Biography & Memoir

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Uncover stories of lives lived to the fullest by the world’s most celebrated, infamous, and interesting people. Our rich selection of books by and about the household names who’ve shaped art, sports, politics, and music — alongside lesser-known figures with illuminating histories and perspectives — are all included when you subscribe to Everand.

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Roxane Gay & Everand Originals: Built for This: The Quiet Strength of Powerlifting
Roxane Gay & Everand Originals: Built for This: The Quiet Strength of Powerlifting
Roxane Gay & Everand Originals: Built for This: The Quiet Strength of Powerlifting
Roxane Gay & Everand Originals: Built for This: The Quiet Strength of Powerlifting
Audiobook

Roxane Gay & Everand Originals: Built for This: The Quiet Strength of Powerlifting

byJulia Turshen

Introducing Roxane Gay & Everand Originals, a new series from Everand and the beloved bestselling author of Hunger, Bad Feminist, and Opinions. For the series launch, renowned cookbook author Julia Turshen writes with moving honesty about her years of disordered eating and exercising and how she freed herself from the poisonous cultural conversations about weight, discipline, and how women should look. For most of her life, Julia Turshen has been at war with her body. Raised in a family obsessed with counting calories, she measured self-worth by the numbers on her bathroom scale. As the New York Times bestselling author of beloved cookbooks, including Small Victories and Simply Julia, she loved food and celebrated its social and cultural value, yet like so many women, she was convinced her own value would increase if only she lost ten, twenty, or however many pounds she arbitrarily believed kept her from the best version of herself. She worked out obsessively, using exercise as one more way to maintain control over her body and unruly appetites. Julia’s attitude began to shift during the pandemic when she took a break from writing and book promotion to work on a small local farm in upstate New York. Months spent outdoors, harvesting vegetables and carrying heavy bushels of produce, transformed her body, making it bigger yet stronger. To her surprise, Turshen reveled in her new physique; she reveled in the emotional freedom physical labor gave her to eat without harsh restrictions or self-recrimination. Finally, she was breaking free of the tyranny of unrealistic body image and disordered eating. But when the farm job ended, Julia felt herself slipping back into destructive thought patterns. Determined not to resume her relentless internal battles, she looked for activities that might replicate the joy and strength building farm work gave her. And that is how she discovered powerlifting. Through powerlifting — the precise and careful art of hoisting increasingly heavy weights — Turshen learned to listen to her body and what it needed, be it rest, water, another plate on the barbell, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And she found a community of people, women especially, who embraced the unadultered joy of being physically strong. “I lift for my younger self and wear my singlet now to make up for all the times I wore a T-shirt over a swimsuit,” she writes, “I lift to show people what it looks like to opt out of trying to erase oneself. I lift to show that to myself.” Both a critique of society’s obsession with weight and a beguiling memoir of self-acceptance, Built for This is a timely reminder that all bodies are powerful and deserve celebration.  

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