Book Review: Attract Your Ideal Weight: 8 Secrets From People Who Lose Weight And Keep It Off
Have you ever wondered how some people manage to successfully lose weight and keep it off while others never make it despite repeated attempts? I ask myself these questions, frequently in fact. Well, this book seeks to find out why. The author, health coach, and motivational speaker who has clearly worked with hundreds of clients in the area of weight loss, wrote what she considers to be the 8 Reasons People Succeed at Permanent Weight Loss.
His theory is simple. If, for example, we look at successful people to learn how to achieve greatness, rich people how to manage money, and organized people how to manage our time, why don’t we look at skinny people on how to be at a healthy weight? ? I mean, these are the people who make healthy choices day in and day out. Somehow, thin people make decisions that keep their weight in check and their lifestyle in line with their goals and values. The author’s premise, then, is that we need to dig deeper into some of these behaviors to see how they might apply to other people who are struggling. Clearly, another diet book is not the answer, so this approach is a breath of fresh air.
The book is broken down into 8 key areas or “secrets” that need to be addressed to change your thinking about eating, weight, and happiness. Specifically, there are several key thought patterns and behaviors that need to be challenged. In what I think is probably one of the biggest secrets, number 1 talks about self-identity and the importance of giving up the connection between your behaviors and who you are as a person. Once you can separate them, you can more easily begin to change those behaviors while staying true to yourself. Only that understanding can help people move to the next level of accepting themselves and making positive changes.
Other important areas he addresses include delving into your true motivations for diet and lifestyle change, breaking the change into manageable parts, learning what your values are and aligning your life with those concepts, being more in tune with your own body. Learn from failure instead of succumbing to it and take full responsibility for your lifestyle and change from it.
The focus of this book is not to tell you what to do (most of you already know WHAT to do!). In that sense it is not another diet book. The goal is to help you DO IT. That is the hardest part. The mental component is so critical. We can talk about healthy nutrition all day long, but the key is how to implement it sustainably and successfully to reach your goals. How do we stop thinking about our weight and focus on being healthy and happy? These tips will get you there.
In general, I strongly agree with all the points the author makes. These areas are very important in allowing someone the freedom and ability to make lasting change. It takes the focus off food and calories and onto motivations, internal cues, and WHY you’re seeking a change in the first place. Just realizing that you need to address these areas can be an amazing first step for someone struggling with yo-yo dieting and feelings of failure.
The only drawback is that each section is quite short and leaves much more to be desired in the areas of education and learning how to apply the particular principle. For this reason, I highly recommend anyone attempting to follow these steps seek the guidance of a dietitian or health coach to walk this path with them to ensure they are applying each one correctly. In addition, the author’s website has more materials and information that may also be useful. Sometimes it can be difficult to discover your true motivations or why you want to change without some objective advice to help you. If you’ve based your happiness on the scale for years, it may take some time to reconnect your thinking to a new paradigm. But it is certainly possible with these tips and some guidance.
To bring my own personal experience for perspective, I’m lucky enough to be one of those people who rarely obsesses about my weight. While reading this book I was able to identify the different areas that she mentions as tools that I use to control my own weight without even thinking about it. I eat to feel good, and that guides my food choices. I exercise to feel strong both mentally and physically, to keep from losing weight, and for motivation to keep me moving. I was able to recognize that many of my motivations and WHY to do what I do are for reasons other than weight. In addition, I listen to my internal signals of hunger and satiety and understand which foods work for my body and which do not. I rarely eat after I am full and avoid foods that make me feel heavy or bloated. That’s not to say I don’t have days where I eat terribly, but instead of feeling like a failure, I get up and go back to my healthy lifestyle. I don’t let little setbacks ruin everything. As someone who has been following these guidelines somewhat unconsciously, it was educational to see them written out on paper in an easy-to-digest format. This will help me as a practitioner to be better able to educate others on how to follow these same principles.
So if you’re about to buy another diet book, don’t. Read these 8 secrets to keep the weight off forever. Here’s to a healthy holiday season and a successful, diet-free start to 2015!