visually lively book shows you how to create a healthier and happier life by treating yourself with compassion rather than shame. It shows the way to a sense of well-being attained by understanding how to love, connect, and care for yourself—and that includes your mind as well as your body. With mind and body exercises to keep your energy spiraling up and prompts to help you identify what YOU really want and care about, Body Kindness helps you let go of things you can’t control and embrace the things you can by finding the workable, daily steps that fit you best. Think of it as the anti-diet book that leads to a more joyful and meaningful life!

The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should be Easy

by Caroline Dooner

Not long term. In fact, our bodies are hardwired against it. But each time our diets fail, instead of considering that maybe our ridiculously low-carb diet is the problem, we wonder what’s wrong with us. Why can’t we stick to our simple plan of grapefruit and tuna fish??? Why are we so hungry? What is wrong with us??? We berate ourselves for being lazy and weak, double down on our belief that losing weight is the key to our everlasting happiness, and resolve to do better tomorrow. But it’s time we called a spade a spade: Constantly trying to eat the smallest amount possible is a miserable way to live, and it isn’t even working. So fuck eating like that. In The F*ck It Diet, Caroline Dooner tackles the inherent flaws of dieting and diet culture, and offers readers a counterintuitively simple path to healing their physical, emotional, and mental relationship with food. What’s the secret anti-diet? Eat. Whatever you want. Honor your appetite and listen to your hunger. Trust that your body knows what it is doing. Oh, and don’t forget to rest, breathe, and be kind to yourself while you’re at it.  Once you get yourself out of survival mode, it will become easier and easier to eat what your body really needs—a healthier relationship with food ultimately leads to a healthier you. An ex-yo-yo dieter herself, Dooner knows how terrifying it can be to break free of the vicious cycle, but with her signature sharp humor and compassion, she shows readers that a sustainable, easy relationship with food is possible. Irreverent and empowering, The F*ck It Diet is call to arms for anyone who feels guilt or pain over food, weight, or their body. It’s time to give up the shame and start thriving. Welcome to the F*ck It Diet. Let’s Eat.

45 Pounds (More or Less) 

by Kelly Barson

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life: She is 16. And a size 17. Her perfect mother is a size 6. Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 2 months, and wants Ann to be a bridesmaid. So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less). Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, endless run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen — and some surprises about her not-so-perfect mother. And there’s one more thing: it’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin — no matter how you add it up!

Good Enough

by Jen Petro-Roy

A young girl with an eating disorder must find the strength to recover in this moving middle-grade novel from Jen Petro-Roy. Before she had an eating disorder, twelve-year-old Riley was many things: an aspiring artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend. But now, from inside the inpatient treatment center where she’s receiving treatment for anorexia, it’s easy to forget all of that. Especially since under the influence of her eating disorder, Riley alienated her friends, abandoned her art, turned running into something harmful, and destroyed her family’s trust. If Riley wants her life back, she has to recover. Part of her wants to get better. As she goes to therapy, makes friends in the hospital, and starts to draw again, things begin to look up. But when her roommate starts to break the rules, triggering Riley’s old behaviors and blackmailing her into silence, Riley realizes that recovery will be even harder than she thought. She starts to think that even if she does “recover,” there’s no way she’ll stay recovered once she leaves the hospital and is faced with her dieting mom, the school bully, and her gymnastics-star sister. Written by an eating disorder survivor and activist, Good Enough is a realistic depiction of inpatient eating disorder treatment, and a moving story about a girl who has to fight herself to survive.

You’d Be So Pretty If . . .: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies – Even When We Don’t Love Our Own

by Dara Chadwick

From You’d Be So Pretty If…
I grew up listening to my mom bemoan everything from the size of her thighs to the shape of her eyes. So you can imagine my dismay the first time someone exclaimed, “You look just like your mother!” Every mom wants her daughter to feel confident in her own skin, but may often unconsciously impose her own “body image blueprint.” Dara Chadwick’s You’d Be So Pretty If… reveals:

• What girls learn when Mom diets
• How to talk to your daughter about healthy eating and exercise habits
• The trigger words that set off a body image crisis
• How to recognize a budding eating disorder

With humor and compassion, You’d Be So Pretty If… offers parents fresh and useful strategies for conveying that success isn’t negated by carrying extra pounds—or guaranteed by keeping them off.

