Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life after Pregnancy, is for every woman who has ever doubted herself or her self-worth after the birth of a child. Because most women spend much of their lives attempting to change their bodies, it’s not surprising that the weight gain that comes along with pregnancy (and post-pregnancy), coupled with the challenges of parenting, only exacerbates issues with weight, body image, disordered eating, and self-esteem.
Drawing on the wisdom of eating disorders expert Dr. Dena Cabrera, as well as the personal experiences of former anorexic, Emily Wierenga, Mom in the Mirror is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual response to a female generation seeking its true identity in an appearance-based world. With chapters that deal with bruises from the past, misconceptions about pregnancy, life before and after children, marriage and motherhood, spiritual and physical nourishment, relationships with friends and family and the changing role of a mother as her children age, it is a holistic approach to the age-old questions: Who am I, and why am I here? Comprised of personal stories, expert advice, reflection questions and helpful tools, this book is an inspiring read intended for women everywhere who want to restore a positive body image, and to overcome the insecurities that arise when pregnancy is over and childrearing begins and winds through the years.
Reviews and Endorsements:
Mom in the Mirror is for the woman who sits in secrecy struggling with her self- worth, fearful of her body image, and in desperate need of support, guidance, and a way out of that judging, lonely, scared place. It is a good thing when brave women write the truth and share it with all. The words of Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga free us from our cages of fear, self-doubt, and body loathing. Please let the wise words of this book become a place of refuge for you and your loved ones.
— Leanne Spencer, M.A., Med, licensed professional counselor/supervisor, Living Free Counseling
Take the years of professional experience by Dena Cabrera combined with the personal journey of Emily Wierenga, add the hearts of two women who passionately want to help others with eating disorders and finally top it off with the heartbeat of a mother and you end up with Mom in the Mirror—a practical, passionate and professional book that will help mothers everywhere.
— W. Travis Stewart, licensed professional counsellor at McCallum Place, founder of Hungry for Hope, Christian Conference for Eating and Body Image Issues
If you are a woman who’s ever struggled to be comfortable in your own skin (who hasn’t?), pregnancy can create a whole host of issues. Take heart! Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga lead us through turbulent places of our soul with a beautifully written book that is both warm and wise. Mom in the Mirror is written with enough honesty to be relatable and enough hope to be inspiring. If you are a mom or mom-to-be who’s looking for help in making peace with your body and your soul, Mom in the Mirror is for you.
— Nicole Unice, christian counselor, speaker and author of She’s Got Issues
If you look at your body and shake your head, or deliver unkind words to your reflection when you glimpse it in a department store window, or if you know exactly how much weight you’ve gained or lost since yesterday – and you know that number every day, or if you categorize food as only “good” or “bad,” or if you look at other people and judge them based on their body type, or if you run for miles because you refuse to buy a bigger dress size, or if you never sit cross-legged or lean forward in a swimsuit, this book was written for you. Written with sensitivity, and from personal experience, Mom in the Mirror has untangled all those silly knots in my head that used to make me think my body wasn’t good enough.
— Deidra Riggs, writer and founder of JumpingTandem, managing editor for TheHighCalling.org, contributing writer for (in) courage
As I read through Mom in the Mirror I felt like I was holding a priceless treasure in my hands. How I wished that I had come across it years ago as I was navigating my own journey through the challenging seasons of motherhood, marriage, and learning to love myself. I have personally learned so much through the wisdom and insight that is written upon each page of this magnificent book.
I am so delighted that it will serve as a resource to empower and equip others to understand the complexities of being a woman and the challenges we face as we deal with our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. Every chapter invites the reader to reflect on her own thoughts and perceptions and gives valuable tools to move forward with confident resolve.
What a fantastic tool for the masses. It is SO needed in our world today.
— Helen Burns, founder and executive director of Mercy Ministries Canada, author of The Miracle in a Mother’s Hug
Mom in the Mirror is a timely, inspirational and validating narrative of the stages of life, as well as of the often crazy making ups and downs of the courageous journey called motherhood!
As a mother of twins and a singleton, and psychologist working with women and girls struggling with eating disorders, I find this a welcome and empowering resource for any mom looking for similar experiences, answers and guidance in the areas of eating struggles and weight concerns that may accompany the everyday challenges associated with mothering.
Authors Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga combine their authentic experiences and struggles in raising children while providing enlightening leads with factual information, reflective questions that raise consciousness and provide comfort, along with tools for living to incorporate into a mother’s life.
— Deborah Russo, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist, Remuda’s Education Outreach Department
In a world where nothing seems real, Emily Wierenga and Dena Cabrera have finally—finally--given us an authentic and powerful look at the emotions and issues attached to childbirth. Written from personal experiences, this book isn't your typical self-help book, but rather feels like a much-needed conversation with a very good friend. Whether we know it or not, Mom in the Mirror is the book we’ve all been waiting for, and moms of all ages will benefit from the important truths inside.
