Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and
Good Sense, also by
Ellyn Satter, is geared towards
parents of younger children, from birth
to five. It provides basic information
on what babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers
need from a nutritional standpoint and
how they feel about and experience food.
It gives lots of ideas about how to
interact with your young child in a
healthy way around food and body and
provides advice about weight and size
Ellyn Satter has done such a good job
with both these books, I can't recommend
them highly enough. These books are
great reading for parents and
For parents, educators, and all of us,
about children, teens, and weight
Afraid to Eat: Children and Teens in
by Francie Berg, brings a comprehensive perspective to the
issue of children, teens and weight in
our society. She covers describes the
four weight problems; dysfunctional
eating, eating disorders, size
prejudice, and overweight and discusses
an integrated approach for dealing with
them. See what children and teens are
really up against in their schools and
communities and learn what can be done
to foster a healthy relationship to food
and body in our complex society.
Finally, someone has tackled this
complex problem on a social level and
brought us solid ideas for change. This
is a must-read for educators who have
influence over programs and planning for
children and teens and for parents who
want to better understand overweight or
Food, Eating and Body-Image
When You Eat the Refrigerator, Pull Up a
Chair: 50 Ways to Get Thin, Gorgeous,
and Happy When You Feel Anything But
by Geneen Roth and Anne Lamott
is a warm reflection piece about the
meaning of food and eating. It offers
many encouragements to look beyond food
for other sources of nourishment and to
like and forgive yourself.
Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating
Geneen Roth's classic describes her own
inner journey to give up diets and find
her own way to enjoy and feel free with
food. When people we know read this
book, they relate deeply to Geneen's
struggles and feel her pain and joy. For
some, just reading it breaks down inner
barriers to change.
*Note: Geneen Roth's books reflect a
strong anti-diet approach which implies
lack of external structure in eating.
This can be very useful for some people
but is often less useful for those with
severe eating disorders. Even if you do
not subscribe to an anti-diet approach,
these books have a lot to teach about
using food in a healthy way.
Full Lives: Women Who Have Freed Themselves from Food & Weight
Obsession by Lindsey Hall, is a good meal.
The book is a series of stories of the journeys to recovery and
experiences of recovery of Lindsay and many other women, some of whom
are leaders in the area of body acceptance and recovery from eating
problems such as Jane Hirschmann, Geneen Roth, and Susan Kano. Allow
yourself to get to know these interesting women who made the journey to
recovery and here tell the tale.
Transforming Body Image
by Marcia Germaine Hutchinson is a beautiful and classic
book about how to go about the arduous task of liking your body. For so
many of us, body hate has seemed necessary, even essential-"If I don't
hate my body, then I'll just eat and eat and I'll be as big as a house."
In truth, body hate is only essential in lowering self-esteem.
This is a gentle book backed by the strong and poignant story of
Marcia's own struggles to like her body which was put on diets since
childhood. For me, this book is the pure form, it's about a deep and
true body acceptance. Even if you feel that body acceptance is a million
miles away from where you are, this book can inspire you.
Outsmarting the Midlife Fat Cell: Winning Weight Control Strategies for
Women Over 35 to Stay Fit Through Menopauseis Debra
Waterhouse's tour de force on food, eating, exercise and
menopause. This book has lots of biochemical information which I liked
because I could really understand what's happening to my body and what I
can do to help myself be healthy. The book is nicely balanced between
ideas for healthy eating and permission to tune in and follow your
body's needs. I think it is incredibly useful for women before, during
and after menopause.
Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell: The First Weight Control Program
Designed Specifically for Women, also by Debra
Waterhouse, teaches us about the physiology of our bodies in a
very easy-to-understand way. It is really weight control from the inside
out. Once we understand how our female bodies operate, then we can see
why Debra recommends an approach which honors our bodies many needs and
its need for frequent meals and also encourages us to tune to and give
our bodies what they need instead of fighting them. The fat cell has
many secrets to tell us and Debra tells them in an understandable,
friendly and useful way.
The Diet-Free Solution: 6 Winning Ways to Permanent Weight Loss
(in hardcover, this book is called simply The Solution).
Laurel Mellin has given us a gem with emphasis on finding the
internal, nurturant, limit-setting voice within which is crucial to
success with weight management. I like this book so much because it is
very much about food and eating and at the same time, it is very
psychological. In fact, it is among the best synthesis of psychological
and nutritional concepts I have ever seen. Also, the book is dense. It's
not just a few principals which you could read about in half an hour.
Though its major points are clearly and simply explained, there are a
lot of in-depth ideas and exercises, so that you can keep getting more
out of this book as the months go on.
Books For Professionals
Feminist Perspectives on Eating
Patricia Fallon, Melanie Katzman and
Susan Wooley, is an edition of
articles about bringing a feminist
understanding to working with women with
eating disorders. It is a book with a
lot of information and a lot of heart.
Articles range from the historical
context for the obsession with thinness
to explorations of gender and body. The
section on treatment issues is
tremendously powerful, with articles on
sexual abuse and eating disorders, use
of medication, and a feminist
re-envisioning of the 12-Step program
for overeaters. Susan Wooley's article,
"The Female Therapist as Outlaw," is one
of the best articles I've ever read on
the guts of treatment. I was crying by
the end. Articles on race and class as
well as on prevention of eating
disorders are very informative.
A Woman's Conflict: The Special
Relationship Between Women and Food
is an anthology I edited in 1980. It has
some wonderful and classic articles
including a piece by Hilde Bruch, M.D.,
the grandmother of the field of eating
disorders, a piece by Susan and Wayne
Wooley and Sue Dyrenforth on body image
and weight control. There is a wonderful
article by Chris Downing on the
goddesses and food and a soulful article
by Marva Styles on black woman and food.
Also included are articles on
sociological and anthropological
perspectives on women and food.