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Body Kindness: Transform Your Health from the Inside Out—and Never Say Diet Again

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Freedom from Diets!
Imagine a graph with two lines. One indicates happiness, the other tracks how you feel about your body. If you’re like millions of people, the lines do not intersect. But what if they did?
This practical, inspirational, and visually lively book shows you how to create a healthier and happier life by treating yourself with compassion rather than shame. It shows the way to a sense of well-being attained by understanding how to love, connect, and care for yourself—and that includes your mind as well as your body.
Body Kindness is based on four principles.
WHAT YOU DO: the choices you make about food, exercise, sleep, and more
HOW YOU FEEL: befriending your emotions and standing up to the unhelpful voice in your head
WHO YOU ARE: goal-setting based on your personal values
WHERE YOU BELONG: body-loving support from people and communities that help you create a meaningful life
With mind and body exercises to keep your energy spiraling up and prompts to help you identify what YOU really want and care about, Body Kindness helps you let go of things you can't control and embrace the things you can by finding the workable, daily steps that fit you best. Think of it as the anti-diet book that leads to a more joyful and meaningful life!

288 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2016

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About the author

Rebecca Scritchfield

2 books39 followers
Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified exercise physiologist, author of the book Body Kindness, and host of the Body Kindness podcast. Through her weight-inclusive counseling practice, she helps people make peace with food, find the joy in exercise, and create a better life with workable goals that fit individual interests. Central to all her work, Rebecca aims to develop self-compassion in place of shame by rejecting the rules of diet culture and the pervasive myth that to achieve better health one must lose weight.

Using her Body Kindness philosophy, Rebecca mentors registered dietitians and supports women from around the world in collaborative, online learning spaces free from unhelpful diet chatter and negative body talk.

Rebecca has influenced millions through her writing, podcast, and appearances in over 100 media outlets including NBC Nightly News, CNN, the TODAY show, the Washington Post, O Magazine, Self, Real Simple, Health, Yoga Journal, and many others. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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5 stars
540 (33%)
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553 (33%)
3 stars
377 (23%)
2 stars
126 (7%)
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33 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 153 reviews
2 reviews
July 15, 2019
I'll start by saying that I am a registered dietitian who works primarily with eating disorders/disordered eating and those looking to heal their relationship with food, and I would not recommend this book to any of my clients. I had high expectations for it and found myself disappointed. It was honestly hard for me to get through and I ended up just scanning through the last half just to get to the end. The tone of the whole book felt very diet-y and personally I didn't connect with her "just do it!" approach. It felt very ableist and coming from a place of white privilege. All the colors, different fonts and random graphics felt very distracting and hard to follow. There were also zero references to be found despite multiple mentions of psychology research, etc. I appreciate what she wa trying to achieve with the content and concepts, but it just wasn't for me. Some of her messages felt shaming to me and I would want to be very careful with who I recommended the book to since I would worry it would bring up the diet mentality for many of my clients. I could see how this could be a fun self-help book for someone who wants to get away from dieting, but I just wouldn't feel comfortable promoting this particular book to others. The book is also clearly gendered and doesn't feel applicable to many of my clients.
Profile Image for Ani.
63 reviews17 followers
January 1, 2018
This can be seriously triggering if you have any history with any form of eating disorder. This is not body posi, this is not HAES, this is actually a diet book.

NOTE: If it has portion sizes listed anywhere, IT IS A DIET BOOK.
Profile Image for A .
273 reviews3 followers
October 27, 2017
The first two chapters were exactly what I needed to hear at this moment. I think the biggest take-away is: "Everyone has a gut instinct for how to be kind to their body." Oh...you don't? Oh well, don't beat yourself up about it!
Another one is that emotional health is an equal part of the health equation (not just physical health). And that physical health has NOTHING to do with cellulite, thick limbs, or body shapes. So let's all be kind to our bodies, eh?

As I continued to try and read further in this book I noticed that Rebecca writes conflicting messages. On the one hand, she tells you not to follow any food rules, or to label foods as good or bad, but then she talks about plating your portions so that 1/2 your plate is vegetables. But you can also eat whatever you want. But vegetables are good for you and you need to eat a lot of them. But, really, eat what you want! Isn't this no dieting fun?

For me this is confusing and even triggering. I would find myself nodding along and then doubt that it really is okay to eat I what I want. I think there are books that may be more true to the "Never say diet again" approach than this one: Intuitive Eating for example.
Profile Image for Barbara (The Bibliophage).
1,086 reviews152 followers
March 18, 2017
I chose this book because I strongly believe in the "never say diet again" mantra. It delivered that plus so much more.

