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Old 11-20-2008, 08:33 AM   #46
Michelle the Vegan
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I've almost finished the book and I've really enjoyed it in general. I particularly like how you pull no punches when it comes to accepting that maintenance is hard and that you need to approach it with adult behavior and commitment while becoming more aware of and rejecting our culture of food and instant gratification. Amen, sister! Your descriptions of "food assaults" are dead on. And your discussion about ending our guilt for having this struggle with food and weight in the first place was very helpful, as well. I like most of your rules and had already adopted many of them on my own.

Regarding the "Primarian" diet: I do really like the concept of eating the foods our bodies are programmed to best recognize and use, as it does makes sense to me logically. My problem is that as an ethical vegan, I think my meals would probably be too limited to be healthy. But I'll do more research because as a concept, I really like it.

A couple areas of the book I didn't really relate to were:

Your rejection of calorie counting. I wouldn't have lost weight without it and I plan to continue to do it. As I already eat from a "limited menu", just as you suggest in your book, keeping track of calories is not hard at all. And if I don't count, I get food creep. I know you use the Scream Weight as a way to make adjustments on a daily basis (instead of calorie counting) but I'd rather control it up front instead of on the scale.

Your acceptance of packaged diet foods, diet sodas, sugar replacers, etc. I personally have made an effort to cut all of that junk out completely. I understand your position (you commented on this topic already in your previous post) it just has a certain... discord... when placed side-by-side with the encouragement to eat an more "ancient diet". It kind of feels like you're saying that the best way to go is the full Paleolithic diet -- but that we probably aren't strong enough for that, so you're going to make it easier for us by allowing some diary and other junk on a very limited basis. But see, I've already girded my loins because I am a WARRIOR! I am productively using my anger! I'm going to be tough NOT moderate! I'm ready to make the BEST choices, not a slightly downgraded, easier version.

By the way, if you think people aren't comfortable making rude comments to vegetarians/vegans about their "diet of conviction/conscience" you are WILDLY mistaken. People are often incredibly antagonistic (usually under a thin veil of "humor") towards vegetarians and vegans. People feel completely free to insult and disparage my food choices even when I've made absolutely no comment about theirs.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:31 PM   #47
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Thanks for the post! I'll have to add it to my list of books to get out of the library.

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Old 05-21-2009, 09:51 PM   #48
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I finally got it from the library! It's pretty amazing - there are so few books for maintaining (as opposed to the thousands of weight loss books available) kudos Barbara Berkeley!!!

So far, I find myself nodding my head a lot, and shaking my head a few times.

As someone who is carb sensitive myself, I understand there must be levels of carb sensitivity and people who are more sensitive than me should avoid more carbs than I have to. Still, when the author outlines a typical day, she insists on the near exclusion of what I consider wonderful foods like oatmeal and sweet potatoes but says 150 calories of "non fat or low fat ice cream" is okay.

I lost the weight for a lot of reasons - vanity sure, but mainly for my health. If 150 calories of fake sugar ice cream is okay, why would 200 calories of sweet potato (and all the wonderful nutrients in a sweet potato) be verboten? I could understand if the person was so sensitive they couldn't even handle a sweet potato, but if someone can handle fakey ice cream, they should be okay with a sweet potato!

Some things are so wonderful though - about making a plan, the comparisons to climbing Everest, the difference in our bodies after significant weight loss. A great book and I am really loving it (even the parts I disagree with, because I loooove to get worked up over things and think and feel and argue! )

I definitely follow most of the main ideas. I'm a once a week weigher, not a daily weigher, but I believe in that sort of consistency. I have a "scream" weight, except I think of it as my "redline weight." I eat from a limited menu, I do like to experiment with new dinners (I love cookbooks!) but I tend to rotate the same favorites as a rule. I eat after 8 (and always have).

Whereas the author says it's okay to eat 150 calories of "treat foods" like sugar free chocolate pudding, well, I don't eat stuff like that, so I guess my 200 calories of sweet potato or brown rice or whole wheat tortillas "counts" as my daily non primarian treat foods I do agree that some foods trigger intense cravings in me and I avoid those (luckily, it is not beans or chickpeas or lentils or whole grain bread or any of the foods I consider WONDEFUL for me). My trigger foods are stuff like bagels, cookies, white crackers.

I do count calories and don't find it a terrible burden (although I estimate instead of count exactly these days). I eat a bigger breakfast than the author recommends, but hey - I wake up hungry

And most importantly - I maintain with support and support OTHERS. I need this place and all of you!!!!

Definitely recommend this book to anyone approaching/in maintenance!!!!!
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!

My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."

Last edited by Glory87; 05-21-2009 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:50 PM   #49
3 + years maintaining
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Thanks for the thorough review Glory. I will see if I can get a hold of the book. I'm very excited. Our local library has been under repair and closed for almost three years now. It's re-opening on June 11. Can't wait.

I can't do sweet potatoes either. I know how healthy they are, but unfortunately, they're like candy to me and send me over the edge. I get that horrible "powerless" feeling when I eat them. I would never advise anyone to steer clear of them, as we're all different, but I would caution folks that it just may be a "trigger" food. For that matter, I can't do FF/SF ice cream either. Ice cream, of any sort, is another food that leaves me feeling powerless.

Last edited by rockinrobin; 05-21-2009 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:00 AM   #50
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I am going to check with our library as well.

GLORY, I loved your post and agreed with it wholeheartedly. Calorie counting with a primary focus on whole foods is paramount for me. And yes, someone posted (may have been you or Robin) about ACCOUNTABILITY & COMMUNITY being paramount in losing weight and maintaining. Again, I couldn't agree more.

I applaud the authors efforts to bring attention to a subject we seem to forget. So many efforts in the weightloss process but so little thought (it seems to me) devoted to maintenance.

"Be who you are, say what you feel. Those who matter, don't mind. Those who mind, don't matter." --Dr. Seuss
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:49 AM   #51
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Location: South Africa
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Height: 5'2


very interesting book, I particularly like "4. Reverse small gains immediately ". I usually wait until I gained about 20lbs pounds before I do anything about it so from today onwards I will practise this.
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