— Courtney Walsh, author of A Sweethaven Summer, Scrapbooking Your Faith
This book is so well written that I just didn’t want to put it down.
Moms everywhere will relate to the body image issues addressed in this comprehensive book, from pre-pregnancy through the childrearing years. With honesty and transparency, the authors weave together personal stories, well researched information, and practical advice. You will be touched—heart, mind, and soul—by Dena Cabrera’s professional wisdom and Emily Wierenga’s graceful prose, as they help you make peace with your body. Mom in the Mirror is powerful and life changing.
— Ann Capper, RD, CDN, nutrition editor for FINDINGbalance, author; Big Thighs, Tight Jeans
If you’ve given birth, your body has, necessarily, changed. Some of those changes were temporary; others, to your dismay or delight, are permanent. If you’re like a lot of women, a naughty little voice in your head hisses that your body—before, during or after pregnancy—isn’t quite acceptable the way it is. Though the lie seems believable enough, what you most need is to hear the voice of truth. In Mom in the Mirror, Dr. Dena Cabrera and the wise Emily Wierenga share words of life. Make it your post-pregnancy body-image authority!
— Margot Starbuck, author of Unsqueezed: Springing Free From Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights & Stilettos
Mom in the Mirror offers an important contribution to the field of parenting and, in particular, to the mother’s role in preventing the development of an eating disorder in her children. Through healing her own eating and body image issues, the mother becomes the most influential role model for self-acceptance and the importance of removing self-judgment.
— Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD, nutrition therapist, private practice, co-author of Intuitive Eating
Dena Cabrera and Emily Wierenga offer a beautiful tribute to motherhood, and an explanation of the complicated body image and self-image issues that naturally come along with it. The guidance provided shows moms how they can truly learn to love and accept themselves, and then pass this legacy of self-love onto their daughters.
— Maria Rago, Ph. D., author of Shut up, Skinny Bitches: The Common Sense Guide to Following Your Hunger and Your Heart
Mom in the Mirror is an exquisite account of motherhood that includes not only the experience of two women who overcame their own battles with food but also easy-to-follow clinical wisdom. I’m not a mom, but I sure feel better prepared to be one someday!
— Jenni Schaefer, author of Goodbye Ed, Hello Me and Life without Ed
A candid discussion of women's poor body image and encouragement to celebrate all that these miraculous bodies do for us!
— Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC, president at Eating Disorder Hope
1: Our Bodies, Ourselves—The Dissatisfied Generation
2: A Bruised Beginning—From Girlhood to Adolescence
3: From Bruised to Broken: When Adolescent Turns Adult
4: Before and After—The Effects of Pregnancy
5: Change, Acceptance, and More Change—Embracing Motherhood
6: The Sleepless Wife—How to Balance Marriage and Motherhood
7: Beyond Breast Milk (or Formula)—The Challenges of Feeding Children
8: Food from Heaven—Spiritual Nourishment for You and Your Family
9: Like Mother, Like Daughter—Your Personal Legacy
10: Being the Mirror—How to Inspire Beauty in Our Daughters
11: The Anxious Mother—Using Food, Exercise, or Work as an Escape
12: Friendly Competition—Your Relationship with Other Women
13: As They Grow—Your Changing Role as a Mom and Woman
14: Getting Help—Hope and a Cure
15: Identity Crisis—Discovering True Self-Worth
About the Authors:
Dena Cabrera, PsyD, serves as a licensed clinical psychologist, certified eating disorder specialist, and clinical director at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders, and has personally treated hundreds of women and girls struggling with eating and body image issues. Cabrera has been quoted in print publications including Parenting Magazine, Parents Magazine, Prevention, Health and Living, Arizona Republic, AOL Health as well as many online sites including ThatsFit.com, TogetherAZ.com and FindingBalance.com. In addition, Cabrera has written articles for AZtogether, Case-in-Point, Christian Counseling Today, Real Psychsolutions, and The Remuda Review: The Christian Journal of Eating Disorders, and is the coauthor of chapters in Eating Disorders: A Handbook of Christian Treatment. She has made numerous television appearances and national radio interviews. She is a wife and mother of two.
Emily Wierenga is a recovered anorexic, a wife and a mother to four boys (two of them her own). She is the author of three books, including Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder with Dr. Gregory Jantz, and Save My Children: The Story of a Father’s Love. She has appeared on national television and radio multiple times to share her battle with anorexia and her children’s births, and speaks regularly to church and women’s groups. In addition, Wierenga is a monthly columnist for the Christian Courier, a regular contributor to The High Calling, A Deeper Story, and She Loves, a commissioned artist and an award-winning journalist. She also serves as official Ambassador for FINDINGbalance, as well as a Navigator for the National Eating Disorder Association. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com.