Loving Someone with an Eating Disorder

by Dana Harron, PsyD

In this compassionate guide, eating disorder expert Dana Harron offers hope to partners of people with eating disorders. You’ll discover ways to communicate with empathy and understanding, strategies for dealing with mealtime challenges, and tips to help you both find your way back to trust, love, and intimacy. If your loved one is one of millions of Americans who suffers from an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, you may feel alone, without guidance or understanding. As a romantic partner, you need to know how to navigate issues such as parenting, sex and intimacy, and running a household. This book provides that help by addressing your uniquely complex and difficult situation, and provides much-needed support for growth and healing. In Loving Someone With an Eating Disorder, you’ll find valuable information about eating disorders, diagnostic categories, and common misconceptions. You’ll also learn about the importance of self-care and boundaries for yourself, and find writing and perspective-taking exercises to help you gain a greater understanding of your partner’s struggle. You’ll also learn skills to help you address specific problems, such as managing groceries and meals together, sex and intimacy issues, and concerns about parenting.

Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia

by Harriet Brown 

In Brave Girl Eating, the chronicle of a family’s struggle with anorexia nervosa, journalist, professor, and author Harriet Brown recounts in mesmerizing and horrifying detail her daughter Kitty’s journey from near-starvation to renewed health. Brave Girl Eating is an intimate, shocking, compelling, and ultimately uplifting look at the ravages of a mental illness that affects more than 18 million Americans.

Befriending your Body

by Ann Saffi Biasetti

A step-by-step holistic approach to eating disorder recovery, using self-compassion and embodiment practices to reduce symptoms, increase body awareness and acceptance, reconnect to others, and step back into an integrated life. Those who struggle with disordered eating often find themselves in an unrelenting cycle of harsh self-judgment, painful emotions, and harmful behaviors. Seeing the body as an adversary, these patterns can lead many people to become withdrawn or isolated. Ann Saffi Biasetti’s powerful holistic approach to liberating people from disordered eating focuses on growing self-compassion and embodiment. This insight, informed by yoga and mindfulness meditation, views the body not just as something to be healed or restored but as a source of great wisdom and knowledge. Dr. Biasetti offers yoga-based movement, body-awareness practices, meditations, and journaling exercises to help release long-held habits of self-criticism and perfectionism. Her step-by-step program will rebuild self-compassion, self-care, body awareness, acceptance, and connection to the self and to others.

How to Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder

by Casey Crosbie and Wendy Sterling

Parents are the first to know when their child starts behaving differently. Has your son stopped eating his favorite food, or does he refuse to eat out with friends? Has your daughter drastically increased her exercise regimen, or become obsessed with health foods? These are among the telltale signs that your child, like millions of others, may have an eating disorder (ED). In this essential guide, registered dietitians Casey Crosbie and Wendy Sterling introduce an all-new strategy you can use to help your child at home. The Plate-by-Plate approach is rooted in family-based treatment (FBT)—the leading psychological therapy for EDs. Unlike complicated “exchange” systems, this is simple: Crosbie and Sterling coach you through every aspect of meeting your child’s nutritional needs, using just one tool—a ten-inch plate. Paired with therapy, this intuitive, visual method is the best way to support your child on the path to recovery. Plus, the authors cover how to talk about diet and weight, what to do while traveling, what to expect from your child’s doctor, and much more.

Brain Over Binge

by Kathryn Hansen

Brain over Binge provides both a gripping personal account and an informative scientific perspective on bulimia and binge eating disorder. The author, Kathryn Hansen, candidly shares her experience as a bulimic and her alternative approach to recovery. Brain over Binge is different than other eating disorder books which typically present binge eating and purging as symptoms of complex emotional and psychological problems. Kathryn disputes this mainstream idea and explains why traditional eating disorder therapy failed her and fails many. She explains how she came to understand her bulimia in a new way – as a function of her brain, and how she used the power of her brain to recover – quickly and permanently. Kathryn also sheds new light on eating disorder topics such as low self-esteem, poor body image, and dieting. Brain over Binge is a brave book that will help many by delivering an informed and inspiring message of free will, self-reliance, and self-control.

Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat

by Stephanie Covington Armstrong

Stephanie Covington Armstrong does not fit the stereotype of a woman with an eating disorder. She grew up poor and hungry in the inner city. Foster care, sexual abuse, and overwhelming insecurity defined her early years. But the biggest difference is her race: Stephanie is black. In this moving first-person narrative, Armstrong describes her struggle as a black woman with a disorder consistently portrayed as a white woman’s problem. Trying to escape her self hatred and her food obsession by never slowing down, Stephanie becomes trapped in a downward spiral. Finally, she can no longer deny that she will die if she doesn’t get help, overcome her shame, and conquer her addiction to using food as a weapon against herself.

