Is obesity a disease, and weight loss is the solution?
That is the common belief. Yet, studies have since refuted this assumption, and from her experience she has learned that it is far from reality, but even so, this is still the given opinion among the masses.
The pursuit of thinness, the diet that accompanies it, and the failure therein has created a
language (for lack of a better term). A language of eating - the Diet Language
She brings us back to Mindful Eating. Same and normal eating vs crash diets, and the diverse eating habits of people in general.
She takes us on her journey from being part of the diet institution business to helping people eat for their bodies.
At the beginning of the book, I don't necessarily agree with her opinions - as I like to be fit and strong. I like to be able to put a tent trailer up a 20 degree angled driveway without too much hassle - because I workout and feel good.
I had 6 weeks where I could not workout, and the lethargy and weakness that ensued from my lack of exercise is taking quite a bit to recover from - because I wasn't utilizing my cells to the best of their ability.
I work out and try to eat well enough so I *have* energy and feel alive. I love having goals and taking strides in my fitness journey - I don't feel I should be shamed for having a fit lifestyle (a word the author doesn't like using). The positives of eating well and strengthening my body FAR outweigh the negatives of being inactive and eating crap.
I eat a burger from Five Guys - I pay for it for the next day or so. I feel it in my body when I eat fries from a fast food place and immediately want to nap. Yes, I partake in these unhealthy food options, and know the ramifications of how my body will react afterwards, and know the rewarding feelings I have after I have happy endorphins from working out or having a huge arse salad I cannot finish because I've filled it with healthy bits from the fridge.
My body isn't perfect, but it's healthy and getting stronger in many ways.
She does indicate that every person has a set point which is their destined weight, and that genetics is a huge component in the tendency for obesity - and dieting in itself intensifies this tendency.
She states that 95% of people who go on a diet fail and regain the weight (if not more) within 5 years.
I am wondering what kinds of diets these are though. If someone is eating 3000 calories a day and it's abruptly reduced to 1500 calories a day under strict supervision, then they are left on their own after a period of time (after not learning how to eat healthy meals, make healthier choices, and still not deny themselves everything - like the occasional wing night or poutine), I can totally see that happening. I feel if diets weren't called diets but changing how we eat, it would prove to be a lot more successful.
One person I was talking to recently said they've lost so much weight, but are taking so many supplements and eating so little that they can't exercise or it would be counter productive. They are terrified of how they will react when they reintroduce Carbohydrates to their diet and that they will just gain all the weight back. She looks awesome and is so excited about her weight loss, but it hasn't really taught her how to eat for sustainability. Has her "nutritionist" set her up for failure?
In this book, We learn about how many live life yearning for what will be, not living in the now - this is part of the problem. And it's a powerful statement not only for weight issues, but for life in general. If we always live in the past or future, what is happening to our present?
I do find the first portion of this book, however, quite sad and very statistical, making me feel defensive about what I want to achieve in my fitness and health.
She does, however, goes on to describe how weight is neither a measure of health, nor a measure of success or failure...and happiness has no weight. This in itself makes this book not just about weight, but about changing our way of thinking, about being happy, and thinking positively.
We learn about Mindful thinking - not just thinking emotionally, but using all of our senses to be fully present in the here and now. This practice allows us to learn acceptance, being in the now, observing self, and the ability to let go.
There are several exercises in the book in order to practice mindful thinking (meditation), which she encourages us to do 15 minutes a day.
With respect to eating, we are introduced to Mindful Eating - focusing on the taste, texture, and source of the food served. Enjoying food instead of just eating to eat whether or not we are hungry.
Overall, it is not a light-hearted how-to book, but a philosophical view on society, behaviour, and bringing more mindfulness into our lives. If you are ready to take the steps to live in the now, not in the "what ifs," I'd recommend this book for you. It's available in paperback or Amazon download!
***I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion and review.