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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2011
I'm no stranger to negative body image issues. I fought anorexia in my early 20s and now, in my 30s, I thought it would be good to lay the last vestiges of those old deamons to rest. I picked up this book hoping for practical meditations and essays that would help me complete my journey towards a more positive self-image.

Sadly, this book is poorly conceived, unscientific and potentially harmful.

The book uses novel acronyms such as NBO (Negeative Body Obssesion) and psudo scientific corruptions of quantum physics. (I'm a mathematics professor and I love physics. I can say, without hesitation, there is nothing scientific or correct about what is in the section titled "quantum physics!")

It is very strange that the author invents "NBO" when, there is already a far more recognized mental condition call "BDD" (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) that covers the same symptoms... It was then that I realized I was reading a book based on the cult-like inspirational psycho-babble known as "the secret" -- so, rather than building on established research on anorexia, BDD, and related mental disorders, this book tries to indoctrinate readers into the mythology of "the secret" ...

The book describes what life would be like without a negative body image, using a day-in-the life of a woman living a perfect day free of obsession ... But, as I read that description of her day, I realized that my life, though imperfect, was far more enjoyable and free from anxiety than the authors ideal! So, what could I possibly learn from this text?

The ideal seemed to be about burying and avoiding unpleasant thoughts in an almost paranoid way, like the person, who, in the middle of an earthquake, goes on making her tea and smiling as if nothing were wrong. I think this could be very emotionally damaging. It is also misleading to lead suffers of BDD to believe that there are no relevant psychological theories to help them... There are plenty!

I wish I had not wasted my money, I thought all body-image self-help books would be the same... I'm going to find one based on accepted psychological theories, not some cult-like psudo-science!
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