Widespread publicity about "the war on obesity" has led to pervasive anxiety, distress, and shame about eating, says psychotherapist Nancy Ellis-Ordway. Many people feel at war with their bodies rather than at home, in large part because of weight stigma and the unrelenting pursuit of thinness in America.
This book offers a detailed approach for change, with a particular focus on "the message we give ourselves" when we eat, exercise, and interact with other people. This process incorporates operating from an internal locus of control as a way to improve self-esteem.
Elllis-Ordway, in contrast to the "diet mentality" that is full of restrictions, first has clients focus on building self-esteem and growing a desire for self-care. She teaches clients to develop an ability to "listen to their own bodies" for guidance to eat for physical and mental health. The better we listen to and fulfill our body's needs, she explains, the better our self-esteem and health becomes, and the more we believe we are "worth it" and are able to meet our objectives.