Book Review: The Diet Cure by Julia Ross

Julia Ross's revised and updated edition of “The Diet Cure” came up today during my nutrition educator training. My fellow nutrition educators were raving about it. My initial thought was, “Ugh, not another diet book.” I have spent so much money on diet books in my life lived with fat, only for them to present such a narrow and incomplete picture of what it takes to lose weight for the long term.

Despite my reservations, I bought a copy, opened to the first page and read this:

“This is not going to be like any diet book you have ever read. I won't mention calories except to forbid you to eat too few! I won't tell you to tune in to your “real” appetite because I know that if you could have you would have long ago. I won't tell you to discipline yourself because I know that your weight and eating habits are not the result of laziness, gluttony, or weak willpower.

Julia Ross's, The Diet Cure

You are trapped inside a body that is malfunctioning, and that body needs help. Years of dieting, psychotherapy, and the best pep talks about fitness can't help much when what you really need is a biochemical overhaul.” –Julia Ross, The Diet Cure

I almost cried. “What if I had read this statement when the book came out in 1999?” I asked myself. I couldn't help but think that I could have started to get good information about the real, biochemical reasons for my obesity (I topped out at 270 lbs) a full decade earlier than I did. Would my weight have gotten so out of control had I known about this book? All the time I spent beating myself up over my weak will, would I have felt differently about why I was obese?

I highly recommend this book to you as you start or continue on your weight loss journey. It answers so many of the “whys” of compulsive eating and weight gain. It also includes an awesome section called, “Depleted Brain Chemistry: The Real Cause of 'Emotional' Eating.” I have always thought that the concept of “emotional eating” is code for “you're fat because you can't control yourself and you are weak willed.” Ross clearly outlines why will and emotion have nothing to do with compulsive eating.

Have you read the book? Let me know what you found helpful!



Great website for healthy-living resources

I felt the need this week to highlight Nutritional Weight and Wellness's new website. It is such an unbelievably helpful resource if you are seeking weight loss and good health. You can access articles, podcasts, and videos on a wide range of health topics with a simple search. You get all content related to that topic in one place. I have a friend struggling with Fibromyalgia, and this will be a great resource for him.

The recipes have all been re-organized and have lovely photos with them. I have a pot of the Chicken Wild Rice Soup simmering on the stove right now! It is a complete and balanced meal that will help me lose weight.

Wild rice soup

Chicken wild rice soup made from recipe on NWW site

If you haven't already, check out this fabulous resource for health. Well done!



On Dishing Up Nutrition: Hidden habits that sabotage weight loss

I was on Dishing Up Nutrition this past Saturday talking about habits that hold back weight loss. You can listen here or download the show from iTunes. We talked about a lot habits that keep us from reaching our weight loss goals, including “closet eating” episodes like wolfing down a bag of M&Ms in the Menard's parking lost. It was a great show, and I hope you enjoy it!


My Life Lived with Fat

Statue of fat women

LeeCoursey via Flickr

Hello. So, the title. It says it all; its meaning dependent on the point in my weight loss struggle that spans 25 years. That’s a long time for one thing to more or less dominate a life.

When I first joined Weight Watchers, the summer after 7th grade at age 13, fat (a little extra pudge really) made me feel lonely, sad, and like a stranger in my own body. In my teens and twenties, fat was the reason, I thought, I wasn’t getting dates. In my early thirties, the fluctuations of the amount of fat on my body caused fluctuations in my mood and a profound sadness. Would I ever feel OK with this extra weight? Now, in my late thirties, fat is healing my body. More on this in later posts.

I have been very hesitant to tell my story. It seems everywhere you look someone is talking about “their story” with regards to weight (-loss, -gain, -acceptance). As many of these I read or hear, I find very little insight or sound information about what it is REALLY like to live with extra fat in this culture and what it REALLY takes to heal and lose weight. So, this blog will be a shout in the wilderness I have been lost in for the past 25 years—a wilderness of bad advice, dated information, a billion-dollar diet industry, and an emerging genre of television shows that dehumanizes fat people (dubbed by some as fat porn). I want to tell stories about how I have approached weight loss and getting well.

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or a (fill in the blank). I am just a woman. A woman who got weary of:

  • Going on diets that never worked.
  • Listening to “experts” who have no authentic understanding of the struggle.
  • Hearing overly simplistic views of the obesity problem (Calories in, calories out! Move more!).
  • Being bombarded with insane, conflicting messages about physical appearance.

By reading, I hope you learn something from my story, find GOOD sources of nutrition information, and take a little comfort in knowing that you are not alone. I am trying to find the meaning in the fat that has so dominated my life. Why has it been with me all these years? How did it hurt me? What has it taught me? I will explore these questions with stories and experiences.

Keep in mind: You need to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.

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