I'm not sure why it took me so long to read this. I've been actively avoiding it for years. I think I was afraid of it! I didn't necessarily want to hear that I'm not in total control of my eating, weight, and body comp. Here's the thing though. I keep accumulating evidence that, not only does my body know what it's doing, it's much smarter than I am. It does a fantastically better job of regulating....everything. With me and the diet industry calling the shots, I was 15 pounds heavier and struggling every day to maintain even that. Now that I'm actually listening to my body and eating according to its cues, my weight has stabilized in a great place. Staying here feels completely natural, almost effortless.
It's an understatement to say that this is not what I thought would happen. I was sure that if I practiced trust and self-acceptance, I would blow up like a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. My body was not to be trusted because it was broken, clearly. What I had not yet realized was that I'm the one who broke it, and that my continued efforts were making it worse. Oops! I totally see it now. So I'm more curious than ever how my body regulates weight so precisely, why it all goes wrong when I try to outsmart it, and what are the best ways to work with my body instead of against it. Health at Every Size is a book about that and more.
I've just started reading but I'm already highlighting like crazy. Here are a few:
--"This book can cure your weight woes, but the answer may be different from what you’ve imagined. Health at Every Size is not a weight-loss book. It’s not a diet book. It’s not an exercise program. Health at Every Size is a book about healthy living, one designed to support you as you shift your focus from hating yourself and fighting your body to learning to appreciate yourself, your body, and your life. It’s a book designed to help you break free of the weight-loss mentality and embrace the health-and-happiness mentality. Because really, what’s beneath your weight-loss quest? Isn’t your ultimate goal to feel better about yourself, to feel love, acceptance, vitality, or good health."
"I became convinced that if only I could lose weight, I could change my life. And so my life deteriorated as I obsessed about food and activity to the detriment of my studies and social relationships."
"I learned that I didn’t have an eating problem, but I clearly had a problem taking care of myself."
"Suppose you had a “fat meter” that would send a loud “STOP!” message to your brain once you’d accumulated enough fat. Suddenly, you’d have no desire for pizza, ice cream, or potato chips. You’d look at these favorite foods, even smell their enticing odors, and wouldn’t even be tempted. Or maybe you would decide to eat anyway, and your metabolism would just rev up to burn off the extra calories. Nice fantasy, huh? Well, it’s not so far-fetched. Believe it or not, you do have that built-in mechanism."
She then goes on to explain what the mechanism is and how we screw it up by dieting. I think mine is back now, because I get the "stop" signals. I'll hit a point where I don't want any more Haagen-Dazs and I'll put it away. I stop because I'm totally satisfied and my body clearly says "enough." It's not because I've measured the portion, or counted the calories. It's not because it's cheat day or because it's all gone, or because I'm never going to eat ice cream again starting tomorrow. I just don't want any more. How crazy?! I would not have thought you could get that mechanism back once it's been smashed to bits by decades of dieting. I've also noticed that if I overeat, I'm less hungry later, or I have amazing energy for my workout, or (TMI) I poop more. LOL But somehow my body handles it without me needing to go on a grapefruit diet or start P90X.
Has anyone else read this book? Or been scared to read it? Any thoughts?