"This book is meant for chronic dieters."
This is how Caroline Dooner starts off her book.... after her dedication to chesse, because who doesn't fucking love cheese (sorry to those who are lactose intolerant)?!
So, I know what you are thinking.... a boudoir photographer is now doing book reviews?!
Welllll, yes. Yes I am, because it goes along with our mission.
Our mission is one laced through and through with that of body positivity and neutrality, and I want to address one very important thing before we get started:
Body Positivity has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with respect.
All humans have the right to be treated with respect. Any person should be able to go to the doctor and get a real solution, and not have everything blamed on their weight. Everyone has the right to walk down the street without having awful things said to them because of how they look. End of story. If you do not agree with that, I am really sorry for you. If you need some more proof, read this story about Rebecca Hiles. She ended up losing A LOT because doctors were fixated on weight instead of finding the real problem.
Ok so back to the book. This book is important. Caroline (the author) discusses the concept of intuitive eating. She follows the Health at Every Size, or HAES, approach. HAES breaks down the fact that weight is a symptom and not the cause for illness. I recommend researching it, as it is absolutely fascinating and appalling with some things the medical industry follows to measure health. Check out "Health at Every Size" by Linda Bacon, Ph.D and "Body Respect" by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor. The Fuck it Diet is a conversational approach to these two books, and let me tell you everyone should read it.
The Diet Industry
The Fuck It Diet talks in depth about the diet industry, and really what BS it is. The diet industry's profits DEPEND on an 80% failure rate with it's customers. Think about that. Would you fly with an airline that relies on an 80% failure rate with it's airplanes? Or would you buy a car that has an 80% failure rate? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO THEIR BODY?!!!!
What I really appreciated about this book is that she not only puts information out into the world, but she also has the studies to back it up. Right off the bat, she goes into The Minnesota Starvation Diet, which is absolutely mind blowing. Short version: Ancel Keys at our very own University of Minnesota, was studying ways to rehabilitate starving people after World War II. This meant he had to starve people in order for results. I'll stop there, but you can click on the link above to read more on it (after you read the rest of this post, of course)... or better yet, BUY THE BOOK.
"A diet is a cure that doesn't work, for a disease that doesn't exist"
- Sara Fishman and Judy Freespirit
This was a quote that really resonated with me in the book. She dives in on the concept of intuitive eating, and discusses how to get through this physically, mentally, emotionally and how to thrive.
What exactly is intuitive eating?
Intuitive Eating is an approach developed to help people heal from the side effects of chronic dieting. ... An intuitive eater is defined as a person who “makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.”
Admittedly, I am a little further along in this venture of intuitive eating, since I have been doing a version of this for the past year or so. This book gave me the tools and exercises to clean up the rough edges, so to speak, of what I was doing in the realm of feeding myself.
Here are some things that you should know:
1. In the society that we live in, chances are you have been in some sort of yo-yo dieting pattern for most of your life, right? You aren't going to fix this overnight. I don't care how good you were in school, this takes time... sometime years to fully see the effects of it. But it is worth it, if you see if out.
2. You are going to have to learn to accept that your body might not naturally be what you desire it to be. Once you start to see the full effects of intuitive eating, your body will naturally do what it is going to do, and that might be at a larger side than you were hoping. Fun fact: we aren't designed to be a size 0, AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Our weight destiny is based mostly on our genetics.
3. If you can be ok with that, and you make it through the other side, you will FINALLY be at peace with your body, and all of that space it was taking up in your brain can be used for other awesome things! You can peacefully play with your family, do things that you have always wanted to, and be happier! Doesn't that sound amazing?
Yep, sure does, and this book will help you get there.
A little personal story about my journey
My body was (still kind of is) completely messed up from years of dieting. A year or so ago, I decided I was just too tired to care anymore, and I wanted to do things like play with my daughter than to worry about losing the baby weight. Seriously, just recently my body is starting to level off and not worry about me starving it any longer, and is actually telling me what it needs. Example: The other night, I was having a mad craving for milk. I do want to note, that milk is not my favorite thing in the world, it never really was; and a second note about me, my body doesn't absorb water like it should.... it literally just runs through me and my counter was to just drink a TON to offset it, right?! So anyways, back to the craving... I down two giant glasses of milk with dinner and felt amazing. Later on that evening, and after a long day of hitting the bathroom on account of all the water, I asked my husband if he knew any other ways to increase electrolytes without drinking Gatorade or increasing my salt intake (I already have a lot of salt in my diet to try and absorb water), so we hit the Google machine. The very first listicle we pulled up was the top five foods to increase electrolytes. What was on that list?! MILK. You guys, MY BODY WAS TELLING ME WHAT IT NEEDED, BECAUSE I WASN'T THERE TELLING IT WHAT IT DIDN'T NEED.
I still have a long way to go on this journey, but instead of obsessing about when the next time I get to eat is, I get to play with my daughter, read, focus on things, and be happy... oh and eat chocolate if I want.
It’s not just me, either
A friend of mine just found out she was prediabetic. It's common to instantly blame sugar in this case... but when she admitted that she was a full on Keto lover (high protein, low carb), I immediately reached out and asked if she had gotten to the part of the book discussing diabetes and the study she references in the book. If you think diabetes is 100% a problem with sugar.... read this.
So I guess that book reviews might not be my forte, as I talked more about my experience than the book. I am just so in love with this book and the information it has given me to do this. I fully believe that this is how we should learn to form a relationship with food, and less of the "good food/bad food" worksheets we all did in elementary school.
READ THIS BOOK.... but seriously.