We throw around terms like "nurturing" and "self-love" often, but do we really know what these mean in a practical sense of day-to-day steps? Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietician, breaks down her approach into manageable steps. She says to start with the question, "What is the least I can do?"

One of her precepts that I like the most is that food is nourishment, not a moral choice of good or bad. She talks about the downside of the "clean eating" movement - that anything not "clean" must be dirty or shameful. I appreciated this insight.

However, I'm uncomfortable with a dietician giving such detailed psychological advice. Many of her suggestions are based on positive psychology, which I struggle with and question especially since reading Bright Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich. But perhaps that's just me.

Scritchfield talks about resilience as if it were just as simple as "just bounce back, already?" It's not that simple, and I found that approach bordering on insensitive and hurtful.

At the point she says, "your mindset determines your authentic life" I wondered if I'd actually finish the book. It's a cliche that's been said by so many authors and speakers over the last decade.

And then things started to turn around. She moves back into eating, caring for yourself, and connecting with others in a way I could relate to.

I did enjoy Rebecca's friendly tone and funny insights like, "You can't hate yourself healthy." In discussing family dinners together - and studies about their benefits - she asks if it was the "magical roasted vegetables" that created those benefits. Of course not!

On the other hand, the continued references to Frozen got old. As my formerly Elsa obsessed granddaughter recently said, "That movie's over now!"

I would have preferred more stories of Rebecca's personal journey, in addition to the client vignettes. When she starts to tell some of her story, I found myself wishing for more detail and emotion. But alas, this is an instructional book not a memoir.

If you're looking for healthy living inspiration that's body positive, this is a great resource. It's full of actionable steps you can put in place for little to no financial investment. Instead, you're investing in yourself and that's the best return of all.

Thanks to the author, NetGalley, and Workman Publishing Company for an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Joan.
3,742 reviews71 followers
December 17, 2016
Scritchfield says body kindness is a self-care mindset based on the belief that health begins by being good to yourself. (2) This book is not a diet book. She says diets fail.

This book has a ton of information regarding personal health, including food, sleep, exercise, and relationships. The idea is to give us the information we need to make choices that improve our health without the goal of weight loss.

It took me a while to accept what Scritchfield writes. It goes against so much of what we have been told to believe about ourselves. For example, she writes, “Breaking news: You can be fit and fat. Inactivity, not fatness, is linked to mortality and heart disease.” (70) We have to let go of the idea that we are trying to manipulate our weight. In fact, she tells us to get rid of our scales.

Scritchfield has much information to help us make healthful choices. She covers just about everything, from food to stress to relationships to goal setting, and much more. She asks us to put self-care at the top of our list.

She recommends keeping a journal to help work through her book. There are many prompts she gives to help us think through what we do and why. She really advocates activity. She helps us get good and adequate sleep. Her section on emotions was great.

I recommend this book to people who are looking for how to develop a mindset that helps make choices based on goals developed from our values. Scritchfield helps us reveal our values and then walks us through creating the life we want. It's all in the book.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
42 reviews11 followers
June 3, 2017
While I appreciate her content, the formatting of this book drove me batty. It read like a 288-page blog post. Too many bulleted lists, pastel infographics, and sidebars.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,212 reviews3,214 followers
February 9, 2019
3.0 Stars
I appreciated the body positivity messages, but I wanted more depth from this book. Most of the content felt quite surface level. I hoped there would be more focus on intuitive eating, which was only ended up being a very small part. I would still recommend this book to fans of the author’s podcast.
Profile Image for Jessica.
2,097 reviews62 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
October 29, 2017
Another recommendation from my nutritionist, so I bought it, but... *deep sigh*

"Not a diet book" seems to be the latest diet slogan? I don't have a history of dieting. I have had diabetes since childhood so do have some food issues... But food is a symptom, not a cause. I also have depression and am on Lexapro -- which is wonderful but the combination caused me to gain about 40 pounds in 2 years. So yes, I'm overweight, hence my GP sending me to the nutritionist. But focusing on food isn't going to fix that. And my nutritionist and I talked about that before she recommended this book to me, so now I'm a little annoyed with her. And some of the goal setting stuff includes suggestions my therapist advised against (for me), so I'm going to set this aside.