Man Up to Eating Disorders

by Andrew Walen

Men get eating disorders too, and are often left out in the dark when it comes to resources, language about what the disease looks like, how guys talk about it, and more. This book is to help guys come together, create their own tribe, and talk recovery in their own language. Straight, gay, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, whatever your background – if it’s anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, compulsive exercise, steroid abuse or some combination of any or all of the above; we are all part of the same brotherhood. We are all dealing with the same core issues of belonging, perfectionism, control, identity, independence, and insecurity. We need to be welcomed by others – to feel the embrace of the tribe and move forward with our lives together. This book, my brothers, is for you. It’s now your job to spread the word. Strengthen your tribe. There are three sections to Man Up to Eating Disorders, starting with the development of my emotional eating experience, into my first forays into body loathing and dieting, to my period of anorexia in late high school, and how the “thin ideal” stretched my eating disorder into exercise bulimia. My life’s journey into love, marriage and fatherhood are covered including the near death of my son and the zenith of my binge eating behavior. Eventually rock bottom hits, and recovery starts. Section two covers my experience in therapy, learning how to manage my binge drives, to accept myself as I am, and learn the roots of my low self-esteem come from my childhood. Working with a dietitian, I gain perspective on enjoying food rather than abusing it. My relationship with myself and my family improves, and a decision to specialize in working with others like myself is made. Section three speaks from my perspective as a therapist treating eating disorders in men, and has many client excerpts about what helped them in their journey into recovery and what sustains them now.

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

by Portia De Rossi 

In this groundbreaking memoir, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades, from the time she was a twelve-year-old girl working as a model in Australia, through her early rise to fame as a cast member of the hit television show Ally McBeal. All the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and concealing from herself and everyone around her the seriousness of her illness. She describes the elaborate rituals around food that came to dominate hours of every day and explores the pivotal moments of her childhood that set her on the road to illness. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner, ever more in control of her body and the number of calories she consumed and spent. From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love and marrying Ellen DeGeneres and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues. In this remarkable, landmark book, she has given the world a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

The Body Tourist

by Dana Lise Shavin

In this moving and funny memoir that spans the six years following the author’s purported recovery from anorexia, Dana Lise Shavin offers a candid and ultimately optimistic window into the mindset and machinations of a mental illness whose tentacles reached deep into her life, long after she was considered “cured.” In 1981, Shavin graduated from college with a BA in Psychology. It had been a difficult venture that included an expulsion, a four-month institutionalization, and a multitude of transfers. By the time it was over, she was convinced she was cured, and that it was time to start curing others. “I’m ready,” she told her parents, her therapist, and friends—all of whom shook their heads in horror at her 95-pound, 5’9” frame. Undaunted, she landed a job as a counselor in a halfway house for drug and alcohol addicts. If anyone knew what it took to become a happy, functioning adult, Shavin was convinced she was the one. As anyone would suspect, the burden of self-contempt, faulty logic, and interpersonal turmoil that are the character traits of depressive disorders and addictions do not miraculously disappear once medication and therapy have taken effect. Where, then, do these dangerous obsessions, such as the wish for obliteration (which often co-exists with the wish for immortality), go once a person sets foot on the road to recovery? For Shavin, they lived beneath the radar of her supposed new-found health, disguising themselves in the falling-down houses she happily moved into and the dangerous neighborhoods she somehow didn’t fear. They announced themselves in the deeply flawed men she professed to adore, the food rituals she thought were normal, the ordinary sex she could not have, and, most profoundly, her inability to acknowledge her father’s illness and encroaching death.  While many writers have written candidly and eloquently about their struggles with depression, addictions, and eating disorders, those stories usually conclude once there is progress toward recovery. Beyond recovery—whether from addiction, illness, the death of a loved one, or divorce—there is another story, one that is about how we re-join the world, and, in the living years that follow the darkness, pursue a life that is creative, engaged, and deeply felt in one’s body.

Body Outlaws

by Ophira Edut 

Pick up a magazine, turn on the TV, and you’ll find few women who haven’t been fried, dyed, plucked, or tucked. In short, you’ll see no body outlaws. The writers in this groundbreaking anthology reveal a world where bodies come in all their many-splendored shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. In doing so, they expand the national dialogue on body image to include race, ethnicity, sexuality, and power—issues that, while often overlooked, are intimately linked to how women feel about their bodies. Body Outlaws offers stories by those who have chosen to ignore, subvert, or redefine the dominant beauty standard in order to feel at home in their bodies.

