I’ve read this book twice.
The first time was when Ruby was about two. I was feeling incredibly panicky because no matter what I did, I couldn’t stop gaining weight. (I lost 40 pounds when I was pregnant with her, as I did with all my pregnancies, and then gained 80 in three years.) I’d tried every diet known to man, pills that were probably not good for me, going to the YMCA to workout while the kids swam.
I wanted this book to tell me how to stop panicking, how to stop dieting–but to still lose weight.
It wanted to tell me that, too. Every now and then, sometimes almost out of the blue, there’s a mention in the book about how you can give up dieting and still have a sexy body. Yes. The doctor says sexy body.
The result was, I tried to follow the 10 steps, but I was so focused on not only stopping my weight gain but losing 100 pounds that I ended up on South Beach a few weeks later.
I re-read it in the last couple of weeks. My focus has changed. I honestly want to stop dieting. I want to stop trying to lose weight. It hasn’t worked for me. Ever. I weigh 150 pounds more than I did as an 18-year-old kid promising to give up chocolate bars for New Years.
Reading around the promises of a sexy body, this book is a valuable resource for information about how the media has shaped our societies idea of the ideal human figure. There are heartbreaking stories of how whole groups people who once believed they were beautiful the way they were thought differently once American TV came to their culture.
I think one of the best pieces of advice is to remember that everyone can be healthy, there are only a very few people who are genetically wired to be very very thin.
I’ve spent a lot of time, really my whole adult life plus some, trying to control every ounce of food that goes into my mouth. I fail. A lot. Which means I binge. But I try. I’ve emptied my whole kitchen of boxes and boxes of ‘bad foods’ and given them away (I guess they weren’t so bad that I couldn’t feed them to people I loved, or strangers who were starving.) I’ve tried to give up different elements of a well-rounded diet, from carbs to fats.
This book has a very simple, straight-forward approach to helping someone who is anxious about re-introducing intuitive eating into their lives. Basically, Dr. Oliver-Pyatt suggests always having such a large supply of your favorite food in your house that you could never eat it all at once. And then let yourself eat as much as you need to be satisfied. Remind yourself that you can eat this same food three times a day if you want to, there is plenty…and then stop when you are full.
It seems to me that the sexy-body stuff was woven in to make the book appeal to a wider audience. It is clear that using this program to overcome a binge eating disorder, or to give up serial dietting that has only caused weight gain, could stabalize your weight. It could even cause weight loss and the advent of a ‘sexy body.’
But the most important message is to get over it. Love yourself now. Feed yourself well now. Stop depriving your body of what it craves, and it will stop trying to bulldoze you toward the chocolate aisle.