Just Eat It by Laura Thomas PhD
Release Date: January 10, 2019
Genre: Nonfiction, Health
My Rating: 🍪🍪🍪🍪
Man this book is important. Growing up in a society that puts body image above all else and constantly reinforces diet culture and a single body type can be incredibly brainwashing. I was always aware of these massive flaws in society, aware that everywhere I turned someone or something was telling me I had to change my body because even if I felt pretty good about it, it could be “better,” I still didn’t fully grasp how ingrained it had all become in every fiber of my being. Laura Thomas is smart (see that PhD after her name? That’s there for a reason). She knows her stuff, she’s not just spitballing her thoughts and experiences (although those are there too!), she’s using her education and her professional knowledge to help the reader understand how their relationship with food may have gotten so very f****d up, and how they can work on fixing that. I’m “including strong language” in this review because Thomas swears, a lot, throughout this book and I loved every second of it. When you’re talking about such a problematic concept, I think it’s good to get fired up.
The chapters in this book were well sectioned out, each focusing on a specific aspect of intuitive eating, and walking us through the steps we need to take in order to approach them correctly: how to tell when you’re really hungry, how to tell when you’re full, how to deal with emotional eating, how to approach healthy movement. She uses a lot of graphs and charts, which help to break up the massive amount of knowledge she throws at us. Although some of them felt a little bit juvenile to me, I understand that people who have struggled even more with disordered eating might find them incredibly helpful. She also intersperses ideas for journaling exercises to be used outside of your reading time in order to really try to embrace the steps of learning to eat intuitively. I did not partake in any of these, for me journaling about what I’m eating would definitely hurt the cause more than anything else, but Thomas creates a way for you to really make a step-by-step lifestyle change with her as a guide.
I had never read anything like this book before, and many of the concepts Thomas delves into were very eye opening for me. I found the sections surrounding fat phobia incredibly important, and this concept in its entirety is something I don’t think is spoken about enough. Even some of her more simplistic thoughts, such as:
“harm caused by weight-focused interventions may outweigh the benefits, and from an individual and a public-health perspective, focusing on developing a healthy relationship to food, body image, and movement is exponentially more beneficial”
made me take a step back and think why has it taken me until now to realize this? The detrimental effects of our weight-obsessed society cannot be overstressed and Laura Thomas points out the glaring issues in a succinct, scientific, and very motivational manner. I learned a lot more about myself while engrossed in these pages than I was expecting to, and I will definitely be using my newfound insight to try to approach food and eating in a more healthy and intuitive manner. To start, I’ll be eating these Girl Scout cookies because they’re delicious, and I want to.