Publication Date: June 9, 2022
An urgent, enlightening and empowering guide to disavowing diet culture and learning to make peace with our bodies, from body confidence and anti-diet advocate, Alex Light.
When we look in the mirror, so many of us see a ‘before’ picture: the miserable person in the side-by-side shot waiting for the ‘glow-up’ (read: weight loss) that will bring true happiness. But it’s not our fault that we see our bodies as projects in need of constant work: this is just one of the beliefs that has been ingrained in us by diet culture. We have been taught to view ourselves as a collection of ‘problem’ areas for which the billion-dollar diet industry holds the solutions.
Step-by-step, You Are Not A Before Picture provides a framework for changing the way we view ourselves and the world around us. Working with experts in the fields of psychotherapy, fitness and nutrition, Alex empowers readers to interrogate their underlying beliefs, challenge the external and internal forces that are holding us back, and finally find freedom in our bodies, for good.
For those of us who are on the fluffy side, it is refreshing to come across a book that embraces our appearance as we currently are, not some filtered version of what society thinks we should look like. Author Alex Light promotes body positivity in You Are Not a Before Picture.
The print version is absolutely charming, featuring a beautiful pink cover and engaging illustrations within the pages. The text is artfully arranged to include meaningful quotes in a larger font. Through 13 chapters, Light explores the history of the diet culture, along with an analysis of the media’s contribution. She uses her own experiences to emphasize that everything society teaches about our bodies and our weight is wrong.
Oozing with encouragement, the book focuses on how to make peace with our bodies. Her advice is clear and purpose-driven. To achieve freedom from the endless cycle of dieting, we have to reprogram the way we think about ourselves. Rather than feeling shame about eating a donut, recognize that while there may be foods with better nutritional ingredients, you can eat the donut. Maybe that is why I am slurping on a peach milkshake while putting this review together.
If there is an anthem for body positivity, the words can be found within the pages of Light’s book. With social media playing such a big role in our lives, the message of what is attractive has become horribly twisted. In addition to her personal stories, Light also shares additional resources with readers.
From beginning to end, You Are Not a Before Picture radiates as a beacon for acceptance. The tools packed inside serve as a reminder that we are perfect…just the way we are.
Alex Light is a body confidence, self-acceptance and lifestyle influencer from London. After struggling from various eating disorders, Alex’s virtual platform transformed from a beauty and fashion blog into a glimpse into her personal struggles. Throughout her journey on social media, Alex has gained an expansive insight into the reality behind eating disorders, as well as weight stigma and diet culture. After a long and arduous recovery, Alex is dedicated to providing a safe space for anyone in the grips of an eating disorder or bad body image.