Food, Sex, and You: Untangling Body Obsession in a Weight-Obsessed World by Stacey GorlickyFood, Sex, and You: Untangling Body Obsession in a Weight-Obsessed World by Stacey Gorlicky

Food, Sex, and You: Untangling Body Obsession in a Weight-Obsessed World

byStacey Gorlicky

Paperback | April 9, 2016

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A look at our relationship with food and sex, what happens when we become too dependent on either, and how to start recovering.

The need for food and the desire for sex are powerful forces, so powerful they can turn our bodies into battle grounds. Bingeing, exercising to exhaustion, even entering repeatedly into unhealthy relationships - these are all addictive behaviours and symptoms of our body-obsessed world.

In Food, Sex & You, psychotherapist and recovered food addict Stacey Gorlicky will set you on a course to achieving full body acceptance and help you leave body obsession behind.

By sharing her personal journey and the stories of her clients, Stacey demonstrates how your attitude toward your body and your relationship with food and sex have been shaped by your upbringing, past traumatic experiences, and societal pressures. She then provides an action plan that will help you to sort out your feelings and behaviours surrounding food, allowing you to gain control of your eating.

Feel good about food. Feel great about sex.

Embrace the new you.
Stacey Gorlicky is a registered psychotherapist, former host of the live TV show Mind Matters, and a passionate spokesperson for mental-health issues. She lives in Toronto.
Title:Food, Sex, and You: Untangling Body Obsession in a Weight-Obsessed WorldFormat:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:April 9, 2016Publisher:DundurnLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1459734424

ISBN - 13:9781459734425

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly written From the moment I picked up this book I could not put it down. There is so much raw honest insight that anyone can benefit from reading. Truley a great read.
Date published: 2016-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully written I absolutely loved this book. It was full of honest insight and experience that anyone can benefit from and relate to. A must read.
Date published: 2016-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Positive changes Because we all need food to survive, it's hard to draw the line between the simple enjoyment of food and food addiction. Food, Sex and You makes this distinction clear, helping people realize negative dependencies on food as a way to fill a void. I would recommend the book to anyone questioning their own relationship with food and sex, as it's definitely helped me.
Date published: 2016-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Resonated What Stacey wrote about "deserving to be happy" really stuck with me. I found inspiration in her personal story, and the stories of the courageous people who've shared their own experiences. Happiness and recovery doesn't happen overnight, but this book is a good start on the road to getting in touch with your body, boosting self-esteem and achieving greater self awareness.
Date published: 2016-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wish I had read earlier. As someone's who's obsessed over weight in her younger years, yo-yo dieting and testing all the latest health fads, I wish I had read Food, Sex & You earlier. Stacey's story is easy to relate to, at a time when media is plastered with unrealistic body images. I finished the book feeling empowered, and ready to shift my focus more on health and mind rather than aesthetics.
Date published: 2016-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very worthwhile read I picked up this book last weekend and finished in about a weekend! Really admire the author for sharing her personal battle with addiction and using her struggles with food, sex and body image to help others with the same issues. Highly recommend for anyone who isn't 100% happy with what they see in the mirror all of the time--so, everyone!!
Date published: 2016-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Great book. Great read. Very informative. I couldn't put it down once I started to read it. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand body image issues and their relationship to food and sexually intimacy. It isn't just for people with food addiction and body image issues. I really understood through this book what it means to love and approve of myself one hundred percent. Stacey tells a very inspiring story about her life and also shares stories of unidentified patients.
Date published: 2016-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Feeling Good About Myself Food, Sex & You is a treasure I discovered. I have been struggling for years with my own body image issues an eating disorder and sexual intimacy issues. I was excited to write a review in hopes that someone would read the book and get out of it what I got. For those who feel lost with no hope of recovery, Stacey sheds light that recovery is not only possible, it is very much a reality for anyone who is committed. The honesty, transparency and deep emotion that Stacey shares offers true hope for a full recovery to the reader. The book shares the true reality of sexual intimacy issues that go hand in hand with body image issues and an eating disorder. Other books I have read have not discussed this topic in such a way that has opened up my eyes to learning about this side of myself. Stacey talks about real stories that I myself can relate to. This is a book I can read over and over again.
Date published: 2016-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible!! WOW... Who would have thought I could open a book and get such a reality check with my life. Inspiring and very in touch with a reality that has been with me for so many years. This is a book that has opened up my thoughts and my vision to see the person that I am and who I want to be.
Date published: 2016-04-15

