Many of you may remember when I reviewed and gave away a copy of “Stress Eater Diet” by Robert Posner and Linda Hlivka in February 2009 and “Wake Up To Your Weight Loss” by Alyson Mead in October 2008. Now it’s time for me to part with my own copies of these great books because they aren’t doing anyone else any good just sitting on my bookshelf, and they are way too full of good stuff to keep hidden away.
In this giveaway, you get to choose – in your comments and emails – which book you’d like to win (yes, you can choose both). You don’t have to give a reason, just the title will get your name in the hat.
Before you decide, here are some highlights from my review of each book.
Stress Eater Diet”
This “diet” is normal and healthy – real food and no “cleansing” – and it places a strong emphasis on mindful eating, behavior modification, and stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga and exercise.
I was really glad to see the question, “Who are you losing the weight for?” asked almost right away. God knows enough of us have lost (or are are still losing) weight “for” someone else, “for” something else, like “just for me” isn’t good enough.
The “spin” to this diet (and you know every diet has a spin) is its emphasis on serotonin imbalance. The authors recommend eating foods that contain tryptophan (an amino acid essential for normal growth and metabolism). Foods include: turkey, chicken, fish, pheasant, partridge, cottage cheese, bananas, eggs, nuts, wheat germ, avocados, milk, cheese and legumes. They also want us to get out in the sun more.
Another big reason I can recommend this diet is its use of journaling, both food and emotions. Long-time readers, you know I’m all about journaling, even before you start to lose weight. Figuring out WHY we overeat, WHY we treat ourselves the way we do, and WHAT we eat can help us develop personal strategies for overcoming old patterns.
The heart of the book is the actual diet. The last section deals with stress-reducing foods and outlines a four-week eating plan. It includes the best explanation I’ve read on why it’s important to “eat your colors,” and what those certain foods do in terms of health benefits.
The meal plan gets two thumbs up. There a lot of emphasis on protein, fruits and vegetables, and while the plan suggests several kinds of meat, I can see how it could be easily adjusted to accommodate those of us who choose not to eat meat.
You can check out the Stress Eater Diet blog by clicking here.
You might think that meditation and Buddhist teachings and Zen are all ethereal and maybe even mumbo-jumbo, but take it from me, a true realist, there is nothing more real and grounding than learning to love yourself.
It is through my (still small) understanding of Buddhist teachings that I recommend “Wake Up To Your Weight Loss”. Mead’s approach to weight loss combines writing and meditation to help readers cultivate loving kindness toward themselves and their bodies. I like how she sums up what meditation is: “The mistaken belief about meditation is that it is somehow magical, bestowing peace and light on whomever it touches. But meditation is simply a tool, to help you focus in on and, more importantly, learn to cope with the stuff your mind may fling at you.” And if your mind is anything like mine, what it flings is often a lot of s*it.
Along with writing and meditation, Mead offers helpful “off the mat” exercises to take into real-life situations throughout the day.
I truly believe that knowing ourselves, becoming our own best friend, being compassionate toward ourselves, is the real key to weight loss and maintenance. As Mead writes in chapter seven, “Losing weight is, in a sense, losing part of yourself. The closer you get to learning who you are on a very intimate level, the more power you will have when emotional issues arrive.”
“Wake Up To Your Weight Loss” is a good companion piece to diet and exercise. It’s better than pills and there are no side effects except feeling more at peace and at home in your own body.
So…you know the drill. If you want to win one or both of these books, leave a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll throw your name into the appropriate hat. I will draw a winner on Wednesday, May 12!
Congratulations to Gretchen who won last week’s Dummies giveaway! I’ve still got a lot of books and DVDs to go in the upcoming weeks!