Emma Woolf

The Ministry of Thin

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Losing weight has become the modern woman’s holy grail… everything will be better when we’re thin.

We’re obsessed with weight, we dislike our bodies, we worry about the food we eat, we feel guilty, we diet… Too many of us are locked into a war with our own bodies which we’ll never win, and which will never make us happy.

'The Ministry of Thin' takes a controversial, unflinching look at how the modern obsession with weight loss, youth, beauty and perfection got out of control. Emma Woolf, author of An Apple a Day, explores how we might all be able to stop hating and start liking our own bodies again. And she dares to ask: if losing weight is the answer, what is the question?
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313 printed pages
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    Amalie Marie Vennikeshared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading


    cvrritchiehas quoted4 years ago
    Some academic studies claim that up to 80 per cent of patients with eating disorders also have a history of abuse. The links between eating disorders and sexual assault make sense – something about punishing oneself, denying one's own needs, the betrayal of the body, finding a focus for the shame/hurt. Sexual abuse makes them feel intensely guilty, as does food hunger, so they try to deny themselves everything. Victims of sexual abuse often blame themselves, thinking that they must have invited the abuse: they cannot control or punish the offender so they damage their own bodies and punish themselves. The parallels between sexual abuse and disordered eating are logical, when you think about the self-hatred caused by both conditions. (I should say, this hasn't been my experience, nor that of many women I know with EDs, but it's thought-provoking nonetheless.)
    cvrritchiehas quoted4 years ago
    If nothing else, nothing at all, you've been for a run.
    And there are the rare moments, running through Hyde Park, or along the Embankment, when everything falls into place. Rare moments when my legs and arms are working in perfect coordination, when I'm pushing myself hard but not on the verge of collapse, when a great song comes on and I'm Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and Paula Radcliffe rolled into one. Cue 'Eye of the Tiger'!
    Yes, music helps: for me it has to be something loud and upbeat, and the cheesier the better – Queen, Beyoncé, Black-Eyed Peas or the theme tune to Rocky (anything to block out the sound of my own hyperventilation).
    cvrritchiehas quoted4 years ago
    And yet I love running (or rather, I love having been for a run); I love being outdoors on freezing winter mornings and on glittering summer dawns; I love being athletic and neat

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