Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is Why You're Fat

Little Helen and I did our usual Black Friday thing and went out shopping for a few hours and looked and looked at stuff, discussed Mr. Helen’s gifts, discussed the family swaps and then came home after buying only a few things. She generally goes back out on Saturday, once it has calmed down some, and does quite a bit of her Christmas shopping. Then she wraps what she’s bought before she leaves to go home. Organized, that girl.

Books are a popular and requested item in my family, including the kids, so we went to BJ’s to look at books for some of the nieces/nephews. The prices are terrific and so is the selection. While browsing – you know I had to look at cookbooks – I rounded the corner into the lifestyle books section and saw Jackie Warner’s book, “This is Why You’re Fat.”** Is it shameful for me to say I bought it because she’s on the front cover in tiny workout shorts and sports bra, showing her incredible abs? And that I want her abs?

For the past few days I’ve been in the process of reading it and wanted to share with you.  If you click the link it will take you to "real" editorial type reviews.  These are just my thoughts - the thoughts of someone who this book is directed at.

"We are a nation of sick, unhealthy people wasting away and mutating into sad, fat, and lethargic people, just getting fatter and sadder by the second. We are an out-of-control nation with out-of-control waistlines. I have noticed that a mass panic is setting in. I see it every day in the faces of people and desperate e-mails from around the country. So many people are tired, always dragging and feeling exhausted. Many are a walking medicine chest, dependent of pills to control everything from high blood pressure to sleep deprivation, and are chronically fatigued and depressed. Others can't climb a flight of stairs or walk a block without gasping for air. Millions of people are alive, but hardly living."

That intrigued me to say the least.  So I dug in and have been trying, quite literally, to digest this book.  There is so much in it, I don't know if I can do it justice but I'm going to try.  Her plan is a combination of clean eating, exercise and positive thinking, but ultimately seems to be sort of a program to balance yourself emotionally and hormonally so that your body will get to its correct weight. At my age and between peri-menopause and my thyroid, I’m a freaking emotional and hormonal mess. Additionally this is the first “diet” book I’ve ever read where the plan encourages you to have 2 ‘treat’ meals per week. Those treat meals exclude nothing, including alcohol and dessert. The only guideline is that the treat meal itself should not exceed 1500 calories. That’s the treat meal, not your whole day of food! You know that kept me reading.

There are several components to her plan, one of which is her belief in a mind-body connection. For example, stopping negative self-talk:

I am a fat pig, and no one is gonna want me.
It’s hard to lose weight.
I’ll never have a body I want

Changed to

I am getting healthier and more beautiful every day.
I love myself and deserve a healthy body
I don’t need fat anymore. I am strong.

Instead of focusing on being fat, focus on being fit; stop hoping that you’ll lose weight and start assuming that you will!

Stop wasting your time being angry or depressed that things aren’t going well. Switch your attitude and actions to positive and get things done. She says, “It’s really important to stop being wishy-washy about getting thin. Get specific about your fat-loss goals (I love that she uses the term fat loss instead of weight loss). You can’t hit a target you can’t see. You can’t go through life without goals and expect to get anywhere. You need direction.”

Another step is to stop viewing the things you are doing to be healthier as painful and to see these things as an exciting start to a new life. A way to nourish your body and soul and get it where it’s supposed to be. She believes if you can train your brain like this you will see that things you once linked to pleasure – like frequent splurges on junk foods and drinking alcohol -- are actually causing you a tremendous amount of pain and things you used to see as painful – like working out – will become the things where you will receive your greatest reward.

In addition to an exercise program and eating guidelines, she has included a 31 day eating plan for those who want to be told what to eat. I can’t knock this – sometimes it is nice to have someone tell me what to eat and not have to think about it. The great thing is that the plan uses ‘regular’ foods… for example a breakfast is 2 boiled eggs, 1 cup oatmeal, 1 piece of fruit. Lunches, dinners and snacks include veggies, chicken, fish, soups, Greek yogurt and protein shakes.

Ultimately, this book has given me a lot to think about, especially the emotional and spiritual components. What a novel ideas: Be kind to yourself; stop being wishy-washy, assume success; live as if you’re already successful. Unlike other diety type books I’ve purchased in the past, I’m glad I bought this one.

**FCC, I bought this book and the thoughts on it are my own. I haven’t been compensated in any way.


  1. I love the book (haven't read it) for no other reason than it advocates killing ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). I still have work to do on my ANTS, but I've made some progress. They still appear from time to time, but they no longer take up permanent residence.

    That Little Helen is really something! You must be so proud of her.

  2. I do believe that positive thinking is the start of a succesful weight loss journey. It took me some time to learn this but I'm getting pretty good at this and because of that I'm not upset anymore if things aren't going the way I planned it.

    The book sounds like a good one, I think I would like it too.

