Rad Reads

Body image books for your self-care summer

Keeping up our self-esteem and loving and accepting our bodies is a struggle for *so* many of us. But body image problems can still feel very personal and lonely, especially when we don't feel like we have a lot of external support or other people to share these struggles with.

Reading books that deal with body image issues is a great way to learn more and continue your own journey toward self-acceptance and body neutrality. Luckily, there are so many great reads out there to help you develop that self-love that you deserve, no matter where you are on your path to body acceptance. A good self-help book can be so comforting AND remind you that you aren't alone in your struggles. Read on for some of our faves!

1. More Than A Body: Your Body Is an Instrument, Not an Ornament

Amazon, $13

Written by twins Lindsay and Lexie Kite, More Than A Body offers practical advice on everything from changing your media consumption habits and honoring your health and fitness to developing self-compassion.

If you've ever been overwhelmed by "body positivity" culture on IG or TikTok, know that you're not alone. This book comes from a consciously different place and points out issues in the body positivity movement, including how it can sometimes be another way for people to scrutinize and judge their own or other people's bodies.

More Than A Body will help you change your way of thinking about your body with practical tips and step-by-step advice to encourage you along the way.

2. Intuitive Eating

Amazon, $12

The classic Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch sparked an entire movement when it first came out. Even if you haven't read the book, you may have heard people use the phrase "intuitive eating."

This book tackles many aspects of modern diet culture besides just body image. But the authors include a great chapter on forming a healthy mental picture of your body, and they make the great point that learning to respect your body will help you feel better about who you are.

The rest of the book is def worth a read too! Intuitive Eating's emphasis on challenging personal "food rules" and paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues will help you build a better relationship with eating overall, boosting body image as a result.

You can also check out Elyse Resch's Intuitive Eating Workbook for Teens (Amazon, $18) for a hands-on approach to applying intuitive eating to your own life.

3. Perfectly Imperfect: Compassionate Strategies to Cultivate a Positive Body Image

Amazon, $11

Perfectly Imperfect by therapist Amy Harman offers practical and evidence-based ideas for improving your relationship with your body, drawing from her experience working with patients with eating disorders.

No matter how you identify when it comes to your own body challenges, Perfectly Imperfect will help you move your focus from your physical body to the special qualities and gifts that you offer the world. Amy Harman really stresses the idea that making time for self-care and prioritizing mental health has a *huge* effect on how we relate to our bodies, making this book a great one to check out if you want self-care suggestions that go beyond basic body image advice.

4. The Body Image Workbook for Teens

Amazon, $22

If you're looking for a super hands-on approach to dealing with body image issues, The Body Image Workbook for Teens by Julia V. Taylor will give you a ton of practical exercises for forming a healthy relationship with your body!

This book has worksheets galore, so if journaling is your jam, this workbook will be right up your alley. There are 40 different activities for you try out, but they are broken up into small chunks so everything feels digestible and not too overwhelming. Many are really easy fill-in-the-blank type exercises, so if worksheets sound good but you don't want a huge time commitment, this book will give you the best of both worlds.

5. Almost Anorexic: Is My (Or My Loved One's) Relationship With Food a Problem?

Amazon, $11

Most of the books on this list focus specifically on body image rather than disordered eating. Almost Anorexic by Jennifer J. Thomas and Jenni Schaeffer is helpful because it acknowledges that everyone has a unique relationship with food and their body, and body challenges might not fit neatly into a label or category.

Besides including a very helpful body image section, Almost Anorexic offers guidance for people who don't necessarily meet the criteria for body dysmorphia or eating disorders but have a problematic relationship with food or their body. If you've ever thought, Oh, but my body image isn't THAT bad..., at a time when you've still needed help, this is the book for you.

Looking for more body image advice? Check out these other articles from GL for some inspo...
🍇 Everything you need to know about body neutrality
🍊 3 tips to help jumpstart your intuitive eating journey
🍉 Here are 5 self-help books that are *actually* worth the read

Slider image and top image: @wholesome.mils


by Ava Slocum | 7/22/2023