Below is a collection of books I’ve personally read and found helpful for intuitive eating, joyful movement, anti-diet, anti-fatphobia, and embodiment purposes. This list will be periodically updated so keep checking back regularly!
Note: All book links are to Amazon for ease of reference, but I highly recommend purchasing from your local bookstores if that is an accessible option for you.
As you work through this reading list, you may be motivated to find a community to practice this with and so there are two I would recommend:
The Loyobo community: founded by a good personal friend of mine this community centers women. It is a virtual fitness community available around the globe. The Loyobo community is committed to being anti-diet and anti-fatphobic, and focuses on joyful movement, intuitive eating, and long-lasting behaviour change so you can learn to feel good in your body!
East Mountain: classes in several internal arts including Qigong, Chen Tai Chi, Bagua and Xingyi by James Saper, a registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. I’ve had the good fortune to study under James since May 2015 and this is an excellent way to learn ways of embodiment focused on health and wellness that have a LONG tradition behind them.
90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality by Allison Yarrow
An excellent and detailed analysis of the representation of gender in the ’90s–a formative decade for many millennials (and tangentially for Gen Z’s). A little more of a heavy read, and maybe not as helpful for those unfamiliar with many of the references, but still well-worth checking it out! Fair warning: you may find several of your favourite ’90s sitcoms and rom-coms ruined by this one!
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski, Ph. D. and Ameila Nagoski DMA
This books is an excellent, evidence-based one on stress and burnout more generally and how to build more sustainable and resilient practices which includes things like joyful movement. Well worth the read, and highly accessible!
Fearing The Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fatphobia by Sabrina Strings
This is an excellent book covering the racial history of fatphobia. Truly heart-breaking, and a little known history. Give this a read for crucial historical context and keep a box of tissues handy!
The Joy of Movement: How exercise helps us find happiness, hope, connection and courage by Kelly McGonigal
I first read this book in May 2021 and it’s an excellent introduction to the concept of joyful movement. The author shares her personal experience becoming a group fitness instructor, as well as including an accessible overview of the science regarding the benefits of joyful movement.
More Than A Body: Your Body is an Instrument, Not an Ornament by Lexie & Lindsay Kite
This is a recent work as of the summer of 2022 and does contain many good points. It is not one I would recommend starting with, as I’m ambivalent about some of the distance from the body the authors occasionally encourage, and the absolute statements that sometimes make their way in–but definitely worth the read for folks already familiar with anti-diet, anti-fatphobic, and joyful movement concepts.
My Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
An excellent book that is one of the more well-known ones addressing anti-fatphobia with the element of racial discrimination added in. An excellent first-hand account with scientific review and historical context included–I highly recommend giving this one a read as it was one of the earliest published on this list, and you will likely encounter several references in the other works!
The Wisdom Of Your Body: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection Through Embodied Living by Hillary L. McBride
An excellent and accessible book by the celebrated Hillary McBride, Vancouver-based therapist, author, and podcaster. The author covers the theory and science in an accessible fashion and also provides several practical techniques to explore the concepts further. I can’t recommend this one enough!
You Are Not A Before Picture: How to Finally Make Peace with Your Body, for Good by Alex Light
This is an excellent introductory book to all of these concepts released in 2022. The author writes in an accessible and relatable manner. The chapters are not too short, or too long, and there is a nice mix of personal stories, scientific reviews, and historical context. Definitely give this one a read!