Celebrity wellness experts are often so committed to what they sell, they lose sight of anything else.
Like, they just have the one money-making message that they repeat over and over like it’s going to work for everyone all the time.
I’m sick of it – which is why I was extremely wary of picking up the book ‘Women, Food and Desire: Embrace Your Cravings, Make Peace with Food, Reclaim Your Body’ by Alexandra Jamieson.
It’s actually awesome.
And has some fantastic new ways of looking at (and dealing with) cravings. Here’s some of what you can learn from the book.
Who’s this book good for?
- Anyone who is sick of listening to experts tell them about what their lives or their bodies should be like and wants to start forging their own path.
- People who learn well from the stories of others.
- Anyone who wants to feel like they are normal, not alone, and that there is hope for them.
This book might not be so great for:
- Anyone looking for a set plan or series of action steps.
- If you need your assertions backed up by scientific or medical data (while she cites some research it’s not referenced at all).
What can you learn?
‘Women, Food and Desire’ is supposed to be about cravings… but I feel like that’s really short-selling it. It’s really more about understanding the power of your cravings and using that to build a life you love. But in a totally down-to-earth, practical, non-hippy way.
My overall impression of this book left me feeling upbeat, encouraged, and empowered – all fantastic feelings to take away from a functional health book.
Especially one about cravings, a topic that can make even the strongest of us feel small and powerless. Alex has filled the book with strong messages saying “you are not alone”, “you are worth it”, and “you can have the life you want”.
Only she says it much better than that and in a much more convincing way!
She writes a lot about letting go of guilt and shame, and of feeling unworthy of self-care. While this isn’t something I’ve ever struggled with, her stories make it clear that I’m one of the few lucky ones who hasn’t had to fight these demons. I have, of course, had to (and still do) struggle with unwanted cravings, a topic she covers with humor, candor, and care.
One of the ‘official’ reviewers on Amazon said: “Get out your highlighter when you read Alexandra’s book.” and I found this totally true! I didn’t actually have a highlighter, but the ‘highlight’ function on my Kindle got a pretty good workout. There were just so many ideas and ways Alex wrote things that made me go “Yeah! That’s spot on!”.
The main point of ‘Women, Food and Desire’ is:
Your cravings have meaning.
Listen to them, work out what the craving is REALLY for and work to fulfill that and it’ll lead to a stronger, happier, healthier, more powerful woman. Alex says “The key to achieving this profound level of comfort with the self is simple: learn to listen to your cravings. Listen to them, and learn to honor them. This is easy, but it is the hardest thing you will ever learn to do…”.
She makes the point that what we crave is usually just an easier version of what we truly desire. Often it’s not chocolate that we want, but love of some kind, “Because, in the end, that’s what we women really crave: to belong, to be loved, to be well, especially within ourselves.”
Alex gives us guidance in the book. She offers some great, practical suggestions for how to start listening to yourself, working out what you really want, and then going for it. However, this book isn’t a step by step or even a road map. It’s not good for those who need more knowledge or a clear plan they can follow – but that’s her point: That you should be listening to yourself and making your own plans.
She states that “When we put someone else’s rules of eating above what our bodies actually need, we further disassociate from ourselves and lose our ability to feel pleasure, which is actually our greatest ally in our journey to wholeness and sexy self-acceptance.”
Her main message: “To find our way back to food, we need to want to be whole and to live honestly and wholeheartedly, and to do this, we need to trust ourselves, body and soul.”
So, it’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re ready to get off the beaten track, diet-wise, this book is a huge step in the right direction to get you thinking, feeling, and planning for yourself. I will definitely be re-reading it somewhere down the road.
If you’re looking for ways to deal with your cravings, try the free quick step guide: 4 Steps to Stop your Unwanted Eating. Grab it here: