Body of Truth - Book Review
- POSTED ON: Nov 14, 2015

Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight — and What We Can Do about it, by Harriet Brown (2015)

Body of Truth is an inspired and inspiring well-researched book about our cultural obsession with weight, our fetishization of thinness, and our demonization of fat. It is a compelling read which will make us think more deeply about the attitudes we have about our bodies and our health.

Over the past twenty-five years, our quest for thinness has morphed into a relentless obsession with weight and body image. In our culture, "fat" has become a four-letter word. Or, as Lance Armstrong said to the wife of a former teammate, "I called you crazy. I called you a bitch. But I never called you fat."

How did we get to this place where the worst insult you can hurl at someone is "fat"? Where women and girls (and increasingly men and boys) will diet, purge, overeat, undereat, and berate themselves and others, all in the name of being thin?

As a science journalist, Harriet Brown has explored this collective longing and fixation from an objective perspective; as a mother, wife, and woman with "weight issues," she has struggled to understand it on a personal level. Now, in Body of Truth, Brown systematically unpacks what's been offered as "truth" about weight and health.

Starting with the four biggest lies, Brown shows how research has been manipulated; how the medical profession is complicit in keeping us in the dark; how big pharma and big, empty promises equal big, big dollars; how much of what we know (or think we know) about health and weight is wrong. And how all of those affect all of us every day, whether we know it or not.

The quest for health and wellness has never been more urgent, yet most of us continue to buy into fad diets and unattainable body ideals, unaware of the damage we're doing to ourselves. Through interviews, research, and her own experience, Brown not only gives us the real story on weight, health, and beauty, but also offers concrete suggestions for how each of us can sort through the lies and misconceptions and make peace with and for ourselves.

The video below is an example of determination in dealing with a desire for food.


Cravings + "Mindfullness, the No-Diet, Diet Book " - Book Review
- POSTED ON: Jun 06, 2015

A Craving is a feeling that we’ve attached an action to.
  The video at the bottom of this article is of former addict, Lucy Bainbridge, and therapist, Elaine Hilides, sharing a 3 Principles perspective on Addiction and Cravings.

For those people who are interested in learning more about Elaine Hilides, … as part of my Diet Hobby, I purchased and read Elaine Hilides book, Mindfullness The No-Diet Diet Book (2013), quite some time ago, before becoming interested in the 3 Principles concept. At the time of my first reading, I judged the book to be okay, but rather ordinary and unimpressive.

Because I was impressed by the video interview below - which I discovered during my current study of the 3 Principles as related to my struggle with dieting and weight control. Because the interview impressed me, I re-read Elaine Hilides book to see if had overlooked something that might be personally helpful.

Upon my second reading, I found that the book starts with an interesting 3 Principles approach to weight-control before it jumps into a presentation of the author’s own dietary personal beliefs - which are presented as factual truths. The author’s beliefs include specific techniques and guidelines involving intuitive eating, behavior modification, and eating primarily “real” non-processed food.

A common 3 Principles saying is that “we feel our thinking”, and of course, my own thinking is often about weight issues. Therefore, I was interested in the following ideas.

You have a story, and idea, about yourself, your weight and your eating and you believe that your story is real, although this is an illusion because YOU created the story.

We all fall into the illusion that the feelings we experience about our weight and food problems are real. But we all experience reality through our own filters and perceptions, and we create our reality moment by moment by whatever we are thinking at that moment.

Yes, the chair you’re sitting in is real, but your experience of the chair might be different to someone else’s experience of that chair. You might think the chair is comfortable but ano...

The Inside-Out Revolution - Book Review
- POSTED ON: Apr 30, 2015

Michael Neill, the author of The Inside-Out Revolution

(2013)  is an established well known radio show host, transformational coach, and best-selling author of other self-help books. What makes this book distinctive is what he describes as an "Inside-Out Understanding".

He says that our Society has an "Outside-In" mindset:

"The prevailing model in our culture is that our experience of life is created from the outside in - that is, what happens to us on the outside determines our experience on the inside. People or circumstances `make' us happy, angry, sad, fearful, or loving, and the game of life is to find, attract, create, or manifest the right people and circumstances in order to have more of the good feelings and fewer of the bad ones."

The book is based on The Three Principles. These are:


There is an energy and intelligence behind life.

The capacity to be aware and experience life is innate in human beings. It is a universal phenomenon. Our level of awareness in any given moment determines the quality of our experience.

We create our individual experience of reality via the vehicle of thought. Thought is the missing link between the formless world of pure potentiality and the created world of form.


Neill says that the difference in making a change in one's mindset in how we view things can unchain us from the limitations we feel bound in, and he quotes: "A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push."

He says to remember that you're only one thought away from happiness, you're only one thought away from sadness. The secret lies in Thought. Thought is the missing link that everybody in this world is looking for. Each of us has a selective choice …by way of thought …whether to experience happiness, something positive and meaningful, or, negative and sad, dragging us down emotionally.

Neill quotes his mentor, Syd Banks, on a transformative moment: "When you are ready, you will find what you're looking for. I don't care who you are. I don't care where you are. If you're in the middle of the Sahara Desert...and it's time for you to find the answer, the right person will appear in the middle of the desert and let you know."

The author points out:  “The moment we see that every feeling is just the shadow of a thought, we stop being scared of our feelings and just feel them.”

The Diet Fix, Why Diets Fail, How to Make Yours Work - Book Review
- POSTED ON: May 21, 2014

The Diet Fix, Why Diets Fail, And How To Make Yours Work (2014) by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, M.D.  promotes a sane, compassionate approach to getting a grip on food and weight. He points out that 90% of all diets end in failure and addresses how to fix the way we lose weight to make results last. 

Dr. Freedhoff, says, "at the end of the day if you don't like the life you're living while you're losing weight, you're virtually certain to gain it back." This book doesn't push or demonize any food group and provides a step-by-step process for a frustrated person trying to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy manner.

I've chosen The Diet Fix as the next book for discussion here in DietHobby's BOOKTALK. If you are interested in discussing the book or seeing videos about it be sure to check out that section.

This diet book doesn’t recommend any particular diet. It has no strict meal plan with foods that are either celebrated or demonized. There are no traumatic sacrifices required. No starvation, no cleanses, and no miracle supplements.

The Diet Fix contains no outlandish promises, no strict dietary rules, no excessive exercise, and no recommendations for supplements and potions. The book is a excellent science-based guide for anyone looking for credible advice on permanently sustainable weight loss.

Dr. Freedhoff starts out by listing “Dieting’s Seven Deadly Sins” which is the label he attaches to commonly held beliefs about dieting. These are:

  1. Hunger . "If I'm not hungry, my diet's not working." Dr. Freedhoff argues that any diet plan that leaves you hungry won’t be sustainable.

  2. Sacrifice. "No, no birthday cake for me, thanks". Dr. Freedhoff says that perpetual sacrifice of things that you enjoy will make any diet fail.

  3. Willpower. "If I close my eyes and run past the cupboard, I can make it to the bedroom without hitting the chips." Dr. Freedhoff says that willpower is important, but permanent resistance is almost certainly futile.

  4. Blind food restrictions. "

Fighting the Urge - Book Review
- POSTED ON: Apr 03, 2014

Fighting the Urges, (2013) by Amy Johnson, Phd. is a 23 page e-book. 

NOTE:  7/3/2016 update.  At the time this review was written, Dr. Amy Johnson gave online free access to this e-book.  Since that time, the e-book link has disappeared, but this review remains valuable because an expanded view of the book's concepts are contained in her new book (2016) which is:

The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit  by Amy Johnson, PhD (2016). Combining modern neuroscience with spiritual principles, Dr Amy Johnson delivers a new understanding of habits that is practical and simple. She explains why harmful habits aren’t powerful, stable parts of who we are, but merely temporary logjams that cloud our natural state of well-being; and points readers toward the guidance of their innate wisdom. Those with any type of harmful behavioral or mental habit could benefit from reading this book.

In "The Little Book of Big Change" Dr. Johnson tells us that the book uses principles from Kathryn Hansen’s book Brain over Binge and Jeffery Schwartz’s book You Are Not Your Brain.  These principles are also similar to those found within Gillian Riley's book, Ditching Diets.  

In "Fighting the Urges" the author says that the book is designed to help permanently change unwanted habitual behaviors. She offers a way to relate to one's addictions, compulsions, and habits in a way that she believes will literally physically change one's brain. 

Dr Amy Johnson gives four steps to rewiring your brain.

Step #1: View your urges as neurological junk. This is also referred to as Re-labeling.

This means you stop believing your urges signal a real physical or emotional need—you see that they are insignificant. You view them as automatic brain messages generated in your Lower Brain that deserve no attention.

Step #2: Separate your highest human brain from your urges. This is also referred to as Reframing.

This means you realize the urges aren't really you; they are simply Lower Brain- based messages. The you that has a personal identity, makes conscious decisions, is smart, and has opinions and preferences and dreams is something altogether different.

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