Monday, January 31, 2011

"the real skinny on losing it" by michelle mckinney hammond

I'm fat. But it's not my fault, really. See, I have this thyroid problem. And I have bad genes; I'm pretty sure I'm predisposed to being fat. Plus, if you took away the pounds I carry in my chest, I'd be in another weight class entirely ... my chest really shouldn't count. And I've lost 20 pounds in the last year; I should just work on maintaining that loss, right?

I am a pro at rationalizing my weight. After all, I've been doing it for as long as I can remember. So I'm not sure what compelled me to agree to read a book about weight loss. Maybe it was the fact that I knew the author really struggled with her weight--she wasn't some "Skinny Minnie" who had no concept of what it's like to be overweight. Whatever my reasoning, I'm very glad I picked up this book.

In The Real Skinny on Losing It: True Confessions & Divine Revelations of a Former Yo-Yo Dieter, Michelle McKinney Hammond gets to the heart of most weight issues: the heart. It's not my head that tells me to eat that ice cream; it's my heart. It's not my head that tells me to continue shoveling the pasta into my mouth; it's my heart. Sure, I've made great strides in regard to eating in the last year, but my heart still wins out over my head far too often (like tonight, when my sister and I polished off that DiGiorno pizza). If I don't control my heart, I don't control my waistline.

Hammond brings generous doses of humor and solidarity to her "tell-it-like-it-is" memoir/self-help book. She doesn't say anything you haven't heard before if you're at all familiar with dieting, but the way she says it makes so much sense that you just might take note. For example, when she talks about eating slowly, she doesn't just say "Chew each bite 40 times" or whatever that ridiculous number is. Instead, she talks about savoring each bite and giving your stomach a chance to signal that it has had enough, rather than inhaling your food and eating until you're ready to burst. She also points out that many skinny people eat slowly and end up eating less ... perhaps because their stomachs tell them when to stop!

If I have one critique of the book, it's that the last few chapters, which introduce the reader to Hammond's "Diva Diet," get confusing and contradictory. But that's okay--the thrust of the book isn't about one way to lose weight; it's a needed kick in the pants to quit making excuses and start changing your life!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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