After I emailed you about this book last night, I went on Amazon.com to see how much a gently used book would cost since, as I said, all of the copies were currently checked out, and my wait time was more than 3 weeks. One thing that I would strongly stress, so you can get a better idea of whether the book or item is worth purchasing is to check out and read some of the customer reviews on any given item. The reviewers are people like ourselves who buy an item for usually a specific need so their perspective is from an average person’s point of view. I have had a long history purchasing from Amazon.com and I review everything that I have ever purchased from them so I wanted you to know you can pretty much believe what these people are saying.
Having clarified that, I read about a half dozen reviews on this book you asked me about. According to the reviews that I read, the biggest complaint that they had about the book was that the author was pushing his own brand of supplements besides the food plan and that the cost was several hundred dollars per month. Other than that, it does sound like it is similar to many of the other whole food food plans that are “out there”. The other criticism the reviewers had was that the author spent nearly 2/3rds of the book talking about how lower income people are prone to diabetes because they can’t afford healthy food. So, what else is new, right?
Here are my thoughts after having read the reviews. The main one being is that it is also rather insulting for the doctor/author to talk about how lower income people can’t afford to eat healthier foods and yet somehow he must expect his readers to be able to afford $500+ a month on vitamin supplements. Once again, it sounds like another wealthy person out of touch with real people’s lives; which one man who was 73 years old wrote a really good review to that affect. This older man was still working and he simply stated that he neither had the resources to make some of the “gourmet recipes” or the time since he was still working past retirement age. In my opinion, anyone who is working full time at that age is doing so not because he wants to but because he has to. However, I am still going to wait for it from the public library unless it gets to be longer than two months and then I might buy a used copy after the New Year’s.
D., I have over 1 dozen diet books sitting on my shelves which I have decided to donate to the public library. Obviously, it is not that we who wish to lose weight and reclaim good health don’t know enough; it is simply that we haven’t learned to effectively put it into practice. I know why I don’t. I am really enthused the first couple of weeks while I am losing weight. Then, once the weight lose starts to taper off or I get tempted to eat something not on my food plan, I slip. Sometimes, the slip is short-lived and I can get right back on my food plan. Other times, I seem to wander off simply because I lose my focus or I forget the initial reason why I wanted or needed to lose weight in the first place.
Everyone “out there” can agree that eating healthier does cost more and according to what I have recently read, it is going to cost even more in 2013. P. and I have already noticed the prices already going up on many of our food items we routinely get. P. and I have been trimming our monthly budget for the past four-six years. We both said that we were going to split where we purchase favorite food items between stores if the price is cheaper somewhere else. It will mean some extra planning and another shopping trip but that is what we will do. I don’t use coupons simply because most of them ask you to buy in volume and with just the two of us, it really wouldn’t pay; in our opinion. I also don’t shop those “big box” warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club for the same reason. We tried those ten years ago and just simply found that it was more wasteful for just “us two”.
I am sure that this debate about how to balance our food budget along with the cost of other things we routinely spend money on will continue. However, I have said this before and I still believe it: you either spend the money at the grocery store or you spend it at the doctor’s office. We are lower income although I am not feeding underage children. However, if I were they would be eating how we eat. My Mom used to say, if you don’t like what I fixed, then “go hungry”. I will say that I didn’t like some foods when I was growing up. I did try some things that I didn’t like and some things I slipped to our family dog under the table. However, I wasn’t fat. In fact, I was thin. I didn’t see the doctor very often growing up except for routine shots, etc. I wasn’t a sickly kid. My parents had one main income for a long time so I know it was a struggle to “provide for us” but we were healthy.
Now, forty plus years later, both my younger sister and I have “lifestyle” health issues: she is a heavy smoker, has high blood pressure and she has elevated blood sugar. She routinely eats lunches from fast foods and convenience stores. She takes a blood pressure medication that she (and I both) knows she wouldn’t have to if she would quit eating such salty foods. She has diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome. She misses a lot of work for this last two digestive conditions. She has been told they are “diet-based” conditions that can be remedied by changing what she eats. Now, at age 56, she is obese, which she wasn’t always.
As for me, I have morbidly obese for 29 years.I was able to lower my higher blood pressure by monitoring the amount of sodium that I ate and only having caffeinated beverages “half of the time”. Losing weight has been the more difficult thing for me to do. I “dieted” myself all the way up to 301.8 lbs. eight years ago. I was already experiencing congestive heart disease. I could feel the fluid in my chest and the difficulty breathing I had as a result every time the humidity rose. Losing 40 + lbs helped but after repeated injuries I simply lost my motivation and my ability to physically move. I have managed to maintain that initial weight lose, which I am really grateful for that, because I am not so sure that my body could tolerate that extra weight if I were to regain it. In fact, I know that it probably couldn’t.
Again, the old adage of “You are what you eat” applies to most of the lifestyle diseases/conditions that most of us struggle with. I asked my sister if she ever considered packing a lunch rather than grabbing a greasy slice of pizza and a cup of coffee at a convenience store. She didn’t answer me. Maybe, she has never considered doing so. I know, from my own personal experience, that we can lose weight and reclaim our health if we are willing to change our personal habits. I used to think that it took big sweeping changes but the more I do this the more I realize that even making some simple changes can really make a difference. So, now I am doing that: making smaller changes.
P. has recently lost 22 lbs in the past year. He has never dieted before in his life. In fact, he is not a person who actively pursues anything related to fitness or health but he just didn’t like how he looked or felt a couple of years ago. I asked him what he felt attributed to this recent weight lose. He said that he has become more aware of “portion control”. He allows himself one day a week (Sunday) to have his favorite Kit Kat bars. He still doesn’t exercise much because he is in the car all the time driving and he just says he is too tired at night but he says that he wants to lose 20 lbs more. I told him that I was very proud of him and that I was also going to try and put into practice what he has been doing. I said, “You did this right under my nose, without me even realizing it or making a big fuss about it.” I think he is on to something.
Once again, I have made it my promise (and I break these all the time with myself) that I will be a “normal weight” for my 60th birthday which is 35 weeks away. In order to do that I need to lose 100 lbs or 2.78 lbs per week. If I succeed, it will be the first time since I was 27 years old that I saw that weight. In fact, I have the Levis jeans from back then when I did weigh that. If I make that goal next summer, I hope that I will be able to get into those same jeans and wear them on my birthday.
The only thing that is stopping me from realizing that personal goal is the choices that I make each and every day. As I have said, I am always open to trying anything new but if I have learned anything through these past years: each of us has to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t. Now, that is “continuing education” that I have a feeling never ends.
” to be continued….”