Read from the Book

As a product of Western culture, I was hardly alone in my anxieties. Instillinginsecurity in women over their physical appearance is the basic strategyused by cosmetics manufacturers, fashion designers, and weight-loss clinicsto sell their products, with the mainstream media wildly complicit. Not only do popular magazines bombard us with images of celebrities and modelschosen for their beauty, but these images are digitally altered so thatcelebrity legs are as impossibly long and slender, waists are as wispy, andbreasts are as uplifted and enlarged as those of the Barbie dolls we playedwith as children. Wrinkles are non-existent and skin is glowing. The "cover" for this once-secret process was blown when Esquire magazinefeatured Michelle Pfeiffer, hailed as one of the world's most beautifulwomen, on the cover of a 1990 issue with the caption, "What MichellePfeiffer Needs . Is Absolutely Nothing." Subsequently, Adbusters obtainedand printed a copy of an Esquire editorial memo detailing the $1,525 intouch-ups editors deemed necessary before Pfeiffer was fit to be seen bytheir readers. "Clean up complexion, soften eye lines, soften smile line, addcolor to lips, trim chin, remove neck lines, soften line under ear lobe .remove stray hair . adjust color and add hair on top of head . add dresson side to create better line ." Some editors blame the stars and their publicists for insisting that thesealterations be made in order to enhance the stars' image. This could not besaid of Kate Winslet, who famously complained that in photographs in a2003 British edition of GQ, editors had excessively slimmed her body toreflect their view of what they thought she should look like. As she indignantlyexclaimed, "They reduced the size of my legs by about a third!" In another move that delighted feminists, 43-year-old Jamie Lee Curtisposed in a 2002 issue of More magazine with no makeup, in harsh light,wearing only a sports bra and panties. This was paired with a contrastingglamour photo of Curtis that had required thirteen people three hoursto prepare. As she explained, "I don't have great thighs. I have very bigbreasts and a soft, fatty little tummy. And I've got back fat." Curtis admittedthat she gained the courage to mock her movie-star image through herdrug-addiction recovery program. She had become hooked on painkillersas a result of cosmetic eye surgery when she was thirty-five. "I've had a littleplastic surgery. I've had a little lipo. I've had a little Botox. And you knowwhat? None of it works. None of it." More recently, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence said about the imageof her used in a Miss Dior campaign, "That doesn't look like me at all.People don't look like that!" Her fans vigorously protested when "before"and "after" photos of her for a Flare magazine cover revealed that touch-upartists had changed her hairline, hollowed her cheeks, stretched her neck,and thinned her arms and her already slender body. "You look how youlook," commented Lawrence. "What are you going to do? Be hungry everysingle day to make other people happy? That's just dumb." In 2009, the French version of Elle magazine pioneered what came tobe called the "raw-celebrity movement" by featuring cover models withoutmakeup or digital touch-ups. Since then, supermarket tabloids haveinverted this concept through "gotcha" photography that catches celebritiesoff guard: "Who's Got the Worst Cellulite in Hollywood?" and "BeachBodies - Too Fat! Too Thin!" and "Caught Without Their Make-up!"Some editors have even been accused of adding fat and wrinkles to celebrityphotos instead of wiping them out. Even the world's most powerful women can't escape the relentless scrutinyof them as aesthetic objects. When Hillary Clinton was running forthe Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, the media seemed to payas much critical attention to her clothes and hairstyle as to her policies,even predicting that she could become America's first "Pantsuit President."Political buttons, describing Clinton as "2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts,"indicated what could be in store for her now that she is running for the2016 nomination. During Germany's last federal election, Chancellor Angela Merkel'sproven political savvy didn't keep media louts from peering critically downher cleavage, or bloggers from referring to her "attractiveness gap." Along with the ideal-beauty standards set by our culture, today's youthhave grown up with the technology and the know-how to turn the spotlighton themselves, their friends, and their enemies. From cellphone cameras toFacebook, from Twitter to Tumblr, they post images of