Never Binge Again

by Glenn Livingston PhD 

If you struggle with binge eating, emotional eating, stress eating, or if you repeatedly manage to lose weight only to gain it all back, you may be approaching things with the wrong mindset. Most contemporary thought on overeating and bingeing focuses on healing and self-love. But people who’ve overcome food and weight issues often report it was more like capturing and caging a rabid dog than learning to love their inner child…Open the cage even an inch-or show that dog an ounce of fear-and it’ll quickly burst out to shred your healthy eating plans, undoing all your progress in a heartbeat. From his perspective as a formerly food-obsessed psychologist-and previous consultant to major food manufacturers-Dr. Livingston shares specific 

When Food is Love: Exploring the Relationship between Eating and Intimacy

by Geneen Roth

In this moving and intimate book, Geneen Roth, bestselling author of Feeding the Hungry Heart and Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating, shows how dieting and emotional eating often become a substitute for intimacy. Drawing on her own painful personal experiences, as well as the candid stories of those she has helped in her seminars, Roth examines the crucial issues that surround emotional eating: need for control, dependency on melodrama, desire for what is forbidden, and the belief that one wrong move can mean catastrophe. She shows why many people overeat in an attempt to satisfy their emotional hunger, and why weight loss frequently just uncovers a new set of problems. But her welcome message is that change is possible. This book will help readers break destructive, self-perpetuating patterns and learn to satisfy all the hungers—physical and emotional—that make us human.

Goodbye ED, Hello Me: Recover from your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life

by Jenni Schaefer

Jenni Schaefer and Ed (eating disorder) are no longer on speaking terms, not even in her most difficult moments. In her bestseller, Life Without Ed, Jenni learned to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition-enabling her to break up with Ed once and for all. In Goodbye Ed, Hello Me Jenni shows you that being fully recovered is not just about breaking free from destructive behaviors with food and having a healthy relationship with your body; it also means finding joy and peace in your life

Women Under Scrutiny: An Anthology of Truths, Essays, Poems, Stories and Art

by Randy Susan Meyers and Nancy MacDonald 

“When I was a child, my mother hid everything sweet and delicious in the large soup pot she kept on top of the tallest cabinet in the kitchen. Thus, my sister and I, at the tender ages of perhaps five and eight, learned to be mountain climbers. Only recently did I consider that maybe Mom was hiding the cookies from herself as well as us.” Women Under Scrutiny is an honest, intimate examination of the relationships we have with our bodies, hair, and faces, how we’ve been treated by the world based on our appearance—and how we have treated others. The women who created the serious, humorous, and courageous work in this anthology—women ages seventeen to seventy-six—represent an array of cultures and religions from across the United States. They are an extraordinary group of women who all share one thing: the ability to tell the truth. Women Under Scrutiny grew out of Randy Susan Meyers’ new novel, Waisted, the story of two women who torture themselves and are brutalized by others around weight issues, who get caught in the war against women, disguised as a war against fat.

52 Ways to Love your Body

by Kimber Simpkins 

It’s time to step away from the scale, ditch the fad diets, and embrace the body you’re in. In this powerful book, Kimber Simpkins, yoga instructor and author of Full, gives you 52 undeniable ways to love your body and discover your own unique beauty! Do you look in the mirror and see all the things you dislike about your body? For many of us, the first step to loving our bodies is being able to look at our reflection and not criticize what we see. And in a culture that worships thin, beautiful celebrities, it’s easy to feel like we just don’t measure up. So, how can you get over your flaws and focus on your fabulous? 52 Ways to Love Your Body is packed with easy and fun practices—one for each week of the year—to help you toss perfectionism out the window, turn down the volume on that nagging inner critic who is always going on about what’s wrong, stop the never-ending comparison game, and finally love your body. You’ll also find encouraging, in-the-moment affirmations to keep negative self-talk at bay, and give you a much-needed pick-me-up, any time, any place. If you’re ready to start loving your body, this book gives you 52 ways to get started now. So, what are you waiting for?

