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When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies: Freeing Yourself from Food and Weight Obsession Paperback – December 30, 1996
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From the Inside Flap
mpower all women to stop believing that our bodies are the problems, dieting the solution."
--Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.
Author of The Dance of Anger
In this revolutionary new book, bestselling authors Carol Munter and Jane Hirschmann explore the myriad reasons why women cling to diets despite overwhelming evidence that diets don't work. In fact, diets turn us into compulsive eaters who are obsessed with food and weight.
Munter and Hirschmann call this syndrome "Bad Body Fever" and demonstrate how "bad body thoughts" are clues to our emotional lives. They explore the difficulties women encounter replacing dieting with demand feeding. And finally, they teach us how to think about our problems rather than eat about them--so that food can resume its proper place in our lives.
"Many women will find in these pages exactly what they need: determined, optimistic, and resourcefu
About the Author
Jane R. Hirschmann, CSW, is a psychotherapist who for the past thirty-six years has specialized in the treatment of children and adults with compulsive eating problems. She co-authored Overcoming Overeating and When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies with Carol H. Munter. Formerly, she was on the faculty of the New School for Social Research. Currently she is co-director of the National Center for Overcoming Overeating. She has trained professionals concerned with the treatment of eating problems, lectured, toured extensively, and appeared on national television and radio discussing her approach to this nation's eating dilemma. She lives in New York City and has raised three daughters with this method.
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I went to see a therapist to see what my problem was that I couldn't find the discipline to lose weight. She shocked me by telling me right off that I didn't have a weight problem, I had a dieting problem. That people came in all different sizes and shapes and our culture was fat phobic. That our culture encouraged eating disorders by making women believe that they should all look like supermodels and the thinner the better. That everything would be better, if we could just be thinner. We were taught to hate our bodies.
I almost ran out of her office. How dare she say that it was okay to be less than thin and that food wasn't my enemy? Or that I could learn to listen to my body and eat what my body needed? That once I learned not to fear food and how to trust my body I would go to my 'natural' weight. Didn't she know that if I didn't control my every bite of food that I would blow up to the size of a blimp? But something she said snagged me into listening. I was sick of hating my body. She told me about this book and I decided to read it. Thank God she had a support group for fellow body haters, or else I probably would have died of fright.
Well, guess what. It's been years now since I had that first session and read the book. I eat what I want when I want now and I love my beautiful (now middle aged) less than thin body. It took a lot of bravery and hard work to learn how to give up my dieting, food obsessions, bad body thoughts and learn the real reasons for my body hatred. I don't think about food much anymore, unless I'm hungry. I know myself and my body very well now and I keep my home stocked up with things I know I love. I carry my food bag (full of things I might like) around with me when I'm going to be gone from the house for long enough for me to get hungry. I've discovered that I don't much like fast food, or even most food from any restaurant (except sushi occasionally), but if I get hungry enough I'll eat something that my body isn't going to appreciate, so I take care of myself by bringing along what I might want. Which happens to be what my body wants.
If you take a look at what I generally eat over a period of a week, a nutritionist would say I eat a healthy diet with how much fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and legumes I take in. I don't eat much fat, my body doesn't like it. But if you see what I eat day to day, you might say that I eat pretty weird. If I feel like a huge green salad for breakfast, that's what I have. Raisin Bran for dinner? No problem. For three days in a row, only broccoli with mozzarella melted on it, apples from my tree and not much else, because I didn't want anything else? Sure. Then a few days later eating from a quart of strawberry ice cream until I didn't want anymore? That works too. (I actually didn't wind up eating much ice cream, but it made me happy to eat out of the quart container and know that I could eat the whole thing if I really wanted to)
So, be a rebel and refuse to hate your body. Refuse to play the "My thighs are so fat" or "I just can't get the fat off my belly" or "I was bad and ate a donut last night" game that other women play all the time when they are together.
We have better things to invest our energy in than obsessing over our weight and food.
If you are ready to look past your weight and focus on your well-being, then this book will be a great companion. It is well written, with real-life examples from women who have discovered the secret to a lifestyle free from body image worries; a lifestyle that is light and loving in itself.
I am happy that I found this book at the perfect time for me. It has helped me transform myself into the person I am today. These days I can focus on my friends, and I can be relaxed enough to let go of my insecurities and have a great time. It has been a year-long process and although I still have to remind myself every once-in-a-while, it has gotten much easier to snap out of it.
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make sure she doesn't suffer in the same way we have from...Read more