Recommended Books

EATING DISORDER BOOKS

Life Inside the Thin Cage

A Personal Look Into the World of the Chronic Dieter

by Constance Rhodes

This is the first book I ever read on the topic of eating disorders and body image. Constance Rhodes of FINDINGbalance, shares her own story and addresses the experience of chronic dieting and disordered eating. She offers hope and practical help for those wanting freedom emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically while bringing a Christian perspective to the journey. Since reading it Constance and I have become good friends and have worked together on numerous projects addressing food and body image issues including the annual Hungry for Hope Conference – the premier faith-based conference on eating and body image.

 

Table in the Darkness

A Healing Journey Through An Eating Disorder

by Lee Blum

Lee Blum shares her recovery story in an authentic and inspirational manner in this book. As a professional who works with eating disorders she has a wonderful grasp of what those struggling need to hear and understand in order to seek out recovery. I’m a big fan of Lee, her writing and her speaking. For me, her talk at the 2014 Hungry for Hope was the highlight of the conference. If you only read one memoir of an eating disorder make this the book.

 

Chasing Silhouettes

How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder

by Emily Wierenga

Through sharing her own story of suffering and recovering from anorexia, Emily shares how to help a family member going through the same journey. Comprised of insights and advice from both families and Christian professionals in the eating disorders field, Emily lays out a pathway that inspires and challenges readers to provide the kind of support a person struggling with an eating disorder needs.

 

Biting the Hand That Starves You

Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia

by Richard Maisel, David Epston and Ali Borden

This is a book that I don’t believe has received enough attention in the field of treatment for eating disorders. The authors apply a Narrative Therapy approach to treating and recovering from anorexia and bulimia. Narrative therapy works at externalizes the problem so the individual can develop an identity apart from their eating disorder and mount a strong resistance to it’s influence. By reading this book you will gain great insight into how someone with an eating disorder thinks and be given practical strategies on how to break free.

BODY IMAGE BOOKS

Unsqueezed

Springing Free from Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights and Stilettos

by Margot Starbuck

I once sat in an airport with Margot Starbuck and John Lynch (whose book is listed below) – two of the funniest people I know – and laughed as John and Margot told stories. In this book Margot brings that sense of humor, combined with wisdom and honesty about body image which I found insightful, challenging and laugh-out-loud funny. It is now at the top of my list for books on food and body image issues. Margot writes with authenticity, heart and a thoroughly biblical understanding or how God designed us to understand the human body. I highly recommend it.

 

Mom in the Mirror

Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy

by Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga

If you search “body image pregnancy” on Amazon.com this is the first book in the results list. That’s a good thing because it is written by two women who care deeply about the topic. Co-written by Dena Cabrera, Clinical Director at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders and writer and speaker Emily Wierenga, this books combines clinical expertise with practical experience on how to adjust to your changing body during and after pregnancy and well as parenting children on the topic of body image. BUY HERE

 

Body, Soul and Human Life

The Nature of Humanity in the Bible

by Joel Green

This book should probably be listed under Faith & Christianity but I put it under Body Image Books because I believe having a good philosophical/theological understanding of the nature of our bodies is foundational to a healthy body image. If you are ready to dive into an academic understanding of what Christianity teaches about the body, the soul and the human brain, this book is a great place to start.

 

PERSONAL GROWTH & PSYCHOLOGY BOOKS

Mindset

The New Psychology of Success

by Carol Dweck

The minute I began reading this book it had a practical impact on both my counseling and coaching practice as well as my personal life. The author describes two different mindset; the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. The growth mindset is one in which we see challenges and struggles as expected and we approach life with a willingness to learn and grow. In the fixed mindset we doubt our ability to grow or change and spend our time avoiding failure and protecting our image. She offers a compelling case of why we need to embrace the growth mindset. I highly recommend this book.

Drive

The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

by Daniel Pink

Though you will likely find this book in the business section of your local bookstore it has practical applications for all of life, including recovery from an eating disorder. Pink explores three key factors for feeling motivation; autonomy, mastery and purpose. Learning how to build these in your own life will act as a energizing factor to your own recovery. As you find more autonomy, more mastery and have a greater sense of purpose you will feel less of a need for the destructive behaviors in your life.

Decisive

How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

by Dan and Chip Heath

I’ve never been good at making tough decisions so I was excited when Dan and Chip Hearth released this book. I’ve loved everything they have written and found their advice practical and powerful. In this book the Heath Brothers identify the ‘villains’ of good decision making and easy to follow strategies for defeating those obstacles. If you are facing tough decisions on life issues or just want more help in making every day decisions this book is one you should own.

 

You Are Not Your Brain

The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

by Jeffrey Schwartz, MD and Rebecca Gladding, MD

Dr. Schwartz has spent his career studying the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for people suffering from OCD, teaching patients how to achieve long-term relief from their compulsions. In this fascinating and practical book he teaches the basic principles of changing habitual thought patterns and behaviors that actually result in rewiring the brain through Self-Directed Neuroplasticity. This means that through specific and concentrated effort you can actually physically change the parts of your brain that produce unwanted and unhelpful thought patterns.

 

FAITH & CHRISTIANITY

On My Worst Day

by John Lynch

John is one of the most gifted communicators I know. His teaching on grace and trusting God have forever changed the way I think about myself, about God and about how and why change happens.. In this book he teaches what it means to truly trust God without the “I’ll try harder, I promise” mentality. This trust is borne out of an honest struggle with a God who is genuinely for us. I guarantee that you have never read anything like this before.

 

 

TheReturn of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

by Henri Nouwen

This book came about when Henri Nouwen, one of the most prolific spiritual writers of our day, found himself sitting in front of Rembrandt’s painting depicting the Parable of the Lost Son found in the Gospel of Luke. The result is a powerful book that invites us to understand God’s passion to welcome us home – whether we are the ‘younger brother’ of the ‘elder brother’ and why this matters to our life. If you fear how God will see you because of your failures or because you struggle with compulsive behaviors you will find this book life-changing.

 

The Reason for God

Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Timothy Keller

Keller is one of the most widely read pastors in the US today, largely because of how he respectfully engages with those outside of the church and challenges those within it. Called by Newsweek a “C.S. Lewis for the 21st Century” you will find compelling and reasonable discussions of the tough questions about faith in God. The teachings of Tim Keller have dramatically shaped my life over the past 15 years and daily impact my life and counseling practice.