At 7pm on Saturday, January 19, Virginia Sole-Smith will be reading and discussing her book The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image and Guilt in America at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs.
When her newborn daughter stopped eating after a medical crisis, Virginia Sole-Smith spent two years teaching her how to feel safe around food again—and in the process, realized just how many of us are struggling to do the same thing.
By preschool, most children have disconnected from their internal hunger and fullness cues and spend more time negotiating over bites of broccoli than enjoying their meals. By high school, 40 percent of teenage girls are using restrictive measures to lose weight. It’s no wonder that most adults believe the only way to eat well is to follow someone else’s rules about when, how much and which foods. But we give up that freedom of choice without letting go of our guilt when the diet fails.
The Eating Instinct visits kitchen tables around America to tell Sole-Smith’s own story, as well as the stories of women recovering from weight loss surgery, of people who eat only nine foods, of families with unlimited grocery budgets and those on food stamps. Every struggle is unique. But Sole-Smith shows how they’re also all products of our modern food culture. And they’re all asking the same questions: How did I learn to eat this way? Why is it so hard to feel good about food? And how can I make it better?
Virginia Sole-Smith is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Slate, and Elle. She is also a contributing editor with Parents Magazine. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Hudson Valley.
You can learn more about Virginia and her book here, and we hope you'll join her on January 19 at Northshire Bookstore!