I have read a lot of self-help books. I’ve also read a lot about how to get the body of my dreams so I can finally be happy inside it.
Nothing has changed my life more than Body Positive Power: How to stop dieting, make peace with your body and live.
I don’t say that lightly. And I have to admit, I didn’t expect it to happen.
I love Megan Jayne Crabbe. I first found her on my Instagram feed doing a Donthatetheshake video, and I was hooked. When I feel self conscious of how my body looks dancing in a club, I channel my inner Megan and enjoy the moment.
So when I saw she had written a book, I had to read it. But I must admit, I was more than a little sceptic. Although she is a wonderful positive influence on the world, much needed especially on Instagram (@bodyposipanda, if you’re not already following her) I thought, yes I’m sure this book works for other people, but you’ll have your work cut out with me.
After spending the majority of my teens inside an eating disorder, I was struggling to cope with the weight gain that comes with recovery. As woman in my late twenties, I had a much higher disposable income than teenage me, so I’ve tried it all. Bootea, Skinny Coffee, carb blockers, appetite suppressants, pre-work out stimulants, protein shakes, Slimming World meals, Forever Living Clean 9, Paleo, weight loss patches(!), creams and more. I’ve felt the imaginary eyes of everyone at the gym sneering at my belly shake on the treadmill when I punish myself for slipping up. How on earth could less than 300 pages of paperback change 20+ years of self hate?
As soon as I read the first chapter, I felt the change. I felt something start to shift. When I read the words, I felt like she was speaking directly to me. Looking me right in the eye. She just knew. She had been on some kind of parallel life journey to mine, and now she was where she was.
The fact that SO many people had that experience, means that 1. Megan is an incredible writer, and 2. So many of us have had the same experiences and pressure, yet someone felt so alone through it.
But it’s not just how she makes you feel connected to her that makes this such a great book. This woman has done her research. She is not blindly telling you to love yourself as you are because life is too short (Not that that is a bad message) but she backs it up with statistics and studies you can’t believe you’ve never heard of before.
Even if you have heard of them before, there is something about the WAY she tells you. the way she fits them into a story that has been going on our whole lives and far before we were born.
I’ve told any of my friends that will listen about this book and if they still insist on telling my how many calories are in their ginger nut every tea break (you know who you are) I will know they haven’t read it and they will get it for their birthday.
But the one person who I really do want to read it is my Mum. At 63, she was born in the era of Marilyn, had her teenage years under the influence of Twiggy and dealt with the changes of a post-baby body alongside the rise of ‘heroin chic’ and the Supermodel.
I have never known her not on a diet, or complaining that she has fallen off the wagon and needs to get back on it. I wonder if there has ever been a time in her life when she has felt she deserved to be happy within her body.
If I manage to get her to read it, I’ll update you.
Who do I recommend this book to?
Anyone who has said to themselves ‘If I can just lose X pounds, I will be happy’
Anyone who covers their body in loose black clothes through shame of someone seeing a roll of belly instead of enjoying the sunshine on their skin.
Anyone who has spent more money on weight loss products than they would like to admit and thinks none of them have worked because they were not disciplined enough.
Anyone who is wondering if the obsessive tendencies they have accumulated through a mainstream diet community are really very different from an eating disorder.
The list goes on. If you have found this review because you were considering reading this book then probably, it is for you.