Author: Linda Moran
Publisher: Betterway Press
What I most loved about Linda Moran’s book – which aims to help those afflicted by the ills of dieting to become normal eaters – is that she doesn’t emphasise exercise as the route to shedding pounds. What a relief! As she claims in the book, she spent one year immobile and still lost weight – the point is that if we’re truly in tune to eating only what our body needs, which is what this book is about, it will adjust our appetites accordingly. It’s up to us to take notice of this, not work ourselves into a frenzy in a spinning class, fearing the effects of overeating. If we haven’t overeaten, there is no need for over-exercise.
So, the book is a guide to weight-loss, but through a non-dieting approach and using some cognitive behavioural techniques. How can that be? By learning to eat what you want (and what your body truly desires) according to hunger signals, stopping when satisfied (which might mean far tinier portions than you’re used to), and tuning in to the self-talk that you may have around food, so that you can switch your thinking. The awareness of stress and greed – and how these both impact upon our desire to eat more than we need - are the two common threads that run through the book, and Linda suggests how we examine these in relation to dieting and overeating.
There is a very useful overview of some of the most popular diet types. This I really liked, because it informs on how these diets may actually hinder long-term weight loss and normal eating, as well as how to try and adjust the diet (if you’re still stuck on doing it) to work towards normal eating. There is a chapter which looks at why diets work for some and not for others, and another which tackles emotional eating. The discussion around eating disorders and how to uncover the irrational beliefs which can encourage them is again, another useful chapter for those who binge or starve.
Linda highlights, however, that it is not a book of rules, and says that she makes some bold statements you may disagree with, and if you do, that is fine. She asks you to take what you need from it. And there are some parts of the book that I wasn’t so receptive to. Linda talks about the ‘greed for thinness’ and this being something that she has had to deal with on personal level – a desire to be thinner and thinner. I got the impression that this ‘greed for thinness’ may still exist for Linda in some of the underlying messages within the book. However, she doesn’t profess to have it all completely ‘sussed’ and I like this.
There is a suggestion that a thin woman is one who looks in her refrigerator when hungry for a snack before bed and if she doesn’t find anything she wants, she will go to bed hungry. I personally don’t find this a positive message, as firstly, there is a slight emphasis on thin as the ideal even if we’re physically uncomfortable (feeling hungry), and secondly, I don’t think it is healthy to commit our bodies to being hungry, certainly for the duration of a full night. I would rather have something I’m just ‘okay with’ to ease the hunger, rather than endure a disturbed sleep and wake up ravenous to eat anything!
Overall, for anyone who would like to learn normal eating and try the non-dieting approach as a route to weight-loss, or even just to get off the destructive diet-cycle, I think How to Survive Your Diet is an excellent starting point. It is just brief enough, easy-to-read, and based on Linda’s own personal experience. She’s not written this book as an observer of others, but as someone who has had to fight with her own eating and food issues. The book is very much about placing the control on you and your own thinking, and not imagining that food has the ‘power’ to make you fat or thin. You don’t need willpower, you just need to learn to trust yourself, and this is Linda’s message and what she helps you with.
The above review was contributed by: Andrea Wren: CLICK TO VIEW Andrea Wren's Reviews