Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently
I have not had a good relationship with my body over the years. I was underweight during adolescence and early adulthood, then freaked out when I started to gain weight during my senior year of college. I also could not understand why my friends were telling me I looked fine when I felt I was overweight. After reading Sarah Maria's book, Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently, I realize I had been living with Negative Body Obsession (NBO). According to Maria, “NBO is a condition marked by a near-constant critical rumination on one's appearance.”
Maria does an excellent job with this self-help book, taking the reader through all the steps to help her realize how she is viewing her body, and what she can do to stop NBO from taking over her life. The book follows a five step program: the first step is to step up a powerful intention, where the reader identifies what she wants regarding her body and food. The second step is for the reader to identify her negative thoughts and replacing them with positive body thoughts; instead of thinking “I am so fat,” the negative body reaction is changed to “I am inherently beautiful.” The third step involves finding the true person on the inside. The fourth step has the reader befriending her body through meditation, laughter, music, and other “healing” methods. This culminates in the fifth step where the reader lives for a purpose by focusing on the things she is good at , setting goals, and helping other people. Maria goes into great detail with each of the steps, with exercises and inspirational stories.
The tone of the entire book is uplifting, and Maria writes in a warm, inviting tone that helps the reader in this self-help journey. What was appealing to me was Maria's reference to different scientific research, such as psychology and physics : if she was referring to a particular method, such as how intentions can change an outlook on life, she backed everything up with multiple studies. All of the studies she refers to are listed in the resource section.
The steps that Maria uses to help readers to overcome body issues are helpful for other problems. I found myself tackling abuse issues from my past, which were also tied into some of the issues with my body. Love Your Body, Love Your Life definitely puts a new perspective on body image, and can be a helpful tool for anyone who has been struggling with self-image, food, and weight.