The Body Image Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help Girls Develop a Healthy Body Image in an Image-Obsessed World

by Julia V. Taylor PhD

Like most teens, you want to feel good about the way you look. But what happens when the way you look just doesn’t feel good enough? Whether it’s online, on TV, or in magazines, images of impossibly perfect―and mostly Photoshopped―young women are everywhere.  As a result, you may feel an intense pressure to look a certain way.  Your friends feel the pressure too, which often creates a secret comparison competition that can make you feel worse about yourself.  So how can you start feeling good about who you are, as is? In The Body Image Workbook for Teens, you’ll find practical exercises and tips that address the most common factors that can lead to negative body image, including: comparison, negative self-talk, unrealistic media images, societal and family pressures, perfectionism, toxic friendships, and a fear of disappointing others. You’ll also learn powerful coping strategies to deal with the daily, intense pressures of being a teenage girl. Being a teen girl in today’s world is hard, and no one knows that more than you. But if you are ready to stop comparing yourself to others, silence your inner critic, and build authentic, lasting self-confidence―this book is your go-to guide.

When Food is Comfort: Nurture Yourself Mindfully, Your Brain, and End Emotional Eating

by Julie M. Simon 

If you regularly eat when you’re not truly hungry, choose unhealthy comfort foods, or eat beyond fullness, something is out of balance. Recent advances in brain science have uncovered the crucial role that our early social and emotional environment plays in the development of imbalanced eating patterns. When we do not receive consistent and sufficient emotional nurturance during our early years, we are at greater risk of seeking it from external sources, such as food. Despite logical arguments, we have difficulty modifying our behavior because we are under the influence of an emotionally dominant part of the brain. The good news is that the brain can be rewired for optimal emotional health. When Food Is Comfort presents a breakthrough mindfulness practice called Inner Nurturing, a comprehensive, step-by-step program developed by an author who was herself an emotional eater. You’ll learn how to nurture yourself with the loving-kindness you crave and handle stressors more easily so that you can stop turning to food for comfort. Improved health and self-esteem, more energy, and weight loss will naturally follow.

Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It 

by Robyn Silverman

Based on Dr. Robyn Silverman’s groundbreaking research at Tufts University, and filled with searingly honest young voices, Good Girls Don’t Get Fat:

– Decodes the ripple effects of actions that damage our girls—and provides tools to help stop them.

– Shines light on the positive influence of women who embrace body types of any size—and explains how to model the right behavior.

– Shows how girls, whatever their size, can own their strengths, trust their power and accomplish amazing things.

101 Ways to Help your Daughter Love Her Body

by Brenda Lane Richardson 

Sit up straight so your tummy doesn’t hang out. Thin is always in. You look so much prettier when you smile. Guys like girls with big boobs. Now that you’ve got your period, you’s better be careful. I’d kill to have legs like yours. With negative messages bombarding our girls on a daily basis — from misguided adults, from peers, from the media — how can our daughters possibly feel good about their bodies? While you may not single-handedly be able to change society there are ways to make sure that your daughter’s sense of self is strong and sustaining. In fact, this hands-on guide offers 101 ways! In 101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body, two mothers — one a clinical psychologist, the other an award-winning journalist — have teamed up to provide parents with practical ideas tailored to girls from birth through the teenage years. These initiatives inform parents and encourage them to take active roles in helping their daughters develop confidence, treat their bodies with love and respect, and make peace with their unique builds so that they can revel in a sense of femaleness and physical competence. Psychologically astute and fun to read, this proactive guide will help define a new generation of healthy girls. There’s no better time than now to help our daughters, young and growing, learn to love their bodies.

Dumplin’ 

by Julie Murphy

The #1 New York Times bestseller and feel-good YA of the year—about Willowdean Dixon, the fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroine who takes on her small town’s beauty pageant. Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all. Now a popular Netflix feature film, starring Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, and Dove Cameron, as well as a soundtrack from Dolly Parton!

Please eat: A Mother’s Struggle to Free her Teenage Son from Anorexia 

by Bev Mattocks

Bright, popular and a star on the rugby pitch, 15 year old Ben had everything he could want. But then food-loving Ben began to systematically starve himself. At the same time his urge to exercise became extreme. In a matter of months Ben lost one quarter of his bodyweight as he plunged into anorexia nervosa, an illness that threatened to destroy him. Please eat… A mother’s struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia is his mother’s heart-breaking yet inspirational account of how she watched helplessly as her son transformed into someone she didn’t recognise, physically and mentally. It also describes how, with the help of his parents and therapist, and through his own determination, Ben slowly began to recover and re-build his life.