Recent books that inspire & Andrea's words

Two months. Please forgive my silence. When focused on the completion of a project, I tend to let blog postings fall by the way side. I am forcing my mind to lift from its focal point to share two important and newly published books, Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession With Weight--and What We Can Do about It by Harriet Brown and Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide for Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders by Katja Rowell, MD & Jenny McGlothlin, MS.

Body of Truth, with wit and numerous needed reality checks, beautifully explains the evolution of our current harmful views on body and food and what we can do to transform them. On the final page of her easy-to-read and enlightening book, Ms. Brown leaves us with the challenge "to think beyond the messages we're getting a thousand times a day. To question the conventional wisdom"--resources for which are provided throughout--a must read for all.

At first glance, Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating, appears to rule out readers who do not have "extreme picky eaters" in their midst, which is a shame. If you have children (or grandchildren) in your care (even if only occasionally and even if eating appears "typical"), this book provides important do-no-harm steps involved in helping a child develop eating competence. Developing this "competence" is a nuanced and different process for children than it is for adults who are re-learning to tune in to internal cues or in recovery from an eating disorder, a differentiation of which I was unaware until receiving a helpful response from Dr. Rowell to an emailed query. Again, another must-read for individuals, professionals and lay alike, who interact with children around food, eating, meals, body, et al.

Reading these two books reminded me of the complexities inherent not only in the erroneously simple-sounding concepts of "weight" and "eating" but within each individual as well. In a journal entry written eight months before her death, Andrea proclaims:

I am beautiful, I am strong, I am this, I am so many things, important things. I reclaim my spirit, I take it back and I use it to nurture my own soul.

All of us are "so many things." Taking time to read books that provide hope and tangible steps to improve my and other's relationship with body and food is one way that I "reclaim my spirit" and "nurture my soul."