This book has the assumption its readers are neurotyptical and healthy. If that's you, and you have a history of dieting, you are the prime audience. Maybe it will help you. I really don't know.
Profile Image for Kelly Lynn Thomas.
810 reviews19 followers
March 1, 2017
This book was interesting and made a lot of good points (health isn't determined by weight; it's possible to be healthy without being skinny; it's possible to be very unhealthy while being skinny; you should be kind to yourself and your body, etc.), it's definitely a book aimed at middle class white moms. There are many moments where the author's privilege was showing, which kind of irked me.
34 reviews
April 7, 2018
Do you want to eat what you want, when you want, however much you want, without someone or something telling you what you can and cannot eat? Then this book is for you! I cannot say enough about this book! Rebecca, a registered dietician, reveals applicable, common-sense ways to lead her readers into healthy lifestyles, free of dieting and calorie counting.
This book is quite informative in beginning and maintaining positive self-care habits of eating balanced meals, regular exercise, sleep, finding one’s value in life, and caring for others.
My favorite parts of the book were the first few chapters on eating, exercise, and sleep. I recommend a journal for the many points you’re going to want to jot down.
Profile Image for Andi.
378 reviews16 followers
April 6, 2020
Wow! What a great book! This is one of those that I will have to read again to truly digest everything.

I am currently on a self-compassion journey and have struggled with body image issues for most of my life. This book addresses many of those components, in particular the perfectionism that I have wrestled with my whole life.

This book deals with so much more than the body, but really addresses the body as connected to many aspects of wellness: spirituality, gratitude, self-compassion, as well as eating and exercise. I appreciate that the author addresses eating and exercise as ways to love and not punish your body, to nurture yourself.

If anyone has struggled with any of these things, I would highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Patricia.
1,099 reviews28 followers
January 31, 2023
Full of encouragement and practical advice, sorely needed in our fat shaming culture where women are taught they are never good enough. Recommended for every woman with body image issues.
Profile Image for Meagan Butler.
13 reviews
January 21, 2023
Rating System:

5 Stars: Book accomplished the goals of its genre and was well-written.

4 Stars: Book accomplished most goals of genre and didn’t alarm my inner critic.

3 Stars: Inner critic is alarmed and ruminating on how author could have done better.

2 Stars: Book is so bad it’s good.

1 Star: Would not recommend to a soul. Did not accomplish the goals of genre in any way and was poorly written.
Profile Image for Ashley.
696 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2017
Best for: People looking for a personal growth book that wraps all of the big ideas into one fancy-feeling book.

In a nutshell: Different ways of looking at how to treat yourself well - body, mind and spirit.

Line that sticks with me: “Think about whether the choice will matter to you in a year.”

Why I chose it: I was in one of those stores that sells a lot of cool-looking things for the home (pillows, candles, clever cards), and this book looked and felt like a fun read.

Review: There is nothing wrong with this book. In fact, I think that 22-year-old me might have gained a lot from reading it. I like the author’s focus on being kind to yourself and not focusing on a lot of things we cannot do (there’s no “don’t eat after 10 PM”-style rules). I like that she doesn’t just look at food and movement, but at feelings and even our values.