themselves, despitedeep underlying insecurities. How eagerly they count up their Facebook"likes" in search of validation, and how painfully they suffer from mean,anonymous comments that shatter their self-confidence. Their own actionscreate a vicious cycle, because the more eyes that are upon them, the moredifficult it is for them to balance their anxieties against their need for recognition.Small wonder that women seek liposuction, tummy tucks, breastimplants, and fillers like Juvederm at a younger and younger age. Whereasfifties housewives invited the neighbours to Tupperware parties, today'scareer women and socialites stage more fashionable Botox parties, withgroup-priced injections served up with the canapés and champagne.Although beauty is something for which we women have been taught tostrive, those born with spectacular looks often discover that their goodfortune can have a downside. While men pursue them as sex objects andtrophies, other women isolate them because they feel jealous or intimidated.No one truly knows them, and anyone who lives in a vacuum cannotknow herself. Like wealthy or powerful men, beautiful woman often find it challengingto sort out the sycophants and the opportunists from those whogenuinely admire, like, and love them. However, a critical difference is thatwomen are most sought after when they are young and vulnerable, which isalso when they are least able to deal with the admiration and jealousy projectedupon them, or to benefit from the opportunities that come their way.Too often they learn to depend on their beauty while their more authenticselves shrivel inside. My client Jennifer was one of those blessed and cursed with beauty.Though a gorgeous, drop-dead blonde, she was, in her view, never perfectenough - a mindset that was becoming increasingly problematic with age. Jennifer was only thirty-five when she came to see me, but already shehad had her nose and her breasts reconstructed, her tummy tucked, and herthighs liposuctioned. Her forehead was regularly frozen with Botox and herexpression lines were plumped up with commercial fillers. Along with an addiction to plastic surgery, Jennifer had a serious eatingdisorder, an alcohol addiction, a heavy shopping addiction, and a sex andlove addiction. A divorcee with three children, she was also deep in denialabout her problems, with no idea of who she was or how to climb out ofthe desperate emotional pit into which she had fallen. Jennifer remembered obsessing over her weight as early as ten, smokingat twelve, abusing laxatives at thirteen, and taking diet pills at fifteen. Shehad grown up in a family in which her father was abusive to her mother,while her mother was abusive to Jennifer. After her father left for anotherwoman, Jennifer's mother conscripted Jennifer, dressed up like a little doll,in her search for a wealthy new husband. Jennifer's early modelling careeralso exposed her to excessive anxiety about her face and figure. Though I discovered Jennifer to be an intelligent and witty woman,her looks were all that she believed in. Without that familiar weapon andshield, she felt herself to be powerless. For the past year, we have beenworking through Jennifer's hurts and resentments, bringing to light theunhappy childhood patterns that she unconsciously recreated as an adult,and discovering the beauty and strength that she carries inside of her. It'sa slow but empowering process, and it's helping her to feel safe, accepted,and loved - not only by herself, but also by the others to whom she is nowreaching out.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword 
  • Introduction 
  • 1. Perfectly Beautiful: The Impossible Dream 
  • 2. Food to Burn: Bingeing and Purging 
  • 3. Overeaters Anonymous: Aboard the Life Raft 
  • 4. ADHD: Bingeing on My Brain 
  • 5. A Landmark Weekend: Shock and Awe 
  • 6. Sex and Shame: The Tantric Solution 
  • 7. Transformation: Becoming Real 
  • 8. Ready for Liftoff: Severe Storms Ahead 
  • 9. Lies We Tell Ourselves: Tearing Up the Old Script 
  • 10. Anorexia: Dancing with Death 
  • 11. Obesity: The Fat of the Land 
  • 12. Your Action Plan: From Bingeing to Recovery 
  • 13. Sex: Finding the On Switch 
  • 14. Sex: Finding the Off Switch 
  • 15. Drugs of Choice: An Addict Is an Addict 
  • 16. Post-Addiction Image Disorder: Embracing the New You 
  • 17. The Impsossible: Climb the Highest Mountain
  • Afterword
  • Notes
  • Additional Resources 

Editorial Reviews

Part psychological discussion, part step-by-step plan to free oneself from unhealthy mindsets and bad habits, Food, Sex & You is thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, and highly recommended. - Midwest Book Review