Published by Tyndale on January 11, 2022
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Discover a fresh approach to moving, fueling, and loving your good body well!
So many of us feel as though accepting our bodies means abandoning any effort to improve. We look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are going to love the skin we are in, but most days our inner self-critic is all we can hear. We constantly ask ourselvesHow can I have a healthy lifestyle that will keep me motivated and inspired?Why does it even matter how I think about my body? Can't I just lose weight and be happy?What is it going to take for me to be content with the way I look, even if I'm not thin?But there is hope! Pursuing the healthiest version of you means learning to love the reflection in the mirror, and Jennifer Wagner understands this all too well. From looking at her today, you wouldn't know that she used to weigh 336 pounds. During her 16-year health and wellness journey, she has felt the deep anguish of torment from peers and strangers, let the scale dictate her moods, and cried herself to sleep all because of her "imperfect" body. But ultimately, Jennifer realized that to overcome the overwhelming negative feelings about her body, she needed to start with her mind and let go of all the expectations of perfection that were keeping her from being the best version of herself.
Embark on this journey with Jennifer as your guide and learn to live a life of healthy habits and positive motivation to take care of your good body.
“Body-positive” is one of those buzzwords that people use to mean all kinds of things. Jennifer Taylor Wagner focuses her definition on helping women love themselves, let go of anxiety and harsh self-judgment, and pursue holistic wellness. She shares her story about major weight loss, but shows that losing weight didn’t fix her deeper problems with a skewed self-image. Throughout the book, she is incredibly honest and vulnerable about her past and present experiences, sharing about how she has found freedom from self-punishing cycles of anxiety, frustration, and body shame.
Your Good Body: Embracing a Body-Positive Mindset in a Perfection-Focused World is a great book for women of different sizes who are struggling with body-image issues. Although Wagner primarily focuses on weight-related struggles, she also writes about other physical attributes that women view in a skewed way, sharing an overall message of self-acceptance. She also shares realistic advice for how people can pursue healthy, balanced eating and exercise without being unreasonably demanding towards themselves or giving into diet culture. Although some books like this encourage people to accept themselves exactly as they are without changing harmful habits, and others push for dramatic, potentially unhealthy changes, Wagner shares a balanced perspective on how people can make better choices for themselves and their bodies through love and acceptance.
She also writes about common issues related to body-image insecurities in romantic relationships, and I appreciate how she acknowledges men’s body-image issues as well. Even though she directs this book to a female audience, she recognizes that body shame is a pervasive cultural issue regardless of gender, and she shares ideas for how adults can better model self-love and body-acceptance for children. She also talks some throughout the book about her Christian faith, but this tends to not be a major focus.
This book is accessible to people of different belief backgrounds, and is not theology-heavy. However, if someone is looking for more content from Scripture and more specific Christian teaching, they might want to pursue the Jess Connolly book Breaking Free from Body Shame: Dare to Reclaim What God Has Called Good. These books both have different perspectives to offer, and could complement and counterbalance each other well. Overall, I would recommend Your Good Body to women who are struggling with body shame and looking for new and more holistic ways to think about nutrition and exercise.