Monday, November 24, 2008

Book Review: The Secrets of Skinny Chicks

     This book actually came out in 2006, but I just noticed it at the book store last week.  I was immediately drawn to it because the author, Karen Bridson, profiles real women who work hard to look good and be healthy.  I began my own weight loss journey more than three years ago, on my 25th birthday.  I have since lost 50 pounds to reach my goal.  I have often heard people say things (about other women) like "Oh, she's so lucky to be so thin."  Even worse is "She must be able to eat whatever she wants."  Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it!  Losing that weight and keeping it off has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done, and one of the most rewarding.  It didn't get much easier when I got to the goal either, but I am learning to adjust my expectations.  I used to think there were people out there who could eat almost anything and not gain an ounce, but now I'm pretty sure if they do exist, there might be two people on the whole planet like that.  Everyone who sets a high standard for nutrition and exercise has to work at it, and if they tell you they don't, then they're probably lying.  I think when people say they can eat whatever they want it means that their appetites are probably in line with their needs.  They have perfectly reasonable expectations for the amount and type of food they need to eat, and how much exercise they need to do to look a certain way.
     What I really like about this book is the realistic view of what you have to do to look like the women (models, actresses, athletes) you've always envied.  Even if you don't want to take it to that extreme, this book is full of tips everyone can use to inspire them along their fitness journey.  Almost everything in this book is stuff I already knew, but we all need reminding of what we can do to be successful.  One of my favorite quotes from the book is "This is not about dieting, this is about changing the way you look at food and your perception of how much you need."(page 137)  This was one of the hardest things for me; changing my perception and expectations of how much food I could eat, particularly once I reached my goal.  It's really important to make the kinds of changes you can live with for the rest of your life, rather than going on a diet so extreme you'll never be able to stick with it.
     The author of The Secrets of Skinny Chicks is realistic and encouraging about what women need to do to reach their goals.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is just starting a diet and exercise program, and anyone who's been at it for a while and needs inspiration.  It is easy to read and something I will definitely refer to again for inspiration and when I need reminding of what I should be doing!  The book covers all the good habits of women who stay thin and healthy all the time.  Don't sell yourself short!  If you are willing to do the work, you can look and feel fabulous!

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