    I did follow a mealplan in August and September and at that time I actually like it. The fact that I didn't have to think what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner was nice for a change. But two months were enough, by the end of it I was longing to use my cook books and recipes again.

  3. I need this now! Thanks Helen!

  4. You had me at treat meals. :)
    Seriously, sounds like good common sense advice. Eat well, exercise, and love yourself. We know these things intuitively but sometimes the way it's written can have an impact.

    Sounds like a good book.

  5. This sounds like a great book and thank you for the awesome review.

    I've been Miss Negativity for weeks now and it's starting to really wear on me. My recent weight had had a lot to do with it. Instead of making me get back strong, it's like it's sabotaged me to go back to old behaviors.

    Anyway, sounds like a book I need. :)

  6. "Assume success" - weren't we just talking about that recently? This book really sounds great - you did an amazing job of reviewing it and Jackie Warner owes you one, because I think you've sold several more books on her behalf (and yes, I'm going to check it out when I'm at the store today)!

  7. I'm headed to Barnes and Noble for Christmas shopping on Sunday. It is your fault that I will be buying something for myself that day. YOUR FAULT ENTIRELY!

    But thanks, anyway.

  8. Wow! all over the place on this one, Helen!

  9. Sounds great. How pathetic is it I'd never heard of her til this post? MAy have to try and get it at the library.

  10. Thank you for the review Helen. This is a new book to me and I like the things you shared form it.

  11. Great post Helen! I think the line I liked the best is you can't hit the target if you can't see it.

    I think I have such a vague goal, just to lose the weight, but I don't have much of a plan. Yes, I plan my food and work out, but I feel I am just going through the motions.

    Thanks for the nudge make my goals more specific! :D

  12. Great review, I'll check that book out!

  13. I appreciate your review though I wouldn't waste my money buying her book. I've read so many diet books and gone on so many diets. The underlying premise seems to be the same in most of them. We already know what we need to do. We buy the books for inspiration (at least I used to be inspired by them) and find out that we still have do do the work. There are no miracles and no book I've ever read got me to lose weight without my playing the biggest part. But just like some of the other businesses (such as new agey types), they want to hook you so you'll continue to buy into the premise and continue to buy their books so they can continue to have a career and a nice car and nice abs. ;-)

  14. Sounds like my brain in a nutshell.
    the first thing I did was kill the negative tape loop.
    Second, at some point in the process I stopped moving away from being fat towards being healthy.
    I stopped viewing nasty crap as a reward and started viewing the exercise as me time.
    Every single thing there is correct.
    I like it. Glad I didn't have to buy it. lol.

  15. Interesting book. I like that she wants you to have real food and not all the fake stuff and focusing on being positive. For me, those 2 things are what have made it possible for me to take off weight, and more importantly, keep it off.

  16. Yeah, I like the positive aspect of the message. Like the idea of losing fat and not losing weight. I might have to get this one.

  17. Huh...go figure, ;-)

    I'm with Janell and Christine. You know what I have to say about the hormone (and other) balancing. I did it...and it really makes a difference.

    Speaking of books, I decided to pick up Marianne Williamson's A Course In Weight Loss (mostly because I know it's not a diet...and because I know how to take what I need and leave the rest...if there is any) and here's a very small snippet:

    "You body itself is completely neutral. It causes nothing. It is completely an effect, not a cause. Neither poor diet nor lack of exercise are the cause of your excess weight. Mind is cause; body is effect. The cause of your excess weight is your mind."

    And here's my own words:

    I have come to believe that when we eat ANYTHING with true enjoyment and pleasure, we will eat only enough to achieve true enjoyment and pleasure. When we eat ANYTHING with guilt and shame, we will eat too much.

    I may never have "perfect abs" but I will have perfect abs.

  18. Ah, the ups and downs of hormones and thyroid. I am going through that myself(my poor husband doesn't recognize me at times).
    This sounds like it has very good information; much of what we read in these kinds of books we already know, but sometimes it helps to hear it every so often so we don't forget. We're always hardest on ourselves.

  19. I don't have much to say about this one, because you know I am a huge proponent of positive self-talk so I liked everything about this.

    My only real comment is the title of the book; I thought when I read it that it was a book about a hilarious now-defunct website called "This Is Why You Are Fat." Every day, someone would post a photo of the most disgusting/kind-of-appealing restaurant or homemade junk food combos available, in all their greasy, bacony, over-the-top exuberance. Like the KFC Double Down, or Pizza Hut's Cheese in Crust pizzas, and much much worse. It never failed to amuse and horrify me, and I kind of miss it (it got hacked.) So I was a little sad to realize this book wasn't about that. ;-D

  20. Ah, FAT loss, I like that a LOT better than 'weight' loss. Sounds like a fabulous book, Helen, and just the breath of fresh air we need for this time of year. Good luck with the hormones - I absolutely know what you're talking about - I'm a mess, too! =)