I am the proud owner of a complete library of diretary how to's -- from the original Weight Watcher's materials from the 1960s to Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type to The Exchange Diet they gave me when I was diagnosed with diabetes. Sitting on my Kindle at this very moment are the Glycemic Load Diet, the Low GI Diet Revolution, and Dr. Atkins NEW Diet Revolution. I've got a full complement of exercise routines from Denise Austin to Richard Simmons -- on cassette tapes, Beta, VHS, DVD, MP3, and On Demand. I have kicked boxed with Billy Blanks and practiced Tai Chi with Master Rothrock. I have ballet slippers, cross trainers, walking shoes, anti-gravity sandals, and a pair of dusty cowboy boots for boot-scootin' boogying. I have three bicycles -- a road bike, a mountain bike, and a hybrid. I have devices that I wear on my wrists, across my chest, around my tummy, and over my thighs. I have hand weights, free weights, dumb bells, stretch bands, yoga mats, step benches (2) and a chi machine. I eat leafy green vegetables and I tolerate fruit. I keep flax oil capsules in my purse next to my Sensa Shaker because I hate eating anything that once lived in water. I check my blood sugar twice a week or until I run out of lancets, whichever comes first. On good days, I check my heart rate to make sure I am in my target zone while jogging in place during Top Chef Texas. On bad days, I eat Top Chef-Just-Desserts-Truffles and take a nap. With one of my 8 8oz glasses of water that I drink each day, I gulp down pills for blood pressure, water retention, and tiny designer aspirin tablets -- just in case. I have memberships at Curves and Bally's and I would have had one at LA Fitness except some crazy guy broke in and shot up the place.
Over the years, I've given my business to Weight Watchers (both in person and online), a Bariatric Clinic that gave me vitamin B shots and amphetamines, and Nutrisystem. I even lost weight taking placebos during a medical study that paid me $50 to show up once a month for 8 months. I've fallen asleep to positive reinforcments, hypnotic suggestions, and electronic crickets.
The result? Over the last 12 years, I've gained and lost the same 40 pounds 4 times...and to accomodate that, I keep my closet stocked with the same pair of black pants in size 8,10,12, and 14. Let's face it -- depending on your point of view, I am desperate, determined, or dedicated -- and maybe a little intense.
Actually, I'm the perfect audience for Ed Boullianne's book, You Can't Outsource Weight Loss But You Can Lose Weight and Be Thin Forever. He relies on the basic principles of weight loss -- eat less, move more -- and discusses the mathematics of the process for those who don't have 40 diet books in the attic. Like many authors before him, Boullianne agrees that we aren't the same and so what works for some folks won't work for others. He has broken us foodies down into three basic categories -- the "Whats," the "Whys," and the "How Muches." (After reading his definitions, I'm pretty sure I fit into all of those categories.) Once you know who you are and have defined your problem, he encourages you to face some basic truths. The only truth that I felt like facing last night was the one that says, "Don't make lifestyle or diet changes tha you con't intend to keep for life."
I got a kick out of that one -- because I've left a long trail of abandoned principles in my wake. Human beings can be reprogrammed. I know, I've reprogrammed myself at least a hundred times so far. Seems like man's war with food goes ever onwards -- whether we believe we have found the X marking the spot or not .
While Ed Boullianne's ideas aren't new, his enthusastic perspective is. I enjoyed the read and passed on the Chicken Parm at Papa Gallo's this afternoon. I'm not sure if renewed commitment or guilt made that happen. I did celebrate with a maple bar though -- and used it to salute Boullianne's courage of his convictions.
If you are only going to buy one Diet Book, this is the one -- because it's well-researched and thought-out, because you can get it right on your kindle or tablet, and because the only thing I CAN do forever is try. And that is the sordid truth of my relationship with food.
Reviewed by: Joyce Faulkner (2012)