(Cover picture courtesy of Target.)
Let’s be honest: most people are unhappy with at least some aspect of their physical appearance. Just think of all the money we spend each year trying to improve our looks! But if worrying about your appearance is getting in the way of living, maybe it’s time to start thinking about body image in a completely new way.
Based in proven-effective acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate offers a unique approach to addressing your struggle with body image. In this book, you will not be told that your self-perceptions are wrong, that your thoughts are irrational, or that your feelings are misguided. Instead, you will learn to live with the reality that these often painful thoughts and beliefs about yourself will arise from time to time, and that what is really important is accepting these distressing thoughts without allowing them to dominate your life.
You know what it’s like to constantly be checking the mirror, to avoid certain social situations where your body may be exposed, or to gaze longingly at a fashion model in a magazine and think, “Why can’t I be her?” But what you may not know is that people who struggle with negative body image are at an increased risk for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. Body image problems can even lead to major financial issues. By focusing on your appearance and little else, you are hurting yourself in more ways than one.
If you are ready to find a purpose in life that is more important than the pain you feel about your appearance, this book provides a truthful, powerful resource.
*Possible body image related triggers*
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
I’ll be honest with you guys: this was one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to read. I picked it up on NetGalley with the intention of reading it and keeping my thoughts to myself because like a lot of people, I’ve struggled with my body image for a long time. However I felt I had to share my thoughts on the book.
While I don’t necessarily think this book is for everyone, it certainly helped me. It taught me how your attention span can either be scattered or stuck and that being stuck on your appearance can affect your whole life in ways you’ve never really noticed. It taught me how to accept my appearance and not be repulsed by the areas of my body that I hate. In truth, it taught me so much more than that but those are the main areas that I felt are important if you want to decide to buy the book or not.
What makes this book effective is that after every little section there’s an activity you can choose to do to help you in your body image journey. There’s audio tapes you can download to go along with these exercises and if you’re serious about the book I’d highly recommend using them. Yes, some of these exercises are going to bring up painful memories. Yet some of them will bring up a time way back when you were a child that wasn’t concerned with your body image. It’ll teach you how to accept that sometimes you’ll feel badly about your body and that those thoughts are okay as long as you stop letting them run your life.
Really, there’s not much more I can say. Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate is one of the more effective self-help books I’ve personally read and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving it a try. It worked for me but it might not work for everyone.
I give this book 5/5 stars.