I just didn’t feel like there was anything new in here save for the fact that it’s all together in one book. If you’re relatively young, or have never read any sort of personal growth book but are having some struggles with your life, you could certainly do worse than this book.
Profile Image for Megan Austin.
38 reviews
January 27, 2022
I was hoping to read a book by a registered dietitian, but this felt like it was coming from some sort of life coach. There were ideas and thoughts I enjoyed, but honestly all of her recommendations and findings fell flat because she didn’t cite a single research study or article to back any of her claims, which really just felt lazy to me. When she did talk about food more specifically, it came across as still being filtered through some sort of “good” food, “bad” food mentality (which is not in line with schools of thought she claims to adopt, i.e. Intuitive Eating). It also felt that exercise was her solution to everything. Will not be recommending to my patients or my colleagues as an eating disorder registered dietitian myself.
Profile Image for Emily.
305 reviews6 followers
April 7, 2020
I "picked" up this audiobook in response to some weird self-isolation body feelings. I don't think this book is for me. I'm not a big fan of self help and I just don't think I'm the target audience. The only thing I found actually objectionable was the title of the last chapter (your group of friends and loved ones is not a "tribe").
Profile Image for Rain.
8 reviews
February 16, 2022
I really wanted to like this book. The first two chapters left me excited and believing this book would be about body positivity or HAES. But as the book went on it became worse and worse. It was shallow and diet culture was sprinkled in, though disguised. It was disappointing. I'm sure this book is for someone but it definitely wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Ellie.
7 reviews
September 24, 2018
I think this would be a good first resource for someone JUST beginning their self-love/ acceptance journey. Like having read nothing else on the subject first. It’s fine and all, but the ideas aren’t new nor is there anything earthshaking here.
Profile Image for Heather.
1 review
April 20, 2023
Note: I am an eating disorder therapist. If I could give this book 0 stars, I would. This book is a diet book in disguise. I would never recommend this book to any of my clients as it contains several problematic themes hidden within an “intuitive eating” and “anti-diet” style. This book could certainly be triggering and problematic to people who pick it up hoping to find support in adopting an anti-diet and HAES approach in their lives. Several points in the book contradict what I teach to clients as part of evidence based treatment. I typically do not write reviews, however, I felt compelled to as I hope people may see this and know to avoid it and it’s problematic messaging.
Profile Image for Dawn.
35 reviews1 follower
August 11, 2023
A bit preachy at times, but one of those books where you use what you need and leave the rest. I personally benefited from the bridge between spiraling up Scritchfield wrote about, and how that relates to our body positivity. For instance, intuitive eating and mindful movement leading to a healthy mind and body regardless of weight loss, a body may or may not lose weight, but you are working with your body regardless, not fighting against it and trying to mold it into a shape it might not be meant to be. I may purchase the journal that accompanies this book as well, because there are a lot of writing prompts that seem interesting.
Profile Image for Gala.
299 reviews4 followers
August 21, 2018
Дуже твереза книга про доброзичливе й помірковане ставлення до свого тіла. Авторка не психотерапевт, але пропонує багато вправ та рекомендацій в КПТ-стилі і вони досить влучні. Загалом це хороший посібник для внесення змін в свій звияайний розпорядок(чи його відсутність).
Profile Image for Masha.
49 reviews2 followers
July 22, 2019
Un livre sympa si l'on est perdu dans le chemin du bien-être, le VRAI. Pas l'image faussée des corps parfaits et de la sur-productivité. Beaucoup d'exercices à faire soi-même, il faut prendre le temps et c'est ce qu'il m'a manqué pour appliquer chacun des exos.
Profile Image for Emily Jane.
7 reviews1 follower
January 1, 2019
All women should read this book! For me it was life-changing in knowing there was a path away from diet culture that lead to a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. Easy to read and powerful.
10 reviews24 followers
July 20, 2020
Beat book on a healthy lifestyle I’ve EVER READ
Profile Image for Sarah Elmore.
8 reviews3 followers
January 18, 2023
I stopped reading after a couple of weeks of trying so hard to get through the first chapter. As others have said, it felt conflicting even within the first few pages.
Profile Image for Cora Paradiso.
8 reviews2 followers
March 9, 2019
Absolute game changer. I don't often do this, but I have bought this book for other friends, that's how much of an impact it had on me.
Profile Image for Brianna Jensen.
23 reviews
November 16, 2020
This is a beautiful little book and fun to read but sometimes the advice was common sense and a little too out there for me. That said, it was well done and I don't regret reading it.
June 9, 2022
I love the overall message of this book. It had some great take aways and made me feel at peace with myself. The author did a good job of not just repeating herself which is something I find often in personal growth books. I don't believe I will use many of the practices in this book but I am glad this message is out there for those who need it.
Profile Image for We Are All Mad Here.
530 reviews45 followers
August 31, 2022
"Transform your health from the inside out - and never say diet again." -- This is what the cover tells us we will be doing by way of reading this book. The idea being that by doing all things in an effort to be kind to one's body, as opposed to punishing it, we can find the way to true health and body/mind contentment.

The notion of looking at things through kindness glasses instead of my old hate-ness glasses is a nice one, and that is the one aspect of the book that I liked. The rest of it was an undercover diet book. A diet book in kindness clothing. You get the idea. Here's some evidence:

"For some, having the awareness that food won't solve their problems is enough of a reminder to bust out of the cycle and go do something - anything - besides eat."
Wow - I mean - ANYTHING????

Some suggestions offered on what to do instead are drinking tea, giving yourself a manicure, or BRUSH YOUR TEETH TO CUT CRAVINGS. I....feel....a....diet....coming....on

Here's another quote: "The rebel voice says to you, 'Your boss is a jerk. Let's skip exercise, get cupcakes on the way home and eat them in the car.'" This example is given after it's been made plain that you're not supposed to listen to your rebel voice. So if I'm understanding this correctly, we're implying that skipping exercise when you're having a bad day and getting cupcakes instead is the incorrect decision. Because if you are on a DIET, then yes it WOULD BE the incorrect decision.

This book's solution for when you don't want to exercise when you're very tired: just exercise anyway! Really! Who knew?

And one of the most egregious examples of diet thinking: on page 186 there is talk of a client who loses weight after getting her emotional eating under control (after gaining 10 pounds "when her emotional eating spiraled out of control"). "Control" being one of the main tenets of any diet program. And this was offered as a success story, body kindness-wise.

If you've read Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works or pretty much any other anti-diet book, well -- reread any of them before picking this up. Certainly not recommended for anyone with a history of disordered eating.
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