Befriending Your Body by Ann Saffi Biasetti is a book that helps people recover from eating disorders. It focuses on showing the reader how to reconnect with and accept their body. In this book review, I’ll give you the info you need to decide if the book is right for you.
An Outline of the Book
Befriending Your Body is an enlightening book filled with helpful information and practical tips. It works on building the reader’s trust in their body while offering a complete, mind-and-body approach to eating disorder recovery. Before I review the book, here’s a quick overview of what it covers.
What Makes Us Hate Our Body
Ann starts by explaining that we’re our own worst enemy. She gives her personal story of anorexia and how her emotions and thinking made her feel too sick to eat. Overall, the way we speak to ourselves has a major impact on how we feel and how our bodies react.
Ann shows you that you’re not alone, you simply feel that way. She talks about eating disorders and what happens when we start isolating ourselves from the people around us. Then, she discusses how poor body image, thoughts of perfectionism, and low self-worth are created.
The book delves deeply into how the media and diet culture fan the flames of disordered eating. How they make us think we should be trying to fit into their mold, even if it’s impossible. It covers society’s view of body image and cultural influences.
You learn how diet culture treats the body like a machine that we drive, instead of a part of ourselves. This makes us care about our physical appearance instead of respecting what our bodies do for us.
The book teaches you how this leads to stubborn, unhealthy thoughts. That disconnecting yourself from your body is what leads to eating disorders. Then, it shows you how to reconnect and experience life the way you were meant to.
Words of Compassion
While reading Befriending Your Body, you’ll learn how to think compassionately about yourself. When you see yourself in a negative light for so long, you start believing it, whether it’s true or not. Changing your thoughts will help you in recovery.
Ann teaches you how to become self-compassionate by listening to your body and speaking to it in a caring way. She describes how using words of compassion fits in with recovery. She also proves to you why you’re worthy of recovery and deserving of love and attention.
You’ll learn how to develop a more positive mindset by listening to your thought process and finding out what’s helpful or not. The book shows you how to give up black and white thinking and embrace self-forgiveness. In the long run, this will help you deal with overthinking, anxiety, and fear of the future.
Befriending Your Body
While reading this book, you’ll be given many practices that you can use to calm your thoughts. These are simple and can be used whenever you need them. You’ll learn to be your own coach to make your recovery more effective.
The practices are designed to help you feel at home in your body. They involve self-inquiry, meditation, grounding, and yoga. Using these practices, you can connect with your body and practice mindfulness in detailed steps.
This isn’t meant to take away your feelings entirely. Rather, the practices are meant to make you understand your body and why it’s reacting the way it is. In short, you’re facing the truth of your behaviors.
Also, Ann gives you tips towards eating better while recovering. She guides you towards healing your relationship with food and making eating a joyful and healthy experience. She encourages you to take small steps if necessary. Through your recovery, you’ll start feeling hunger and fullness again.
After going through the 9 phases of recovery that Ann lays out for you, you start to discover who you really are. You begin to hear what your body is telling you and see it as your partner, not your enemy. This will boost your entire life.
The book describes what will happen as you move through recovery. You’ll see the reality of your illness and want to stop self-isolating and care for your body. You’ll start speaking to it with words of compassion. Ann gives you a list of ways to stop putting up walls and look outside yourself for support.
As you recover, you’ll find meaning in your life and make better connections with the people around you. You’ll no longer let the eating disorder control your behavior and dictate how others respond to you. Until then, Ann will make sure you know exactly how to get there.
About the Author, Ann Saffi Biasetti
Ann Saffi Biasetti, Ph.D., LCSW, has dedicated her life to researching eating disorders and the effects of self-compassion. She is a licensed social worker, yoga teacher, yoga therapist, and mindfulness and self-compassion trainer. She works with clients struggling with eating disorders and incorporates somatic psychotherapy (holistic therapy involving the mind, body, spirit, and emotions) into their recovery.
Trauma as a young woman left her feeling disconnected from her body and loved ones. She began to cope with her feelings by restricting food which developed into anorexia. When she discovered she was ill, she worked through recovery and decided to dedicate her life to help others with eating disorders.
Ann has spent much of her life learning new ways to help her clients, including getting her Ph.D. and becoming a yoga teacher. She feels traditional eating disorder treatment barely scratches the surface of what’s needed for a full recovery. However, she plans to keep expanding her horizons to give her clients the best chance of recovery possible.
What Was Helpful in Befriending Your Body?
Befriending Your Body had many features that I absolutely loved. It’s written with compassion to the reader, offering encouragement and positivity. Because Ann had dealt with eating disorders, she makes it very relatable as well.
It never states that you only need to follow the book to get better. It recommends that you seek professional help while reading or after reading for the best chance at recovering.
While reading the book, you’re given many resources, practices, and tips for recovery and wellness. This is incredibly helpful for someone who’s on the path to self-discovery. It has many simple practices to get in touch with your body using journaling, yoga, and meditation.
Unlike traditional eating disorder recovery, Befriending Your Body focuses on improving our mind and body connection. Other treatments often focus on fixing the behaviors, like purging or undereating. In this case, you’ll find out where the behaviors come from and fix the causes.
The book was also short and to the point. I never felt like it was repeating or dragging on, and I appreciated that. Throughout the book, you’re also given many examples and quotes from the clients that Ann has helped. This helped me truly connect with the advice that she was giving.
Lastly, I was happy to see the book recommend writing a letter to your body. Recently, I wrote one and found some valuable information about myself. I also recommend this to anyone who wants to get in touch with their bodies.
What Wasn’t Helpful
When I review books, I usually find unhelpful pieces of advice. But in this book, there was nothing I disliked. Of course, the book isn’t going to help everyone. Some people may not respond well to meditation or a spiritual style of treatment.
There may also be times when you don’t have the time or space to use some of the practices when needed. However, using them at home when you do have time will still be beneficial.
Who Can Benefit from Reading Befriending Your Body?
- People wanting a more spiritual approach to recovery.
- Someone interested in learning about mindfulness.
- Anyone who likes yoga or wants to try yoga
- Anybody suffering from an eating disorder.
- Someone in recovery who wants another resource to help them.
- Those who need a compassionate form of recovery.
- People who don’t want to read a book that’s too long.
- Anyone looking to improve their total wellness.
Would I recommend Befriending Your Body?
While I’m not a very spiritual person, I appreciate paying attention to your body and connecting with it. Our bodies are our homes, and we need to honor and respect them. Of course, Befriending Your Body shows you how to do that and more.
I was glad I read this book and found it refreshing and eye-opening. Now, I see my body as part of myself as a whole instead of separating myself from it. I also appreciate the information it gives me and take note of how I’m feeling. This has made me more self-aware and improved my mental wellness.
If you haven’t read Befriending Your Body yet, I recommend that you do! I guarantee it’ll open your mind and set you on the path to self-discovery. In the links below, you’ll find the paperback, audiobook, and eBook. Check it out!
Have you read Befriending Your Body? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so share them with me in the comments!
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