If I could recommend one resource, this would be it. Originally published in 1995, with two revisions since, Intuitive Eating has become the ultimate handbook for quitting dieting and reclaiming body acceptance. The authors, both experienced registered dietitians, take the reader on a step-by-step journey of attunement to learn how to recognize and respond to appetite cues, eat without conditions, and curb the habit of emotional eating.
Who this book is for: anyone who is sick of dieting and obsessing about food and weight. One caveat is that there is a readiness factor for applying the skills of intuitive eating in real life. You have to be willing to let go of weight loss. This book may not be appropriate for those in the beginning struggles of eating disorder recovery without the help of a registered dietitian who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders.
I’m guessing that if you have already read the original book (above), you don’t think you need the workbook. Guess again. The new Intuitive Eating Workbook, which was released in spring of 2017, takes the reader’s understanding of the intuitive eating process to a new level. Packed with reflective exercises, the workbook adds self-compassion to the mix making it an all-around game changer. I have already used it with several clients and have been amazed at the pace at which they have gained new insights.
Who this book is for: if you have ever felt stuck with eating intuitively or thought that it just doesn’t work for you, the Intuitive Eating Workbook may be the boost you need. I strongly recommend using it in conjunction with an expert (a registered dietitian familiar with the material) in order to get the most from it.
I can’t tell you what a relief it is to discover a book on body image like this. When you finally realize that the only answer to the struggle is acceptance, it can seem impossible at first. This book actually shows you how to make that happen. Drawing from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a very effective modality for food and body image issues, the authors gently guide the reader to a deeper understanding of what acceptance really means and what it takes to get there.
Who this book is for: I bet most people could benefit from going through the process of body acceptance. We all, at one time or another, meet some resistance when it comes to inhabiting a human body. Living With Your Body and Other Things You Hate is an essential recovery resource.
While this workbook is not directly related to the Mindful Self-Compassion work of Drs. Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, I have found this workbook to be particularly adept at nurturing the skills of self-compassion in someone who simply needs a crash course and basic skills to get started on the path. My favorite part of this workbook is the roadmap provided. It’s a bit like a decision tree in that if one practice isn’t working at the moment, it suggests others that may.
Who this book is for: This book is ideal for someone just getting started with self-kindness and -compassion and wants a self-directed approach. It is a bit more superficial than the MSC 8-week course, but certainly provides the basic foundation. Find a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher to coach you along for maximum benefit.