Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Transforming Body Image

Transforming Body Image:  Learning to Love the Body You Have by Marcia Germaine Hutchinson is a self-help book for women who have negative body image (though it wouldn't be difficult, I think, to adapt the content for men to make use of, as well).  Each chapter in this book provides mental exercises and workbook-style questions for the reader to answer on her own.  Hutchinson makes a point of focusing attention on mental, rather than physical, changes, but unlike some other books on this topic, this one isn't all about feeding the reader pages of insincere flattery.  Hutchinson's methods are very introspective and are designed to take time and real effort.  There are stories from women who have taken Hutchinson's workshop using these exercises, and though the four women featured in the final chapter were still working through their issues well after the workshop had taken place, they all had significantly improved mindsets about their bodies.

In my opinion, the fact that these women were still works in progress, so to speak, lends Transforming Body Image a certain amount of credibility.  It proves that Hutchinson isn't trying to sell readers some kind of quick fix in her book.  Changing your self-image is not something that can be accomplished overnight, and this book acknowledges that and encourages readers to take their time and really focus on each exercise individually until they feel they've improved in each step.  It rings very genuine to me.

I rarely look at self-help books because I always end up discouraged when I do pick one up.  I always have said that I've yet to find one that is at all self helpful.  I think I finally found one in Transforming Body Image, however.  I did start doing the exercises, but I admittedly did not really continue them to the end of the book - I started half-assing it a few chapters in, and skipped the exercises completely toward the end, just glancing through the instructions.  Don't let my laziness make you think the book isn't worth taking a look at, though.  It absolutely is.  I just have a lot going on right now, and ended up not really having the time and attention I feel I would need to devote to this kind of thing, to actually benefit from it.  I appreciate the thought  put into each and every one of these exercises, and the fact that none of them seem too contrived.  I did feel more than a little silly while doing the ones that I did, but that may be partly because I'm just not as receptive as I need to be to start making these kinds of changes at the moment.

So, if you are like me and you have issues with your body image, you are frustrated, and feel like you've tried everything (dieting, exercising, eating your feelings, etc.) and nothing is working, maybe pick this up and see if this kind of thing is for you.  I plan to keep this one on my shelf and give it another try when I have less going on in my life.


The Crossing Press (imprint of The Crown Publishing Group)

See what others are saying about it, or buy it now:
Better World Books


Click the button to see my progress on the challenge this book applied to!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a very helpful book. I think it's a rare woman who doesn't struggle with her self-image at some point, so the more supportive literature we have on the subject, the better!