"Eat to Live" - Healthy Living Insights through Reading
Monday, January 20, 2014
I came across this book through my dentists. They are the ones that recommended that I do the Take Shape for Life/Medifast program, and they are constantly providing tips and encouragement for me to keep that weight off. So one day, they told me about this book and how helpful it was to shedding weight and most importantly staying healthy. So I bought it.
Meanwhile, my friends were looking to lose weight in order to expand their family, and they found that this book and this health program would work best with their lifestyle and family situation. So, this is how I decided to read "Eat to Live" at the beginning of the new year.
I'm not particularly far into the book (page 39), but so far, I have mixed feelings.
On one hand, I feel like the book is almost like a self-help book. You know, those books that give great promises if you follow X, Y, and Z? That are almost too good to be true? Now, this is better than most of those kinds of books in that there are references and a bibliography.
The other thing that kinda turned me off was a flippant comment about how there was no such thing as being too thin, that anorexia was uncommon. Ummmm...really? Anorexia isn't that uncommon; many young woman struggle with it every day. And yes, being too thin IS as much of a problem as being too heavy.
And then the author goes to say that he thinks that the weight guidelines are too generous, that 85%, not 70% of Americans are fat, and I'm like, "Whut?"
This goes back to my basic premise: being overweight/obese isn't good, but what's most importantly is living a HEALTHY life. Eating healthy foods, exercising, drinking water, sleeping, etc. It's NOT about a number on the scale. It's NOT about having 1" of belly fat. It's NOT about being a size 2. It's about HEALTH of YOUR BODY.
I nearly gave up the book at that point because of that. Because while I do believe America has a problem with the food we eat, with how much extra weight we have, I feel making broad judgment statements like how there is no such thing as being too thin or that anorexia really isn't that common or that the guidelines are "too fat" really undermine the message that it's HEALTH not WEIGHT.
But I plugged on. Fortunately, the next chapter was better, looking more at Americans food choices and how the body reacts to low-nutrition/high-caloric foods. And diets that restrict calories don't work (Hint: they don't work because the foods we restrict don't give us enough nutrients).
Ultimately, I love the idea of going back to "whole foods". To foods that aren't some weird names on the back of a package. To foods that have smell and texture, that are fresh and vibrant. To foods that nourish and make you full instead of foods that stuff you and make you feel ill.