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  • You Are Not a Before Picture

  • How to Finally Make Peace with Your Body, for Good
  • By: Alex Light
  • Narrated by: Alex Light
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)

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You Are Not a Before Picture

By: Alex Light
Narrated by: Alex Light
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Summary

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 listeners 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.

©2022 Alex Light (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A timely and passionate rally against the diet industry." (Cosmopolitan)

"You Are Not a Before Picture sets out to dismantle dangerous dieting habits and encourage self-acceptance." (HELLO)

What listeners say about You Are Not a Before Picture

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Wanted to love this

I really wanted to love this book and it is very well researched I have to say. If it were a dissertation I’d give it an A. But I wanted to connect with the author, I wanted to feel emotion for myself, to understand and to empathise and have some ‘lightbulb’ moments and feel for the women mentioned. But it just read like a massive, super well researched essay. Maybe I was just expecting something different. I wanted it to touch my heart and it didn’t.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic book

Great author and beautifully read. Challenges everything you ever thought about diet culture and body image. Lots to think about and work on.

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Quite Good!

I liked the history of diet culture, and this is a well researched book for sure. It got quite repetitive for me though, and there were some points the author made I didn't agree with but I liked her explanation for her views and they are very respectful in how they write and what they say, but after a few chapters it seemed like the same message but in different words.

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So glad I listened to this!

This book is a must read. Thank you so much for writing it! It is has substance, it has facts and it has compassion. Absolutely brilliant for anyone having body confidence issues.

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  • AF
  • 22-09-22

Fantastic book

Loved this book - would 100% recommend! Learnt so much about diet culture and picked up many helpful pieces of advice. Well researched and written with a lot of compassion and life experience.

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Well read but Very repetitive

This book was ok but very repetitive. The author read it well and it sounded well researched but it has some big gaps like declaring we should “no longer use the words obese or overweight” and “health has no link to weight” are naive concepts that don’t seem realistic. I found the conversation about weight and race interesting but again it’s repeated in every chapter. She goes on and on about fat phobia but never addresses how you can lower your weight without being fat phobic, implying that if you don’t want a fat body, you are fat phobic. I listened to it to twice trying to love it but It’s just not for me.

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If it were only the second half it would be 5 stars

This is a very compassionate book and especially the second half feels like a love letter to yourself. A lot of the things Alex talks about are relatable and there’s lots of very useful advices in there.

However, the book starts with a lengthy history lesson and endless list of research on beauty trends, BMI (mentioned so many times it became exhausting) and fat phobia. I very much disagreed with chapters 4 and 5 where Alex states that weight does not equal health and she says fat should be a normal word (but only call someone fat when they give consent). In my opinion, too much weight is NOT healthy and should not be promoted. Even if a person feels completely comfortable in their body, severe overweight leads to diseases and I think the author did not take this into account too well.
I was almost tempting to put down the book, hadn’t I seen some snippets of the later chapters which I still was curious about. I’m glad I stayed an finished the book because everything from chapter 7 on is amazing and I think many people would benefit from hearing this. It was refreshing to hear such a compassionate view on body image. So apart from my criticism on the beginning and especially chapters 4 and 5, I enjoyed this book and will take some things from it with me onwards.

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just amazing!

totally eye opening and inspiring. every woman in the world should read this! thank you Alex xx

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Life changing - a MUST read!

This book is absolutely incredible. I struggle with reading hard copies of self help books, so made use of the audible version. I love being able to hear the tone of the writing. This book has transformed the way I think about myself. I have recommended it to all my friends. Alex, thank you so much for writing this book. It should be a must read for everyone!

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The read every teenager or woman needs to listen to!

Oh Alex is the friend we all need she has the advice and words of wisdom I wish someone told me when I was a teen. Her book is raw and honest and sometimes not pretty but she describes the diet culture that scarred so many of us growing up.
At times listening to it. I hurt, I cried but most of all I accepted the disordered eating I put myself through and how cruel I was to myself. But most of all I healed. Thank you!

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  • Erika White
  • 26-06-22

Extremely Helpful Book!

I follow Alex on Instagram and find her account incredibly inspiring. Like most women I’ve struggled with my body image since I was a teenager and this book had an immensely powerful impact on my body image. I stopped to cry a few times during the book because I realized that I didn’t have to hate my body all these years and what a waste of time it was to send so much hatred towards myself. I want to recommend this book to everyone I know. It’s a great intro to body positivity and body acceptance for anyone looking to get started on changing their body image. Thank you Alex for gifting this to the world!

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  • therese villemure
  • 13-06-22

Really connected with this author and book..

In this book, Alex shares her experiences with weight obsession and eating disorders. She also discusses the never ending cycle of dieting and trying to reach for beauty perfection. I really connected with everything she had to say. This is a must read for anyone struggling with weight obsession/ eating disorders.